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glyndwr 02-06-2008 04:10 PM

Laminate Flooring Squeaks
We have laminate tile approximately 16 x 32 inches (on an mdf backing) that has some joints that click and squeak. This is not a subfloor noise. The installer has been back 3 or 4 times and worked on it without succes. He used some latex adhesive in some of the end joints, he removed most of it and did some levelling with sand under the foam pad and the problem is still bad.

Could this material possibly be glued to the lino underneath? Any other suggestions to stabilze the joints/

Floorwizard 02-07-2008 09:45 PM

what exactly is this product you are refering to?

glyndwr 02-07-2008 09:58 PM

Floor Tile Details
Thanks for the response. The flooring material we have is Alloc Tile, (Andora Slate) Ref: 138424 and is marked Made in Spain. The sections are actually 15.48 x 46.48 inches. The company is - Alloc Inc. 3441 South Memorial Drive, Racine Wis.

johnnyboy 02-07-2008 11:26 PM

laminates are generally floating floor systems, which expand and contract, and therefor cannot be attached to the floors. there should be an expansion gap along all perimeters as well.

experience: i've installed one laminate floor recently :)

mike costello 02-08-2008 05:24 AM

He used sand?????!!!! Thats a new one on me and Ive been doing laminates for 15 yrs.

Sounds like he didnt do the proper prep work before he installed the job and is now trying to put a band aid on it.

Make the retailer accountable and have them repair the floor properly.

That means sweeping up the sand and levelling the floor properly

glyndwr 02-08-2008 12:41 PM

Proper floor prep
This subfloor does show about a 1/4 inch gap under the middle of a 6 ft. straight edge. That was judged to be within what the material would accommodate, which is apparently not the case. The sand was used to because it was dry. In the service guy's words "other materials would leave a moist layer between the lino and the foam pad under the laminate".

I see the questions now as:

1) What material should be used to level the floor when there is likely to be 1/4 or 5/16 inch thickness in the middle? (There is lino underneath.)
2) What drying time would be required before re-installation?
3) What is an acceptable deviation from flat?

Thanks for the responses.

KUIPORNG 02-08-2008 12:49 PM

if the floor is not flat.... some laminate would just bounce... some poor quaility laminate will not able to take it and disassemble itself and becomes ugly nightmare as all adjucent pieces will start to loose up as well....

I am not sure which situation of above is your case....

if it is just bounce.... one simple solution is... put heavy furnitures on... once that done... the bouncing effect will minimize and over time it could settle....

if it is the 2nd problem above... then you have no choice but only to level the subflooring... I saw video tape saying use those leveling cement to patch those below level areas.... I never done that but would imagine it is a difficult task... as you need to find where is the hole and how large and what shape of the hole which is not an obvious thing...

using "Sand" for leveling definitely a new invention.... heard that for outside patio but not inside laminates....

what is the cost of your laminate per sq.ft... the cost sometimes tell you the quality although not always...

mike costello 02-08-2008 12:53 PM

1/4 inch over 6 feet is totally not flat enough. You would have to check the manufacturors standard for grade tolerance.

I believe most are 1/4 over 10 feet but thats just with one slope. Floors that are wavy need to be addressed as those low areas add up.

You can use any portland based patching compund for levelling and I would say 24 hours is plenty of drying time. Plani Patch by Mapei or Ardex Feather finish are 2 examples.

Of course I dont have all the facts here but it sounds like the installer was looking for the quick easy way out

mike costello 02-08-2008 12:58 PM

Dude no offence, but your answer to a bouncing laminate floor is to put furniture on it?

Bouncing floors are indicative of a larger problem. No matter what the quality of the floor is those little tounges will eventually snap.

There is a reason for grade tolerances and I think we have an example here of what happens when someone just slaps it in without the proper prep work.

Seriously, people come in here for advice from people that KNOW what they are talking about. Your not doing anyone any favors by guessing.

KUIPORNG 02-08-2008 01:18 PM

but honest, I have see two three installations from different professional... there is no one totally free of bouncing spots ... that may be my coincident.... but I think it is also a matter of fact that many floor is not 100% perfect level... but I think your point may be correct that 0.25 " is way too much... as I am not too knowledable on exact measure...

mike costello 02-08-2008 01:25 PM

I have been instaling laminates for over 15 yrs. The first thing I do is check the grade of the floor. I have all my salesmen and store owners trained to do the same.

It doesnt do anyone any good at all to proceed with an installation until the prep issues are addressed.

The tongue of a laminate floor is made of the same material as the core. Its designed to hold the floor together. Not to withstand any load bearing pressure.

Take a piece of the most expensive laminate you can find and you still can snap the tonge off with your finger.

The stuff needs to be flat period, or it will fail.

KUIPORNG 02-08-2008 01:36 PM

but the fact is.... I installed my basement floor... I didn't level it... and it has bouncing area in the beginning... now after the children run around for a few months... those bouncing areas are all gone.... this is from my actual experience.

but then for professional installation in order for professionals to receive the handsome cheque.... your point probably be the case....

mike costello 02-08-2008 03:34 PM

I think I may have just a tad more experience in the matter.
Fact is you got lucky. I can tell you with certainty that your floor will not last as long as it would if it were installed correctly.

Yes your right , in my case I do recieve a check for my installs. I am a professional that trains and educates myself regularly.I have certifications in over 6 different varieties of laminate and claim inspection certification.

Do you think that may make me a little more qualified than " I put some in my basement and its fine"?

glyndwr 02-10-2008 11:09 AM

Floor is just not flat enough
Thanks to everyone for their responses and to mike costello in particular.

The simple problem is that the floor is not flat enough. I checked the specification for this 'ALLOC Tile' and it is 1/8 inch in 10 feet. After the sand treatement which raised the center area, there is still a section on each side where the drop is 1/8 in. under a 4 ft. straight edge, and these areas are not tight on the sub-floor so they depress when you step on them. The floor just needs proper leveling.

COMMENT: As a homeowner, even with considerable experience in concrete, framing and interior finishing, I wouldn't assume it was my role to give technical advice to a company that has been in business for 35 years, at least when I have never worked with the product. Their opinion was that the floor was flat enough and now they are puzzled. Guess I've got to talk to them.

canadaclub 02-10-2008 07:21 PM

I am still LMAO reading Mike's comment...Sand??????

I'm no expert on laminate flooring, only did a couple of fairly easy jobs, however, I do know that if you want to test the fragility of the t/g joints, try talking a floor out without takes a delicate hand. Pull too hard and in the wrong twist and even the laminate will crack also. I suppose everything in construction has a band-aid fix but I'll put my money, and reputation on the word of the someone who has been doing the job for years. Actually, Mike, I am surprised that laminate flooring, as I know it, has been around that long. Maybe the popularity has just grown up here.

Just a note while I am blabbing away. Where I live the installation of laminate flooring is very poor quality. Granted, again, I am no expert but 95% of the jobs I see in my area the contractors do not remove baseboards or trim...nor will they install 1/4 round. The end result is about a 1/4 gap around all walls and doors. The explanation the flooring companies give is that it is a floating floor and the gap is required. IN/OUT..WHERE'S THE CHEQUE? One company I know of left the customer without toilets because store policy dictated that they could remove but not reinstall toilets. Good business for me if I follow them around but really???


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