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Old 04-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
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need some help please, floor expansion!


Hi, I installed a laminate floor here on oahu in Hawaii. The house is on a golf course and it is a fairly humid area. Very sandy soil all around and under the slab. The old floor was having moisture issues. So we ripped that out and painted two coats of some moisture barrier paint. The client purchased a Kempas laminate by Wisteria Lane and a vapor barrier floor padding that sort of looked like a greenish blue egg carton, thicker then i have ever seen. We opened up all the boxes and let it espand for a time of 2 to 3 days. it went in nicely and but 3 weeks later we got a call. came back and it was warped bad. it had expanded into the wall so we cut it back and replace the trim, put some weight on it and it settled nicely. 2 weeks later, more expansion. we went back and did the same thing, it settled down and now a 2 weeks later it is still having issues.. nightmere!! is it moisture? is this product known for this? please help,, aloha

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:56 PM   #2
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need some help please, floor expansion!


hi,
I helped my son in law install 2000 sq. ft. of bamboo laminate flooring with the underlayment you described. Blue-green egg carton. It was on the first and second floors with a basement under the first. The basement has a dehumidifier so we did not need a moisture barrier. You appear to have installed a non-moisture barrier type underlayment. If it didn't have a layer of moisture repelling plastic on the under side, it is a large sponge. We have a reverse problem. Our floor is shrinking due to the radiant heat system under the floors. Apparently the flooring did not dry out enough before we installed it.

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Old 05-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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need some help please, floor expansion!


thanks for the response. so, i would have needed to put down some plastic liner before the padding? aloha, ,k
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Old 05-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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need some help please, floor expansion!


I have used a product by Armstrong that I got at Lowes. It was a thin, white foam with a plastic vapor barrier on one side which was applied with the plastic side down against the concrete slab on a job I did many years ago. There have been no issues with the laminate floor on that concrete. Don't forget to tape the joints, also.
Concrete is porous and will continuously draw moisture from the gravel under it. Painting concrete will slow the seepage but, most paints will pass moisture in these conditions.
Have you thought about whether the house has had the windows open since you installed the floor? You said it was humid there. If you acclimated the flooring to a house that was closed (and maybe even heated?) the flooring may have dried out well but, when the humidity in the house changed, guess what was thirsty.
Some laminates are compressed saw dust and glue with a photo image laminated to the top side. That's how they get the real look. The base material can be quite a sponge and the expansion factor can be large. Don't forget that a rise in temperature also causes materials to grow. Investigate the changes and you may find the cause. Good hunting.
Mikedudl

Last edited by mikedudl; 05-02-2008 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:00 AM   #5
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need some help please, floor expansion!


thanks, i know which vapor barrier your talking about. the one with the plastic side.. The one the client gave us to use didnt have a plastic side to it. I was that green egg carton looking stuff, i think 10mm thick.. thicker then anything i have ever used. we made sure about the expansion gaps. but it seems to be buckling still. i have cut back all places where it touched the walls. it expanded nearly 1/2 an inch in some areas. the buckling settled down after but it seems to be permanent. i dont want to have to rip it all out but it looks that way. it has got to be the humidity i guess or the underlayment(it doesnt have plastic), even though they say it is a moisture barrier might absorb moisture? thanks k
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