Lumber Liquadators On 60 Minutes

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  #1  
Old 03-02-15, 07:25 PM
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Lumber Liquadators On 60 Minutes

Did you see the 60 Minutes investigation of formaldehyde in the base material of their laminate flooring? Supposedly so high one independent lab testing it thought their equipment was broken. There were interviews in China with the reps at the factory saying it doesn't meet required limits because it would cost too much.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lumber-l...ty-violations/
 
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  #2  
Old 03-02-15, 09:48 PM
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I am really not too surprised I hadn't seen the 60 minutes report as I haven't watched it in years but I do believe this. China is notorious for making products that are unsafe or don't meet environmental standards. The Chinese government has been asked to look into these plants and at times they have shut some plants down but they don't stay shut down for long as the inspectors take bribes. If I ever do want new floors I will definitely look into Loews or the Home Depot instead.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 10:36 PM
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I caught the last half-minute or so while playing channel roulette. I also noticed that there was a story in the financial section of my local news site but didn't read the story.

When my sister was looking for new flooring in her house (about three years ago) we went to LL. I was not the least bit impressed with the materials presented and I thought the salesperson was a bit too fast talking. Looking at other flooring stores we both decided that LL was being crossed off the list.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:40 AM
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Not jumping to their defense by any means, but I think we should not diss a distributor for the products they sell. It is up to the purchaser to pick out the quality they want. Sure LL sells cheap stuff. But in looking through their lineup, there are quality products as well. I will admit they push the cheap stuff, and outprice the quality stuff. The quality stuff can be bought locally through box stores, so there is no up side to it.

I had one customer order their flooring through them, and we had good results (not cabin grade) with the installation and culling. Of course it was 5" hand scraped maple and cost $7 a square foot 6 years ago , so there is quality, but you have to pay for it.

HD sells Traffic Master laminate flooring for 68 cents a foot on occasion. I wouldn't put it in a dog house, and the flooring pro wonders why they even sell the stuff, but it does sell.

Caveat emptor.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:58 AM
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While in China I was amazed at how aware they (the Chinese people) are of hazardous products, pollution and their environmental situation. They are even more mad and intolerant of it than us. They don't trust many of the products produced in their own country and are pushing strongly for reform and, as only a communist country can do they change very fast. The government says "You change or we shut you down." It's about as simple as that.

Yes, there is still way too much of what we consider improper or unsafe coming out of China. Look at how long the fight was in the US to get lead banned from many products. Getting rid of PCBs and asbestos were not quick slam dunks either. Heck we still allow small children to ride in aircraft without a seat belt for purely economic reasons.

But in the end you get what you pay for. You want cheap flooring, sheet rock, food additives, plastics, agricultural chemicals... you've gotta pay the price from somewhere. Processes to manufacture many products are more expensive when they don't use certain chemicals so the cost comes out somewhere. Surprise, surprise. Cheap products are often manufactured with the cheapest process... which often isn't legal in the US or Western Europe... so they are made in Asia... and end up with stuff in them we don't want.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 11:19 AM
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I saw a quick blurb somewhere today that LL stock has taken a huge hit already because of that story.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:47 PM
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And I have seen the claim the report was an effort to manipulate LL stock.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-03-15 at 06:02 PM.
  #8  
Old 03-03-15, 01:49 PM
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The problem is the package says it meets the specification. So they find it does not meet it so people that have installed that flooring are looking to get it replaced by someone paying the replacement cost.

I did see the show and I went into the other room to look at the boxes of Pergo I still have not installed. It says made in USA on the box but I wonder if that is even true.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:31 PM
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LL has a responsibility not to sell products that do not meet legal guidelines.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 08:55 PM
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I did see the show and I went into the other room to look at the boxes of Pergo I still have not installed. It says made in USA on the box but I wonder if that is even true.
Pergo is a good brand I am not defending them nor have I bought flooring in a while but I have heard good reports about them. If you have concerns you could call the manufacturer or have it tested. I agree with what others have said the more you pay for flooring the better it is and steering clear of companies you know make flooring in China is the best thing to do. Not only better for your health but better for the economy too.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-03-15 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Fix BB code
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Old 03-04-15, 04:00 AM
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My wife's sister has Pergo in her house and it still looks good 10 yrs later. It even managed to survive getting wet when her water heater tank sprung a leak. I still prefer real wood but I am impressed on how well it wears.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 05:14 AM
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I know this has almost nothing to do with hardwood flooring but there has been some research done into the legal marijuana business and how it's unregulated. There was a study that took samples of various products and sent then to different labs and found that what was contained was most often not the amount printed on the label. Then the next step the investigators sent identical samples to 10 different labs the results that came back varied wildly. Varying practices, standards and testing methods yielded very different results of the same sample. So, it's very difficult to say anything without certainty unless you really nail down the variables and spend a lot of money.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 10:35 AM
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What I thought compelling was the factory managers in China say no the base material doesn't meet the standards because it would be much more expensive to meet the standards. If it isn't true why say that? Of course their attitude seemed a bit strange. Almost as if they were proud of the mislabeling.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 11:20 AM
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If the box said it did not meet spec it would not be bought so the factory would lose sales.

I also question the testing methods. If the allowed emissions are based on an installed surface with tight joints and you place a sample in an open test with an exposed under surface the emissions will be much greater based on unfinished surface area that is not exposed when correctly installed. I am not saying I want potentially hazardous products installed in my home or saying it is ok to misrepresent a product. Any product can be considered hazardous if it escapes from its' container or is used improperly. Look at gasoline or motor oil, two products we deal with everyday and don't think twice about.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 11:28 AM
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I agree the testing should be measuring the air concentration on an installed floor. Just out....A senetor is calling for the fed to do testing with an independent test lab. Stock dropped another 12% after that information.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 04:23 PM
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Not jumping to their defense by any means, but I think we should not diss a distributor for the products they sell. It is up to the purchaser to pick out the quality they want.
This kind of hits close to home since I was a Buyer/Purchasing Manager. The buying policies of a company are not made by the buyers or PA but by the trickle down effect of management style and of owners and upper management and what they dictates of how and why a product is bought. If owner/management says buy the cheapest price that seems to meet specs then that is what is done. Few companies will heed the Engineers and PA advice and rules to meet and certify specifications when profit takes center stage. Say what you want about government inefficiencies but Govt. specs be it military or NASA or whatever do more good than harm in spite of government corruption.

Bottom line from my view point is defiantly the distributor is at fault (among others) for not knowing or caring what they sell. They want to buy overseas then they need to certify and test product before distribution to the masses. No excuse!
 

Last edited by Norm201; 03-04-15 at 05:30 PM. Reason: addedc comment
  #17  
Old 03-04-15, 04:34 PM
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I don't have a link to the article, but apparently this flooring has been subjected to about 3 tests from 3 different people. All of the confirming that the flooring was over the limit. It appears criminal charges will be brought against LL as well.

This all started with a stock trader. He did the first test on the product and published his findings online. Then another well known trader heard the story and did his own testing. He was the one that got 60 minutes involved. Why do these stock traders care? Because they short stock. So publicizing this will lower the value and make them money.
 
  #18  
Old 12-25-15, 03:32 AM
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Formaldehyde test

I refinished a basement last year and used LL laminate flooring. Of course I found out after the fact that the flooring I used was potentially high in formaldehyde. I contacted LL who sent me the air quality test kit and the results came back with elevated levels so they had someone come out to take a sample of the flooring to determine if that was the cause for the elevated levels. Needless to say those results came back that the flooring was very low and not the cause. Of course I am very skeptical but hesitant to just pull up,the floors without being certain what is actually causing the elevated levels in the air. Does anyone know how to determine beyond a reasonable doubt what specifically could be causing the elevated results?
 
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Old 12-25-15, 04:54 AM
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Tooch - Not negating the rest of this thread, merely commenting on your particular installation. Most Laminate flooring is not rated for below grade installations. They may claim that it is, but in reality, moisture levels in basements whether visible or measurable are many times outside the limits. So you may have a mixture of marginal flooring installed in a moist environment that exacerbates the issue. If a moisture test was performed before installation, great. If not, you may have moisture under the floor and that is what you are smelling. Worth looking into as even perfectly dry basements can have extreme events happen which introduce moisture where there wasn't any previously. But Installing Laminate in a basement is an "at your own risk" scenario either way.
 
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