Small gaps in laminate floor joints


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Old 07-06-06, 08:10 PM
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Small gaps in laminate floor joints

I installed Quick-Step Uniclic 8mm Long Plank a few weeks ago. I left expansion joints around the wall and door jambs and the molding was installed with silicone to the floor, not the laminate. So I believe I should have enough breathing room for the floor. All long end and short end seams were tapped in tight at installation. Installed over level tile with moisture barrier (taped seams) and padding. Moisture test prior to install did not register any moisture.

I am now noticing small gaps present on several planks on the short end side of the planks where they join together. The gaps are small (tooth pick width) and only run half the width of the joint. I'll try to describe Better:

If the width of the plank is ~ 6 inches, the gap where the ends join only extends about 3 of the 6 inch width with the remaining 3 inches of the width tight. The gaps are always on the same half of the plank. Meaning that if one gap is say on the west half of the plank, each affected plank has the gap on the same west half. Strange to me since one would think the gap would be uniform across the entire 6 inch width. I have a digital picture but I think they don't allow attachments on the post.

Any ideas? Thanks
 
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Old 07-07-06, 09:09 AM
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Did you allow the flooring to acclimate prior to installation?
 
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Old 07-07-06, 05:05 PM
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Yes I did. It was in the house for 5 days before I started the install and it took three days to complete.

It was installed throughout a Den, living room and kitchen with the longest span of floor extending 32 feet with no expansion joints. Quick step claims up to 45 feet w/o expansion joint. You may think water when you see kitchen, but there have been no spills or leaks and the gaps are present in the living room area also.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 02:13 PM
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Have you put on your runners and tried to kick the joints together?

My first thought was that the floor is twisted but I'm not sure thats even possible and if it was, I think the sides might show some seperation also.
 
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Old 07-14-06, 01:53 PM
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are these gapping seams where a factory-cut end meets a factory-cut end?
 
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Old 07-18-06, 06:15 PM
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Yes. They are whole uncut planks tapped into other whole uncut planks.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-19-06, 10:13 AM
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Is every end joint like this? If your absolutely positive these gaps were not there during and right after installation, then take a 6 feet or longer straight edge, then stand on the gapped end joint with the straight edge at your toes. Do it in several directions, to determine where the low spot in the substrate is.
 
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Old 07-19-06, 10:17 AM
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somethings out of whack! for the gap to not even be consistent over the entire 6" length of the end of the plank, something is askew! i'd bet it has something to do with such a long (32') expanse, but i don't know that for sure.

try the thing with the running shoes. have someone heavy stand on one plank, and you (with rubber soled shoes on) take a sort of jump onto the next plank (the gap in between you two) with a forward motion, and try to scoot the plank tighter against the one the other guy's standing on. i've heard that actually works.

the other option would be to remove the baseboard or quarter round & get out your pull bar & hammer again & try to whack the planks tighter together from the expansion gap edge on the row with the gap.
 
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Old 07-19-06, 07:53 PM
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Thanks for your replies and expertise. I will try to "kick" the joints together and will take a straight edge and check as described. I'll come back after I try these suggestions.

To answer Carpets Done Wrights' question, every joint is not like this. Maybe 20 % and I'm positive the gaps came after the install (whether that's 5 minutes or 5 days, I don't know )

In response to Annette, both Quick Step and the flooring store specialist where I bought the floor stated that the 32 foot span would not be a problem since the span did not extend through a bottle neck (that is walked through) that is less then 5 feet across (5 feet is not a magic number, I just informed them of the dimensions). The pass though point from the living room to the kitchen is about 5 feet at the most narrow point. I brought a site diagram and they were sure it would not be an issue. But...that's what they said. Quick Step instructions say 15 meters.

I recently took notice of a friends higher end (cost wise) Wilsonart floor and he has the same gaps exactly as I described. His was installed "Professionaly". I like the Quick-Step Long Plank and don't have any other real concerns. I chose this floor based on its very high rating in a particular article referenced here before that compares all types of floors.

Anyway, I'll stop yappin'.
 
 

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