? for about laminate floors


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Old 12-27-06, 01:29 PM
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? for about laminate floors

We bought laminate flooring for the dining and kitchen. We are installing it ourself.....and it is a PAIN!

I am thinking there must be something wrong with the ones we got. We have what is called Swiftlock plus. It is suppose to be easier because they have preadded the underlayment padding. So, all you have to do it literally just click the peices together and you are done. We have the Tile look, and a LOT of the grout isn't lining up on the rows and we are having to work peice after peice to find one that will line up with the previous row.

Our problem is....first there are SEVERAL that came in the boxes damaged. So, we are keeping those apart to take back to the store. Then, we have had to scrap a few peices because they tore on the end so easily. Two of the peices, the padding fell off of them.

Then, last night I was walking through the dining room and noticed that a few of the peices had paint chipping off the ends. Not the ends that he cut, these are full peices! You can feel the chips "grabbing" your foot as you walk across the floor!! The pull bar is aready flattening out because it soooo hard to install the last peice of the row!

We have ONLY done 7 rows and had this much trouble. We have about 20 rows left to do!

Is this normal for laminate? What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!!
 
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Old 12-27-06, 01:55 PM
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The only way I can think of that this would be normal is if you purchased based solely on price. Cheaper is almost never better. The old, get what you pay for thing is very true. If it came from a big box, their materials are some times not the best so they can sell them for less. If installation is difficult and unusual force is required to get the pieces together, it's quite possible the edges can get damaged in the process from trying to bang them together. Having the pad already installed could cause the pieces to not slide together easily also due to the friction where the pad on one piece meets the pad on another. This is just guessing on my part of course. Any chance you can get someone from your supplier to take a look at it before you go any further? There's always the possibility it's just a substandard run or they can see right off what's wrong and tell you how to correct it.
 
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Old 12-27-06, 02:11 PM
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The flooring wasn't what I would call cheap. It was the only tile version they offered. it was 2.97/sqft which is about the price all the laminate wood versions were.

The boxes they came in were 4 planks (each plank has 4 "tiles") per box so not a big box. It wasn't even on sale.

The closest Lowes is an hour away. The laminate brand is kronotex and I am sure there is none in this area.....we are in a very small town and area.

The padding is about an inch from the sides and doesn't appear to touch when he peices are put together.

The planks are hard to go together, but the damage is slight on the ones the pull bar is actually on....and since it is going to be under the molding, it doesn't really matter. But, the peice in the middle of the floor that was what the end peice was butted into is what is chipping. It isn't the peice even being hit.

This whole process has just been so stressful. Everyone we talked ot at Lowes talked about how easy it was to install.
 
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Old 12-27-06, 06:50 PM
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Without being there to see it. it does sound strange. That stuff usually just snaps together. I have found that some brands, once they snap, need a little help to finish the job. I normally carry a rubber mallet and, once I've got it where I want it and snapped together, I'll tap along the seam and that will seat everything down. If the first two or three rows are not absolutely straight and square of each other, the imperfections get telegraphed as you go along until the whole thing becomes a night mare. Make sure those first few are together perfectly with no gaps or curves. If they are right on and the problem continues, it's time to get some help. How about some pictures to help with analysis?
 
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Old 12-27-06, 07:08 PM
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Hubby is on the phone with Lowes, and my brother-in-law lays floor and doesnt think the flooring itself is working out right either (he doesn't live close to come look).

I will try to get pics when the baby settles down.

Thanks
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 12-28-06 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Removed quote as it's unnecessary
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Old 12-28-06, 02:52 AM
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/thoughtfulmom/HPIM0803edit.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/thoughtfulmom/HPIM0805.jpg

This is the best I can get the pics to come out. Everything else is blurry! You can see the chip in the right hand side of the close up. The small crack at the left of the pic is really there. We tried to close it with no luck. NONE of the tiles surrounding it have a crack...they all line up. Only one other tile has this same appearance, but it is across the room.

The other chipped tiles have the chipped appearance as this one. The line at the top of the bottom tile....does that look like a bleed over of what the next stone would have looked like to you? It almost looks like a crease where the photo should have stopped for this tile, but instead a small sliver of another tile is attached!? There are a few with that look.

The guy at Lowes said he would buy back all of the chipped and broken planks, but not any that we have cut. So, we can return the floor but be out $100. Then again, I guess we could just return the messed up ones (about 3 boxes!), and continue to install what we have left for now. I don't know. I just want a nice floor.
 
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Old 12-28-06, 11:24 AM
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Examining the first picture, I see where the pattern doesn't line up tile to tile vertically but does horizontally. If the tiles are being snapped together in a row horizontally and then each row installed as a unit as you work along, this shouldn't be an issue. If the pieces are being installed one at a time vertically, this will become a huge issue as the install proceeds. It will also require inordinate amounts of force to get things together and will cause the chipping visible in the second picture. I'm defining horizontal and vertical in regard to the orientation of the pictures. If the visible gap is actually alone, with everything tight around it, I would suspect an imperfect manufacture suggesting the material may be seconds quality. Look closely at the surrounding joints to make very certain there are no other gaps. A proper joint in this kind of material is nearly invisible in most instances. If there is any gaping at all, the issues may be pilot error. Measure the material corner to corner diagonally and jot down the measurement. Do the same thing with the opposite corners and compare the measurements. They should be the same. If not, the pieces may be out of square, again suggesting seconds quality goods which would be a night mare to install.
 
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Old 12-30-06, 08:21 PM
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me too

I'm new here and recognized the flooring shown. Mine came from Lowe's too. I experienced the same problems while installing the flooring in a small bathroom. It was pretty aggravating. The "grout" lines varied in width and wouldn't line up at all - even though the room is very small. I ended up getting the middle of the flooring lined up pretty well and letting rest fall wherever it would. That way, the problem was minimized - kind of split the difference on each side. Mine also chipped quite a bit as I forced pieces together. The good news is that the tile is a beautiful representation of the slate, and it is such vast improvement over the old floor that I am happy. Mine wasn't cheap at all and should be premium flooring. In the future I am considering rubbing dry soap along the mating edges, for lubrication and easier mating. Any input on that?
 

Last edited by palmster; 12-30-06 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Correcting poor punctuation!
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Old 12-31-06, 12:01 AM
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not done, but MUCH better!!

Well, after being aggrivated with how the floor looked, and then calling Lowes about it.......we ripped it all up!

The guy from Lowes said that he would buy back any that were chipped or messed up if they weren't cut. That has ended up being 12 (3 whole boxes!!) so far. And we are only half way through the boxes! One box, though, was completely messed up as we took the lid off....The upper corner was broken off of all of them!

Now that we have started over, we have brushed all of the edges before putting them together, to be sure there is NO dirt. There are only a handfull of grout lines that don't line up, but they are close enough to look like it was just a little off as they can sometimes be with real tiles.

We did put the entire row together first end to end to make the tongue and groove easier. We use a tapping block to line the planks toether. Then put them in long ways, entire row at a time. We have not used the pull bar but once in the entire room!! We then use the tapping block to push together any area that there may be a hairline crack and the crack goes away!! We have used the pull bar for the final tapping in the last row as we can't get the tapping block on the inside to just tap lightly.

We have had NO chipping and NO cracks (except a teensy weensy one) on the entire floor!!!

Palmster......you had asked about using soap to make the instal a little easier and you also said you put this floor down in the bathroom. Did you use laminate glue on all the edges as you were installing them? We were told that we would have to glue all the edges as we were installing the planks to make them more water proof and for the warranty to cover in a bathroom. Then, you silicone all of the perimeter to further seal out water. I would think the soap wouldn't be any slippier than the wet glue. But, as I said before, it was MUCH easier to install the floor when putting the row together first and then laying the entire row! How do you like the flooring in the bathroom? That is where we are headed as we move through the kitchen and into the spare bathroom!

Thanks for all he help Smokey49!! You have been a great help through this whole ordeal!

Here is a pic of the dining room 99% done. We only have 2 planks for the last row to do, but it was 10:30pm and didn't want the neighbors to call the cops because hubby was sawing in the garage!! LOL

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/thoughtfulmom/HPIM0818-2.jpg
 
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Old 02-14-07, 06:37 PM
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No soap on edges

Soap will absorb moisture. No soap on the edges! What happens if you put a think coat of poly on the edges instead of glue?
 
 

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