cracking sound from laminate


Old 04-21-08, 06:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
cracking sound from laminate

Just found this forum and I hope someone can help. We just pulled up the old (and poorly installed) hardwood on the first floor and we're in the middle of installing Bruce laminate. The floor was not flat so the installer used the leveling stuff. It is flat now, but apparently the floors required a quite a bit of the leveling stuff to get them flat. The job has stopped because the floor is making a cracking sound when you walk on it. We're using the Armstrong (same company as Bruce) underlayment. The installer is saying that the problem could be our joists. But I don't understand why since they put down the leveling stuff. Shouldn't that solve any problem with the joists? They also said the joists are not cross-braced so that could also be a problem. I'm sure the Bruce rep is going to come out and blame the installer and the installer is blaming the joists. Could it be a bad batch of floor? Could it be the joists? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-21-08, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
Hard to say, I'm not their investigating it myself.

I can say that adding a bunch of cement compound over a wood structure not engineered to handle the added weight, can be bad news.

Noises are usually caused by lack of proper floor prep and the floor flexing when stepped on. A locked in floor will make noise to as the edges rub together and the pressure from expansion.
Old 04-22-08, 03:41 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
I know the floor can handle the cement compound. We had a structural engineer look at the floor a couple of years ago when we thought we were going to put marble in the dining room. He told us it was OK.

I understand what you're saying about needing proper floor prep or the floor will flex, but if the floor is properly prepped (the installer who has been doing this for quite a while said our floors barely flex and he has seen floors flex a lot more than this and not make this noise) shouldn't the state of the joists be a non-issue (this is a 30 year house, and if a structural engineer said they could hold marble, they can't be that bad).

I read somewhere about moisture and humidity...if the boxes were not stored properly, could the problem be with the boards?

One more question...can we find a flat piece of concrete (maybe in the garage) and just snap a bunch of boards together and see what happens? If it crackles, it's the boards, if it doesn't it's the prep or the joists. If we do this, does it have to be level, or just flat?

Thanks so much.
Old 04-22-08, 04:17 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
One other thing. The floor makes the same amount of crackling sound when my 24 pound toddler walks on it. It just doesn't seem like 24 pounds is enough weight to be causing an issue with the joist. We have a bad squeak under the carpet at the top of the stairs and when he walks over it there is no squeak, only when the adults walk does it squeak. If it was a joist problem with the laminate, I would expect the same thing (no crackle with the toddler, just with adults). Any thoughts on that?

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