I thought click install was supposed to be easy...

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  #1  
Old 04-19-09, 07:35 PM
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Angry I thought click install was supposed to be easy...

So, I spent several hours today with a bunch of friends trying to put down some engineered click-lock flooring, and I have to say nail-down would have been less work. First of all, you never got a clean lock; you always had to "tap" (and by "tap" I mean rear back with the hammer and beat the crap out of the tapping block, several times, as if you were driving in a large nail). Secondly, the locks were designed such that you couldn't just lock the panel where it needed to go on rows after the first; you first had to lock in the long side, and then "tap" the entire board to the left so the short side would lock. And, since we were having to beat on the stuff so hard, other panels that had been a tight fit would sometimes slip apart a little bit. In all, it was incredibly frustrating, and we only got about 50 square feet down in 4-5 hours.

Now, I have a hypothesis as to why; we had a lot of rain the past few days, and some of the boards did not lay quite flat. Obviously, they were a tad too moist. Could the tongue+groove have swollen to the point that they just didn't fit together anymore? Or is this a manufacturing defect?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-20-09, 08:48 AM
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So, I called up the distributor, and they said the trick was to lubricate the tongue and groove with beeswax before trying to install a plank. I'll try that out, and post the results. Seems that this would have been a good thing to put in the manufacturer's instructions though...
 
  #3  
Old 04-20-09, 02:19 PM
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If you have to coat it with wax to get it to go together, the stuff is defective and you need to return it. After you put it down, they will no longer take it back and you will be screwed.
 
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Old 04-20-09, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by docfaraday View Post
lubricate the tongue and groove with beeswax before trying to install a plank.
Oh my, this is what they told you to do??. That seems like they may have had a few more calls about the same problem before you called. What else did they say?

In the past some other reasons for having to beat the floor to click it into place could be...

1) Un-acclimated flooring install (under 36 hours)
2) Unlevel subfloor.
3) Faulty Flooring.
4) Box's of same flooring bought at different times (weeks apart).
 
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Old 04-21-09, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MrLaminate View Post
Oh my, this is what they told you to do??. That seems like they may have had a few more calls about the same problem before you called. What else did they say?

In the past some other reasons for having to beat the floor to click it into place could be...

1) Un-acclimated flooring install (under 36 hours)
2) Unlevel subfloor.
3) Faulty Flooring.
4) Box's of same flooring bought at different times (weeks apart).
It is very much acclimated (the boxes sat in the house for about a month, and they sat opened for a few days), although we had atypically humid weather the weekend we tried to install it, so maybe that was part of the problem. The subfloor is pretty level (not perfect, but the really level parts did not seem to work any differently than the not-quite-level parts). And I bought the whole lot at once, and planks from the same box were exhibiting this problem. Sadly, it will probably be difficult to return the shipment, since I am past the no-questions-asked 30-day return period, and since they have already essentially said "Yeah, that's normal.".

Things have dried out at this point, and I'll take another crack at it this weekend and see what happens.
 
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Old 04-21-09, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by flooryou View Post
If you have to coat it with wax to get it to go together, the stuff is defective and you need to return it. After you put it down, they will no longer take it back and you will be screwed.
They claimed that the source of the problem was the length of the boards (6.5 feet). I think I will test this claim by sawing off a couple of smallish pieces and seeing if they click properly.
 
  #7  
Old 04-21-09, 01:52 PM
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So, getting even 2-foot planks to join to one-another requires some force. I'm going to see if I can work out an exchange or something, because the guy on the other end said that this was not normal.
 
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Old 04-23-09, 01:50 PM
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What exact product are you putting in?

Sounds like your trying to beat a rotating lock together.
 
  #9  
Old 04-23-09, 01:55 PM
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The brand is a Yanchi bamboo. The locking mechanism could be described as "rotating lock"; you're supposed to put the tongue into the groove at a 20ish degree angle, and then let the board down. Sadly, this does not work. You can get the tongue partly in if you push really hard when you're at that 20ish degree angle, but it still doesn't go all the way in (if you don't push, the planks don't engage at all). Then the beatings commence.

Edit: Here is a picture of what the tongue and groove are supposed to look like (link)

The locking mechanism looks like it was designed to be on the tight side, but what I have has a tongue that's a bit wider than in this photo. It just doesn't fit without persuasion.
 
  #10  
Old 04-24-09, 07:32 AM
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That is the easiest floor to install, but you do have to hold your mouth just right.

You need a Kahrs installation kit. It consists of a wedge and a heavy composite plastic block.

Do not lay that floor flat and try to beat the joints together, or you will damage the lock and the floor will separate later.

The trick to installing that type of lock is all in the angle(wedge) and taping as you rotate it down(the heavy block)

You first wedge the previous board in the row, up at that special angle. Then you take the next board and rotate it into the end joint, down as close as you can so the board lies close or into the long lock joint. Now with the board up at that angle and the previous board being held up at that sweet angle. Take the block and tap along the expose held up long side near the already engaged end joint. As it gets going into the lock, go down the board taping it into the long lock joint, and as you do, put slight pressure down ward on the back side of the plank, and start to pull the wedge out. You may need to go down to the wedged board and tap it a couple of times too.

There is that sweet spot for the wedge. Too much and the previous board your wedging comes unlocked. To little and your fighting the long joint.
 
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Old 04-24-09, 07:56 AM
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So, if I understand you correctly, what you're describing is using this kit to line up the entire row at that 20ish degree angle, and then dropping the whole thing at once? Or are we talking about putting the wedge under only the previous board (presumably lifting it independently of the board before it)? The latter won't work, because the short end joint is very similar to the long end joint; the tongue actually goes into a groove that is deeper than the wear-layer. Once that short joint is in place, if you want to lift a board, you have to lift the entire row.

If a replacement doesn't pan out (it looks like the supplier is at least going to try to find a lot that isn't this stubborn to send me a replacement from), hopefully this will save my rear end. But, I'll probably get the kit anyhow, just in case the replacement is a tad tight. As for the tape, I assume we're talking about something like masking tape (the blue stuff)?
 
  #12  
Old 04-24-09, 11:09 AM
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Been there and done that with the same product.

My only advise is pre lock all the pieces of an entire row together before attempting to lock the rows together. The angle lock and roll technique works, but you need to do it
as a row not a piece at a time.

It will make the process go a lot smoother, of course you will probably need a couple of more hands, friends and family can be cheap help and are sometimes easy to find, you just have to work in unison.

You shouldn't need to "beat" the material mercilessly, but you will want to tap it into place. use a piece of the tongue or groove side of a piece of left over scrap, it will help to prevent you from damaging your good piece.

Foget the beeswax, if you need that you bought the wrong flooring.
 
  #13  
Old 04-24-09, 11:54 AM
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Yeah, we tried doing that sort of thing, but we didn't know about the tape trick, so that made keeping everything in place impossible. Also, getting the short ends joined took enough force that I doubt the tape would be able to hold the long join together anyhow (unless you used duct tape or something, which is a really bad idea for other reasons).

Here's a question; when this sort of rotate lock stuff is installed, about how difficult should it be to rotate a panel back up? Should it lift easily? A little firm resistance? Or, in our situation, nearly requiring a pry-bar and someone standing on the previous row?
 
  #14  
Old 04-30-09, 03:13 PM
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After some back and forth with the distributor, they've determined that the entire production run may be flawed, and don't have anything from a different run in stock. So, we're going with a glue-together product. I'm reading up on how to do this, and I have a coworker who has a bunch of leftover Taylor 2071 from a flooring job he had done a while back. Is this the right sort of thing to use for a glue-together (as opposed to a glue-down) installation? If so, is it likely to be in good shape (what kind of shelf-life does the stuff have)?
 
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