My laminate flooring issues

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  #1  
Old 03-04-14, 11:57 AM
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My laminate flooring issues

Hello All. We had a contractor install laminate flooring approximately a year and half ago. After about 6 months we noticed a couple gaps in the flooring. The company came out to repair the issue. However, after a few months…the gaps came back and brought a lot of friends (image below). I would say we have about 15 or so of these gaps in our hallway and daughter's room. Additionally, we have had an enormous amount of boards having slightly different heights. So, it looks like the floors are buckling…but I am not sure it's really that. If you run your fingers over the edges of the boards they do seem to have a hump. We had a representative from the company come out and he said he wasn't sure about the gaps because the floor looks like it was installed correctly. He asked about how we clean the floors. I mentioned that for spot cleaning (dirt and the like) we use a towel and warm water. If it's a major cleaning (only happened a couple of times) we use a laminate cleaner and a rag. He said you should never use water and pointed to that as the issue.

Also, we had their supplier come out to look at that floors and she said the 'buckling' was most likely do to humidity. She further mentioned that you should not leave the doors or windows open as that could lead to the buckling. I responded….do you mean that on a nice spring day…we can't have the windows open? She said yes…you really need to care for these floors and their humidity.

Maybe it's me..but if that is really the issue (with regards to buckling) I don't think anyone would ever buy laminate flooring. And, since a lot of my friends/family have laminate flooring that has not buckled…I doubt that is actually the cause in our case. Any thoughts particularly with the buckling? We live in a high rise so we don't have things like crawl spaces, etc. If it's humidity....I would be shocked.

Thanks in advance all, Pete





[ATTACH=CONFIG]27737[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]27738[/ATTACH]
 
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  #2  
Old 03-04-14, 12:12 PM
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If the gaps are isolated to one room and an adjacent hallway, what is it about that room that is different than the rest of the flooring install? Humidity can come from the ambient air as well as from below. Is there a bathroom adjacent or near the problem area that could be adding moisture to the floor? Does that area get more direct sunlight than other areas? How long did the installers let the flooring acclimate before installing it? What type of underlayment was used? In a highrise, are the floors concrete? You also need to make sure that proper gaps were afforded around the perimeter to allow for proper expansion and contraction.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for the response czizzi.

Most of the gap issues are in on our hallway and the small, master bedroom. Although there are some in my daughter's room.

If you walk down the hallway…about 2 feet from the start is a bathroom. Across from that is an empty bedroom. Continuing down the hallway about 10 feet or so to the right is my daughter's room while if you went straight down the hallway (another couple of feet)…it would be the entrance to our small master bedroom with a bathroom. The hallway does not get direct sunlight.

IIRC, the installers may have had the flooring acclimated….but I believe that was done because they had to finish up another job. The sales person (if I am remembering correctly) mentioned that the nice thing about the laminate is that it didn't require acclimation.

The floors are concrete…on top of that is parquet. They put, I believe Noise muffler on top of the parquet then the flooring over that. The flooring is Kronotex and isn't in individual planks…it's like a group of three per board.

The buckling issue is in most, but not all of the rooms.

I hope this answers your questions. I often time leave out the details!!

Thanks again, Pete
 

Last edited by die_kruzen; 03-04-14 at 01:19 PM.
  #4  
Old 03-04-14, 04:22 PM
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Your installer was completely wrong. Go to the Kronotex web site a see for yourself.
The Kronotex I got stuck installing because it was customer supply was nothing but ground up cardboard looking backing.
And form of moisture coming from the top or bottom is going to ruin it.
Sure sounds like your getting some high moisture swings causing to both cup and shrink.
Buckling is often caused from someone not leaving the required gaps on the outside edges.
Pulling apart at the short seams is because something's holding the ends in place at the walls.
All it takes is the 1/4 to tight, someone nailed or glued the floor to the subflooring, one nail into the flooring is enough to cause it.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 05:22 AM
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Quick scans around the internet provide some tough reviews for your brand of flooring. More than once I read issues with regard to the raised edges between boards. If the boards are not failing, then it could very well be something you will have to live with.

With regards to the end seams pulling apart, we need to look toward the installation. You will need to review the entire install and determine how to correct. First, is the install one contiguous floor that flows from one room to the other? or are there transition strips at each of the doorways? If contiguous, I would recommend breaking up the install into separate rooms with a t-molding at each door threshold. Breaking up the floor will minimize the expansion and contraction and make it easier to control. I would next pull some baseboards and so shoe molding and see to what extent gaps were left around the perimeter. Let us know if the floor goes under the baseboard or only up to it and covered with molding (shoe or quarter round). You may have to partially disassemble the floor to correct the end alignment issues. If it is a loose fit on the click and lock, you may be able to pull them back into place.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the responses all.

Yeah, I think we just got stuck with some low budget wood that will always look horrible even if the gaps are fixed. We may try to remove some of the quarter round and see what gaps they left from the baseboards. But, we are trying to get the installers out to fix the issue.

For the life of me…I don't know where any moisture could be coming from. I've read where that could also be caused by the installation (as had been mentioned here). That would make a bit more sense to me…but I won't rule out moisture.

The flooring is contiguous as there are no thresholds from room to room.

The flooring goes under the quarter round…not the baseboards.

BTW - the flooring planks are approx 52x8. Although the picture only shows the first 4 or so gaps...they continue all the way back to the wall in the master bedroom (for a total of 15 or so).

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Thanks again, Pete
 
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Old 03-05-14, 03:40 PM
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Here is a link to installation instructions from your flooring manufacturer: https://www.loweslink.com/pubdocumen...%20layout1.pdf

It opens with the following:
-48 hr acclimation period
-3/8" minimum expansion gap
-6 mil poly vapor barrier over concrete
-poly should over lap 8", be sealed, and run up the walls 4" and tucked behind baseboard
-wood flooring installed over concrete subfloor - wood must be removed
-any install over 40' long or 25' wide needs transitions at all doors and openings

Looks like your installers are batting .000 on following installation instructions. Did not remove Parkay flooring, no vapor barrier, no transitions..... I think this should help you get them to correct the situation. I blame the installers not the manufacturers in this case.
 
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