Question regarding gaps in the floor


Old 12-14-14, 01:34 PM
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Question regarding gaps in the floor

Hello, wondering if anyone can shed some light on my situation. I have laminate flooring that are developing some gaps between few of the planks. I measured the length of the connecting planks that have gaps and the ones that don't and they are exactly the same. The contractor I used says the reason for this is the under layer or the layer beneath the top layer shrunk and that I can't just measure the top of the plank. It's not a fault of his workmanship, but I just can't wrap my head around this. How can there be visible gaps if the top layer didn't shrink? If he bsing me?

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Old 12-14-14, 01:50 PM
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With out knowing more I can't say for sure. But I would say its a bad install. My daughter had a similar situation. Brand new construction, with a friend who is in the business doing the work. After several weeks the gaps appeared. When the friend saw it he was upset and re-worked it. Problem solved. Unfortunately I do not know the problem or how he fixed it. If the original installer won't fix it it, then call another installer and let them look at it. Get a quote. Submit it to the original installer. If he refuses to make good have second installer fix it and then take legal action.
Old 12-14-14, 04:19 PM
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I would say the planks were not properly interlocked during installation. Everyone says a laminate floor is easy to install, but to get the planks locked both lengthwise and at the ends can be difficult without practice.
Also the base shoe may have been installed too tight down against floor. This could cause binding in some cases.
The floor needs fixed, as in replaced.
I'm going to go out on a limb and not blame installer completely. Some of these floors are not of high quality and if the end joints were interlocked at install, the locking mechanism should not release.
Old 12-14-14, 07:08 PM
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Welcome to the world of laminate flooring First, remove the shoe molding at the end of these runs. Purchase a laminate tap iron and try to pull them back into place. Sometimes it works, sometimes there is too much friction. Can't lose trying. Roberts Pro Pull Bar for Laminate and Wood Floors-10-18-8 - The Home Depot
Old 12-14-14, 07:45 PM
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How flat was the subfloor? Looks like installer error, but if the subfloor isn't flat, the laminate can separate.
Old 12-14-14, 08:10 PM
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Based on the lack of appropriate stagger between rows, I am assuming there is also a limited knowledge base on the rest of the installation. I call operator error on the installation.

the reason for this is the under layer or the layer beneath the top layer shrunk
Please don't fall for this obvious line of BS - Nothing shrunk between layers. Possible that the whole plank did from lack of acclimation (installation error), but not one layer over another.:NO NO NO:
Old 12-14-14, 10:57 PM
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@czizzi Sorry, I tried looking up but do you mean the seams should be staggered in a row of three instead of the two as shown in my pictures? Is this the reason for the gaps? A lot of planks are only staggered in row of two : (

Seems couple of spots are not leveled...but not too many.

edit: so these are called H joints. I knew the floor looked little odd when I first saw it but couldn't figure out what it was. Besides aesthetics what other problems can manifest? A lot of sites only tell you to avoid H joints for aesthetic reasons but not much else.

Last edited by rollinghills; 12-14-14 at 11:21 PM.
Old 12-15-14, 05:05 AM
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"H" joints are a distraction mainly as it is something to draw the eye. The goal of a professional installation is to make the installation seamless. A minimum 1/3rd stagger each row sufficiently breaks up the pattern. It also makes for a stronger floor as the joints are sufficiently offset by the subsequent row of solid locking mechanism to form a stronger weave. You guy will claim he was trying to save on materials an not waste cutting off unnecessary scrap. This is false as the cut at one end of the row usually works great as the start at the beginning of the next row.

So, would a tighter weave and better stagger have held the floor together better? It is quite possible, but I can not for sure provide you with that ammunition.

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