Wood seams show through vinyl

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Old 11-30-05, 12:52 PM
J
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Question Wood seams show through vinyl

More than a year ago we had a minor disaster when a small hole in a hot water pipe began to spray an area under the kitchen floor, causing a hump about 1' x 2' wide. After the plumbers fixed the pipe we waited for weeks to be sure everything was repaired and dry, and then hired a local flooring company to fix the floor damage and install a new vinyl floor. It was expensive, but we really liked the flooring (Armstrong Urban Settings, Kyoto). Before he laid the vinyl the guy put down new plywood and covered just the seams with what looked like plaster.

At first the job looked good. Now virtually every seam in the underlay shows through like a small ridge, almost as if the vinyl were laid in 4' x 8' rectangles. Also the whole floor feels "soft". It gives too much under the weight of anyone's step. Things on tables some distance away rattle when anyone walks through. Also, the edge where the vinyl meets the sliding glass door has lifted and curled back a little. I was wondering if there was supposed to be some special method of installation under this thin type vinyl flooring, or is this just the way it is?

Armstrong said they'd send an inspector if I wanted, but I sure don't want to make a big deal if this is just standard for these new vinyls. Does anyone have experience with this vinyl?

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 02:19 PM
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Sounds to me like a structural issue. What is the joist system like? Any damage from the flood? Floor patch on underlayment seams very seldom lets go unless there is a reason like alot of movement in the floor. From the description of things on tables rattling when someone walks by, you have a weak or damaged joist system. A few posts in the basement or a supporting wall or two would beef up the floor, but it won't fix your vinyl problem. Address the structural issue first.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 06:51 AM
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Thanks

Thank you for your advice. Your advice has helped us before in your answers to other posters.

There's just a crawl space, and the kitchen is the farthest point from the access, so we'll need to find someone who's comfortable working down there (is anyone?).

The only question I have is why it would happen now and not before this new floor. The water damage was just a small area in front of the sink (a pinhole spraying upward, hit about two feet), and that was fixed first. The old vinyl looked and felt solid for 15 years through several earthquakes. The installer tore out the old underlay (it was some kind of composit wood product that looked like wood chips glued together) and replaced it with plywood. The floor felt funny the day after this new installation.

One other thought. Would there be any harm in just living with this until the floor wears a little, and then having it all torn out and inspected, and possibly repaired from the top? This guy was supposed to be a specialist in floor problem-solving. What sort of contractor would check or fix the joists if that's the problem?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 06:32 PM
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The flake board was probable the aptly misnamed unrerlayment put out by Weyerhauser called structurewood. Funny name since it was as much glue as wood and like plywood underlayment, it offers no structural strength.

Floors can get kind of shakey over a crawlspace. A recent change in downspouting, or landscaping can have drastic effects on the dryness, or wetness as the case may be, of the crawlspace.

A vinyl with a new glossy finish will telegraph any imperfections beneath it. Give the flooring company a call and see if it is still under warrantee.
 
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