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learning 03-03-2009 07:31 AM

My laminate floor moves when you walk on it
Howdy folks!

I'm in the process of installing a laminate floor in a 5 x 5 powder room-I'm about 3/4 done. When you walk on the new floor, it moves under your feet. The boards are locked together; the movement is hozizontal. The boards that I installed don't seem to be too bowed-some are a little bowed.

I installed an underlayment and it was pretty flat, the only problem is that it retained a slight "curl" from being rolled up when I bought it.

The condition of the subfloor is good and firm.
I have been using spacers (scraps of the flooring).
I have also used a tapping block.

Please help-any thoughts are appreciated!

learning 03-04-2009 07:25 AM

I should also note that despite the horizontal movement, the boards remain locked together.

IrishEd 03-05-2009 09:33 AM


No offence but thats why its called a free floating floor. As for the curling. All laminate floors need to climatise. For example the cheap Lowes stuff (97 cents a sq) takes 24-72 hours layed out in the room in the driection your gonna go in. and my favorite part about that crap it says to dont open the box inside the wraped box :) . But every brand of laminate has diffrent Climate times.

hope that helped some

handyguys 03-05-2009 09:54 AM

It is a floating floor. I'm assuming you mean its sliding around.

If your subfloor is flat and your underlayment is flat then not much you can do. Once stuff is on the floor it shouldn't move as much.

The following is against the manufactures advice and some may castrate me for suggesting it. You have a very small space. If it really is moving. I would slide it all the way tight to one wall and put a few dabs of construction adhesive under each board and glue it to the sub floor (just the boards against that wall, along the edge). Do not glue each and every board, only the edge of the board adjacent to the wall. No underlayment where you use glue. This would cause all expansion and contraction to go opposite from where its glued. This would though keep things from moving around.

To anyone else reading this - This is exactly why I do not like floating floors. Even if the OP glues an edge the floor will still sound hollow underfoot. Its the nature of the product. Take notice sometime the different feel when walking on a true hardwood floor versus walking on a floating floor. Its very different to me.

IrishEd 03-05-2009 10:10 AM

Hello Handyguys,

Im gonna have to disagree about the gluing. Ive tryed that once or twice in the 136 rentals i maintenance. 90% of the time it comes down to someone not following the manufacture specifications which 99% of the time is listed on the box. When he decribed the curling he didnt alow the time to adjust to the house. Both the Underlayment and the flooring. Or there is a possiblity he went short ways with the underlayment witch would also give you the effect of curling.

But without a Picture of what it looks like its really hard to say. Its like that old lady that calls andleaves a message saying her bathroom nob doesnt work.

to each there own :)

learning 03-05-2009 10:48 AM

I'm so sorry-I mean to say that its moving vertically-up and down. not around. Its like its compressing or crushing the underlayment. I tried to get the underlayment flat, but what if I didnt'?

IrishEd 03-05-2009 10:58 AM

Can you take a picture of your project with a digital cam or cell phone and post it on the fourm. Im a bit confused as to what you did.

Some of the cheaper backing has a pull strip so it tapes to the other row. does your underlaying have that and did you do that to help prevent bunching of your underlayment ?

handyguys 03-05-2009 12:41 PM

Ah, flex. That is what I was referring to in my closing comments.

This can be aggravated by the following:
not flat subfloor
not clean subfloor
not smooth subfloor
wrinkled underlayment
Poorly milled/formed board edges
Incorrect installation

As to the last item - This could be things like not having the boards tight or interlocked correctly.

Laminate and engineered floors don't typically have issues with warping so othat is not a likely problem. If you do have warped boards TAKE THEM BACK. The should be perfect.

If I were a betting man - I would guess you problem is a wrinkle in the underlayment or something else under the floor (an old nail/screw in subfloor not flush, glob of drywall compound, stone from your shoe, even coarse sawdust)

or, it may be its normal characteristic.

learning 03-09-2009 07:29 AM

I pulled up the floor and smoothed the underlayment. There is some improvement; I'm thinking about removing the underlayment...what do i have to lose.

handyguys 03-09-2009 09:20 AM

you loose vapor barrier, cushion, maybe warranty and your problem may be worse.

How about trashing it and doing tile? That wont move (it shouldn't)

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