My laminate floor moves when you walk on it

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by learning, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1

    learning

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    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.

    Also-
    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!
     
  2. Mar 4, 2009 #2

    learning

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    I should also note that despite the horizontal movement, the boards remain locked together.
     
  3. Mar 5, 2009 #3

    IrishEd

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    Hello,

    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
     
  4. Mar 5, 2009 #4

    handyguys

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    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.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2009 #5

    IrishEd

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    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 :)
     
  6. Mar 5, 2009 #6

    learning

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    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'?
     
  7. Mar 5, 2009 #7

    IrishEd

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    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 ?
     
  8. Mar 5, 2009 #8

    handyguys

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    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.
     
  9. Mar 9, 2009 #9

    learning

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    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.
     
  10. Mar 9, 2009 #10

    handyguys

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    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)
     
  11. Mar 9, 2009 #11

    Rich P

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    As stated, you can loose your warranty. The purpose of the underlay is to help deaden sound when on the floor, and to take up any minor imperfections in the sub floor. The 2 in 1 underlay is also a vapor barrier in situations where it is required.
    You can expect some flex in the floor until the underlay compresses. This will only happen with time and use. If the flex is in one area and not in others, you should check the sub floor for being flat. I can not say what the specs are on the floor you are installing because it is different for each manufacturer. Most allow only 3/16 to 1/4 inch of change in 10 ft.
     
  12. Aug 18, 2010 #12

    Stirlingacre

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    I had the same problem but a few finishing nails cured the problem. I would get a couple locked together and then go to lock in the next and it would pop out somewhere else. I was so frustrated. So, I used finishing nails. I know the warranty is not good now but let's face it-how many of us use the warranty if the flooring is good for a reasonable length of time? I was going to have to pack it out to the truck and take it back if I didn't come up with a solution. Anyway, it worked for me and the floor doesn't float either..lol
     
  13. Sep 4, 2010 #13

    davidHandyman

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    You mentioned that you were "in the process" of laying down the floor...my experience with the floating floor is that it does not shift once it is completely layed down. It will tend to move a bit with the first few planks you snap together, but the more that gets assembled, the heavier and solid the floor becomes.

    So any followup after all thats said and done?
     

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