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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

The contractor that installed our 1000 sq' of laminate floors said it's perfectly normal for the floor to lift approximately 2" in some areas (6 areas) and will settle in time and absolutely refuses to fix because he feels it's not a problem and walked off the job. I feel this is completely untrue and the problem will only get worse in time especially with summer approaching because the floor is flush against the wall and is unable able to breathe properly due to expansion. I would greatly like to hear what others have to say! Please see video of problem areas:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opvHFJJtDeg

Your help would be so greatly appreciated!

Steven
 

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Nope. Not right. Hopefully you paid via credit card, if so i would contact them to start a charge back, if not....small claims court might be your only resolution.
 

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A few things could cause this:

As mentioned, it's likely too tight. This type of flooring is designed to have space between it and the wall. The big box stores even sell a spacer for this. If I recall it's about 1/8 to 1/4 or so thick.

Does your floor have a pad below it? If not you could have a moisture issue.

Did they check to make sure your floor was level first? This is huge. I do recall having the same issue when we did our last house. We ended up using a few buckets of that floor leveler and that pretty much fixed the issue.

Anyways, I would not write a final check to your installer. These will not settle, they will just become more damaged. Your next phone call should be to the manufacturer of the floor asking for a rep to swing by your place. I'd ask for an assessment done in writing ASAP and then I'd give a copy of that assessment to the installer.

Thank you,

Curtis
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
With the laminate floor being to tight against the walls and columns, I would imagine that all baseboard and bullnose will have to be removed so the laminate floor can be cut to breathe, correct? Also, where the laminate floor panels are warped do they need to be replaced? I'm afraid if all the moldings have to be removed the walls may be damaged and need to be repainted which could turn out to be a huge job.
 

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Hi Infra,

You look like you have a number of issues here. Normally I'm the last guy to recommend this but I'd suggest speaking to a lawyer after looking at your photo gallery.

I can't tell you exactly how to fix the problem - that's what I'd call a rep and get their expert opinion in writing (most likely for free). I can tell you that if I had just done my house and it was having those issues, I'd be pulling up all the trim and taking a look. What's likely is that all the flooring in those areas will get removed so that the end pieces can have about 1/4" cut off them.

If they used brads to put up the trim, it shouldn't an issue. Some folks are going to glue now, and that may cause a problem if that ends up being the case.

This is just from my limited experience. When our house flooded 2 years ago, my wife and I installed Pergo. What we learned was that there is a reason the real pros charge so much - It's not easy. We finished and got rid of all the issues you're seeing, but we had to look at each issue as it came up. I can tell you that we did our entire home and we don't have any of those problems to date. And no, nothing settled. We fixed the issue as we went.

Also, the drywall "crack" almost looks like an area that wasn't taped. Kind of looks like someone just went straight to mud. I'm shocked that he is asking for final payment considering all the drywall work that remains and the mess on the french doors.

Curtis
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ctwiggs1: Excellent point about contacting the manufacturer and having an evaluation done. Our concrete floor was very level because this was new construction and padding was installed underneath. With the SwiftLock Style Electrician laminate floors we had installed no spaces came inside the box and was no mention of it being required. Each panel is very tightly attached to one another.

I'm in the process of finding an attorney to handle the case for all damages. Also, here in Virginia, a contractor is required to be at least a Class B contractor and he's a Class C which makes him unlicensed so I reported him to DPOR and BBB. Also, this unlicensed contractor was referred by homeadvisor.com previously known as servicemagic.com so looks like we maybe going after them as well...unbelievable!!!
 

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Most laminate flooring is mdf core, so it needs room to move. I've seen floors where no gap was left, and they buckled just like yours. They're meant to "float".

Unfourtunately because they did buckle, the tongue may be damaged. The boards will most likely need to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Would you believe the contractor demanded his final payment of $2500.00 to my wife and I and refused to fix any of the damages. I told him once the repairs are made I would be happy to pay. His reply, okay no problem, come Monday I will place a mechanics lien on your property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Danno: That's what I'm afraid of! If the floor is not corrected soon it's very possible all the floors may have to be removed and replaced.
 

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You could always start by having your attorney write a letter on their professional letterhead. That small fix usually costs less than $500 and at our company, has produced better results than going the full distance of a lawsuit.

Whole thing could potentially be over and done with within a week.

Curtis
 

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Be sure to photograph and document everything. He would have a hard time sueing you if the job was defective. The photographs would prove it. Also it would be a good idea to get an estimate from another contractor to fix what was done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
WarnerConstInc: That's exactly what I would think as well as an outsider! This contractor was referred to us by homeadvisor.com for drywall and painting and had an average 85 five star reviews, the very best they offered. The contractor said he's done many laminate floors before and is easy, just time consuming so we hired him. Later during the laminate install I find out he's never done before. If it weren't for the floor looking professionally done at the time I would've kicked him off the job immediately. Unfortunately, with the warm temperatures we now have a problem.

Just so you know, I have been a roofing contractor for 40 years and perfectly understand how many homeowners feel they're getting a great deal at low price but later pay for it. In our situation that's not the case, we paid good money for a contractor that had absolutely zero complaints any where to be found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Steve Neul: I have everything documented from beginning to end such as emails, text messages and many photos. I am in the process of interviewing other contractors to finish the project and will talk to my attorney afterwards once we have our estimates together. Also, I will have my attorney send this contractor a letter and see how he responds. Thank You!
 
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