Posts Tagged ‘flooring installation’

Causes of Squeaky Laminate Flooring

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Several months ago, I blogged about a squeaky laminate installation. Numerous in-home and installation errors had caused the floating floor to squeak and snap when walked upon.

I recently inspected a squeaking floating laminate floor. The installers had returned after the initial installation because the homeowner complained about all the noise. They pulled up the new floor and floated (leveled) the concrete slab underneath. When they reinstalled the laminate, they made sure the expansion gaps between the walls and the laminate were to specifications. But the floor still squeaked, so I was called out to see what was wrong. (more…)

Inspection Safari: A Bamboo Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

As an independent, certified flooring inspector, I am commissioned by various parties to look at flooring complaints. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers all call me in regards to flooring problems. Many of the “industry” calls are for “routine” inspections. When a consumer calls me, I know the inspection will be anything but routine.

On today’s Flooring Inspection Safari, I take you to a family’s newly remodeled second floor condominium. The family had updated it in advance of the birth of their first child. They wanted to complete all the work, including new engineered bamboo flooring throughout their home, before the baby came home. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan!

(more…)

Carpet Installation Tip: Always Hire Certified Flooring Installers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Like any other craft, carpet installers’ skills vary widely. Installers learn their craft by starting as apprentices with a crew. An apprentice might only take up the old carpet and carry tools at first, but slowly learns by watching the others perform their jobs. In this way, the apprentice learns to become an installer.

But hold on! What if the apprentice learns bad installation techniques?

The apprentice doesn’t know any difference between bad and good installations. I have seen apprentices learn from installers who have been doing things the wrong way for thirty years. How do you know that the crew who shows up to install your carpet (after you worked so hard to haul out the furniture!) knows what they’re doing? How do you know that the head of your installation crew wasn’t yesterday’s apprentice? (Note: A lot of retailers hire the lowest bidder and don’t even bother to check the finished job — until there’s a complaint!)

The answer is: always hire a (more…)

Flooring Installation Tip: How Weather Affects Flooring

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

You may not realize it, but the inside of your home has its own “microclimate”. Whether it’s hot and muggy or cold and dry, the “weather” in your home affects how you feel. It also affects how your floors “feel”, too.

Flooring materials like ceramic tile or vinyl don’t care much about atmospheric changes inside your home. But carpet and wood-based flooring (solid wood, engineered wood, bamboo, cork, or laminate) physically change as temperatures and humidity inside your home vary. These materials will grow or shrink as the “weather” inside your home changes.

Before installation, carpet and wood-based flooring must be acclimated to normal living conditions in your home. Flooring manufacturers require that, before installation, their materials adjust to whatever are “normal” living conditions in your home. The acclimation period varies with the type of flooring you are installing.

Most carpet today is completely synthetic. The face fibers, carpet backings, and (more…)

Inspection Safari: A Laminate Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

laminate flooring installation | carpet expert Glenn Revere

When you have a new floor installed in your home, whether carpet, wood, or laminate, you expect that floor to lay flat for as long as you keep the floor. But, sometimes floors will buckle or lift in spite of your expectations. Buckling, also called tenting or bridging, is always installation related.

I recently inspected a buckled laminate floor at the homeowners request that could be the poster child for improper installation.

There are general guidelines for installing laminate flooring. Each manufacturer varies the guidelines according to what will create the best installation for their product. The important thing is to read the installation requirements. They are always included in the box with the flooring. In fact, the instructions are the first thing you’ll see when you open the box.

In this case, the homeowner hired an installer from a newspaper ad. He did not ask the installer for references, either. Here’s what happened.

First, some background regarding laminate installations. (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Do You Have Squeaky Floors?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

squeaky floors

Floating floors (those not nailed or glued down) can make noise when walked upon. You might hear squeaking, snapping, popping, or crackling sounds. Sometimes the sounds are throughout the installation. Sometimes the sounds are in localized areas. They might be apparent all year long. Or the noises might occur only during certain seasons. Manufacturers often automatically turn down a claim for a noisy floor. One major manufacturer states in its warranty that squeaky floors, whether laminate or engineered wood, are not manufacturing related. I recently looked at a laminate flooring installation that is a perfect example of why manufacturers take this position.

A high-quality laminate had been installed over a concrete subfloor, replacing the existing carpet. The installers had not checked the subfloor for unevenness. They placed a thin high density cushion over the concrete. Then they installed the floating laminate flooring. The homeowner noticed squeaking shortly thereafter.

Here’s what I discovered during my inspection: (more…)