Author Topic: Laminate flooring question  (Read 4555 times)

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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5695
Laminate flooring question
« on: March 04, 2013, 06:12 PM »
Hi, I'm working on a laminate flooring job right now, and I have a little problem with a crevice of about 10 mm that keeps reappearing in one place. I don't know how to get rid of it, I've changed the boards around there but that didn't help.

I've sketched the situation below, the crevice is right in the middle. The laminate consists of an oak top row of 2 mm, then 8 mm particle board and then some melamine laminate on the bottom. It is an old floor that has been in a house for over 10 years already, but they took it out and gave it to an acquaintance of mine who now wants this installed in a bedroom.

Problem is this has to be done cheap, so the home owner didn't even want to put some levelling underfloor in, I just had to leave to carpet in there on top of some hardboard. I also suspect the floor is a bit higher in the middle than on the sides, which might cause the crevice.

The boards are connected to each other by means of a plastic T shaped strip that slides in between them.

I was wondering if I could just put some nails through those strips in between to fix them to the floor. But I am worried that this might have a negative impact on the movement of the wood. The laminate is very old already, will there be any movement worth considering? If I could nail them down, my problem would be over in a jiffy, but is this a wise thing to do? If not, is there a better way to fix this?

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 06:24 PM »
Do I understand correctly that you are trying to install this over carpet?


Mike
"The only lessons I've learned worth remembering, were when things weren't going well"

"Who is John Galt?"

Offline Alex

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 06:52 PM »
Do I understand correctly that you are trying to install this over carpet?

Yes you do.  [sad]

Offline Ta2ude

  • Posts: 39
Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 07:05 PM »
I install hardwood and laminate for a living. Although I have never seen a fastening system like the one you describe I can assure you it is not acceptable to install laminate over carpet. Carpet is very easy to remove I don't understand why you would want to leave it in. It is also not acceptable to nail laminate anywhere. It needs to have clearence everywhere and be able to move, hence the term "floating floor".

Offline Ta2ude

  • Posts: 39
Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 07:10 PM »
When you say "crevice" do you mean a gap? Does the laminate actually "click" into the plastic strip? Again I am not familiar with the product you describe but if it won't "click" in where the gap is, there is probably some damage to the groove somewhere or a small piece of shite might be in there as well. It doesn't take much to stop the boards from clicking together.

Offline Alex

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 07:32 PM »
I install hardwood and laminate for a living. Although I have never seen a fastening system like the one you describe I can assure you it is not acceptable to install laminate over carpet. Carpet is very easy to remove I don't understand why you would want to leave it in.

Do you understand a 56 year old russian woman? I don't. She wants to keep the carpet. I don't. But the alternative would mean to instal the laminate right on the wooden floor. She doesn't want to buy underfloor because he doesn't have the money for it. So I'd figure, let leave it in to have some sort of damping layer. By the way, it's very hard carpet with a very short hair. I don't think the carpet is the problem. 

I don't know if it's done like this in America too, but here in Holland it's the custom to put an underfloor under laminate like this:



It is also not acceptable to nail laminate anywhere. It needs to have clearence everywhere and be able to move, hence the term "floating floor".

Yeah I know, but does that count the same for an older floor as for a new one? The laminate is over 10 year old already, wouldn't all the moisture be out of it by now, or does that have no impact?

Also, it mostly consists of particle board, does that have a lot of movement?

When you say "crevice" do you mean a gap?

Yeah, a gap. I couldn't find the easiest english word so fast.

Does the laminate actually "click" into the plastic strip?

The T strip snaps into the laminate boards.

Again I am not familiar with the product you describe but if it won't "click" in where the gap is, there is probably some damage to the groove somewhere or a small piece of shite might be in there as well. It doesn't take much to stop the boards from clicking together.

It closes up just fine when I hammer it back in it's place. But after a while the gap comes back again, as if some spring action pulls the boards apart again.
 

Offline hockey_magnet

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 08:05 PM »
For what it's worth, the seam is probably opening up due to installation over carpet which allows more flex in the laminate than a proper underlayment. Ther could be some uneevenness in the floor under the carpet that's contributing to the problem

Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 08:45 PM »
Do you understand a 56 year old russian woman? Heck no, I don't even understand a 40 yr old American woman  ::)

It closes up just fine when I hammer it back in it's place. But after a while the gap comes back again, as if some spring action pulls the boards apart again. If I am reading your drawing correctly there is a door at the end of the cabinet run? If so, and it is an exterior door, I would say that moisture is the problem, and possibly it is too tight at the cabinet end (or both) causing the floor to pull apart when it expands and hits the end of the cabinets.
 

Mike
"The only lessons I've learned worth remembering, were when things weren't going well"

"Who is John Galt?"

Offline Ta2ude

  • Posts: 39
Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 06:36 AM »
If you want to do the job right the carpet has to come up period. In North America there are different types of underpad but it is basicallly some thin foam like material that gets rolled out. It doesn't matter how old the laminate is it will still expand and contract with temperature/humidity change. You could use a bit of wood glue to hold the seam together where the gap is.

Offline Bob Gerritsen

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 06:39 AM »
Alex, is the crevice stable? Does it remain the same width? As you say there is no money and you have to do with what it is now, I would go quick and dirty. So cut some scraps to fit the crevice and glue it in there with some polymer or something like that, something that fills a bit and remains slightly flexible. Maybe silicone is better.
I mean, either you go all the way and take everything out including carpet etc to do a proper job but as that's not possible I'd make the best with what you have now without wasting too much time.

In the end there is nothing to gain here, it sounds like a battle you can't win sort of. Used flooring over an uneven carpet. Fill the crevice as best as you can and the woman will probably be happy anyhow in the end.

Good luck, Bob.

Offline Alex

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 06:45 AM »
Thanks for all your replies guys.

But as it seems to me, there is no good solution, and I think I have to make do with something. So I'm just gonna put a few nails in it around the gap. Not in the wood, but in the plastic strips. This way, the wood should still be able to move lengthwise. The gap is right in the middle of the room, so the boards should also still be able to move sideways except for those two that I nailed down.

Offline andyman

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 02:04 PM »
carpet up do it right 1st time, if they don't want to do it correctly walk away from the job unless you are desperate for the work

Offline Alan m

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 04:28 PM »
i think it depends on the carpet.
if it is that really flat stuff you often see in offices etc then i think it would be ok but if it has a deep pile then its a recipy for disaster.
i put down a laminate at home last year. it had 3 mm of foam glued to the bottom of the boards and had a seperate roll out underlay
i was shocked at the depth  speced (i even rang the supplier to conferm the supplier was corect)


also
what size expantion joint have you left around the edge.
it this is larger than normall then i think you could screw down the middle two boards.
i was on a job a while back where there was a big room divided by  a stud wall. they didnt  cut the 'floating' floor. ( they wanted to be able to take down the wall latter. it was like that for a few years  and there was no problems

i would think the problem is that there is a dip or a high spot in the floor around that area
i priced up a job a while ago . 3 floors . all half in the old part of  a house and half in a newer part. the joint was all over the place. i speced full self leving compound and mesh for the joints.
i didnt get it but told them to call me when it fails.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Offline Ta2ude

  • Posts: 39
Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 04:56 PM »
carpet up do it right 1st time, if they don't want to do it correctly walk away from the job unless you are desperate for the work

This is the best answer yet.




Alex you have been given some good sound advice, it is now up to you to decide if you want to 1) do the job RIGHT,2) if you want to be a HACK or 3) if you want to walk away. I hope you don't pick option #2 but it seems as though this is the route you would like to take. Good luck.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 05:47 PM »
carpet up do it right 1st time, if they don't want to do it correctly walk away from the job unless you are desperate for the work

This is the best answer yet.




Alex you have been given some good sound advice, it is now up to you to decide if you want to 1) do the job RIGHT,2) if you want to be a HACK or 3) if you want to walk away. I hope you don't pick option #2 but it seems as though this is the route you would like to take. Good luck.

And if you've had too much schnapps and choose to do the job, be sure to get a letter from the customer indemnifying you for doing this job against your best advice. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 06:02 PM »
It's great when you finally get to the point of having enough quality work that you can turn down those who want you to use leftovers, or want to cut corners.  Funny thing you only get the quality work by turning down those who want you to cut corners. If a customers main concern is price, "Thank-you very much, it was nice to meet you".

Mike
"The only lessons I've learned worth remembering, were when things weren't going well"

"Who is John Galt?"

Offline Alex

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 06:21 PM »
Ok, I need to explain a bit more how I look at jobs. Please, understand I'm a hobbyist, and for me, a large part of doing jobs is just being busy. Sometimes I get some monetary compensation for what I do, other times I do it for free or people do things for me in return. There's no professional reputation for me at stake. The reputation I would like to aim for, is that I can give people the best for what's within their reach. 

I'll take the comment below to clarify my viewpoint.

carpet up do it right 1st time, if they don't want to do it correctly walk away from the job unless you are desperate for the work

This is the best answer yet.

In this particular situation I have a different view. You know, this is not what I consider a "real" job as in making good money from it and delivering a high clas job. This is just me helping somebody I know through a mutual friend, a widow with only a small pension to come by. If she hadn't been given this used laminate for free she would have never had the money to buy it herself. So the financial resources are like, rock bottom. I get some compensation for my efforts, but it's not much and for an older lady like this I don't mind to throw in some charity work. Just trying to help somebody out. So I do my best to get the best result possible with what I have.  I am not a professional, I am just a guy who likes to be creative and make things look nice as a hobby. I take pride in that, but I can swallow that pride too if we only have "practical" in mind instead of "marvelous". I still get to run my lovely Festools and there's a whole lot of satisfaction for me in that alone.

Now if I was aiming for a top notch job, for people who can afford it, then I more or less agree with what andyman said. In such a case, people want quality, so they need to invest money in it to get it done right as it should be. I advice them to do so. But I'm not the person to tell them "... or else I walk". I can deliver quality work if the client wants to pay for it, but I can also cut corners when economy is a factor. I cater to the situation. Of course I make it very clear to people what they can expect if they're not willing to shell out for the good stuff. If you only want to pay for half a solution, you get half a solution. I always try to find the best result their budget allows.

Finished the floor this afternoon, I just put 1 single nail in a strategic position. The gap didn't open up again. I'll see what it does over time. Alan, since you asked, I left a 10 mm expansion joint on all 4 sides, so it should have enough room to breathe.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2013, 06:26 PM »
Alex,

I wish there were more people in the world that had your attitude.

In my eyes -  [thumbs up]

Peter

Offline Alan m

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Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2013, 06:53 PM »
given that this is an old pensioner im assuming its a normal handy sized room. 10mm all around should be loads. iv seen floors put down with only 3-4 mm and not suffer because of it.
i dont think the nail will do any harm.

alex.. it s good to hear your doing a bit of charity work. i comend you.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Re: Laminate flooring question
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2013, 07:24 PM »
Of course I make it very clear to people what they can expect if they're not willing to shell out for the good stuff. If you only want to pay for half a solution, you get half a solution. I always try to find the best result their budget allows.


Then you have done the best you can with what you have to work with. There is no shame in that. [thanks]


Mike
"The only lessons I've learned worth remembering, were when things weren't going well"

"Who is John Galt?"