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 Post subject: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:43 am 
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I purchased 3000 sq ft of Bellawood Chestnut 3/8 from Lumber Liquidators and had it installed by their recommended installer in June, 2013. I spent over $25K including installation. It was installed over concrete slab and slab over grade. The sales person recommended glue down method over troweled- on underlayment. The floor started buckling and cracking a month later. Lumber liquidators admitted faulty installation and agreed to replace but will not back up any further problems. The same installer will be doing the warranty work. New moisture tests were done as follows:

TEST PLOT #1 4.98 lbs
TEST PLOT #2 3.62 lbs
TEST PLOT #3 5.59 lbs
TEST PLOT #4 2.57 lbs
TEST PLOT #5 2.42 lbs
TEST PLOT #6 5.59 lbs

The flooring we would like to install is a Bellawood Hardwood in chestnut. The installer has recommended two different methods of installation with the moisture conditions we have. They are as follows,.

•Floating floor using an Elastilon and 6mil vapor barrier product.

•Floating floor using a 3/4" CDX subfloor. The installer has not given me any specifics as to what he would use. I did some searching online and I found a subfloor component list that someone posted in a forum. Here is what they said to use.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level and patch concrete as needed.
6mm vapor barrier
Layer of 15# felt or similar
2 layer of 3/8 cdx grade plywood glued and stapled to each other. Run the sheets opposite direction of each other.
15#felt or similar.
Then install your hardwood using 1-1\2" staples...
This is for solid 3/4"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


At this point I am looking for a recommendation of what to use for a hardwood floor on concrete with moisture. I am not 100% sold on Elastilon as I feel that this product benefits the installer and not necessarily the person buying the wood. Harder to replace planks in the future. I know with hardwood this should not happen,. but in case of a moisture problem due to whatever I can't think of,. replacement would be easier I would think with a nail down method.

Could you pass this message on or let me know who I might be able to talk to for a second opinion on what I should do moving forward? The installer is leaving it in my hands to make a decision which is critical because they will not warranty any problems in future. Any help in making our decision would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:45 pm
Posts: 3216
Location: Tucson AZ
stewcom wrote:
I purchased 3000 sq ft of Bellawood Chestnut 3/8 from Lumber Liquidators and had it installed by their recommended installer in June, 2013. I spent over $25K including installation. It was installed over concrete slab and slab over grade. The sales person recommended glue down method over troweled- on underlayment. The floor started buckling and cracking a month later. Lumber liquidators admitted faulty installation and agreed to replace but will not back up any further problems. The same installer will be doing the warranty work. New moisture tests were done as follows:

TEST PLOT #1 4.98 lbs
TEST PLOT #2 3.62 lbs
TEST PLOT #3 5.59 lbs
TEST PLOT #4 2.57 lbs
TEST PLOT #5 2.42 lbs
TEST PLOT #6 5.59 lbs

The flooring we would like to install is a Bellawood Hardwood in chestnut. The installer has recommended two different methods of installation with the moisture conditions we have. They are as follows,.

•Floating floor using an Elastilon and 6mil vapor barrier product.

•Floating floor using a 3/4" CDX subfloor. The installer has not given me any specifics as to what he would use. I did some searching online and I found a subfloor component list that someone posted in a forum. Here is what they said to use.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level and patch concrete as needed.
6mm vapor barrier
Layer of 15# felt or similar
2 layer of 3/8 cdx grade plywood glued and stapled to each other. Run the sheets opposite direction of each other.
15#felt or similar.
Then install your hardwood using 1-1\2" staples...
This is for solid 3/4"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


At this point I am looking for a recommendation of what to use for a hardwood floor on concrete with moisture. I am not 100% sold on Elastilon as I feel that this product benefits the installer and not necessarily the person buying the wood. Harder to replace planks in the future. I know with hardwood this should not happen,. but in case of a moisture problem due to whatever I can't think of,. replacement would be easier I would think with a nail down method.

Could you pass this message on or let me know who I might be able to talk to for a second opinion on what I should do moving forward? The installer is leaving it in my hands to make a decision which is critical because they will not warranty any problems in future. Any help in making our decision would be much appreciated. Thanks!



First off, they should be running some ASTM F-2170-11 rh probes instead of CaCl ASTM F-1869-11 tests or even better both.

For floating plywood substrate and patch to flatten to spec, apply Bostick's MVP4, then poly, then 15 lb felt, then ply, then 15 lb felt again, then wood.

Installers cannot just lay any future warranty problems on you. They must approve or deny. If they approve then they are responsible. Don't believe any bull that these schisters are giving you.

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Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 705
seal the concrete then float the floor.

elastilon or walk lite products are impermeable membranes and offer great moisture resistance.

personally.a 6 mil coupled with the proper underlay, floating installation will be your best bet..

I will say this.if the slab content is higher than it should be for a wood install then it should have nee discussed form the beginning.
the install should not have happened.

LL can say all they want.they still have to honor failure.
they are so big they are bullies.
just because they replaced the floor doesn't give them a hold harmless immunity.
if they are installing into the wrong conditions no judge will side with them because they went against guideline and accepted practice just to make a sale.

that is never a good place to be.

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All Flortec Inc, West Milford, NJ

http://www.flortechardwood.net


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 2
Let me clarify just a little bit Lumber Liquidators did not say they would not cover product warranty but they are not going to back us up in terms of the installation of the wood flooring it will be on my hands to go after the installer in the future if problems arise. Lumber Liquidators told us that they with upgrade our floor from a 3/8 thickness to a three-quarter thickness to give us more as a solid feel when we decide to do a floating floor. I am not dead set on not using the elastilon underlayment I am just worried about being able to replace planks in the future using that method. has anyone had any experience using elastilon? the obvious problems that I see doing a three-quarter inch sub base is all of the doors dishwasher built-in refrigerator ect would have to be addressed. I appreciate all the feedback that I have gotten from this forum and would also greatly appreciate any future responses. in regards to the ceiling of the concrete is that a necessary process in order to lay hardwood floors on concrete given that is 6 mil plastic is being used? I did some pricing and it seems to be quite expensive to seal all of the concrete,. one option I guess would be to just seal the areas that had the most damage. I greatly appreciate this forum and all of your expertise.


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:47 am 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:45 pm
Posts: 3216
Location: Tucson AZ
Read the elastilon specs here: http://elastilon.uberflip.com/i/102434/6

Note, elastilon itself is not a vapor retarder as noted in the substrate moisture testing paragraph. And thats just like any other underlayment for floating floors. If moisture is high they reccommend six mil plastic.

Another thing that bugs me about this product is that every plank has to be perfect (page 6 or 7) , so lots of waste, now bowed, crooks or bananna boards allowed and now strapping. So as like in fastening down solid hardwood, you can usually depend on the nailer to pull slightly crooked boards together, and if installing engineered floating, straps can help hold together glued T&G while working rows.

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Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:07 pm
Posts: 89
First thing I am assuming you are using, if 3/4", solid hardwood if so, as Stephen says, you need to do rh testing before you decide any course of action. Particularly since you have had a moisture problem already. Is this a new home, existing, how long has the concrete been down? Is it enclosed with the HVAC functioning. Is it occupied. Is it on grade with proper grading outside 6" in 10 feet. What about outside watering. You definitely need to find out why there was excessive rh in the slab by rh testing. I personally use Sika MB Primer it is rated up to 95% rh. You need to document all aspects prior to installation. Is LL supplying the installers or just giving you a list to pick and pay yourself. It makes a big difference. Moisture readings of the hardwood need to be around 7% for most woods to eliminate extremes as your wood goes from winter mode to summer mode. What area of the country are you located in? If you are strapping the wood to hold it together you had better have a lot of weights to keep it flat until the glue sets up. Gluing solid wood to concrete is frowned upon industry wide BUT can be achieved if every facet of the install is followed to the letter. Does LL allow the 3/4" solid to be glued to concrete?


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Posts: 3511
Location: Austin
Floating a 3/8 solid?

and now they are suggesting floating a 3/4 solid... Amazing.
Leading you down a road to total disaster. If you can find an installer stupid enough to even try that under the best conditions.

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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:07 pm
Posts: 89
First off 3 lbs is the maximum allowable level on concrete by most laminate and wood manufacturers.
Secondly, there are no moisture BARRIERS. Correct lingo is moisture retarders.
Thirdly, Regardless of claims of 95% RH being accepted, ONLY if there is a 10 mil barrier between the soil and the concrete slab. Read the fine print.
Fourthly, There are two part epoxy products that could be used but only as directed. BUT the price is not cheap.
Lastly, get someone who has attended certification for installation of laminate or hardwood. Look at the diploma, they will be very proud to show you, and then decide which one to use.
These forums get the kind of audience they do because the end user trusted someone they should not have.
It is extremely difficult to test moisture content of subfloors and product on a forum. Only an onsite inspection followed by a written report should actually be expected to definitively determine cause of failure.


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 Post subject: Re: LL replacing floor.Need expert opinion on install method
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:07 pm
Posts: 89
Additionally whoever is doing an installation must follow the manufacturers guidelines. They take presidence over any guidelines! LL posts complete instructions for each and every one of their products. It's called Flooring 101 on their website. They are very explicit in their terms and conditions, warranty, credit policy for bad material, installation of each and every product. Responsibilities of the homeowner and installer and what they will do in each and every situation. Read up become enlightened!


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