Konecto Casa edges coming apart

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Lifsabsurd, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    My experience seems somewhat the same as others. I am a DIYer who recently installed over 1000 square feet of Konecto Casa planks in my basement. They are coming loose also. It started just a few days after the beginning of the installation (which took me about a week and a half). At first it was just a few edges sticking up and only on the ends of the planks, but now the long edges are also coming loose and it appears that almost all planks are involved in all areas. It appears to be a glue failure, yet it doesn't seem to be a simple matter. The planks certainly seemed to stick together tightly. When one or two were not in place properly it was difficult to separate them to reposition. In other words, they initially appeared, during installation, to be sticking together very well indeed.

    I rolled them with a seam roller by hand and with a 100 pound vinyl tile roller. Usually the tile roller was used within about an hour of tile installation. The room temp. in the basement was/is 70 degrees, although the slab temp. might be lower. Ambient night-time temps. in the St. Louis area have been in the 40s and even 30s. Because I had heard about potential dust problems I vacuumed the floor carefully before beginning, and, since most of the planks were exposed to potential dust in the air for mere minutes before being covered with another plank I cannot imagine that dust could be the cause of such a widespread problem, unless these things are extraordinarily dust sensitive. The planks were left for at least two days in the basement before starting installation. Since installation took a week and a half, most were acclimated much longer. The issue of water vapor from the slab was not tested. I am going to do that (I know, a little late). But the slab was poured 33 years ago and the basement has never flooded or had serious water problems in the 27 years we have lived in the house. A minimal amount of water has come in under a walk-out basement door in the past, but even that happened only a few times during exceptional rains and hasn't happened for years.

    My impression is that most installations work out well, but apparently a significant percentage do not. I wish I had read this forum before buying this product because, at this point, it looks like I just wasted a couple of thousand dollars, and, at the moment I have not had a call returned by the online seller.

    If the problem turns out to be water vapor in concrete it would seem that an honest retailer would insist that anyone buying these for use on concrete do a vapor test first. If the problem is poor quality control of the glue and a batch failure problem then the company should honor its warranty. In any case, this product does not seem to be a DIY-friendly product at all. I am a fairly experienced DIYer. I have in the past sucessfully installed ceramic floor tile in two bathrooms, laid sheet vinyl, and put vinyl floor tile down. All without serious problems.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  2. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Welcome great to have you.

    Did installation instructions come with the product? I have been in the retail, wholesale, and inspection sides of the flooring business for many, many years. In all this time, I have had (seen) one adhesive failure, and it came from being in a hot van and soured.

    With the room temp. at 70 degrees I am very interested to know what the slab temp. is.

    What does the installation instructions say about moisture?
    What is the max/minimum floor temp. for installation?
  3. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    Installation instructions do come with the product, of course. I read them, and I read the installation manual on the Internet. I tried to follow all the instructions carefully insofar as reasonably possible. For what it's worth, I believe I understood the instructions well enough and used reasonable diligence.

    They do mention water vapor problems and temperature sensitivity, which, in my opinion, remain the two possible explanations other than defective adhesive. As far as I can tell the problem is temperature, water vapor, or defective glue/design.

    I think it would be difficult to accurately measure concrete floor temperature. How would you suggest doing it? Laying a thermometer on the floor would not be accurate. I had read installation instructions saying that temps. should be between 65 and 85 degrees. I took that to mean room temperature, which was 70 degrees. There is no indication that I remember reading in any of Konecto's instructions that one should measure floor temperature. If floor temperature in a basement in the fall or winter is a problem, perhaps they should recommend that these planks only be installed in warm weather.

    Also, I never considered seriously the idea that water vapor pressure could be a problem in a dry basement floor that is 33 years old. I don't think that the instructions indicate that this can be so. Nevertheless, I am going to get a calcium chloride test kit and measure it. Note that such test kits are apparently not routinely available at Home Depot where they sell Allure, made by a division of Konecto. And they apparently require a sensitive scale to measure the water uptake. This does not seem to me to be something a company should expect a DIYer to do routinely. And these planks are marketed specifically to DIYers. I am a retired biologist/biomedical researcher who knows what anhydrous CaCl2 is , what hydroscopic means, and how to use a scale. I am not so certain that an average DIYer would be able to do this easily.

    The reports in this forum from Alaskan Mommy, who did controlled tests with the product, convince me that there are sometimes problems with the glue even when instructions are followed to the letter, possibly a quality control issue with individual batches.
  4. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Installation instructions are here, very easy to find. Just Google Konecto installation instructions, about four sites pop up.


    All have a bearing on the succes of the job.

    Do a test for yourself, take a plank and cut it in two, then put the two pieces together on the glue line and roll with a hand roller. Leave it on a desk, table shelf, where ever so long as the temperature is 65-70 and there is no moisture. After a week check to see if it is coming apart, if it is then there is a potential problem with the glue, if it is not then the problem is with temp/moisture in the environment of the install.

    (just read your second post)
    I will add this, the principle of the adhesive is that there must be enough preassure for the adhesive on each side of the plank to mechanically and chemically cross-link. this is what makes the "Konection". That is why the require hand roller and 100 pounder.

    Did you notice the requirement of 6 mil plastic on a concrete floor? It may not have been on the instructions in the cartons, it was added sometime in the summer I believe.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  5. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    I certainly did not read about any requirement for a plastic covering on a concrete floor, not on the Internet, not in the instructions that came with the material, and not from the seller with whom I discussed the installation.
  6. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    On page 3 of the *current* online PDF instruction manual (your reference, and I have previously read it), where it discusses concrete subfloor preparation, it says that an adequate sealer should be used if there is a water vapor problem. It does not say that plastic is required. And it does not say that either a sealer or plastic should be *routinely* used over concrete. In fact, it specifically says that a polyethylene sheet is NOT required. It also does not say that a water vapor test *must* be done before attempting installation. The online retailer also did not say that I would need to test, nor that I would need to use plastic. So, where is this supposed information about the requirement for plastic over concrete??? It seems to be well hidden.

    In any case, personally, at this point, I doubt very much that water vapor is the problem, as I have indicated, but I plan to test it. I suspect, although I cannot prove it, that the problem is temperature, and that these planks really are NOT suitable for most basements at all, despite assertions to the contrary by the company.

    I also believe that your point about testing the glue is incorrect. Just because the bond holds two sample planks together at a very narrow temperature range tells me very little.

    Some observations:

    This stuff is still recommended for use on basement floors. In many, if not most, parts of this country basement floors are not going to stay between 65 and 70 degrees all winter.

    The glue is said to be freeze-thaw stable. But the company does not say that the *bond* is freeze-thaw stable, or even stable to temps. as low as say 60 degrees.

    Someone on this group has said that this product is not designed for the real world. At this point I tend to think that poster may be right.

    Note that I have taken samples and stuck them together at room temperature upstairs in my house. I have also placed them in the refrigerator afterwards to see if they would separate. They do not readily do so. But, I realized that this is not a fair test of the function of the glue.

    It seems likely that the vinyl has a fairly high coefficient of expansion, i.e., that it contracts and expands significantly with temperature changes. Once a plank is fixed into a large heavy sheet, one must then take both adhesive strength of the glue and expansion/contraction of the planks into account. Two planks held only to one another will likely expand and contract as one unit and not test the glue bond very stringently. But individual planks that are part of a large heavy unit in a large sheet will contract away from one another if temperature drops because they cannot pull the heavy sheet with them as one unit. This means to me that contraction after bonding, due to lower temps., will more likely pull apart planks that are part of a large sheet than two simple sample planks stuck together. Of course, raising temperatures would cause the same problems for planks fixed into an immovable sheet.

    A defective glue batch could consist of a glue capable of holding two sample pieces together at a narrow temp. range, but be unable to hold together under more stringent conditions that a normal glue batch would tolerate. In any case, if the glue is not strong enough to hold and to accommodate to expected real world temperature changes, then I would characterize this stuff as very poorly conceived. Perhaps the company should just state that these are not suitable for any environment that is not RIGIDLY temperature-controlled.
  7. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton Senior Member Published

    As to how to test the temp of the concrete, an infared thermometer in usually reasonable accurate and relatively inexpensive.

    infrared thermometer - Google Search

    I have read on this site that Harbor Freight has one that is a little less expensive than the ones listed above.

  8. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Sir I do not wish to appear rude, but it is my impression that regardless of what the instructions say, the pros say, and what the product does it is not an installation related problem and any mistake the DIYer makes is the product or adhesive mfg.fault. You are a pro in your field, and I bet a good one. Please consider the information the floor pros are giving you.:)
  9. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    I listen to what experts have to say, but I think for myself also. As a retired scientist I know that professionals can often by honestly mistaken. So, I try to evaluate information and facts more than expert opinions.

    Why did Konecto settle out of court with Alaskan Mommy if the glue was not defective? Is it even possible, do you think, that the glue could be defective? Or that there could be poor manufacturing design?
  10. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    It may be a glue problem...but that is very unlikely. The glue they use performs well under normal conditions. If it is indeed moisture...then why the heck do they advertise the stuff as water proof and using that against laminate to make the sale? If the slab is super cold that might be your problem. We had a rep come through for konecto a couple of week ago and he recommend a really thin rubber underlayment that would add a barrier from the extreme cold of the concrete because they had a problem similar to what you are describing in a house in the local area here. It gets cold in montana and that concrete cools off alot at night. You might listen to the advice first and check the concrete temp with an infared gun or even your hand if you can't get one. And go from there.
  11. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your advice. But it may be only of academic interest. The online retailer, Indiana Flooring, is not responding to my phone calls or e-mails. At this point I doubt that there is any way to fix the problem and I doubt that the company would ever accept responsibility. I think it is time to write to Consumer Reports magazine and try to enlist their aid. It seems to me that someone really qualified needs to fairly and accurately test this product and report to the public about it.
  12. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    According to one of the local retailers, one batch of Konecto was recalled because of a bad batch of adhesive, but I don't know which one. You might contact Metroflor, the distributor. I really think that most failures have been due to site conditions or installation, but it would not hurt to check.
  13. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    The problem is the product was/ IS overhyped and once again the manufacturer had NO IDEA how the product should be installed and still don't.

    The customer is the guinea pig once again with the manufacturer not standing behind their product. :( :eek:
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  14. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    I can respect that. However, you are coming on here asking what we think and as people that have actually handled the stuff and installed it multiple times in different conditions our advice may not be printed in a manual, but in the real world, the world that your konecto comes apart in, the advice offered here will be of help to get your floor back to it's intended condition.
  15. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member


    I spoke to someone at the distributorship, which is Mastercraft FD in Orlando, FL. Based on the Lot # he stated the stuff had been made in August, 2009. Therefore it is fairly new. He indicated nothing about a recall.
  16. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    I have appreciated the advice and I have learned some things. I may even decide to rent an infrared thermometer, if possible, to measure the slab temperature now that I know how to do it. But I am already certain that the floor is colder than the air in the basement. The ambient temperature dropped into the 20s in the St. Louis area. I have no doubt that the basement floor temperature dropped with it. My question is: why does the manufacturer even recommend putting this in basements if the bonds break when the floor temp. falls. Hell, even my house floors are colder in the winter regardless of where the thermostat is set. Aren't everyone's? Maybe the bonds will re-form during temperate times like spring and summer and only break during winter and summer??
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  17. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    Error correction. I meant temperate times like spring and *fall*, of course, compared to winter and summer.
  18. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I will say I was in error also, the 10/2009 install instructions state that a plastic sheet (6 mil) MAY be used.

    The owner of Indiana Floors I believe is Hugh Scott, who at one time was a member here but has not been around for several years.

    If I may ask, what kind of rolling was done? Were the seams rolled and what kind of a roller? Was it one like this?

    Attached Files:

  19. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    You are right. Hugh Scott owns Indiana Floors LLC.
  20. Lifsabsurd

    Lifsabsurd Well-Known Member

    It was a hand seam roller that looks similar to your picture, yes. And similar to the kind Indiana Floors sells for use. I rolled the planks over the upper lip *next* to the line of separation of planks and also over the line of separation itself. I tried to roll first in a direction away from other, attached planks, so as to smooth out the connection and not leave any "bubbles". I then rolled in both directions several times. I put my weight on the roller and pressed as hard as I could. I weigh over 200 pounds. And I also rolled them with a rented 100 pound vinyl tile roller as well. On Hugh Scott's advise I tried to be careful to use the 100 pound roller at least every 45 minutes and to roll in all directions. I have the receipts for the rental of the roller. It took me roughly a week and a half to do the whole job and, because a few planks had come loose during that time, I became more and more fanatical about rolliing them. Nevertheless, the ones installed later, and rolled like hell, are also loose now.

    What I know is that the planks certainly *appeared* to be sticking together very tightly during installation. As I wrote before, occasionally I had to separate one because it was not properly positioned. In all such cases, pulling the planks apart was very difficult, i.e., they certainly appeared to be stuck well together. It seems to me that they *were* stuck together initially and that something, lkely temperature change, caused a later separation.

    I will also note that I have used a hair dryer to heat some of the loose planks and then I have rerolled them like hell, both by hand and with the 100 pound tile roller. I have put my own weight on the seams as well. I have also rerolled many loose ones without using heat. They all just come loose again. The only thing that keeps them down is the repair glue. But lifting up edges and using repair glue on potentially about 675 planks is not an appealing idea to me. And I would probably have to buy dozens of more bottles of the repair glue. Furthermore, the long edges are also coming loose and in the end it might mean having to glue the entire periphery of every plank.

    Here is a poor man's experiment I might try. Bond two planks together at room temperature upstairs in a house. Then nail them both tightly to a backing such as a 1x12 so that they cannot move together. This would perhaps simulate their situation as part of a large unmoving sheet. Then place them in a cool environment, such as a refrigerator and determine if they can maintain their bond as they shrink. What would be more interesting to me is to do this same test on my own planks and on some samples that have supposedly had no problems (the "good" plank control). If one found my planks separating and the "good" ones not, then it would convince me that there are problems with glue batches.

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