Newly installed LVT making noise

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Youngster2004, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Hello everyone. I appreciate your time and expertise in helping me with this problem. I have recently had some LVT Smartcore Ultra made by Coretec installed in my kitchen and foyer.

    A few weeks after installation there began to be a crackling noise when stepping on the seams. I have contacted the installer, but he hasn't returned my texts as of yet. I would like some input from you as to whether I am correct in assuming what the issue is.

    I can upload a video, but I don't think it's necessary to understand what the crunching sound is like as there have been uploads in the past which very similar to what I have going on.

    The manufacturer's instructions clearly state that a 1/4" gap between the walls and the planks is required. I believe that the installer failed to leave enough space on the perimeter and now the floor has expanded and is causing the seams to bunch. Please review the following photos and help me confirm. I only pulled a small portion of the baseboard up and took one photo beside the pulled out stove. I imagine the rest of the perimeter is pretty much the same.

    Thank you for you time. IMG_2397.JPG IMG_2396.JPG IMG_2394.JPG 57184853270__2A20FCA2-082C-451A-86DB-2CD43A30D2E3.JPG
  2. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    You're correct in your assessment. Picture 3 clearly shows the flooring touching your corner bead. It only takes a few spots like this to create tension in the floor.

    FYI, It's actually the structure that expands and contracts much more than the flooring. These newer rigid core products have very little expansion and contraction compared to the "first generation" flexible click-lock LVT's. It's going to need to be relief cut anywhere it's bound.

    It also appears as though there really wasn't enough space left even where it's not touching. I only mention that because as the house expands and contracts over the course of an annual weather cycle this problem could come back if not corrected properly.

    Good luck with your issue and please post back and let us know how things work out.
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  3. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Thank you for your input.

  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    Sometimes even the baseboard is too tight to the floor, needs a hair under it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    Good point KW!!!
  6. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Thank you for the information KWFloors. Cheers
  7. j248

    j248 Pro Member

    I agree with CFR ans KW...Also I believe that having too much of an expansion gap in some spots, while not a large enough on elsewhere, can cause an issue of movement. This is an issue with Armstrong fastak.
  8. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Thank you j248 for your input. If there is a consistent 1/4” gap around the perimeter do you believe that shoud suffice?

    As an update to the original post, the installer contacted me this morning and we set up a meeting next week. He was concerned about the floor and has agreed to have a look and take care of what needs to be trimmed up.
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  9. j248

    j248 Pro Member

    I would always follow the manufacturer's instructions. the product i mentioned was a different installation system.
  10. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP


  11. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    I just took a look at the instructions and that products expansion gap is supposed to be 1/4". So yes. If they create a consistent 1/4" gap you shouldn't have an issue.
  12. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Great. Thanks again!
  13. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    A multitool with a sharp blade, or a toe kick saw could fix this efficiently
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Also, unevenness in the floor can cause your issue as well
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  15. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Thank you kylenelson for the input. I will leave that up to the installer to take care of.

  16. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Just wanted to add a quick update. The floor installer came by this past Saturday. All the baseboard and trim (with the exception of transition pieces) were removed by me prior to him arriving. There were quite a few areas where the floor was in contact with the perimeter. He used a dremel tool to go around the entire perimeter to ensure there was a proper gap. We intentionally kept the baseboard off after this was completed to rule out if it was putting too much pressure on the floor.

    So far there has been no change. The floor still crunches at some of the seams. I am not sure if this will require more time or if it hasn't subsided by now it never will.

    Either way I assume the next logical step would be to pull up the floor and check the underlay for either movement or unevenness.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    That is the next thing to check. If your installer didn't respect the required expansion space, it is realistic to think he didn't ensure the floor was flat prior to installation.
    Floating floors will "bridge" over low spots, until those spots get stepped on. Now there is excessive movement, which will sometimes make noise, and often cause a locking system failure down the road.
    You can use a string line to assess flatness. You will probably need someone to walk across the floor to see how much movement there is in relation to the string line.
    I hope this helps you solve this issue. Please let us know how it goes.
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  18. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Here is a photo of a level on the kitchen floor where there is significant noise. Quite obviously the floor is not even and is probably causing the vinyl tile to flex. The gap under the level is at least 1/4" depth.

    I am concerned about the locking mechanisms being broke and trying to get the contractor to make good by replacing the affected areas. My wife spoke to him two weeks ago and he agreed to call me last week. So far we have not heard back from him. My frustration level is increasing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    That butt joint right in the belly looks like it’s already broken?
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  20. Youngster2004

    Youngster2004 I Support TFP

    Another quick update...

    So things with the installer have come to a head. There are two people involved. One, the lower man, is on our side to a degree, but gets offended about the installation because it's his work. The other, owner, is more stand offish. He is worried it's going to cost him money to redo certain parts of the job so he is putting up a front. We have been battling most of the day via text. It wasn't until the very end of the conversation that he realized everything he types is on I have screenshots of every conversation we have had since December.

    Back to the first guy, the installer of the vinyl tile. He was cooperating to a point and then got cold when I started to point out the errors in the installation. When he began to shut down I showed him the information provided to me, by all of you, in this thread. All of a sudden his attitude changed 180 degrees. Now he can't do enough to fix things.

    There is still work to be done, but I just wanted to share to let you all know how valuable you are to people like me. I told him I am not a pro, but I do gather information from people who are and I tend to believe those who have zero interest in this job. I told him based on my collected information I have very good reason for doubting his version of things going "exactly to code" :)

    Thanks again everyone!

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    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1

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