smartcore ultra

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Stuart Daniel, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Stuart Daniel

    Stuart Daniel New Member

    I just purchased and installed smartcore ultra plank flooring in my family room. Day 2 after install, i notice that there is separation in the end joints of some of the planks. I had cheap laminate before, so it did the same thing, but worse and I get that you get what you pay for. However, is this a normal thing for a couple days after the install? And yes they were all locked together, listened for the tell tale click when installing. And I am a 30 construction professional, so I understand the basics of most residential systems.
     
  2. Chris 45

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

    The locking mechanism may have broken if you didn’t angle the butt joint in enough then went to tap it together. Is your subfloor flat within specs? An uneven subfloor will lead to broken joints but not usually within 2 days.

    Are you able to get a pull bar into the joint or behind a plank to tap them back together? If so, put a dab of super glue on the joint and tap it back together. Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    Ha, you think anything about this type of flooring is logical? It’s illogical compared to construction practices you’re familiar with. Point a-b is shortest distance. When there’s a Valley, that leaves the a to b now to flex down into valley requiring more material to pull down. It now needs more force to push back up into locking position which is not provided resulting in disconnected end joints.

    My buddy (not really) Anthony Scara ? Said recently. Can we back up and not normalize this flooring! It needs very flat, non flexing surface. The locking mechanism cannot prevent the downward force from releasing. Actually ripped up a tile floor other day and homeowner who owns a lumber yard asked how flat the floor was because he was getting 40x40” tile. My reply was “flatter than most” without putting a straightedge down to actually see how it was.
     

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  4. Chris 45

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

    Problem out there is people just don’t know. That includes customers and some installers. Smartcore ultra says right in its own literature that the padding on the back minimizes the need for subfloor prep. That’s BS. You need smooth and flat. Period.

    Here’s a kitchen I bailed on the other day. Somebody sold the job thinking you can just install over top of it. I’m not installing anything over that. Problem is people start to think you’re some kind of prima donna if you walk on jobs as opposed to being a professional that’s holding the line.

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  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    Dam, that’s disrespectful to the new flooring. I think the perspective of some is “just cover it up” no appreciation for the craft.
     
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  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    And they contradict that in their own installation instructions. They have a stricter standard for floor flatness than most: 1/8" in 10'. Most everyone else it's 3/16" in 10'.
     
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  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    Interesting Jim, didn’t know. Large tile is same standard. That puts a majority of Floors I run into out of spec.

    Couple months ago I texted a retailer, tile removal is done 8x8’s and that the floor is very unflat. To not let the installers believe flooring is ready to go down because the surface, under baseboards, doorjambs, are all clean. So the perception is wrong there was a lot of flattening needed. My last remark was “you know the drill”

    Hadn’t heard from them till yesterday’s referral, coulda been perceived as snarky, I don’t care.

    So that tolerance releases any liability of the manufacturer of end joints disconnecting just by putting those specs in the instructions.
     
  8. Chris 45

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

    It’s a fine line to walk for sure. This is a typical problem I run into. Subfloor is within specs so I can go ahead with the installation. Problem is a T-mold was sold for this transition. Should have been an MPR. Just like any other job, I take a picture, make a phone call then leave when I’ve completed what I can.

    D026C77B-1E79-49BD-98F2-B9798CB2B7ED.jpeg
     
  9. Chris 45

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

    So I’ve been thinking about this post and the gapping butt joints. Did you angle the butt joint together then angle the side joint together? Or did you do the side joint then use a bridge piece and tap the butt joint? If you did the latter, some of the joints may have broken during tapping them together? Regardless of which way you joined the butt joints, did you then tap the top of the joint to firmly seat and lock the butt joints after you’re done working the plank? I’m just working through the possible reasons for a joint failure and the steps/ methods I would use to eliminate them.
     
  10. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I AM SO GLAD THIS HAPPENS TO SOMEONE THAT ISN'T ME!!
    I thought I was the only one who had sales people that did not understand transitions, that post made my day
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  11. Don Monfils

    Don Monfils PRO CARPET Charter Member

    I’m pretty sure all of the smart core flooring I have ever installed ,had the layover ( lock and fold ) end joints.
    It is made by US Floors who make Core-tec but has a different end joint system.
     
  12. Chris 45

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

    Smartcore is drop n lock but smartcore ultra has a tongue on the butt joint.
     
  13. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Boo to that...drop lock for the win
     
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  14. Chris 45

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

    It does take a little more time to angle angle instead of just drop n go but it’s still pretty gravy.
     
  15. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    It sure is man, it's the same as the aduramax?? If I remember right which I probably don't... I think you angle those in too and still drop 1000 feet a day.
     
  16. Chris 45

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

    I’m goin old skool an figure 200 to 250 sq ft a day is what I can do. Sometimes more but if I’ve got rip n haul, prep, base, 1/4 round, furniture and maybe some appliances... I had a retired customer who sat on the couch and watched me all day. He stayed out of my way but you’re not going to produce as much as you would if he left for the day. It happens.
     
  17. Stuart Daniel

    Stuart Daniel New Member


    Chris, I have resigned that while it pretty darn stable floor, it is going to move a bit! In terms of install, I angle locked the sides, I discovered that a scrap piece turned upside down will be a PERFECT match for the butt groove. So little if any broken lock sections.
     
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