Strange marks on vinyl flooring, is it a defect?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by thor777, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. thor777

    thor777 Member


    I'm new here and I'm in the process of having vinyl flooring installed. Yesterday was day 2 and that's when I noticed a strange mark on the floor. At first I thought it was a mark from a shoe so I tried cleaning it off. That didn't work so I looked around and I started noticing more and more of the same exact mark all over the flooring. The vinyl distributor stopped by today and said it's not a defect. I wanted proof so she's looking for completed projects with the same markings. I just wanted to get more opinions since I believe the markings are not part of the design. Can anyone help me determine if these are/are not defects? Also, the contractors who are installing the flooring said they can't remove/replace individual planks and that they have to remove everything to get to the pieces in the middle. Is this true? I thought the benefit of having the click-lock planks is that any plank can be removed at any time for repairs?

    The brand is Protek and the color is smokey Thanks in advance.

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    it is definitely part of the pattern. See how it only appears by that one grain pattern. Now I can see that it is non consistent with board placement however it is always in the same position in relation to the one grain sample. At least if you are talking about that one dark pattern.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. thor777

    thor777 Member

    Yes, the dark saucer shaped pattern is what I'm referring to. My issue with that is it doesn't look natural, like it's out of place. It's so much darker than surrounding wood grains. It's one of those once you see it you can't unsee it type of things.
  4. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I'm not going to lie, I agree with you. Unfortunatly from an entirely objective point of view, I do not think you will get much traction on it as a defect. It was definitely part of the pattern. A part that is conveniently omitted on the sample, coincidence perhaps but just one of those things I cannot unnotice
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. thor777

    thor777 Member

    So what would you recommend me do if I can't make my case of a defective product? Is my only recource to accept my losses and continue with the install?

    Thanks for the quick replies.
  6. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I cannot say it's a loss. If you really want an angle on it, not that I can say it will work but just say it is very unpleasant. Love the rest of the product blah blah blah and then exentuate how much that ONE spot is unpleasant. At that point, try to get enough product to cull those pieces from the install. Again, not sure how much traction you will get with it. This really does come down to a personal opinion. Best of luck
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. thor777

    thor777 Member

    Thanks for the advice. One more question. The installer said that he can't remove individual planks from the middle when asked if the problem pieces can be removed without taking apart the whole install. Is this true? I thought one benefit of having click-locking planks is that you can remove and repair any planks from the floor.
  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    No, you can take one out the way it looks.
  9. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I was told the manufacturers of vinyl products take a photo of a real timber floor to get the pattern for their vinyl products
    I don't know if this could be the case for other timber look products?
  10. Chris 45

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

    Depends on the installer AND the product. Some installers have the skill and experience to do individual plank replacements but most have to unclick the floor all the way up to the defect. Some products are easier to do replacements with than others. Locking mechanisms, and these floors in general, aren’t necessarily designed to be taken apart as much as they are designed to be put together and stay put together. I wouldn’t attempt to do an individual plank replacement on a super thin product especially if the installation was still in progress. Individual plank replacements is kind of a specialized thing. Luckily your floor looks like a drop n lock. I would likely uninstall an reinstall in this situation.

    Stop the installation and get on the phone PDQ. The time to deal with this is now even if the floor has to be uninstalled. If it is not deemed a defect, you will likely incur additional costs to uninstall, cull and reinstall as well as additional product may be required.
  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I can’t see pictures too well on sample but I see the words Heavy Character and Light Character. It’s 50/50 I’d probably say stop and contact retailer. For the money your paying you should like the Floor.

    Gluedown is easier to replace, the floating is affecting locking mechanisms of adjacent planks.
  12. I'll throw my two cents into the pot and say that I agree with everyone else it's part of the design. It's supposed look like a distress or chatter mark that you would see in a handscraped wood look. I will admit though it's pretty poorly done. It's consistent where it appears in the "repeat" of the pattern/design. If it were a defect it would be more random.

    As others here have stated, I think your only real recourse is to throw yourself on the mercy of the dealer and make the argument that this mark didn't appear in the sample you were shown and is not something you care for. You might incur some additional costs to get the defect sorted out, but at least you'll be happy with it at the end of the day.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    The word “defect” may be a little overboard. Aesthetically displeasing? Inadequate Pattern variety? That should have been caught at the design level and not have reached public.

    Was this a Floor n Decor purchase?

    What’s the cost of material and square footage?
  14. thor777

    thor777 Member

    I'm having about 2,200 sq ft done and total cost of materials is $8,887.30. Includes materials for stairs, staircase nose, end caps, and T-moulding. It was not purchased from a Floor n Decor.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Perhaps if the objectionable mark was not repeated so often. Ask if they can remove and replace only those planks with the mark that are very close to each other - like side-by-side. Remove & replace one and leave the other. That may be a good compromise for both parties. Keep in mind that some of these will be under furniture or in a part of the room that won't draw the eye immediately.

    If they don't have an installer qualified to do a proper board replacement, then ask for a substantial discount so you can hire your own expert. This may have the added benefit of time, which can help you decide, after you have lived with it awhile, which planks are the most objectionable.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Definitely part of the pattern. When these planks are packaged they don't get a good shuffling. I have had whole boxes the same pattern.
    Yet another responsibility of the installer is to make sure the patterns get spread out to avoid two, three or more of the same pattern to be bunched together. It really helps to have someone there in the standing position to feed you random planks.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. thor777

    thor777 Member

    Thanks for the replies. The owner of the installation company doesn't want to remove individual planks. I asked if I can get a discount so I can hire a pro to do the removal, he pushed the blame to the place where I bought the materials from (supposedly they're part of the same company). And of course the sales from that place said I should talk to the installer. I'm currently waiting for the sales person of the distributor (DiamondW) of the vinyl to send me pictures of completed floors with the same product that have the same markings.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  18. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    You know, I love when people get the run around. Even if you are a crazy person with no justification (this is all hypothetical, no offence meant) at all, those are not acceptable answers. If that spot is part of the production of the product they should own it, tell you that's how it is and say sorry you are not happy with it but that is what you bought. If it is an oddity in that run, admit that too. Why is everyone so afraid of the truth all the time. Blaming an installer for installing the floor they were provided is just an easy way to deflect the blame or at least the explanation.

    I do think perhaps the easiest way to resolve your issue would be to calculate how much additional product it would take to eleminate these planks and then pay up for someone to reinstall it for you. It's a bummer for sure but at least you know you will get what you want.
  19. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Except this installer is responsible for the layout. He or she should make sure a prominent character mark like that does not appear side-by-side, as it shows in at least 2 of the photos above.

    Yes, it's unfortunate that this mark is objectionable. The homeowner should have looked at all the boards before the installation - it wouldn't have taken much time to notice there were too many of these ugly spots. It probably wouldn't have been much trouble at all to return and reselect. However, the installer can assume the pattern was acceptable when ordered to install. But that doesn't relieve the installer of their duty to be selective among the available boards so that no 2 patterns repeat so closely.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. thor777

    thor777 Member

    Indeed, we should have checked more planks before going ahead with the installation. I just wasn't expecting something like this based on the sample that was provided.
    • Like Like x 1

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