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Should we be concerned about vinyl plank installed over uneven floors?

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Posted by: from Calgary
12/9/2014 at 10:56:56 AM

As part of our basement development, our contractor installed luxury vinyl plank over our concrete floors. Prior to installing the floors, I pointed out a large area (approx 2'x2') where there were dips, humps and grooves in the subfloor, making it quite uneven and requested confirmation that this would be addressed prior to floor installation. I received quite a condescending "we know what we're doing" answer.

The flooring was installed last night and walking over the area, there are obvious humps underfoot, to the point where it almost seems to bounce due to the uneven floors beneath. Using a level, it was clear that the floor is quite uneven and we used the straight edge to measure a difference of 12mm in one spot (see picture).

I checked the installation instructions on the box and it says that any differences of over 2mm need to be evened out prior to installation. I am aware that these floors can be installed over a non-level surface, but my understanding is that it needs to be smooth and ours are far from that. I raised the issue with the project manager and he feels we are just being picky.

Are we right to be concerned about this? Can we insist that it be fixed? We are worried that over time the seams will give way (it's a click floor) and our warranty will be void as the manufacturer's instructions were clearly not followed.

For reference, the flooring "Lamett/Richmond Reflections luxury vinyl soft-lock plus.

Should we be concerned about vinyl plank installed over uneven floors?
REPLIES (2)
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Date/Time12/9/2014 at 2:24:47 PM

It says right in the installation instructions that come with the product, and also in the PDF document on line that (quote).

1.2 How to prepare your subfloor?

Make sure that your subfloor is smooth, flat, dry, clean and solid:

- Carpet staples or adhesive residue should be removed prior to installation.

- Subfloors should be flat within a tolerance of 3/16 (4.7mm) over a span of 10 feet. Any unevenness over 3/16 (4.7mm) must be sanded down or levelled with a floor leveler. Voids or humps in the subfloor will prevent the planks from locking properly.

If you bought the product from a shop that provided an installer for you, then you should contact the salesman for that shop, or their service department. If you contracted the installer through your general contractor, then you need to take a firmer stand with him. This can easily be corrected even though it is all together now. Once your baseboards go on, it will not be so simple to fix. Don't let them proceed without floating that area and correcting the flatness of the floor.

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Nicole in Calgary
Date/Time12/9/2014 at 2:45:08 PM

Thanks Nathan.

The flooring was supplied by the contractor and we raised exactly this issue with him. We actually took a picture of the instructions and forwarded this on to the project manager but they still feel they are in the right. It is good that now we have the opinion of an industry professional in line with ours, so we're not just over-involved homeowners as he is insinuating.

We have instructed the on-site workers not to attach any baseboards until this is sorted out.

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