LESLIE: Judy in Arkansas is on the line with a floor that’s coming apart. Tell us what’s happening.
JUDY: Well, it’s been down about 13 years. It’s like a $5,000 floor is what it cost us. A thousand-square-foot room. It’s Pergo. We have some seams that have kind of bubbled up a little bit. Is there any way to fix this? I don’t intend to replace it, OK?
TOM: So, you say the seams have bubbled up on laminate floor? So, they’re pressing together and sort of pushing up?
JUDY: Yeah, just a little bit. I have some extra boxes out there but not enough to fix all of this.
TOM: Yeah. If that’s happening, though – if that’s happening on a wide-scale basis, then I suspect something was done incorrectly in the laminate installation. A couple of things to remember about laminate floor. First of all, the floor that it goes down on top of has to be pretty flat. It’s got a very low tolerance to floors that are even the least bit out of level, that have any kind of bumps or rolls in it. Secondly, if it’s put on too tight so that it doesn’t have enough room to expand and contract, then you can see that floors will buckle up. They’ll press in because they’re expanding and they’ll push up and have those seams come apart. So those are the things that you really need to look into with this.
I would get your contractor back and have them address this, because that definitely should not have happened once that floor was put down.
JUDY: Even 13 to 14 years out?
TOM: It definitely shouldn’t have happened.
JUDY: Do you think it could be moisture?
TOM: It could be. It could be moisture-related. Have you had an excessive amount of moisture recently when this started to happen?
JUDY: No. Uh-uh. Not at all.
LESLIE: Yeah. But it could just be consistent moisture from the hydroscopic nature of the concrete over time.
TOM: Yeah. It could be.
JUDY: And the house is about 30 years old.
TOM: How long ago did it start to come up?
JUDY: It’s been going on. We’ve been noticing spots off and on for a while.
TOM: Well, Leslie’s correct. It could very well be moisture-related if it’s going to – if it’s that frequent and it laid down flat for all the other years up to that.
JUDY: OK. There’s nothing else I can do?
TOM: No. You can’t fix something like that, Judy. Unfortunately, you have to replace it. Well, what I would do if I replaced it, I would be very careful about measuring the moisture in the concrete to make sure it’s not wetter than what the manufacturers allow. And secondly, I’ll give you a trick of the trade, which is that even though the laminate floors today are lock together-type pieces, you can add glue to those laminate seams, as well. And that gives you a more permanent protection against this happening again.
JUDY: OK. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Judy. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.