laminate floor bubbling

Ginny C
by Ginny C
I just had some laminate flooring installed and there are places where the floor was uneven so the laminate moves when I walk on it. The installer said it would be ok. Is it?
  20 answers
  • Nope its not ok. The floor should be as close to even as it can be. The padding used under the laminate should be able to make up what little differences there may be if indeed there are some. (that is another reason for this padding, not just moisture control) What is going to happen over time is the seams where the laminate comes together will begin to open up and fail. The manufacture will not warrant this install. The floor needs to come up, the sub floor needs to be floated to eliminate the unevenness and then put back down once again.
  • Ginny C Ginny C on May 15, 2012
    Thank you for that info. It is Pergo flooring with the padding attached to the boards, does that make any difference?
  • No, but the padding that is already secured to the bottom should be enough to handle any minor floor unevenness. I understand its a pain, but the area should be lifted up and floated level or sanded down. What type of floor is under the Pergo?
  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on May 16, 2012
    This would give me a nervous breakdown.
  • Ginny C Ginny C on May 16, 2012
    There is the subfloor under it. It's not on a slap but over a basement. Just had it installed yesterday so I will be following up on this with the contractors so glad to have this input.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 16, 2012
    This is one reason why I stopped installing laminates some years ago. I'm a stickler for quality and most "laminate oriented" clients want stuff done as cheap as possible. When I provide a quote identifying all of the "work" that would need to be completed first...they don't like the way the numbers come out. Installing solid hardwood is a bit more forgiving and just feels better under foot, as is adds stiffness and rigidity to the floor...laminates just feel hollow under foot. When the lifetime of the floor is factored in hardwoods make more sense. A properly laid hardwood floor can last 80 to 100 years or more. I have yet to see a laminate floor more than 4-5 years old that still looks halfway decent. 5+ laminate floor installs cost far more that 1 good hardwood install.
  • Ginny it sounds as though the area in which the high spot is located is over a supporting beam. Somewhere in middle of home I would assume. It is common to find high spots where ever main support beams are located as these areas are not prone to as much settlement as the middle of the floor joist where its not supported. This in some cases can be a difficult thing to correct as age of the house plays a big factor in just how bad the unevenness is. And quite often it becomes almost impossible to repair without pulling up the floor and sistering the old joists with new. But using floor leveling compound, along with a little sanding on the high spot you should be able to limit the height and smooth it out enough to correct this movement under the floor.
  • Ginny C Ginny C on May 16, 2012
    thanks that makes me feel better KMS
  • Sondra A Sondra A on May 17, 2012
    Thanks for the very good info Woodbridge and KMS.
  • Jean M Jean M on May 17, 2012
    thanks for posting and the info from KMS and Woodbridge, when i get to redoing my kitchen floor....
  • Debi M Debi M on May 17, 2012
    definitely call your installer...obviously he doesn't take pride in his work. I would contact the company he works for and let them know of his lack of integrity. Telling you it was "ok" for it to bubble lets me know that he doesn't care about his work ethic
  • Carol S Carol S on May 18, 2012
    We will never have laminate again. It got wet and swelled up in places and you got seasick just looking at it. Real bamboo is the way to go and the new vertical cut carbonized is beautiful!
  • Teresa H Teresa H on May 18, 2012
    we had laminate installed, it popped and cracked terribly, The manufacturer came out to see and listen, they could not produce the problem at the manufacturing plant, they finally replaced it. It still pops and cracks some, but it is a floating floor so we just live with it. We found that the weather does have some effect on it. I still love the laminate floor, it is so tough for large pets and children.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 19, 2012
    Carol S....Regarding Bamboo...Unfortunately Bamboo is being touted as a "green" product when in fact it is a "greenwashed" product. A study was done comparing the embodied energy of various products. In this case bamboo was compared to Concrete (which is a very high energy product). The study found bamboo's transportation energy for the bamboo flooring was more than 3 times the total embodied energy of concrete and generates 70% more greenhouse gas emissions than concrete. This was just for the transportation "energy". The immense energy inputs for clear cutting virgin rainforests, to grow bamboo in mono-crop plantations, the fertilizer, harvesting, processing , boiling, kiln drying etc...was all factored as zero. Carbonized bamboo is even more energy hungry as this add a significant "heating" step. By far a much "greener" option is locally sourced domestic hardwoods.
  • Joyce B Joyce B on May 22, 2012
    Ive had laminate with dogs and would not do it again. Im going to rip up bedroom carpet and do bamboo. The new vinyls are nice also.
  • Ginny C Ginny C on May 22, 2012
    The movement on the floor settled down after the first few days, I guess it needed to settle after installation. I had the installation company come out and look at it and they said it was a 'floating' floor so it was normal to feel some movement. There are good reasons why some people choose laminate over wood besides just cost I researched both while making my decision.I love the way it looks and I think I'll be very happy with it. Pergo is a good brand.
  • Ginny, There are other reason other then a uneven sub floor that will cause lift up of the floor. That is incorrect space between the new flooring and the walls. Pergo and other laminates in fact all floating floors expand and contract with heat, cool and humidity. Some more then others. In your case what may have happened is the floor expanded and caused the lift up and with any weather change it may have lowered itself because of shrinkage or the floor in effect slid so it self leveled. In any case, you really should not feel any movement underfoot regardless of the padding used under the floor. Particularly the type that is pre-fastened to the bottom of the board, There is simply not enough softness in that pad to allow you to feel any up and down motion. Its only there to act as a vapor barrier and offer some slight assistance to a sub floor that is a very little out of level. Be sure to have a good written warranty on this install from the contractor just in case this bubble shows up again. In any case glad your happy with the new floor!
  • Debi M Debi M on May 23, 2012
    Ginny,, I'm sure you will be happy with your new floors. I know I was absolutely thrilled to get rid of carpets. It is amazing how much dirt, dust and dust mites get into carpet no matter how much you vacumm. Laminate is so easy to keep clean with a swiffer dust mop or damp mop
  • Cathy Soukup Cathy Soukup on Aug 27, 2015
    The beauty of laminate is that the floors do not have to be perfect. Yes, you will get some "bounce" in those spots, but so long as the laminate was correctly installed, it won't be a problem. We have several slightly raised spots where this occurs, and I don't even notice it anymore.
  • Marcia Marcia on May 10, 2016
    Love my laminate