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Old 10-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #15
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Thanks for the continued input. I do indeed have a dehumidifier that i run 24/7 when we're not in the trailer.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #16
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Humidity is almost always very low in the southwest, so bad installation is usually the problem here. In Washington, humidity could be the answer and easily solved, but it could be both.

Gene
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:26 PM   #17
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Interesting. I spoke to Airstream Service today (at the factory), and they said they too glue laminate flooring down. If it's glued, it's not floating correct?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:16 PM   #18
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I would try asking the flooring mfg. They should know their product better than anyone else.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:18 PM   #19
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Interesting. I spoke to Airstream Service today (at the factory), and they said they too glue laminate flooring down. If it's glued, it's not floating correct?
Yes.

How much glue and what type may be important. From what I understand, the vinyl floors only have some dabs of glue rather than gluing the whole thing.

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Old 03-31-2012, 05:36 PM   #20
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The RV repair place is offering the solution of nailing the laminate down to the sub floor to remove the buckling. This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Can't imagine it staing nailed with all the flexing. What do you guys think?
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:03 PM   #21
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I agree, it won't stay in place.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:16 PM   #22
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Nailing works best. Mine has been down for 3 years with no issues in south coastal ga. Nailing allows the floor to expand and contract with temp and humidity.
If you glue it, you can destroy your subfloor if you change it later or moves excessively. Also, acclimation of the material will be important no matter which install method you use.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #23
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Nailing works best.
What are you nailing? Standard residential wood flooring may be nailed on the tongues, but the thinner and lighter flooring used in trailers would either be impossible or difficult to nail. Nailing is risky for do-it-yourselfers because the nail must not interfere with the tongue and groove and it takes some experience to get it right. Nailing keeps the floor from moving and the nails must not be too long if you have to drive them through the subfloor to remove the flooring sometime in the future—I don't want nails sticking through underneath the subfloor. Since the floor must move according to temps and humidity (most important with wood), I would only use very few nails to keep it in place, but not enough to cause the planks to push too hard against each other and pop up. I am hopeful non-permanent glue achieves the same thing.

And I don't understand how glue can destroy the plywood subfloor. If you remove the flooring to replace it, the glue can be a pain to remove, but I don't see what it can do to the plywood. If you scrape off some plywood when you remove glue, the depressions can be filled with a skim coat of epoxy (except over the screws in the floor). In extreme situations with a very damaged subfloor, some people lay down a a thin sheet of plywood (usually luan), but that raises the floor more and causes issues with cabinet doors as the completed floor will be probably 1/2" or so higher than the OEM floor.

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Old 04-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #24
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What are you nailing? Standard residential wood flooring may be nailed on the tongues, but the thinner and lighter flooring used in trailers would either be impossible or difficult to nail. Nailing is risky for do-it-yourselfers because the nail must not interfere with the tongue and groove and it takes some experience to get it right. Nailing keeps the floor from moving and the nails must not be too long if you have to drive them through the subfloor to remove the flooring sometime in the future—I don't want nails sticking through underneath the subfloor. Since the floor must move according to temps and humidity (most important with wood), I would only use very few nails to keep it in place, but not enough to cause the planks to push too hard against each other and pop up. I am hopeful non-permanent glue achieves the same thing.

And I don't understand how glue can destroy the plywood subfloor. If you remove the flooring to replace it, the glue can be a pain to remove, but I don't see what it can do to the plywood. If you scrape off some plywood when you remove glue, the depressions can be filled with a skim coat of epoxy (except over the screws in the floor). In extreme situations with a very damaged subfloor, some people lay down a a thin sheet of plywood (usually luan), but that raises the floor more and causes issues with cabinet doors as the completed floor will be probably 1/2" or so higher than the OEM floor.

Gene
Gene:
I think we are moving in the same direction. In the case of a laminate floor, glue in moderation can work well like you said.
In my case, I have engineered antique heart pine that is tongue nailed. I am in the southeast on near the ocean and have a lot of humidity to deal with.
In regards to the glue, I have seen glued floors bow-up and take the subfloor with it. In removing the wood, the adhesive was much stronger thatn the plywood underlayment that it tore chunks out plywood when the flooring was taken out. Now, this obviously is an extreme example; I was making the comment just as food for though in determining the best installation.
If a laminate is going to be used (I missed that for some reason), your though of glue in moderation should work.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:29 PM   #25
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I do feel pretty confident that this is not a moisture issue again as i had the floor out for 3 months before having the new one installed to make sure i did not see any moisture.
You must realize, when dealing with wood or wod products, moisture can take 2 forms. Liquid and gas. The liquid form is the easiest to remedy. I there is a leak, fix it. If you spill water, mop it up. When moisture takes the form of water vapor, the only way to see its effects is in the way the product responds to it. Wood and wood products absorb and release moisture as water vapor and in doing so, expands and contracts. Wood "breathes" and must be allowed to breath, expand and contract.

When your flooring people say it must be a moisture issue, they may be referring to water vapor or humidity. What has the humidity levels in your area been doing. High humidity can cause the peaking you describe especially if they botched the install. Snap together laminate floors should not be glued down. I can't uderstand why they would do this unless it has something to do with the product shifting during travel.

Hope this helps,
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #26
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The RV repair place is offering the solution of nailing the laminate down to the sub floor to remove the buckling. This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Can't imagine it staing nailed with all the flexing. What do you guys think?
Do you know exactly what product they used?
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #27
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If the laminate is buckled or warped, it is probably toast. A nail on every square inch will not help. You cannot press many laminates flat once it has swelled with water—I've tried.

If it a laminate of all impervious material, it may not have absorbed water, but buckled because of expansion and contraction. That probably means it has not been installed correctly. You may be able to flatten it again, but it needs to be installed properly.

Humidity could be a problem, but spills or leaks are more likely the problem with a laminate that absorbs water. There may have been no leaks before the floor was installed, but they can come any time. Where you live is pretty humid, so I think it could be a problem if you have a laminate that absorbs water. I don't think a laminate that is all vinyl would have a water problem, but could buckle as the trailer moves during temp extremes if the floor is pushed inward as the trailer contracts during cold.

Kmayer, what is your floor made of? Are there expansion spaces around the edges? Has it been below zero? Is it interlocking? Glued? Nails are usually the worst choice (tongue and groove wood floors may be an exception) and would make me wonder whether the RV place knows anything about flooring.

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #28
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The flooring is a laminate by Mohawk. In speaking with Airstream and other reputable Airstream specialist's, they all say the floor should have been installed as a floating floor to allow for expansion and contraction, and not glued down to the sub floor as this one was. The place that did the work does mostly big motorhomes, and perhaps with the more rigid chasis of a motorhome gluing might be ok. Airstreams are a bit different i think.
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