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Old 07-07-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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Laminate Floor Bubbling after one week

Howdy Gang,

I recently installed Mohawk Natural Oak finish laminate "floating floor" flooring in my 34 footer. I left a half inch gap all the way around. It is completely floating, except for the front, where the bunkbed I made to replace the gaucho bolts down.

About six feet aft of the bunkbed, just aft of the main entry door, about 1/3 of the way across the width of the coach, I am getting a "bubbling" in the new flooring. It looks like a compression failure, where the upper layers of the laminate are being compressed. You can only see it at night if you turn off the lights in the front of the coach and turn on one light toward the rear. Then, the glare will illuminate it. You can feel it with your hands, but in normal light you can't see it. This is a full six feet aft of where the bed bolts through the laminate into the subfloor.

What causes this?

How do I fix it?

Is this caused by the "pinch point" of the bunk bed being bolted through the laminate? If so, then why is it happening six feet away from the bed? Do I simply have some deffective flooring?

The install looks outstanding.

Now, I realize a 34 footer deflects quite a bit. So the idea of a "floating floor" being able to float is doubly critical, at least as compared to a 19 footer.

I'm ready to tear it all out and throw it over the hill and replace with white linoleum or adhesive 12" square tiles or something. But it grieves me greatly that I went to this much work, left a solid 3/8 to 1/2" gap all around the perimeter of the thing to allow for expansion/contraction.

I think I could maybe save it by removing the bunkbed, cutting the flooring out completely where the bunkbed sits in the front (goes across the entire width of the coach....replaced pull out couch for the kids), and redo the flooring in the front 1/4 of the coach. I've got enough to redo it.

What do you all think? Is this the cause? If so, then why six feet aft?

Please help!

Jim
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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There can be a lot of expansion over 6 feet. Bolting through the laminate eliminates movement in one direction from the expansion. You might think about cutting an expansion space around where you have the bunks bolted down to allow the flooring to float.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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1/2 inch is plenty, especially at the sides. I used 1/8" and never had a problem. But 34' is a far stretch.

In fact, I am doing a 31 now. There is one piece of oem furniture between the rear singles that was screwed into the wall and floor. I removed it and used some flooring scraps to put flooring under it. I think now, when I put it back, I will just screw it into the wall and not the floor or drill some oversize holes for the screws that go into the subfloor to allow the floor to move.

In what direction was the flooring installed relative to the length of the trailer? I have heard that installing flooring parallel to the trailer centerline can cause a problem due to trailer flexing. I installed mine 90 degrees to the centerline.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Lumatic,

I ran the flooring parallel to the long axis of the trailer. I figured it would flex more across the short direction (laterally) and so left a half inch off either side width wise. I know it won't flex that much thermally or whatever, but I'm thinking the bunk bed bolt down may have affected it, even though it's six feet from the area in question.

Anyway, if I can pinpoint this as the problem, I can fix it. It's just really frustrating because the install looked beautiful and I tried to exceed Mohawk's recommendations, and now I'm getting this "bubble".

Wife says I'm crazy, to shut up and it's fine as-is. I like my stuff perfecto....probably a common problem for us on here

Thanks for the wisdom!

See ya on the road,
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
Howdy Gang,

I recently installed Mohawk Natural Oak finish laminate "floating floor" flooring in my 34 footer. I left a half inch gap all the way around. It is completely floating, except for the front, where the bunkbed I made to replace the gaucho bolts down.

About six feet aft of the bunkbed, just aft of the main entry door, about 1/3 of the way across the width of the coach, I am getting a "bubbling" in the new flooring. It looks like a compression failure, where the upper layers of the laminate are being compressed. You can only see it at night if you turn off the lights in the front of the coach and turn on one light toward the rear. Then, the glare will illuminate it. You can feel it with your hands, but in normal light you can't see it. This is a full six feet aft of where the bed bolts through the laminate into the subfloor.

What causes this?

How do I fix it?

Is this caused by the "pinch point" of the bunk bed being bolted through the laminate? If so, then why is it happening six feet away from the bed? Do I simply have some deffective flooring?

The install looks outstanding.

Now, I realize a 34 footer deflects quite a bit. So the idea of a "floating floor" being able to float is doubly critical, at least as compared to a 19 footer.

I'm ready to tear it all out and throw it over the hill and replace with white linoleum or adhesive 12" square tiles or something. But it grieves me greatly that I went to this much work, left a solid 3/8 to 1/2" gap all around the perimeter of the thing to allow for expansion/contraction.

I think I could maybe save it by removing the bunkbed, cutting the flooring out completely where the bunkbed sits in the front (goes across the entire width of the coach....replaced pull out couch for the kids), and redo the flooring in the front 1/4 of the coach. I've got enough to redo it.

What do you all think? Is this the cause? If so, then why six feet aft?

Please help!

Jim
Jim, howdy!
I installed floating a couple months ago in our 1999-34'. No issues. I do not have it bolted anywhere.

Is the buckling in the surface only? Sounds like bad plank to me. Here is pic of my install


Click image for larger version

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Old 07-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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If it were mine, I would do nothing to it for one complete season. Let it get real hot in the summer and real cold in the winter. After expanding and contracting for a season it may fix it's self.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:29 AM   #7
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Channing, your install looks really nice! I'll put a picture of mine on here later.

Ventport, you have a good point there.

I just discovered the valve on my Sealand toilet was leaking again, so water apparently doesn't phase this stuff too badly. I had thought maybe somebody spilled water on these planks and didn't tell me....

I am starting to think maybe I've just got a few bad planks. I'll at least let it set a few more weeks, as we're taking it on a big trip in two weeks and this past weekend was the shakedown cruise.

It does look really nice, and it makes a nice install. I thought about cutting a joint right in front of the bunkbed, but don't want to mess up the linoleum underneath (it's in good shape, just not attractive in color...). I'll have to unbolt the bed and lift it up to then lift the planks to cut them.

It's really only three planks that are affected (where they all come together), but I have to tear out a bunch to get to them
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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Thank God for floating floor when repairing!

I would not secure the floor anywhere if possible.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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Jim I think leaving it alone for a while is good advice. Throw a runner over it and let it settle. If it bothers you that much why not call the manufacturer and get their advice? Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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I had a similar problem with Allure flooring. The manufacturer said that its not for use in RVs do to the large temp ranges. Others have used it with good results.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:56 PM   #11
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I had a similar problem with Allure flooring. The manufacturer said that its not for use in RVs do to the large temp ranges. Others have used it with good results.
I have been told the same thing by other manufacturers
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