Imagine, if you will, an abandoned wood-frame mansion. It’s midnight. A howling wind sweeps orange leaves across the dead, yellow grass. Wood boards creak. A feral dog barks in the distance. Approaching cautiously, mouth dry, you seek shelter within. The unlocked door groans as you pass through, suddenly slamming itself shut, never to open again – You’ve just crossed over into a new dimension. The Flooring Zone.
Listen To The Dramatic Reading If You Dare
The cursed entryway
Inside, a flickering chandelier hangs above the warped and bubbled vinyl beneath. Blanketed with cobwebs, you point your flashlight towards a grim sight – the seams have opened up. A distant howling from below causes your hair to stand on end. In a frenzy, you turn to run but one of the curved planks – raised on the edges and dipped in the middle – seems to grab hold of you as you flee for your life. Your flashlight hits the moisture-warped floor, knocking the batteries loose.
You feel something strange beneath you as you try to reassemble your light. A sticky substance oozes from the edges of two vinyl boards. In a deafening scream of panic, you attempt to escape its commercial-grade grasp as the subfloor vomits up the adhesive beneath the vinyl flooring. You let out a deafening scream of panic, “NOOOO!”
That can happen when there’s too much moisture in the subfloor. It’s a good idea to check moisture levels. If you need a faster option, apply a moisture vapor barrier to keep the subfloor dry.
The dark bedroom
Your flashlight flickers back on. Having barely managed to escape, you hear shrieking from a nearby bedroom. Your flashlight spots a shadowy figure dart by. With a deep breath, you find the courage to step forward. Without warning, as though the very ground might fall through, you feel the very texture of the substrate moving through the flooring itself – showing signs of waving and sloping, lifting and curling. Taken aback, your eyes widen at what they see: the planks “telegraphing” the shape of something underneath. A shape, emerging like a clawing from another dimension struggling to breathe, becomes clear: There appeared a tell-tale heart beating soft in its cage – through the cragged planks – as if to warn about how the flooring got this way.
Unlevel subfloor caused the trouble. A Portland based self-leveling underlayment would have given plank support. The amount of the underlayment depends on the unevenness of the subfloor.
The room that came to life
The ironically named “living” room, devoid of the very furniture that scraped through its surface, lies still… waiting… As you pass through, the flooring begins to buckle underfoot. The planks lift off the floor. The ground, opening, tries to swallow you whole. You press against the side of the staircase, clinging to the baluster slats to climb out of this living hell… as the room collapses behind you into a pit with no discernable bottom. You shout, “WHAT, WHAT, WHAT’S going on?!!”
A lack of expansion space sparked the floating floor problem. A preventive measure can be using ¼ inch expansion space from all vertical structures. Use spacers. Learn more about installing our floating floors.
The empty room
You enter another room. In a shaky voice, you ask “is, is, anybody here?” You move towards the courtyard and encounter a pane of glass caked with dirt. Planks nearest to the glass have taken a dome-like shape, so you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. You look up. You look down. You turn your head quickly, screaming, “Where is everybody?”
There is no turning back from here. In a shaky voice, knees knocking, you call out, looking upwards towards the dark void at the top of the stairs “is, is, anybody there?” Searching for the distant voice that calls back, you move towards the only source of light visible, the full moon through an open window, shattered glass near the base-boards. The cool night air whispers through the window with the moonlight – only to reveal the planks nearest to the glass have taken a dome-like shape… its finish dull, and its pattern and shade washed-out and its clip system shattered – because the flooring hasn’t been protected from the harsh daylight that comes through year-round.
Not enough adhesion or poor glue transfer led to this issue. If the glue is not activated the planks can shift, mostly from exposure to the sun’s heat for long periods. To prevent this, apply glue and press it down using a 75-100 lb. roller to pressure-activate the glue.
The panic room
You want out! You attempt to escape through the sharded glass but its gnarled fangs resist you, and the height from this level within the mansion to the ground below is far too great to risk. Backing away, you notice the wooden louvers look broken, beaten and battered, as if wood could rust. The planks beneath suffered the same fate, having curled and lifted. Like the manor itself, the flooring is a far cry from its former glory – having been faded and distraught by neglect.
What most likely caused the trouble was prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. You can see faded planks near a window or near a sliding glass patio door. As a preventive measure, use window covers to block out the sun during peak daytime. Choose window blinds, curtains or window tint.
A climate of terror
Inside the barren manor, an icy presence pierces through the fog in the chills of the moon-lit night. You’re frozen in fear. A spirit emerging from the poorly installed floorboards meets your horrified gaze with a solemn warning, saying “I am the ghost of flooring past. Turn back from these installation mistakes and improper maintenance standards, lest your fate become worse than my own.” Vaporizing into the night, the spirit beckons forth a new direction previously unseen, as if to lead you.
Such an eerie sight came from expansion and contraction linked to an environment not temperature controlled. To avoid it, keep the indoor temperature between 65 F and 95 F. That’s the ideal range.
The rolling room
You hesitantly enter the room where you see a coroner’s cart, upon which lies a mummified skeleton chained to its very surface. There’s a hole where the heart used to be. Could this be the same heart as seen beneath the floorboards before? Was it trying to warn me about something? Searching for answers, you peer down under the wheels of this cart and other heavy equipment. The planks appear chipped and broken – battered. The clips of the floating floor are exposed revealing the splintered effects of rolling loads atop this flooring installation type.
Rolling loads can lead to these grim results in floating floors. Since the plank is not attached, it flexes when wheels roll over it, leading to a break. To avoid this, never cart heavy loads over the flooring.
The school room
Out of breath, you plop yourself down on a chair, part of a dining table longer than a city bus. It’s ornate style faded from neglect. “The ghost! The heart! The body! The house! Even the flooring itself! They’re all trying to warn me!” you exclaim, enlightened by their shocking displays.
Only now do you realize, having made it this far, that should you ever truly escape the alarming fate of these horrifying states of flooring – a nightmare from which some never escape – you must learn from the mistakes of the path by which others have fallen – and this path has one iron rule: Always follow the Urban Surfaces flooring installation guidelines… or this spooky fate might become… a reality.
Avoid being spooked by flooring issues
Is a house with flooring issues haunted? Could be. One thing is for sure. Those issues can be avoided. All it takes is preventive measures by the property manager, the installers and end-users.
Owners Or Property Managers
As the driver of the project, you set the stage for a successful flooring installation. It’s on you. Tell installers how high you want to set the bar, so they won’t be tempted to take shortcuts, especially to meet the deadline, which could come back to haunt you. Don’t stop there. Give end-users a list of dos and don’ts for using and maintaining vinyl flooring.
No project should begin without first grasping the installation guidelines for the flooring product. Seasoned pros know this. Rookies should learn this. If those guidelines call for special tools, additional time, or more materials, then installers should ask for the resources needed. Oh, does that spook you? It shouldn’t. Invest now for better results down the road.
Residents Or End-users
How well the flooring performs year in and year out hinges on residents. Since most may not know how to maintain vinyl flooring, inform them. Hand them a maintenance guide. It is in their best interest afterall, since they are the ones living on the floor.
Overcoming spooky flooring issues
Vinyl flooring makes any space a thing of beauty. But, things can go wrong without communication among the property manager, the installer and the end-user, all which form a triangle. How well the flooring will perform, look and last will depend on each one. Keep the lines of communication open and your next flooring project will be a treat. Instead of facing flooring issues that can make you scream in horror, you’ll see a good return on investment. That’ll make you shout with joy.