Not quite 10 months ago, I was so excited to have new floors. It was about January I started to notice the dark lines between the flooring panels. I went to a local floor place to see whether there was a product that would safely fill the gaps in my laminate floor, and was given more of an education in flooring than Smart Carpet had offered. Apparently, those gaps shouldn’t exist at all. Nor should I hear cracking noises as I walked across it. Plus, I should have been given a whole lot more paperwork with warranties and instructions, like at least more than the absolutely none at all that were provided by Smart Carpet.
The store owner suggested that I should contact Smart Carpet directly, since this was clearly not the way the floor was supposed to look or act, in his experience. So I did, and this has led to several months of appointments and visits and reports. We went from being told that this was normal when a floor was installed on concrete, that it would be fine again when the weather warmed up (Somehow warmth expels dirt from cracks?) to Smart Carpet saying it was a manufacturing defect, to the manufacturer saying it was an installation defect, and finally to Smart Carpet saying that they would come in, pull up the floor, clean up the edges, and reinstall the floor – correcting the gaps as they went.
I kind of knew something bad was coming when the replacement flooring was dropped off on Monday (to acclimate it to the environment in the house) and there were only 6 boxes and one small roll of underlayment. I knew for darn sure that there was too much wrong with the floor for this to be the solution, and sure enough, when the installers started working, I could see that I was supposed to be placated by a token gesture.
There was quite a bit of animated conversation going on in Portuguese. Nice way to make sure you can talk freely in front of the customer. They showed me how much tighter the joints were on the new planks, which was certainly not helpful because there weren’t enough of them. I pointed out that the edges on the new planks were jagged and still had gaps that would undoubtedly widen from friction as the floor was walked on. One of them left the house, made a call (in Portuguese) and then told me his supervisor would be calling. We waited for a while. He called again, then spoke to his partner, and they began reinstalling the old planks. I asked him what was going on, and he said his supervisor would call me in an hour. Then they left.
I wasn’t keeping track of the time, but the man who called me was not the one I knew as their supervisor. He had it all figured out.
I had ruined the floor myself by exposing it to moisture.
He cited the fact that a couple of spots were noted on one report as moisture damage. I told him that those were specific spots where I had told the various inspectors that I had spilled water, which was then immediately wiped up but still caused damage. He said that I had used a swiffer to clean the floor, so that must have done it. I asked him why, then, was the floor just as damaged in the areas that were covered with carpet and furniture? He just reiterated that I should have used an approved laminate cleaner, so I asked him how that would be applied? Well, a spray bottle, for spot cleaning only, with an approved solution, which I should then wipe up with a dry cloth. I asked him how this liquid would not get into the cracks, but wetjet laminate floor solution wouldn’t. I asked him why, if the salesman had told me this was an easy-care floor, I should be on my hands and knees with a spray bottle and a cloth to clean it. This went on – he continued to insist that I had damaged my entire floor, in two rooms, in a matter of months, by saturating it from above. Forget that the joints were gapped and uneven with no evidence of moisture damage, forget that the salesman said it would lock tight and could be washed with the swiffer, forget that the floor makes cracking noise when you walk on it, forget that you can see tiny chips on many of the edges of the laminate, forget that there’s glue gobs all over the transition pieces. Forget all that. The floor would have stayed pristine forever if only I’d never sprayed it down with the garden hose – I told him that in order for the floor to have the conditions he was describing, that’s what I would have had to do.
So now he has “tried” to get in contact with “someone” who can “address” this “problem”, but he’s “been in meetings all day.” That’s OK, I’m trying to get in contact with someone who can address the problem, too. Like, a lawyer. We’ll see who can address the problem faster.