New laminate is chipping off !

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Trying to figure out if it is installer's fault, or laminate's, or the underlament is too soft.
I bought Harmonics Select Maple laminate at Costco, and a contractor just started installing it. Unfortunately, it is easy to feel (and even see) that there are 0.1 - 0.2mm differences in height at seams, and that's where chipping off starts.
Did anybody have similar experience ? I am using "Quiet step" underlayment (felt), which is a bit thicker than what Harmonics suggests.
The work just started, so I am trying to figure out ASAP whose fault it is. Any suggestions will be highly appreciated.
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Are the boards of a different thickness, was floor level,and no raised seems on old. You mean it isn`t finished and it is chipping. I would start over with a new floor not the cheapest you can find, and be sure all is preped right. You will always have problems with that floor.
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I have the Harmonics Maple with some boards chipped due to installation and few boards chipped at the corners right out of the box due to shipment or handling at the warehouse - this was on a 1,000sf installation. Easy to chip those boards if you're not careful with the installation. If there is much a height difference between the boards, I would think your installer had forced it together rather than "snapped" in it. I've installed laminates that cost about 3x as much and was not any better. If you use a non approved underlament, it may be difficult to have Hamonics to warrant this.
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Harmonics may bail on you because you are using the wrong underlayment. Doubt that it would chip on installation unless it us just a cheap product to begin with. If it is chipping now, it will be only worse in months and years to come.
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My installer is actually snapping it, instead of hitting it slighly with a hammer (as the manufacturer's instruction suggests !) He says that the locks have 2-component glue, and if boards are moved along each other with a hammer the glue will lose its potency.
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The one from Costco is glueless as most of the laminates are today. You could, in fact, disassemble the Costco flooring a year or more from now with ease so I have no idea what the 2-component glue stated by your contractor is. In any case if glue is used on the Costco laminates the joints may/will swell up with differences in height at the seams. Also you could run into a defective box where its more prone to chipping than the others but chipping is usually an installer screw up - me that is.
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IMO any warranty on construction materials would take a multi-year litigation to ever collect on & would cost you a fortune.
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Agree that his contractor sounded strange. The places I used glue were near the kitchen sink and bathrooms. I use water resistant yellow glue Titebond II - too much it would swell up the joints and too little then it won't provide protection from water penetration. Using glue, off course, would void the warranty.
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were near

No, he is not using glue, of course - he claims that the locks are covered with 2-component glue, each side of the lock with one component, and this glue gets activated when 2 pieces are locked.
I am wondering if this is true. Also, I was suggested that a substance sold as "Plastic Wood" at Home Depot can be used to fill the space of the chipped off pieces, and prevent further chipping. Going to test this theory :(
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The manufacturer says to tap it and he won`t because of ruining the glue! Sounds like total BS to me . Does manufacturer even recomend glue. Does the can of glue say it can be ruined or is it the instaler that doesn`t want to clean what seeps out. 2 part epoxy on a floor seam! Pergo uses a glue like Elmers white glue. I realy dought the instaler and his work at this point. Research what he has done and said I think you will learn otherwise.
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Fixing laminates is a tough one, I just replace the bad ones. Don't think the plastic wood would stick nor dry/sand to the same constancy as the laminate surface. You may have better luck with the color matching wax sticks they use on furniture repairs.
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Sounds like the installers fault. I bought mine at Sams 3 years ago. Called Uniboard made in Canada. My son installed it in my bedroom. Plastic next to floor , then foam sheets, then the laminate. Never have had any problem.
What kind of loor do you have under the laminate. Maybe they are not even. Mine was set over terrazzo.
When I can save the money I'm getting my whole house done. I'll buy it my son will install the laminate.
Pat
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Well, he does not claim that this laminate should be glued to the underlayment (that's what glueless refers to). All he says is that each lock has a 2 component glue which gets activated when two locks are snapped together.
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"Ikon" wrote

One thing about off brands, they are DPL laminated compared to HPL brands bought through an actual flooring store. The DPL stands for Direct Pressure Laminate which is manufactured at 300-500 PSI. The HPL stands for High Pressure Laminate which is manufactured at 1400 + PSI. The major manufacturers sell DPL stock through HD & Lowes but will not sell them HPL which is sold through flooring suppliers.
About four years ago, I got to spend 3 days training at the Pergo plant in Raleigh NC. I got to see both processes, there is a difference in the manufacturing of the stock. Just a side note, Pergo North America in Raleigh manufacturers all the stock for North America, Canada, & Mexico. Total employees including office, manufacturing, shipping/receiving =======> 15. Talk about robotics, it was fascinating. I believe at that time, it was 45 semi trailers a day being shipped. I think Raleigh officials believed all sorts of jobs were going to be created when they gave abatements for the plant.
Here's an interesting post on a board about the Harmonics brand.
http://laminateflooring.oncloud8.com/viewtopic.php?te99&sid 4b5a72abfd89f851b3b1b3e12efd3f
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Ikon wrote:

Your installer is an idiot. It is GLUELESS. You can take it apart and install it elsewhere, even a year after installation.
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Fred wrote:

I just installed the Costco Cherry. Yes you can see where the joints are (it surprised me, but you can). There is a difference in height but it isn't .1 mm (0.004 inches). That amount is about the thickness of a piece of paper and based on measurement with a dial caliper, the height difference probably averages 0.002 or less.
Having never done this before, there was some learning curve. I found that snapping the boards together was not exactly easy and some tapping was necessary. My wife found a chipped board after I had gone about 4 boards past that point. We simply disassemble back to that bad board and replaced it. I'm certain that I probably chipped the board while tapping a little too hard. Later I chipped some more pieces by getting in a hurry and not placing the tapping block correctly.
It is easy to jam the boards, (i.e., smack the tapping block to hard)together too much, both end-wise and width-wise. Ikon's problem is likely due to the installer; I doubt that the underlayment would cause the problem. We have been careful but have not seen any chips since we finished the installing, even though we have a cat that seems to get a kick out of starting out fast with her claws out. We yell at her but she still does it.
I did notice that we ended up with boxes from two different lots and the back was a different color, one was brown and the other was pink. Didn't seem to be any difference in the top surface.
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Ikon wrote:

No it is not true! (second time) Otherwise you wouldn't be able to take the pieces apart after you laid them.
Pergo and others make a material to put on the chipped places, but I think it is primarily for color and not build up. I've only seen it in a few shades. Might look at any standard flooring place to see what they have for fixing chips.
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Ikon wrote:

Sorry, that is not what glueless means. Glueless means the individual boards are not glued to each other. If the floor is glued or otherwise attached to the subfloor the term is "floating" or "free floating." Costco's stuff is glueless and free floating.
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Wrong, maybe it was a typo. But, glueless means glueless. As in not glued to the subfloor, so it can move as humidity changes. However, individual boards can be glued to each other.
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How do you manage to do it without replacing the whole room (basically, everithing up to the nearest base boards and moldings) ?
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