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buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor



"buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor," in the Vinyl Flooring Q&A forum, begins: "HI, Last summer I removed the existing vinyl flooring in my house. I pulled up the old Luan, laid down ..."

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Old April 18, 2010, 01:15 PM   #1
scottej
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buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


HI,

Last summer I removed the existing vinyl flooring in my house. I pulled up the old Luan, laid down fresh luan with a narrow-crown staple gun, filled the seams, sanded, and let it sit for a few days. I purchased some reasonable quality (around 3 dollars per foot) perimeter-glue vinyl from Lowes, made a template, cut it, and laid it in the space for a few days. I then glued the perimeter. Beautiful floor. Love it.

The room is 12 by 15 foot. Over the winter, it has developed two buckles that run for around 10 feet, both in the same direction. They are around 1/4-inch high. Clearly either the vinyl has expanded in that direction, or the floor dimensions have contracted in that direction over the winter, but I am not really sure what the explanation is. I suppose I will need to lift the perimeter glue, trim it again, and re-glue it.

I am wondering why this would happen? I can't believe my floor skrinks that much in the winter. The whole room would need to change dimension, and I can't buy that. It is a good floor made by a custom carpenter in the 60s, with 2x10 joists, 45 degree diagonal 1x6 pine, 3/4 inch ply and then 1/8 luan. On the other hand, if the vinyl is expanding that much, it makes me wonder why, especially in the winter when it is dry here in Maine. Needless to say, the stuff is not supposed to do that. The floor has been mopped a lot with a swiffer mopper, which squirts a liquid out in front of a cloth mopping pad. I wonder if that liquid has something to do with it? Maybe if the chemicals get into the vinyl...

Anyway, fixing it is not going to be a major drama for me, but I wonder if more experienced people out there have some advice for me about (a) lifting the perimeter glue that I put down, and (b) what may have caused this expansion? Also, is a 12x15 space too large to cover with perimeter-glue vinyl? Thinking about it, that is a lot of length to accumulate expansion. Maybe I need to buy higher-quality product?

Thank you for any advice. Yes, I know, I probably should have gone with full-glue, but I didn't (i suppose I could though). I have done a lot of work on this house, and am proud of all I have done except this crazy floor.. :-)

Many thanks - Scott

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Old April 18, 2010, 01:57 PM   #2
Al Gladden
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


what type of floor was it? i either looselay or glue it all... the only thing i perimeter glue is interflex.

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Old April 18, 2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Scott,

Dont like to be bearer of bad news, Laun is not a recommended underlaymet now-a-days, Most of these peremiter floors require you to leave aprox 1/4 gap around any wall island etc. you would be surprised in and how expansion and contraction works.

It also depends on how your climate is/was during after and now.

You might be able to fix, but I would be afraid of spliting the Luan

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Old April 18, 2010, 02:34 PM   #4
scottej
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Al Gladden said View Post
what type of floor was it? i either looselay or glue it all... the only thing i perimeter glue is interflex.
Hi Al,

Thank you for your response. I don't know if it is an interflex material. I would have to go back to Lowes and ask (which I can do). I thought I did enough research prior to buying this floor. I wanted to be sure that I could just glue it at the edges and not worry. I didn't like the idea of gaps at the edges that accumulate dirt, pet hair, etc. By loose-lay do you mean that you just lay the floor down with room to move on the edges and not glue any of it? I guess I could do that, but it sounds like it could be a bit untidy on the edges.

Cheers - Scott

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Old April 18, 2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Hi Isabella flooring,

No worries - thank you for the response. The Luan is stapled every 4-6 inches to the 3/4inch ply subfloor. Could it really move that much? I guess the real question is, do I pull up the perimeter glue and (a) reglue it after letting it settle, (b) leave it loose, or (c) do a full glue?

Thank you for your input - Scott

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Old April 18, 2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Your walls can shrink and expand a 1/4 inch. That is another reason to leave a gap. Many vinyls insist on a gap for warranty.

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Old April 18, 2010, 03:04 PM   #7
Al Gladden
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


worried about dirty edges? you are not using shoemold/quarterround?

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Old April 18, 2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


My experience, I have never loose laid a peice of vinyl or premitered a peice of vinyl, I am a beleiver in full spread, then it is stuck their so to say. (except for the Inter-flex years)

Even in all the above mentioned ways, you have to leave a 1/4 inch gap, you trim out with 1/4 round shoe base etc.

Loose lays are tricky, most manufactures suggest you X glue by refrig. and any rolling items. Please read BUBBLES in IVC thread and see whats been going on out their

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Old April 18, 2010, 03:09 PM   #9
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


These guys are all in too big a hurry to get back to watching golf on TV, Scott. I don't like golf.

They forgot to tell you to install a trim on top after the flooring is laid to cover the gap.
EDIT
I see a couple came back to mention it while I was writin'.
You have to undercut door casings and other areas to slip the vinyl under where you can't put moldings. The idea is a space to allow the floor to expand and contract. If there's no gap and the flooring expands, it has no choice but to buckle. No matter what flooring you put down, I think it needs a quarter round or some other trim to either hide or protect the edge of the flooring or to protect the wall.

But there may be another problem. You cut the floor in place and let it sit for a few days before adhering the edges. If you gave us the name of the material, I can bet you we'd find the installation instructions say to cut and glue within a couple hours of unrolling. Perimeter adhered flooring usually is designed to shrink, which when glued or stapled, will make the flooring tight. It does not need a gap because there is a certain amount of elasticity in the material that allows the expansion and contraction within the structure of the material. When you lay the material out and don't restrict the edges with adhesive or staples, the flooring loses that elasticity and will buckle when it expands because you didn't fasten the edges before it shrank.

I tried to fix an Interflex type material that did that once. I could not get it to stretch enough to permanently remove the bubbles. The flooring had to be removed and new installed.

The biggest issue we have to deal with here though is that you gave a lot of product names, but not the name of the vinyl. Not just the manufacturer, but the style name of the vinyl. They ain't all the same. You already knew plywood wasn't all the same and mops aren't all the same and stores aren't all the same - you gave the names of all of them. But you didn't tell us the name of the vinyl or the glue you used.

Jim

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Old April 18, 2010, 03:35 PM   #10
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Jim McClain said View Post
These guys are all in too big a hurry to get back to watching golf on TV, Scott. I don't like golf.

They forgot to tell you to install a trim on top after the flooring is laid to cover the gap.
EDIT
I see a couple came back to mention it while I was writin'.
You have to undercut door casings and other areas to slip the vinyl under where you can't put moldings. The idea is a space to allow the floor to expand and contract. If there's no gap and the flooring expands, it has no choice but to buckle. No matter what flooring you put down, I think it needs a quarter round or some other trim to either hide or protect the edge of the flooring or to protect the wall.

But there may be another problem. You cut the floor in place and let it sit for a few days before adhering the edges. If you gave us the name of the material, I can bet you we'd find the installation instructions say to cut and glue within a couple hours of unrolling. Perimeter adhered flooring usually is designed to shrink, which when glued or stapled, will make the flooring tight. It does not need a gap because there is a certain amount of elasticity in the material that allows the expansion and contraction within the structure of the material. When you lay the material out and don't restrict the edges with adhesive or staples, the flooring loses that elasticity and will buckle when it expands because you didn't fasten the edges before it shrank.

I tried to fix an Interflex type material that did that once. I could not get it to stretch enough to permanently remove the bubbles. The flooring had to be removed and new installed.

The biggest issue we have to deal with here though is that you gave a lot of product names, but not the name of the vinyl. Not just the manufacturer, but the style name of the vinyl. They ain't all the same. You already knew plywood wasn't all the same and mops aren't all the same and stores aren't all the same - you gave the names of all of them. But you didn't tell us the name of the vinyl or the glue you used.

Jim
Many thanks, Jim. I need to make the journey back to Lowes to find the manufacturer of the vinyl, but it is a mid-range felt-back. This is a high-traffic area, so I didn't want to put expensive, more highly-textured floor down. BTW - I did so in my upstairs (4 dollars per foot) 3 years ago, and it is working like a charm glued at its edges. As for the glue, it was pretty good stuff - Armstrong S235. Could I just full-glue that when I pull up the edges? I'll just buy different flooring if that is what it takes. The cost is trivial relative to the value of the home.

For more information, the floor goes under baseboard heaters on two sides, under moulding on the third side, but on side 4 I cut it flush because it was going to be a pain to removing the floor moulding. So, I do have 3 sides to work with.

Thanks again - Scott

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Old April 18, 2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


You could try "shocking" it. Chances are kinda slim that it will work, but it's the easiest and least invasive type of repair. No risk of damaging the edges of your vinyl or underlayment, and be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. It also doesn't require buying anything.

To "shock" your vinyl, warm it up with a heat gun on low setting, or use a hair dryer. Get it fairly warm but not hot. Immediately cover the warmed area with ice wrapped in a towel. Work your way up the buckle and see if that doesn't flatten 'em out. It may take a couple of trys.

Like I mentioned, it's a little bit of a long shot, but if it works, you'll have a cheap, easy and permanent fix, and be a hero.

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Old April 18, 2010, 04:04 PM   #12
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


scottej said View Post
... it is a mid-range felt-back. This is a high-traffic area, so I didn't want to put expensive, more highly-textured floor down.
A lot of people, including installers, will perimeter adhere felt-backed sheet vinyl, but not me. Full spread. But then, I wouldn't full-spread adhesive on luan plywood either - crappy stuff that might delaminate.

I don't get the philosophy of installing a low grade flooring in a high grade area. You are asking to do extra labor to replace a floor that wears out prematurely. Why not just budget for a quality floor that will last a very long time in an area that people do their most living on?

As for the glue, it was pretty good stuff - Armstrong S235.
That is NOT a perimeter adhesive. It was designed for full spread use. Product Information for S-235 Premium Flooring Adhesive

Could I just full-glue that when I pull up the edges?
It might not pull up so easy now.

For more information, the floor goes under baseboard heaters on two sides, under moulding on the third side, but on side 4 I cut it flush because it was going to be a pain to removing the floor moulding. So, I do have 3 sides to work with.
You might consider taking the time to install prepainted quarter round (you pre-paint it to match the other trims) and then just touch up the nail holes. I bet it would look much better. But of course, you'll have to deal with the bad floor first.

Jim

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Old April 18, 2010, 04:09 PM   #13
Darol Wester
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Jim McClain said View Post
. Perimeter adhered flooring usually is designed to shrink, which when glued or stapled, will make the flooring tight. It does not need a gap because there is a certain amount of elasticity in the material that allows the expansion and contraction within the structure of the material. When you lay the material out and don't restrict the edges with adhesive or staples, the flooring loses that elasticity and will buckle when it expands because you didn't fasten the edges before it shrank.


Jim
Very true. I have seen jobs where the installer used the wrong glue for this vinyl and the material pulled out of the adhesive and shrunk up so bad that it was a good 2-3 inches back from the toe kick. This was a shot about 18 feet. It should also be installed at a nice warm temperature too, otherwise, if it was put in on the cool side, when it warms up, it will do just what it's doing now.

I perimiter Mannington felt back products and have had no problems with it. Getting felt back up out of the glue without destroying the backing will be close to impossible if glued correctly.


Last edited by Darol Wester; April 18, 2010 at 08:24 PM.
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Old April 18, 2010, 05:37 PM   #14
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


Armstrong used to say that vinyl shrinks for 1100 years. (yep that's what they said 1100).

I think the only manu to say that felt backed can still be perimeter adhered is Mannington (I could be wrong though).

You will probably find that when you pull up the edges, the backing will stick to the floor. This will have to be removed and any damage to the underlayment repaired (probably with floor patch).

I do not think shocking a felt backed vinyl will work if the bubbles are as large as you say.

I would buy the same vinyl if it is what I liked and full spread it. Roll it with a 100# roller (a 75# would do the trick too). A vinyl with a felt back will eventually start to curl so be sure to cover all the edges with base, 1/4 round, or at the very least caulk to keep the edges from curling.

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Old April 18, 2010, 05:42 PM   #15
Daris Mulkin
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Re: buckling of new perimeter glue vinyl floor


If you perimeter glued it and I don't know how wide you did, but an old trick for releasing perimeter glued interflex was to use heat from a heat gun or even a hair dryer to soften the glue. Might be worth a try.

Daris

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