Armstrong laminate flooring — Poor customer service, Review 188507 Complaints Board

Poor customer service

Armstrong Flooring will not honor manufacturer warranty on a defective

laminate flooring product. Said product was actually discontinued due to

known defects.

A Local Carpet One franchise was hired to install an Armstrong laminate

hardwood floor in 2001. The floor was designed to be installed by sliding

planks into place in a tongue-in-groove fashion and gluing together

(different from the current locking laminate products). After one week of

product acclimation and then installation, there were problems. In a small

number of places, some seams began to rise, creating small ridges where the

floor pieces joined. In other areas, some adjacent to the peaks, the planks

separated by up to 1-8. In three places, Planks did not properly fit at

corners, resulting in sharp points.

Honoring product and installation warranties, within 6 months of the

installation Carpet One sent an installer to repair the floor three times.

For every correction made, however, a new issue presented another area. The

result was less than perfect, but still for the better. I wrote the floor

off as being a little higher maintenance than planned.

This year, I hired the same franchise to install more flooring, including

Armstrong vinyl. The installer, who was a certified by Armstrong for

laminate installation, immediately recognized the floor as a glue-together

product that was defective. The installer alerted a Carpet One sales rep,

and the company sent a sales representative to look at my floor. The floor

was defective and needed repair or replacement, in his opinion as well.

A claim was filed with Armstrong via Carpet One in October, and Armstrong

sent one of their distributor reps to my house to examine the problems. She

immediately decided that each of my problems must be related to bad

installation or uneven subfloor, without thorough investigation other than a

moisture reading. Armstrong denied the claim per the rep’s claims of

moisture and uneven subflooring. 1) Moisture: Armstrong determined the

flooring contained some excess moisture. This is a climate controlled,

humidity-controlled home built on a crawlspace in which the ground is

covered in plastic and lime. The floor was found to contain some excess

moisture, but the areas she tested were not even the defective areas,

moisture causes expansion and not separation, and she based her findings on

current product standards (the current products are moisture resistant on

all sides and not held together by liquid glue — of course they will retain

less moisture). Also, between my subfloor and laminate floor lies

Armstrong’s own moisture barrier underlayment. so if moisture is coming up

from under the house, they provided defective underlayment. 2) Uneven

subflooring: My home has some uneven subflooring, but actually not in the

areas in which the defects are occurring. No mention in the claim denial was

made of plank separation. and neither moisture nor uneven subflooring can

possibly be accountable for that issue.

Additionally, I continuously had to remind Armstrong’s distributor rep while

inspecting my floor that my floor was a glue-together installation, not

interlocking. Even at the end of her assessment she claimed separation

would be due to bad installation since the pieces are made to lock

together. she had absolutely no idea the glue-together flooring was not

designed to interlock!

An independent inspector recently invalidated the distributor

representative’s reasons for denying the claim, but Armstrong was quick to

decide afterward that it would then be the fault of the installer. An actual

Armstrong employee has never come to see the floor.

Armstrong and Carpet One have both acknowledged known problems with

Armstrong glue-together laminate flooring significant enough for them to

discontinue them shortly after my purchase, and the interlocking products

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