Mohawk ArmorMax Engineered Wood Floor

builtinvestorJanuary 29, 2014

Would anyone happen to know how Mohawk's ArmorMax finish with Scotchgard compares to other companies' finishes within the realm of engineered hardwood products? There is not much posted online about the product, aside from what is found on Mohawk's website and a couple of trade magazines that I found, which provided general information. In fact, there are only two other posts on GardenWeb that show up when you search for "ArmorMax," and my local flooring store hadn�t even heard of it (and they�re a "Mohawk Color Center").

Due to some recent water damage at my condo, I have to replace all of the flooring with another engineered hardwood product, which will be installed directly on concrete because I have a ground-level unit. My primary concern with choosing a product is durability. I will probably be selling the home in a year or two, and I really don�t want to have to have any repair or replacement work done to the wood flooring if I can help it. I was looking on Mohawk�s website (purely because I had previously purchased Mohawk Smartstrand carpeting), and the ArmorMax products really stood out to me. They apparently offer a 50 year warranty on this product, and they say it is five times more resistant to wear than leading competitors.

So is this just marketing BS? Is ArmorMax no better than your everyday Aluminum Oxide factory finish? Or is it really that good in spite of its seemingly reasonable price? Is there a product that has a better and more durable finish? All of these manufacturer�s seem to say that their product is many times more resistant to wear than everyone else�s product. But the thing that caught my eye is that this product was awarded the Best of Show Indoor Feature at the 2013 International Builder�s Show in Las Vegas. Between that fact and the 50 year warranty, I�m inclined to give this product a try?

What do you think???

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Ive never used the product. But im willing to give ya my two cents on warranty and finish claims in general from someone in the biz.

25, 30 , 50 yr claims sound great, gets people to buy the product. But you need and i cant stress this enough. You must read the fine print. Every warranty is different but they are all designed to protect the manufacture. Its very hard and most of the time youre claim needs to fit in very tightly defined situation. So things like cleaning with a wrong product or dog scratches or other silly little things are not covered. Many people get burned by buying into these warrantys thinking they'll get a new floor in 10 yrs. its not the case otherwise these big manufactured would be out of business.

Another thing to keep in mind is if the warranty transfers to the new owner. Some might not.

Key point i want to make is the warrantys do work but reading exactly what is covered is more important that the age of the warranty.

Next you asked about finish durability. You will find people have differing opinions. If i have dogs that will be living on the floor than i must accept the fact that it will get scratched. Theres no finish created that will prevent it. If they did everyone would use it. Also small kids get rough with toys and whatnot. Kids will more than likely scuff up the finish.

Im just guessing here but mohawks finish claim is talking about wear damage not scratch damage. Meaning their finish will hold up to wear n tear in heavy traffic areas. But this is where reading the warranty comes into play again. They may say warranty doesnt cover certain areas without protection. Ie floor mat by front door.

not trying to scare you away from any product. As i have no personal agenda against Mohawk or any wood flooring company. I simply want to stress the fine print in Any product is more important than the marketing techinques used to sell products.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:55PM
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My wife and I just had a Mohawk Armormax floor installed for $15,000 and we are woefully disappointed.

The floor is the most important part of the house, and every guest's opinion has been that our floor looks dull and unfinished like raw wood, and is unpleasant to the feet. It develops a hazy film after every cleaning. I would so much like to get a representative directly from the Mohawk corporation look at my floor and explain to me why they would manufacture something so awful that sends shivers up your spine when you walk on it with socks.

It is not possible to look at two planks in a showroom and determine how a floor will look, feel, sound, or perform after installation. But one would hope the salespeople might know or make recommendations. I knew something was wrong with the floor as soon as it was finished. It was really dull looking and still is.

I had beautiful engineered wood floors at a condo I sold early in 2014. When you walked on the floor with socks, it was silent -- unlike the scratchy sound we have now with the Mohawk product. The lesson I have learned here is, "stick with what you know."

I am probably going to rip this Mohawk floor out within five years if nothing can be negotiated. I was hoping for something I'd want to keep for 17 or more years, like at my condo. I hate the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it sounds… and it is really, really, really hard to clean. We hate walking on it barefoot or with socks because it sends shivers -- like walking on paper that's been glued to the floor.

We have decided not to do any more business with Mohawk's largest distributor here in the Manasota area. The other half of our house is ready for flooring, but we don't want to do business with them because we don't feel like they knew the product enough to warn us about it.

Every time we walk on this floor or look at it, we just want to rip it out. It makes us sick that we spent so much money on junk. I feel like we are the guinea pigs for an experimental new finish called ArmorMax, and it's a failed experiment. Before we purchased, we looked all over the internet for reviews of this product, and couldn't find anything except Mohawk's own promotional video. Now we now why -- it's something new and unproven.

After emailing Mohawk, they just told me to get in touch with my installer. The installer told me to get in touch with them.

Mohawk should send one of their own to our home, and they should explain to us why they would manufacture a floor that feels rough like paper, looks dull, makes a tapping sound like laminate, makes a scratchy sound when you walk on it with socks, is impossible to keep clean, and has big ugly gaps on the short ends of the planks. That's not what we signed up for.

But no, they won't send anyone to our home. They let the distributor deal with that for them. An "independent inspector" was sent to our home, and there were omissions and inaccuracies in his report. We feel like he was an insurance adjuster -- looking out for the corporations and looking for ways to get out of paying claims.

Since installation, we are still having issues with a hazy film showing all the footprints and smudges. We should have moved on to the next project by now, but are still consumed by this floor issue. My previous experiences with wood floors was that the job was done by Day Two, and then I moved on with my life -- no repeated or unsuccessful cleanings.

The floor was cleaned 4 times by the installers within a month. The haze, smudges and footprints just kept coming back. I suspected that the paint thinner they used on the floor to clean off glue was the culprit -- but nobody can verify this or identify an alternative cause. The company who did the installation tells us nothing is wrong with the floor -- which of course they are going to say because they have too much to lose otherwise. I feel like the distributor is afraid to stand up to Mohawk.

We bought this floor with the ArmorMax finish because we thought it would be low-maintenance. This floor has the highest maintenance of any floor I have ever owned. If it's not cleaned every day, it looks horrible. It's embarrassing and cheap looking.

At this time we are requesting a Mohawk representative to look at this floor. The finish on this floor is not working as intended.

At this point we are disappointed with the $15,000+ price tag for what we now believe is an inferior product.

This post was edited by SarasotaDude on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 9:17

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:20AM
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SarasotaDude - "I suspect that the paint thinner they used on the floor to clean off glue was the culprit." And yet you post a scathing review of the Mohawk product. Have you lot your mind?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 1:25PM
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j45470b - Neither the installer nor "independent" inspector have acknowledged that the floor was damaged by paint thinner. The fact that Mohawk has not sent one of their own to assess and review the ArmorMax product installation is enough reason to post a scathing report. They are a large corporation. They can afford to send someone.
Most of the reviews that appear in Google search are from industry insiders and trade publications. This tends to bury reviews from real people like ourselves.
Thus far, neither the installer nor Mohawk have offered to remedy the situation. I don't like throwing away $15,000, so I reassert my scathing review of the product until Mohawk sends one of their own.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:13AM
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To add my own two cents, I ended up purchasing the Mohawk Rockford Maple engineered hardwood to replace the flooring at my condo. I got the 5 inch boards in Bourbon color. To install over a roughly 900 SQFT area, it cost me approximately $7,500 total. Roughly $3,000 of that was for my installer (which actually included a small amount of carpet installation for two large closets). The materials (engineered hardwood and glue) cost around $4,500, and I purchased them separately. I ordered 35 cartons and 5 buckets of Mohawk’s glue from Aside from some confusion in the shipping instructions, the order worked out fine, and I ended up with the engineered product for $3.79/SQFT.

After installation, everyone remarked at how great the product looks. The installation was only done 2 1/2 months ago, and this is a rental property, so I don't see the floor every day. However, it seems to be holding up well so far, and I'm unaware of any hazy film. There was a ton of dust floating around for a week or two after the installation, but I think that has subsided. I am guessing that if your flooring's finish is now hazy, that it has to do with the installation and not the product itself. That film might be a very thin layer of glue residue if the installer was sloppy in applying the glue. One simple question to ask is whether or not the product had a hazy finish BEFORE it was installed. Were you able to see it beforehand? Or did you purchase from a company who also installed it for you?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Hi SarasotaDude,

I'm Jordan, and I'm from Mohawk. I'm really sorry to hear about your flooring issues. Thank you for contacting Mohawk and letting them know about the problems you're seeing. I've forwarded your posts to our Consumer Affairs team, and they are going to follow up on your claim. Again, I apologize for your flooring experience.

Mohawk Flooring

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:32AM
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Hi SarasotaDude,

I forwarded your posts to our Consumer Affairs team, and they need your contact information in order to locate your claim. Do you mind providing me with the email address that you used to register your claim with Mohawk Flooring? Again, I’m sorry about your flooring experience.

Mohawk Flooring

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:51AM
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We had a mohawk hardwood maple floor installed in late May of this year into our newly renovated kitchen. The finish on some of the slats is bubbling and cracking. Our contractor had the floor covered by cardboard during the course of the renovation, so we really couldn't imspect the entire thing until he finished in June. The contractor spoke with the flooring store, and they are providing another box of material so that he can replace the slats that are cracking. Although we initially noticed 6 slats that were problematic, every day I see more. I don't know if we are better off replacing the damaged slats or having the entire floor refinished, which would void the finish warranty. Does anyone have an opinion?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:57AM
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I’m from Mohawk, and I’m really sorry to hear about the issues you’re describing. Have you spoken to Mohawk’s Consumer Affairs division about this? If you would fill out this form, (link below) detailing the product information and the issue, our Consumer Affairs team will contact you shortly. Again, I’m so sorry to hear about your flooring experience.

Mohawk Flooring

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:23AM
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Thanks Jordan. Last week I went to the store where we purchased the flooring and they completed a claim form on my behalf. They said I should hear from the customer service dept within the next three weeks. They will schedule an investigator to come look at the floor.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Thank you for sending this update, amyhlr. Again, I apologize for the issues you're experiencing and appreciate your willingness to discuss the situation with me.

Mohawk Flooring

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:50PM
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An inspector from Mohawk came to look at my floor on 9/19. He wouldn't give me any feedback, he said that he was impartial and was simply there to observe and report back to the company what he saw. He said I should be hearing from the company in a few weeks (I think he said 2-4). I have not heard from the company. I contacted the flooring store, they said they would followup with Mohawk, that was a couple of weeks ago. I just completed a form on the Mohawk site myself, which was what Jordan recommended back in August. Let's see if anyone contacts me. I'm so disappointed in this floor and this company. I will never purchase a Mohawk product again.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Sophie Wheeler

99.9% of all flooring problems are install related, not manufacturer defects. Was the moisture content of the subfloor and the wood checked before installing? If not, that voids the warranty right there. Was the subfloor flat within 1/8‘‘ over 10‘? No? Voids the warranty. Was the manufacturer's specific glue used rather than an industry general adhesive? Voids the warranty.

Bubbling finish is usually about moisture damage. What type of humidity are you dealing with? Moisture content of subfloor? What has the floor been cleaned with?

If you don't install it 100% according to the manufacturers instructions, it is not the manufacturer's problem if you have an issue down the road. It's all about the install yet many people never read those instructions and conditions that are freely provided by every manufacturer. And they hire low bid hacks who don't even own a moisture meter.

Sorry, but no manufacturer covers incorrect installations and moisture problems.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 8:01AM
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Gee, thanks for your kind words. I will check with my contractor to find out if he tested the subfloor for moisture. My previous floor in this location was a laminate floor, and I didn't have any problems with it. He didn't use glue, the floor was nailed down. I have vacuumed the floor, and I buff it with a dry cloth. No water. I would think that if there was a moisture problem with the subfloor, I would have had a problem with the laminate floor as well. The laminate floor was fine. Any productive ideas? Maybe some feedback from the independent inspector sent by Mohawk?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Consider hiring your own independent inspector if you have any doubt about the manufacturer's rep's inspection report. That way, you own the report, and it's an industry standard objective inspection. Of course, there is always the (big) chance that it's not the wood that is the problem. It rarely is. It's usually the site conditions or install that are the culprit. A cell phone pic with the date and reading on it are all that it takes to substantiate that the testing was done, yet few guys around here do that. It does bite them occasionally, but not enough to make them do it as a regular practice. Mostly because they've made it a practice to use polyurethane adhesives.

Here is a link that might be useful: NWFA Certified Wood Flooring Inspectors

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Thank you Greendesigns. I imagine I will end up going that route. The inspector who came in September gave me his business card and at the time I checked out his website. He certainly seemed to be experienced, but wouldn't tell me his conclusions. He kept insisting that his job is not to make a judgement about what he observes, but simply to report what he observes. He also refused to give me any information about what he saw. So, I have no idea what was in that report. I'll try the store again. In the mean time, we'll see if consumer affairs from Mohawk responds to my inquiry.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Amyhlr, Jordan here!

Our consumer affairs team will definitely respond to you with the report, and I'm so sorry it's taken longer to hear back. I saw your email come through this morning, and I've alerted the team that you're waiting for the report, so we'll be reaching out to you soon with that info and next steps. Please accept my apologies for your wait, Amyhlr. We will be in touch!

Mohawk Flooring

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Hi Jordan,
I received an email from the consumer affairs team this afternoon. They said that they sent the report to the store where the flooring was purchased. They sent another email shortly thereafter and said that they checked with the flooring store, which stated that they forwarded the information to my contractor because I purchased the flooring through him. I'm checking with my contractor now to see if he has heard anything. I'll let you know what happens.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 9:19PM
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Hi Amyhlr, I'm so sorry for my confusion--as you've noted, the Consumer Affairs team sends the report to the retailer who then shares it with you (in your case, via your contractor). I'm sorry I skipped a step - and thank you for providing this update!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I received the report last week. As I expected, the report says that the "checking" is present, but doesn't explain the cause. He did not find any moisture present in the wood. He alludes to the fact that the product was not acclimated properly, which is nonsense. I have researched online, and found articles from the National Wood Flooring Association. I still don't know if the store will cover the cost of replacing the slats which are afffected by checking. From what I have read, checking happens during the drying process, it has nothing to do with site issues post-installation. Looks like I'll be disputing the report and will have to pay for my own report.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 8:59PM
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