Lumber Liquidators flooring

blonde1125May 25, 2011

I am writing this to warn others to stay away from LL at all costs. We purchased Golden Teak Acacia last fall, let it acclimate in our house for about 7 weeks and had it installed in our kitchen, living room and dining room. Loved the color and the finish. Our contractor installed it and it was beautiful.

Fast forward 3 months. The floor has shrunk so much we now have major cracks everywhere. And because of the shrinkage we now have major cracking and squeaking noises everywhere we walk. We have contacted LL and sent them numerous pictures of the problems. They are refusing to have anyone come out to look at it and have basically said "sorry but we don't cover anything under our warranty". We are now considering having our new lawyer son-in-law get involved to see if we can make them honor their warranty.

LL's price may be good, but the problems are not worth it.

So buyer beware and deal with them at your own risk!

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First a simple search on this forum would have alerted you to dealing with LL. In fairness shrinkage is a environmental issue and not covered by ANY wood mfctr. The first question will be how did you acclimate the wood, what was the moisture content of the installed wood vs the subfloor. How are you controlling the humidity in your house. You might want to review NOFMA standards. Just because something goes wrong does not make it a mfctg issue. If only the floor ends shrunk that might indicate a issue, but overall shrinkage sounds like an overly dry environment. Before you get you lawyer son involved you might want to have an professional flooring inspector inspect your house/

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Well here is your issue...I am not a lumber liquidators fan by any means and they should be avoided at all cost. A civil complaint may get their attention enough to give you some money, but this shrinkage can not be pinned on them. It is absolutely installation related. a 7 week acclimation means nothing without proper moisture readings taken. I do not know of any installer that does this..measure moisture in the wood, and the sub floor and monitor relative humidity during and after installation. Simply having it in the room is just not enough. It usually is, but the exception has bitten you. If it shrunk that much, it either had too much moisture in it at the time of install..or the relative humidity dropped way too low. One of the two in my mind. Wood only shrinks for one dried out. This is positively a climate issue and thus why they are not concerned at all about it. To make you understand when we install hardwood, we give the consumer a relative humidity gauge that is there before installation. We have the associate come out the day of installation commencement to register what the moisture readings are from numerous areas in the sub strate and numerous wood samplings.This is a 700 dollar meter. The humidity gauge (a separate 5 dollar instrument) must be between 35 and 55 at all times prior to during and after installation. Thus why they keep the meter. We require the readings to be within 2% to 4% of each other depending on the species. No one does this..I have never met an installer that does this (not saying that there aren't any) but you can count them on one hand. Thus why we do it because if we instruct the installer, it still will not get done. They simply play the law of averages and I believe this was done in your house and it bit you. Wood shrinking like you state is only caused by moisture leaving the specie. Good Luck but a civil suit may make them ante up a few bucks rather than fight it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:32PM
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We (in NJ) had bought wood flooring from LL. No humidity checks and such were done. Wood was installed with no regard to anything but the availability of the installer. This was in 1998. They have performed without any problem. We don't have A/C running at all times.

Till today I used to think they provide good products and was planning to use their wood in our next project. Now I will have to do more research...


    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Wood flooring can present some challenges, as it is an hygroscopic product, especially the solid materials. An installer must be aware of the moisture content of the product, the substrate and the general region where the product will be installed. As others have said, it matters not one iota how long you "acclimate" a product to a house or region environment. You can acclimate a flooring product in the wrong conditions and then have a floor that will do what yours has done.

This may sound strange, but some floors will like the houses in which they are installed and others will hate the houses in the same region. I once installed unfinished maple for a builder and did everything by the book. One floor is exactly as I left it and the other went bezerk. I have to believe that the very different house heating systems (HVAC) had a lot to do with the performance of each floor. One was a huge house with radiant heat and the other was a small one with an hydronic baseboard heating system. My guess is from my measurements of the room air is that the small house was overheated and caused moisture to flee from the wood.

If you learn all you can about the characteristics of wood in general, you will have a good chance of having something installed that will be 'mostly' trouble-free and stable.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 9:32PM
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