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Question
Chris,
My name is Scott, and I own a company that does installations for Lowes. I have installed an Armstrong laminate floor that has seprated in several places within 6 months after install. I beleive this is due to an insuficient locking mechanism on one of there "New" 7' long plank products. We installed this floor at the beggining of Sept. We insured the proper spacing at the expansion joints during this time. I seen it with my own eyes... When the customer called Lowes and said there was aproblem with thier floor at the end of Novemeber, we went and had a look, There was several gaps in-between the planks in several places.The expansion gaps in several areas had since gotten smaller. I beleive this is due to the following... Once the warm season left, and the customer turned on thier floor duct heating, the floor expanded, and once it settled and retracted a bit, it seperated in a few areas due to the fact the locking system couldn't handle the retraction. The customer and myself put about 4 rows by 3 planks wide together of un-used product left over, in his garage, and we could pull the planks apart without lifting any. Meaning we could separate the planks while thery lay completly flat. Of course once a claim was in place, Armstrong sent a "nuetral" inspector out. ( what a joke) Myself, the home owner, and the Lowes installation manager were present while this inspector was doing his thing. They he submitted his report to Armstrong only. We did not get a copy. Armstrong of course then reported back to Lowes that it was an install issue. They cited there was an issuficient expansion gap in multiple places, and buckling and seperation was the result. There was no buckling anywhere. only seperation. What a joke! Im at a loss for what to do.. I do not want to buy these people's flooring, and all of us agree to what the real issue is! The home owner, the installation manager, and myself know it's the material! Any sugestions on how to get them to pay? Any Lawyers whom deal with this kinda stuff? Any experience with getting a claim approved after they deny it? The inspection was a joke. We showed him some material and gave him a demonstration of how easy it separated at the beginning, and of course he left it out of his report (as far as we know) Armstrong was the one whom sent thier findings back to Lowes, not the inspection company! I feel this is a dirty side of these flooring manufacturers.. I need help, the flooring they bought was about $6000 worth..

Answer
Wow Scott,

I am at a total loss. I am shaking my head in disgust as well. Armstrong used to be such a trusted name. I do not know of any lawyers...but I would suggest that you contact another expert here and consult with his inspection company for a truly unbiased report. Let me get his name for you.
John Michaels
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Flooring-Carpeting-1621/indexExp_98743.htm

After Armstrong denies a report all I can think of is to get an independent inspection and file a lawsuit. Or have your Lowes inside sales people / management work with you hand in hand to satisfy the customer. They will need to do something under the table such as a trade off of labor / material. A meeting in the middle. Do they (Lowes) expect you to purchase and install the same flooring twice , just to have it fail again...??

I used to install for a Lowes contractor in Rancho Cucamonga , CA. products were still sound and reliable back then. His name is Brian Perry, technically the address is Upland, Ca. Perry Floors. (909)949 1211 He is a man that I trust and would have sound advice from the same perspective as you....give him a call by all means and see where it leads.

All the best,

Chris Phillips

Flooring and Carpeting

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Chris

Expertise

20+ years flooring installation ...carpet,wood,tile and vinyl. Residential and commercial. I do not sell the products , just install what ever the shop / customer has purchased. I actually love seeing the finished project completed and it gives me great satisfaction to help others acheive that goal. If I don't know the answer I will say so, and then I will recommend another expert for you. I may even research the subject and answer to the best of my ability ...including links to my sources. I wish you all success Chris

Experience

20 years as an independant contractor

Education/Credentials
H.S. diploma A.S. agriculture Mt San Antonio JR. College

Past/Present Clients
Gene Bonas and Kevin Churnock Inc. Sheward&Son&Sons Century 21 Forte Const. Famous Footwear BOSE Corporation Homebodies General Contractor Perry Floors, Tri Cord Flooring T.J.'S Supplies

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