Every installation job is different, even when the product going down is the same and the substrate is similar (wood, concrete, old floorcovering). The job site conditions are always specific to that location. Because of this, we must keep in mind the changing environments and adjust our installation techniques for that specific job site, but also not get too creative, causing the manufacturer to void their warranty. At times this process can be overwhelming. In Photo 1, we see a commercial solid vinyl product installed and within days of the installation, bubbles started to appear everywhere. Are the bubbles moisture related, or air trapped beneath the new flooring? When the flooring was cut open (Photo 2), we see great leg development in the adhesive and good transfer of the adhesive to the back of the floorcovering.

So, I ask you the question, "What went wrong with this installation? I know I have not given you much information about the job site, and because of this, you may be reluctant to "Make the Call." But this is also the same situation most mechanics face every day they head out to a new job site. Sure they have the right floor covering; that decision is made by someone else, and the proper adhesive may be provided for them as well. But, was all the job site-specific information provided to them? We as an industry can do this better in the future than we have in the past. Sure, everyone likes surprises when it's your birthday, but not when you're 50 miles from nowhere and you don't have the proper tools and/or materials to successfully do the job. OK, here is some more information. Photos 3 and 4 show that the new floor covering was installed over an existing vinyl floor covering.

Is that enough information? You Make the Call!

No, I think not. Was the old floor covering stripped of wax prior to the installation of the new floor? Does the manufacturer recommend (or not) the installation over an existing floor? Is the adhesive warranted for this type application? See how this works: we keep asking questions until there are now more answers to be had. Should the existing floor covering be embossed or skim coated prior to the new floor installation? Does the old floor covering manufacturer even recommend this type of installation? To answer many of these questions, you must know who installed it and what the old floor covering is. If you can glue atop an existing vinyl floor, is the trowel notch the same for all substrate? I would think not. Porosity of your substrate and the floor covering backing must be taken into consideration on all job sites.

Photo 4 shows a 1/16-by-1/16-by-1/16 square notch had been used. The recommended notch would have been 1/32-by-1/16-by-1/32; the difference being almost twice the amount of adhesive was used than should have! This will also affect your open time. If you don't allow the water in the adhesive to flash off or give it an opportunity to let off gas, you will trap it (the gas) between the impervious vinyls. One or two bubbles can be dealt with; seam sealer and a hypodermic syringe works best. But with the amount of trapped air in this installation, it would take more than just a stitch-n-time to relieve it all.

Removing both layers of vinyl at this point is the only option I know that will work for sure. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!