Photo 1
It is an installer’s nightmare. The second installation failed in exactly the same manner as the first. How often has this happened to you or to someone you know? The materials came from different roll and lot numbers, manufactured at different times. What are the chances of tracing this twice-failed installation back to a manufacturer-related problem?

Photo 2
You are more apt to win the lottery. In this case, the floor covering was replaced, using the same installer, by the manufacturer nine months after the initial installation due to…well, take a look at photos 1-4. Everyone do the wave! Or, to reach back into my surfer past, catch a major grimmer on the fly, dude.

Photo 3
Here’s some more information to keep you moving. The scenario here is an above-grade suspended wood floor with a perimeter bond. Some areas of the kitchen are flash-coved (Photos 2-4). In the areas directly in front of all the appliances there are small, wake-like ripples (Photos 2-4).

Photo 4
So what do you think? Should the manufacturer have paid to replace it? Should the installer have been paid to replace it?

You Make the Call!

Photo 5
Now, I need to tell you that the perimeter was adhered somewhat, as was the flash cove at the time of installation. As photo 4 shows, the attempt to cove this inside corner was something short of a lick and a promise. As most, if not all, manufacturers specify, adhesive in alcoves should be either full spread, or at least spread in a series of “Xs”, with a 3-to-4-inch band in front of the edge of the appliance.

Photo 6
Do you know why this is? All appliances generate heat. And what happens when solid vinyl is heated? It grows, wherever it can. In this case, it grew out into the field and in front of the appliances. Felt-back products will, in extreme heat, also grow to some degree when they are not properly adhered.

Photo 5 shows some ingenuity by the installer. He used the existing metal in conjunction with the wall base requested by the customer. But photo 4 show that, at the time of the inspection, the coved areas are no longer adhered. Coving in this manner would not be acceptable to most manufacturers.

Photo 6 sheds a little more light on the installation. It appears that the original (prior to the first and second perimeter) felt-back vinyl was not completely removed. The face and interior foam layer has been peeled off the backing, with the majority of it still adhered to the subfloor. The last time I checked, this would not be a recommended technique for installing felt-backed or perimeter solid vinyl.

As my father used to say, don’t get creative, do it by the book and cover your…posterior.