Customer ‘Floored' When Her New Floors Buckled

Jana Chenault said the spacious one-story ranch with its chic contemporary design is her dream home.

Chenault replaced all the flooring with engineered wood — layers of plywood pressed together with a solid wood top layer. It's known for its durability, but just seven months after moving in the home, she started noticing problems. The veneer of several of the engineered wood planks appears to be separating from the wood beneath and the damage is in at least four separate living areas and the hallway.

"It seems like every time I walk through, I find more," she said. "It's never been wet. I don't know what's making it do that."

The flooring was installed just nine months ago and is still under warranty, so Chenault called the warranty company and asked for an inspection. The inspector found that moisture levels in buckling boards are high, but low in adjoining boards.

"Water is known to damage engineered wood in this manner, and the elevated moisture levels indicate excessive moisture.," the inspector wrote. "If the source of the water can be located and stopped then board replacement may be possible."

Chenault insisted that most of the buckling areas have never been wet and added that she has no kids or pets that could have damaged the floor. She also pointed out the seemingly random nature of the bulging.

Still, the warranty company declined her claim saying "there is no indication of a manufacturing defect."

Chenault bought her flooring at First floors Carpet One in Dallas. Mohawk manufactured the flooring. NBC 5 reached out to both companies.

"Unfortunately wood is a living species that has multiple unforseen responses to its environment," a Mohawk official wrote. "Since I have not personally seen the floor myself, I cannot validate that it's a defective floor."

But the Mohawk official apologized for the inconvenience and agreed to replace the flooring and pay for installation. The president of First Floors Carpet One offered to personally oversee the installation of Chenault's new floor.

It's essential that the flooring you choose be durable. Here are Consumer Reports top picks. The non-profit also gives great advice on installation. Consumer Search, a division of Ask.com, also analyzed hardwood versus engineered wood.

Contact Us