PREVENTING MOISTURE IS KEY TO MAINTAINING VINYL FLOORING
Vinyl flooring plank continues to be a popular flooring choice. “It’s what everyone wants,” says Mitch Taylor of Rosie-Certified Bram Flooring.
According to Mitch Taylor owner of Bram Flooring, it’s been trending for the past eight years. This type of flooring “floats” over the subfloor and underlayment.
Now the system is seeing moisture failures requiring repairs that are catching contractors by surprise.
Not all vinyl flooring that was installed in the past eight years is failing. Taylor noted that his company has only had to fix one of their original installations, which the manufacturer is funding.
However, the industry has learned some things about how the flooring should be applied as a result.
“The repair we are required to do comes directly from the manufacturer,” says Bram. “They are requiring moisture barriers underneath the vinyl flooring.”
A moisture barrier, also known as a floor vapor barrier, is typically a sheet of plastic that slows moisture from moving through a wall or subfloor. It is placed beneath the floor’s underlayment, especially in areas that are prone to moisture such as the bathroom and kitchen. When moisture penetrates flooring, it can cause mold, mildew, and the potential for water damage. The moisture barrier helps control the water vapor’s movement and protects the floor.
In addition, the manufacturers no longer allow caulking around the toilet or the baseboards. Taylor says they pin nail it and leave a gap, so it does not touch the floor. “They do not want us caulking anything in as it is a floating floor and it will lock it,” he says. “Toilets are fastened with bolts and the caulking is more of a finish look and really does not affect performance.”
More About Moisture Barriers
It is important to note that the moisture issues are not topical. It has to do with the minerals and moisture that penetrate up through the concrete slab. That is why the flooring needs to be placed on top of the barrier. Spilling a bucket of water on top of the floor is not going to destroy it, unless it is not mopped up quickly.
Some manufacturers, including Shaw Industries, which Bram Flooring sells and installs do not warranty nor are responsible for damage to floor covering due to moisture-related issues.
Another manufacturer that Bram Flooring sells and installs is RevWood, made by Mohawk. Mohawk has been making floors for more than 100 hundred years.
RevWood has a pressed core made of High-Density Fiberboard (HDF), a real wood core (made of fast-growing southern pine). Like laminate, it features a high-quality image layer (which makes it look like wood) and an extremely durable wear layer.
RevWood’s image layer is not just a high-resolution image—it’s embossed. That means that RevWood doesn’t just look exactly like real hardwood. It feels exactly like it too!
RevWood planks are embossed for an ultra-realistic feel. It looks like real wood and has the durability of laminate. It is extremely scratch-resistant and almost impossible to dent. Some versions even have a waterproof topcoat. RevWood floors are made in the USA.
RevWood is available in three versions:
1 | RevWood
Is water-resistant, but not waterproof. Spills need to be wiped up as soon as possible. Because it’s not waterproof, it’s best to avoid installing it in a kitchen or bathroom.
2 | RevWood Select
Is fade-resistant, scratch-resistant, and more water-resistant than RevWood. It comes with a 10-year warranty for the waterproof topcoat. The laminate layer uses the Mohawk Hydroseal technology to keep water out. It also uses a UniClic, a glue-free locking system that keeps water from seeping between the planks. The Select planks trap liquids on the surface, giving you time to catch spills.
3 | RevWood Plus
Is fade-resistant, scratch-resistant, and ultra-waterproof. It’s safe to wet mop. It combines the Hydroseal layer and UniClic technology of the Select line with a unique beveled edge. Do not let any moisture get under the flooring so as not to void Mohawk’s waterproof warranty. This edging makes the flooring look like real hardwood and offers even more moisture protection.
If you install RevWood yourself, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a T. Proper installation is paramount to getting the most out of its benefits and staying within the warranty.
Each of the RevWood systems has a different warranty. If you have pets, consider the RevWood Plus flooring.
If you have vinyl flooring now, you may want to ask your contractor or retailer to come over and inspect it.
“Homeowners need to know that the contractor who installs or comes to repair vinyl flooring knows what they are doing.
The Industry Continues To Improve!
The industry is evolving and there are many new and promising flooring products on the market.
At Rosie Right | Design. Build. Remodel. they are installing a solid vinyl product by Shaw called COREtec. It is solid vinyl with as much as a 12 or 20 mil thickness wear surface. It is almost as expensive as wood flooring but, is proving to be a very durable product.
Vinyl flooring has surpassed carpet and tile in popularity. It’s the floor everyone wants and with good reasons as mentioned by our guests from Bram Flooring. Over time, installations have had challenges, but those problems have been solved. We also discuss the importance of moisture prevention, the reasons moisture can creep in under the floor and prevention for a long lasting floor. Plus if you decided to install it yourself, some careful tips to consider by the experts at Bram Flooring.
SPONSORED BY: BRAM FLOORING
Founder, Mitch Taylor’s, goal with Bram Flooring was to focus on serving the customer with a flooring education, providing honest information about their flooring purchases to make the best decisions for their situations. Bram Flooring has had the mission of being the greater Phoenix area’s most reliable resource for commercial & residential flooring products & installation services. Staffed by a fair & honest sales team carefully selected to treat every customer like a partner, Bram Flooring is proud to be respected & trusted by our community.