Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:22 pm

Hello all,
Roughly two years ago I DIY installed Traffic Master click-lock laminate flooring on my whole first floor using a foam underlayment with vapor barrier over the concrete slab. I removed the baseboards but in an effort to not have to use shoe molding around the cabinets and in front of the back door & doorwall I did a close fit thinking laminate does not expand like regular wood. I now realize this was a mistake as laminate floor is supposed to have a 1/4" gap all the way around. :oops:

Now in a few spots on my floor (high traffic areas unfortunately) it makes a "popping" sound when we step on it where the two ends meet. The spots are around the kitchen/doors so I'm assuming cutting it too close in those areas has resulted in the laminate not being able to expand as needed and has somehow thrown off the click lock mechanism at the ends allowing the laminate to flex causing the "popping". I'm clearly no expert but this is just my guess. In the winter I either didn't notice the noise like I do now or it wasn't there, I'm not sure which. This is now driving me crazy but my wife says it doesn't bother her. I even avoid stepping on those certain spots that pop.

Is there any way to fix this without ripping up the whole floor and trimming back the necessary areas? (I know my wife will freak if I suggest this). Is there a tool that I can use the shave off 1/4" or so from the laminate while it's in place? My hope is that in the winter the laminate will contract back down, the sound will go away and then if I trim the tight areas in question once the spring/summer returns the issue won't come back.

Thanks in advance,

BW
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

barnaclebob
Posts: 2957
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:25 pm

Maybe an oscillating tool would let you trim the edges while its still in place? It will be hard to get super clean edges with this, I'm not sure if it would be under trim.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:30 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:25 pm
Maybe an oscillating tool would let you trim the edges while its still in place? It will be hard to get super clean edges with this, I'm not sure if it would be under trim.
Yes my plan is to add shoe molding over these areas like it should have been from the start, so clean edges aren't needed. Can you set the depth on an oscillating tool or buy a certain blade diameter? My concern is that the subloor is concrete so I don't want to hit that, I don't know what would happen.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

AlphaPilot
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:29 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by AlphaPilot » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm

You don't set the depth, and you do not want to cut straight down (perpendicular) or the blade will choke on the laminate and wood material. Cut at a 30 to 45 degree angle. Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet. You can do it with less blades but it'll get so hot and take forever. Once you wreck the corner bit of the blade on the concrete, you should be able to keep going with the tool, just won't cut with the corner tooth portion. Also, use high speed if you get a variable speed tool. I have the 12V Bosch one, having one that is cordless is a definite DIY must have tool. Corded is fine too, just not as handy. And price per blade matters on quality up to a given point. I wouldn't spend more than $10 on any wood cutting blade.

Edit: It will then take a few weeks for your floor to "stretch" with temp and humidity levels.

FlyAF
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by FlyAF » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm

Can you just pull up the area that needs trimming, trim, and re-install? No need to pull up the entire first floor is there? I have to think it would actually be the fastest and right way of doing it.

I can't imagine trying to trim it back using oscillating or dremel like tool. That would frustrate me too much and the cut would be sloppy.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm

AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
You don't set the depth, and you do not want to cut straight down (perpendicular) or the blade will choke on the laminate and wood material. Cut at a 30 to 45 degree angle. Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet. You can do it with less blades but it'll get so hot and take forever. Once you wreck the corner bit of the blade on the concrete, you should be able to keep going with the tool, just won't cut with the corner tooth portion. Also, use high speed if you get a variable speed tool. I have the 12V Bosch one, having one that is cordless is a definite DIY must have tool. Corded is fine too, just not as handy. And price per blade matters on quality up to a given point. I wouldn't spend more than $10 on any wood cutting blade.

Edit: It will then take a few weeks for your floor to "stretch" with temp and humidity levels.
Thank you! Do you think this will solve the problem?
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:48 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm
Can you just pull up the area that needs trimming, trim, and re-install? No need to pull up the entire first floor is there? I have to think it would actually be the fastest and right way of doing it.

I can't imagine trying to trim it back using oscillating or dremel like tool. That would frustrate me too much and the cut would be sloppy.
The way that the floor runs and since it's click lock I'd have to pull up the mudroom, kitchen and dining room - they're all connected in one straight shot without any T-moldings. To get to a row of planks you have to take out everything before it. My dad is the one who got some of the pieces underneath the door casings, I worry about removing those and not being able to get them back in, or damaging them trying to get them in or out.
Last edited by BW1985 on Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

AlphaPilot
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:29 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by AlphaPilot » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:51 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
You don't set the depth, and you do not want to cut straight down (perpendicular) or the blade will choke on the laminate and wood material. Cut at a 30 to 45 degree angle. Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet. You can do it with less blades but it'll get so hot and take forever. Once you wreck the corner bit of the blade on the concrete, you should be able to keep going with the tool, just won't cut with the corner tooth portion. Also, use high speed if you get a variable speed tool. I have the 12V Bosch one, having one that is cordless is a definite DIY must have tool. Corded is fine too, just not as handy. And price per blade matters on quality up to a given point. I wouldn't spend more than $10 on any wood cutting blade.

Edit: It will then take a few weeks for your floor to "stretch" with temp and humidity levels.
Thank you! Do you think this will solve the problem?
Hard to tell. Could be a few different problems but if you made it tight against the walls, it will have problems. Get down on your knees and look at the floor parallel to it...do you see any buckles? That'd be your answer.

FlyAF
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by FlyAF » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:52 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:48 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm
Can you just pull up the area that needs trimming, trim, and re-install? No need to pull up the entire first floor is there? I have to think it would actually be the fastest and right way of doing it.

I can't imagine trying to trim it back using oscillating or dremel like tool. That would frustrate me too much and the cut would be sloppy.
The way that the floor runs and since it's click lock I'd have to pull up the mudroom, kitchen and dining room - they're all connected in one straight shot without any T-moldings. To get to a row of planks you have to take out everything before it.
Gotcha. Your only option is probably an oscillating tool then. Do you have any leftover that you could butt up against something in the garage to test it out first? I'd definitely get familiar with using one first before just trying to send it.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:02 pm

AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:51 pm
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
You don't set the depth, and you do not want to cut straight down (perpendicular) or the blade will choke on the laminate and wood material. Cut at a 30 to 45 degree angle. Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet. You can do it with less blades but it'll get so hot and take forever. Once you wreck the corner bit of the blade on the concrete, you should be able to keep going with the tool, just won't cut with the corner tooth portion. Also, use high speed if you get a variable speed tool. I have the 12V Bosch one, having one that is cordless is a definite DIY must have tool. Corded is fine too, just not as handy. And price per blade matters on quality up to a given point. I wouldn't spend more than $10 on any wood cutting blade.

Edit: It will then take a few weeks for your floor to "stretch" with temp and humidity levels.
Thank you! Do you think this will solve the problem?
Hard to tell. Could be a few different problems but if you made it tight against the walls, it will have problems. Get down on your knees and look at the floor parallel to it...do you see any buckles? That'd be your answer.
I've been looking at them a lot lately and no buckling. Do you think it's possible that in the ultra low humidity Minnesota winter (I don't have a home humidifier) the floor contracts and the popping noise goes away?
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

Runner01
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:14 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by Runner01 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:10 pm

It only bothers you because you are the one that installed it. When I did my downstairs I accidentally created a stair step pattern for a couple planks (boards lengths were staggered but the two plank pattern on the boards ended up stair stepped) in my kitchen and while it still bothers me whenever I see it my wife says she loves the floor and I need to get over it.

But as others said, an oscillating tool is your best bet. When I installed mine I didn’t remove the groove against the wall on the starter row because I didn’t have a table saw but when I set the gap I forgot to take that into account. I used the oscillating tool after the fact to trim the groove off before I put the quarter round over it.

AlphaPilot
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:29 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by AlphaPilot » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:12 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:02 pm
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:51 pm
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:45 pm
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
You don't set the depth, and you do not want to cut straight down (perpendicular) or the blade will choke on the laminate and wood material. Cut at a 30 to 45 degree angle. Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet. You can do it with less blades but it'll get so hot and take forever. Once you wreck the corner bit of the blade on the concrete, you should be able to keep going with the tool, just won't cut with the corner tooth portion. Also, use high speed if you get a variable speed tool. I have the 12V Bosch one, having one that is cordless is a definite DIY must have tool. Corded is fine too, just not as handy. And price per blade matters on quality up to a given point. I wouldn't spend more than $10 on any wood cutting blade.

Edit: It will then take a few weeks for your floor to "stretch" with temp and humidity levels.
Thank you! Do you think this will solve the problem?
Hard to tell. Could be a few different problems but if you made it tight against the walls, it will have problems. Get down on your knees and look at the floor parallel to it...do you see any buckles? That'd be your answer.
I've been looking at them a lot lately and no buckling. Do you think it's possible that in the ultra low humidity Minnesota winter (I don't have a home humidifier) the floor contracts and the popping noise goes away?
If there are no buckles, and no point of the floor is elevated, then your issue may not be an issue at all and just a personal thing. You can check on some other forums. stackexchange has a DIY board. You could get some better advice there perhaps if others don't chime in. I don't know what the popping noise if it's not the pieces of laminate moving down/in/out.

User avatar
rustymutt
Posts: 3731
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by rustymutt » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:08 pm

Having laid down these floors myself, I'm guessing that you've got a bineup or area without the proper spacing for expansion, as that stuff can expansion considerably depending on humidity. I recall opening the boxes 48 hours before, to let them conform to the environment. Check around the edges for spaces. Should be 1/4 inch space between walls and flooring.
Has it gotten wet of late?
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:39 pm

rustymutt wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:08 pm
Having laid down these floors myself, I'm guessing that you've got a bineup or area without the proper spacing for expansion, as that stuff can expansion considerably depending on humidity. I recall opening the boxes 48 hours before, to let them conform to the environment. Check around the edges for spaces. Should be 1/4 inch space between walls and flooring.
Has it gotten wet of late?
I let them acclimate atleast a week in the house before installing. No hasn't gotten wet at all. I don't have the 1/4" space in some places like around the cabinets and in front of the door/doorwall were fit tighter than that. In the summer they are snug, in the winter there is a gap, might not be quite 1/4" though.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

alex11
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by alex11 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:50 pm

Just a heads up...... If you go the oscillating tool route, the laminate will eat those blades up rather quickly.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:57 am

AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet.
I thought for laminate you want fine tooth blades? That's what I used on my miter saw when installing.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

User avatar
NavyIC3
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by NavyIC3 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:09 pm

Check out a rotary saw.

iamlucky13
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:57 pm

The fit will definitely change with the weather, and you should trim the spots where there is no gap. I'm not sure what to suggest for trimming along any toe-kick spaces.
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet.
I have found the vibration, at least with a a decent model, to be a lot less than I expected before I owned one. I have a mid-level Rockwell. If vibration is a concern, Bosch and Makita are two brands I've had good experience with for smooth-running tools, although I haven't tried their oscillating multi-tools.

If you go this route, I would actually suggest getting the expensive Bosch bi-metal blades. There was a Fine Homebuilding test a few years back where the Bosch utterly destroyed most of the competition for both cutting speed and longevity, easily justifying their higher cost. Click to enlarge the image at the bottom of this page to see the test results:
https://bethepro.com/oscillating-blade-torture-test-2/

Don't worry too much about hitting the concrete. It will wear the blade faster, so you want to minimize it, but not much else.

I've heard laminate can also be cut by scoring the top layer with a utility knife so the visible portion will separate cleanly, then using a chisel to progressively wedge apart the high density fiberboard underneath. If you have some scrap pieces, give it a try. Utility knife blades are cheap.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3490
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:42 pm

This is a pretty easy fix with a oscillating multi tool. However, I think some of the advice you got above isn't the best.

Nicking the corners of the blades on concrete: Buy round blades like the one linked below. There are no corners to nick. to prevent it from hitting the concrete, simply create some shims so that when the head of your oscillating tool is sitting on the shim which is resting on the floor, it doesn't or barely contacts the concrete surface. You will get the perfect depth cut every time and your blade will last a lot longer. Also, with the blade linked below, you can continue to index it periodically so that you can move the worn out teeth out of the way.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-3-Pack- ... s/50219115

Also, I'm not sure why it was advised to cut at an angle. It is just an exercise in frustration. Again, put a quarter inch shim up against the wall, place the above linked blade flat against it with the head of your oscillating tool seated firmly on the predetermined shim above and you will get perfectly straight cuts that are exactly 1/4" from the wall. Doing it at an angle is going to be hard on your arms/wrists and hard to maintain the proper depth.

If you are handy, it would be a simply matter to create a jig that holds your oscillating tool 1/4" from the wall and at the proper depth so that all you have to do is slide the jig slowly along the wall to make your cut. Taking ten minutes to do that would save you a lot of time and frustration from trying to keep shims and oscillating tool in proper orientations.

I mention all this because this is the cheaper route to go for a one time fix. However, an even easier way is to buy something like a Dremel Ultra Saw which is essentially a miniature circular saw that with an offset blade, will allow you to make a cut flush to any wall. You still need one shim to space the cut 1/4" away and it has limited applications afterwards but it is even easier to use and the blades for it are much more industrial and will cut through a lot of laminate flooring much easier.

mxs
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by mxs » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:21 pm

If you have a tool rental place it may be worth renting a specialized tool for this, unless you really want or already have the tool or a similar one permanently. I rented a drum sander that saved me so much time it was more than worth the cost.

iamlucky13
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:06 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:42 pm
Also, I'm not sure why it was advised to cut at an angle. It is just an exercise in frustration. Again, put a quarter inch shim up against the wall, place the above linked blade flat against it with the head of your oscillating tool seated firmly on the predetermined shim above and you will get perfectly straight cuts that are exactly 1/4" from the wall. Doing it at an angle is going to be hard on your arms/wrists and hard to maintain the proper depth.

If you are handy, it would be a simply matter to create a jig that holds your oscillating tool 1/4" from the wall and at the proper depth so that all you have to do is slide the jig slowly along the wall to make your cut. Taking ten minutes to do that would save you a lot of time and frustration from trying to keep shims and oscillating tool in proper orientations.

I mention all this because this is the cheaper route to go for a one time fix. However, an even easier way is to buy something like a Dremel Ultra Saw which is essentially a miniature circular saw that with an offset blade, will allow you to make a cut flush to any wall. You still need one shim to space the cut 1/4" away and it has limited applications afterwards but it is even easier to use and the blades for it are much more industrial and will cut through a lot of laminate flooring much easier.
In my experience, laminate cuts more easily at an angle. But you're right, it's a tedious way to cut if you're trying to be precise with an oscillating tool.

The jig idea is a very good one.

I'm not sure about the Ultra Saw. I don't find circular saws work particularly well trying to cut at a shallow angle. I would expect it to cut quite slowly and dull the blade quickly, and because you would be cutting face up, there's a chance it could leave chips in the top layer large enough to be visible past the shoe molding. If anybody has tried one for cutting laminate, I'm eager to hear their experience.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:57 pm
The fit will definitely change with the weather, and you should trim the spots where there is no gap. I'm not sure what to suggest for trimming along any toe-kick spaces.
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet.
I have found the vibration, at least with a a decent model, to be a lot less than I expected before I owned one. I have a mid-level Rockwell. If vibration is a concern, Bosch and Makita are two brands I've had good experience with for smooth-running tools, although I haven't tried their oscillating multi-tools.

If you go this route, I would actually suggest getting the expensive Bosch bi-metal blades. There was a Fine Homebuilding test a few years back where the Bosch utterly destroyed most of the competition for both cutting speed and longevity, easily justifying their higher cost. Click to enlarge the image at the bottom of this page to see the test results:
https://bethepro.com/oscillating-blade-torture-test-2/

Don't worry too much about hitting the concrete. It will wear the blade faster, so you want to minimize it, but not much else.

I've heard laminate can also be cut by scoring the top layer with a utility knife so the visible portion will separate cleanly, then using a chisel to progressively wedge apart the high density fiberboard underneath. If you have some scrap pieces, give it a try. Utility knife blades are cheap.
Thank you for all the input. First I'm going to try the utility knife/chisel with a scrap piece.

I also have a fireplace tile hearth that the floor runs up to. If it cut around it and leave the proper space I don't know how to trim around that to cover the gap. I can't nail it in or use wood glue. Any ideas?

Image
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3490
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:31 am

BW1985 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 am
I also have a fireplace tile hearth that the floor runs up to. If it cut around it and leave the proper space I don't know how to trim around that to cover the gap. I can't nail it in or use wood glue. Any ideas?
Well the proper way is to do it is to undercut the hearthstone with an angle grinder and a masonry blade on it. I typically lay my flooring up next to it and draw a line with a pencil. I then cut on the line about a half inch deep which will then allow me to slide the flooring in a quarter of an inch deep and allow another quarter of an inch for expansion. This also hides any gaps or imperfections.

Related to the comment above, whenever cutting hardwood flooring with the finished side up, I always put a good masking tape down the middle of your cut line before cutting. The masking tape helps prevents chips and splinters from marring the side of the cut that may still be seen.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:43 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:31 am
BW1985 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 am
I also have a fireplace tile hearth that the floor runs up to. If it cut around it and leave the proper space I don't know how to trim around that to cover the gap. I can't nail it in or use wood glue. Any ideas?
Well the proper way is to do it is to undercut the hearthstone with an angle grinder and a masonry blade on it. I typically lay my flooring up next to it and draw a line with a pencil. I then cut on the line about a half inch deep which will then allow me to slide the flooring in a quarter of an inch deep and allow another quarter of an inch for expansion. This also hides any gaps or imperfections.

Related to the comment above, whenever cutting hardwood flooring with the finished side up, I always put a good masking tape down the middle of your cut line before cutting. The masking tape helps prevents chips and splinters from marring the side of the cut that may still be seen.
Ah i see now, I didn't even know you could cut into tile like that. I'm just going to leave that alone since the problem area with the popping/flexing is around the kitchen anyways. Thanks

Putting down laminate in a room is one thing but around things like fireplace hearths and banister posts it's much more complex than I thought. I should've shaved some off the banister post too allowing the floor to slide underneath it.

If I ever do this again I'm using those new luxury vinyl planks so I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

GrowthSeeker
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by GrowthSeeker » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am

Workaround idea: dehumidifier.
Other idea: if any junctions between boards are buckling up slightly, that could be your clue as to where it is the tightest; ie which wall(s) are providing more sideways pressure against the floor covering.

Tapping with your fingernail and listening for the pitch of the sound might give a clue where the compressive forces are greatest, but unlikely to be able to tell.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:59 pm

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Workaround idea: dehumidifier.
Other idea: if any junctions between boards are buckling up slightly, that could be your clue as to where it is the tightest; ie which wall(s) are providing more sideways pressure against the floor covering.

Tapping with your fingernail and listening for the pitch of the sound might give a clue where the compressive forces are greatest, but unlikely to be able to tell.
I've found the problem areas, on some I can see slight buckling at the ends of the boards and on others there is no buckling but they are flexing at the short end joints and making the popping noise. When I follow these rows to the wall they end underneath the doors/doorwall where I didn't leave sufficient gap.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

User avatar
rustymutt
Posts: 3731
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by rustymutt » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:04 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:57 pm
The fit will definitely change with the weather, and you should trim the spots where there is no gap. I'm not sure what to suggest for trimming along any toe-kick spaces.
AlphaPilot wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 pm
Your wrist is going to shake like crazy even with a high end oscillating tool. However, it will save time versus pulling up the floor. Order a 10 pack of the medium to large tooth blades on amazon for ~2.50 a blade. You will go through a blade every 4 or 5 feet.
I have found the vibration, at least with a a decent model, to be a lot less than I expected before I owned one. I have a mid-level Rockwell. If vibration is a concern, Bosch and Makita are two brands I've had good experience with for smooth-running tools, although I haven't tried their oscillating multi-tools.

If you go this route, I would actually suggest getting the expensive Bosch bi-metal blades. There was a Fine Homebuilding test a few years back where the Bosch utterly destroyed most of the competition for both cutting speed and longevity, easily justifying their higher cost. Click to enlarge the image at the bottom of this page to see the test results:
https://bethepro.com/oscillating-blade-torture-test-2/

Don't worry too much about hitting the concrete. It will wear the blade faster, so you want to minimize it, but not much else.

I've heard laminate can also be cut by scoring the top layer with a utility knife so the visible portion will separate cleanly, then using a chisel to progressively wedge apart the high density fiberboard underneath. If you have some scrap pieces, give it a try. Utility knife blades are cheap.
Why I've done many doors with just a fine finish saw. Never any issues, and tight fits. I pre mark cut lines with pencil.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:41 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:31 am
BW1985 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 am
I also have a fireplace tile hearth that the floor runs up to. If it cut around it and leave the proper space I don't know how to trim around that to cover the gap. I can't nail it in or use wood glue. Any ideas?
Well the proper way is to do it is to undercut the hearthstone with an angle grinder and a masonry blade on it. I typically lay my flooring up next to it and draw a line with a pencil. I then cut on the line about a half inch deep which will then allow me to slide the flooring in a quarter of an inch deep and allow another quarter of an inch for expansion. This also hides any gaps or imperfections.

Related to the comment above, whenever cutting hardwood flooring with the finished side up, I always put a good masking tape down the middle of your cut line before cutting. The masking tape helps prevents chips and splinters from marring the side of the cut that may still be seen.
First floor I installed in the winter and left virtually no gap hence the problem in the summer. But upstairs I installed in the summer so I"m wondering if no gap will be an issue here since it'll contract down in the winter then expand back in the summer. Know what I mean? I'm in Minnesota so not a really humid area.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

jaxbmw
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:45 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by jaxbmw » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:43 pm

If you are sure the issue is the lack of a gap fine.

We had 9/16" engineered wood installed in two rooms last month to match the majority of the house. I spent time talking with the installer and learned a couple of things. He purposely left a gap all around and made miniature wedges to hold the boards to the cement under pressure. I installed the shoe molding when everything was done. Based on his recommendation, I also went with the most expensive mastic which is a combination sealer and glue that forms a water tight membrane.

I mentioned to him that we had one room that had a thinner wood laminate installed about 15 years ago that made a popping sound when walking on a couple of spots. He said that more than likely it is due to the cheaper and older mastic used. He said some of the cheaper brands lack some critical and expensive binders.

Don't know if this is a part of your problem.

DIYer

pingpong25
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:20 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by pingpong25 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:46 pm

@BW1985 : May I ask if you ever got the problem resolved by trimming the edges off? We have the same issue with our laminate and it's driving me nuts!. Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you!

tev9876
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:12 am

Re: Laminate Floor making 'popping' noise

Post by tev9876 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:17 pm

A toe kick saw may be the solution.

https://m.harborfreight.com/3-38-in-68- ... 20provided

Note they like to kick back and can be dangerous due to minimal guards. They will let you cut right up to the wall but you may need to build some kind of jig to avoid going too deep. Check your local rental places to avoid buying a tool you will only use once.

Post Reply