There has become a new phenomenon in the Hardwood Floor industry which involves the manufacturers of adhesives. It started with Bostik’s creating an all-in-one adhesive several years ago that allowed the installer to spread one time and achieve a moisture barrier for slab moisture along with the adhesive to adhere the floor. The marketing was along this line. One can travel to a small day job outside the county and install a floor in one day. At that time it would take at least two days to install a floor over concrete as a moisture barrier required a day to dry. One would come back the next day and install the floor with adhesive. It never caught on because the product was so expensive. As other manufacturers began chasing Bostik’s to get market share with this new product the price came down and it started to become the norm to use this product. It became less expensive by as much as one dollar in the overall job cost. With competitive forces at play many dealers of hardwood floors have completely switched recently to the all-in-one method. Manufacturers of adhesives have been heavily marketing it as well. The problem for the consumer is in the warranty. Manufacturers of these adhesives require a 100% monolithic coating under each plank in order to achieve that warranty. As an installer with 37 years of experience I can tell you that is impossible. Even properly prepared slabs have slight dips whereby a plank that is placed over that dip will not get a 100% coat of all-in-one adhesive. You won’t notice it in the feel of the floor when you walk on it but these small pockets are in your floor. Currently there are flooring contractors dealing with floors they have installed that have failed due to excessive moisture. The adhesive manufacturers are blaming the failures on the lack of a 100% monolithic coat. The problem comes in when you as the consumer expect the floor to be replaced by the flooring contractor. The cost on a full house of flooring replacement including removal of baseboard and the damaged floor, hotel cost to put your family up during the replacement, furniture movers, new flooring, baseboard install and painting can cost tens of thousands of dollars. History has proven that a large percentage of flooring contractors walk away from these losses leaving the consumer to pay for the replacement. There is no insurance the flooring contractor can buy that will pay for this event. The consumer can collect the $ 12,500 bond if the contractor is licensed but that will be it. Although I have used the all-in-one adhesives in the past on a handful of jobs I have made the decision to stop. I did not have any failed floors with this adhesive but I am very concerned about the warranty. It is part of my job to get my client all the warranties they deserve. All my floors in the future will now be installed over concrete with a separate moisture barrier and a separate adhesive. That method offers a bullet proof warranty.
Greg Warren Hardwood Floors is located in Cedar City, UT.