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Shaw Laminate Flooring / Nonsense

1 United States Review updated:

Within a few months, it started to bubble in certain spots as though it was exposed to water. While there had been spots where water came in contact with the floor; drops, water from the dogs' water bowl, those are not the affected areas. We wipe up anything we see on the floor.
Up until April there was only one dog in the house but there had been the beginnings of bubbling in two areas. Since then there are two more dogs, both Shih Tzus, very small animals. One, the male, will occasionally pee on a chair leg, table leg or the trash can. We clean them up as soon as we see them. It's never much since the dog is so small and it never sits more than an hour. But the areas where he has peed are not the areas that are being affected. Even the flooring by the sliding glass door leading outside to the deck, where the dogs drag in snow, hasn't bubbled. There is nothing by the sink, dishwasher or refrigerator. The spots are mostly in the center of the room. Initially Shaw claimed the damage was consistent with a leak in our dishwasher, sink or ice dispenser. Neither the dishwasher nor the ice dispenser were even installed till the problem had already been reported to Chester County Flooring. Shaw came out and tested for humidity and claimed that that levels were 16% and too high therefore they rejected our claim. They also claimed that the basement was damp however the laminate was laid over an existing linoleum floor which never allowed moisture up through he floor before. Even Chester County Flooring acknowleges that's an impenetrable vapor barrier. We went back to Chester County Flooring and they came out and rechecked the humidity levels and said that it varied between 8% and 16%. The bubbles are occurring in the area where the level is 8%. After their check they talked with Shaw again, Chester County Flooring said they tested their floor which is identical to our floor by pouring water on it and letting it sit for two days. We didn't see this for ourselves but they say it didn't bubble at all and then asked Shaw if dog urine could affect the floor, ignoring the fact that the problem was there before there were three dogs in the house. Plus, it is all based on Shaw saying that yes urine could damage the floor. Of course they are going to say that. I know a woman who has cats and they pee on the floor and it does nothing to the floor and she has a lower grade floor than we do. Regardless, that doesn't account for the damage all over the room.

As a result, we were offered a box of flooring to replace the parts of the floor that buckled but we have to do the work ourselves! It seems to me that either they are fully respionsible or they aren't responsible at all. If they are willing to give us new material there must be some tacit admission that the material was faulty. We don't have a urine problem. The problem existed before we got the dog and the pattern of damage does not match the couple of spots where he did urinate. The saleswoman at Chester County Flooring told my wife that something had to make the floor do that. Of course but they are saying that we have to prove we didn't do anything to void the warrenty. This is nonsense! The floor cost over $2500 and I'm supposed to install it?

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  • Js
      26th of May, 2009
    +2 Votes

    We have the same problem. They shouldn't sell this crap. It isn't "pools of water" that cause it a problem, it's ANY water... normal dampness that is tracked in from dew, even. If we had been advised of just how water-sensitive this product actually is, we would have went with something else.

    Even vinyl would have been a MUCH better choice.

  • Fl
      13th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Moisture emissions need to be directed up the wall with a moisture barrier. Installed vinyl can not do this and therefore is not a suitable moisture barrier when used alone. Urine and water are not the same. In fact, swelling of the floor does not always cause any problems in the area that became wet. The swelling will generally affect in line with areas where the expansion space is no longer available. My guess is this- remove the moldings along the edge of the floor in line with the areas that are buckling and you will find that there was not adequate expansion space being maintained and therefore the flooring is pushing against the wall with no where else to go but up.

  • Ke
      21st of Sep, 2009
    +2 Votes

    We had general lifting all throughout the flooring on the edges of the board. Cleaned with vacum and occasionally laminate cleaner using a pad that was just barely damp with laminate cleaner to remove dirt and other harder to remove items. They have an extremely evasive warranty process that you need to deal with the store. However, the store doesn't seem to know what to do. When I reached an annoyed woman at Shaw, she said my warranty claim was rejected and a letter was sent to the store over a month ago. Having trouble getting documentation of the reasons for the rejection. They are very evasive. Looks like I need to get professional help to go after them.

  • Cr
      6th of Nov, 2009
    +3 Votes

    I'm having trouble with the laminate separating. The first floor they installed the whole top finish pealed off in the first 2 days. Now that floor has been down for 2 years and the boards are seperating. I'm currently in contact with the flooring company to resolve this.

  • Ra
      4th of Mar, 2010
    +3 Votes

    we have the same problem with shaw perpetual laminate blistering at the seams .with no liquid used on it and plenty of expansion space at the walls over 1/4 "at all walls. the floor under the laminate was sealed and does have a vapor barriator also..I think we need a class action lawsuit against them if they dont want to stand behind there warranty!!!

  • Js
      8th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Shaw came out and went through the motions of checking for defective laminate. The laminate is not defective. It works as designed. IT'S THE DESIGN THAT IS DEFECTIVE!!! One could make the argument that the Ford Pinto was acting "within design specifications" when it exploded upon rear impact. "There's nothing wrong with YOUR PINTO, they all do this, " is not a good defense. This Shaw laminate is an awful choice for flooring, in my opinion. I spent $12, 000 having it installed, and now, less than two years later, the high traffic area (living room) looks like hell and needs to be replaced.

  • Dr
      28th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Everything about this floor is pure [censor]!! I'm gonna put Piano Man buy Billy Joel and cry myself to sleep maybe even get drunk and have sex with hookers and hope i contract the HIV. Goodbye cruel world

  • Ju
      17th of Jun, 2010
    +3 Votes

    I'm a most unhappy owner of a $15, 000 Shaw Laminate floor. After a little over a year, the edges of the boards are blistered and bubbled and the finish is starting to chip off. It looks to me as if it is a manufacturing defect where the laminate was improperly applied to the board. Not all the boards are affected, but a significant number of boards in specific areas are bad, as if the boards came from the same pack and unfortunately there were a lot of bad packs. To me, it was fairly obvious but not to the dealer.
    The Company rep from the dealer theorized that it was because water had been on the floor, but was at a loss to explain why the areas affected weren't near a water source and were in multiple rooms, and why the areas affected were clustered near each other. He accused me of washing the floor! I admitted that I had removed dirt from the floor. (Apparently this is a floor that is too delicate to withstand cleaning?) He theorized that I had washed it incorrectly or used the wrong stuff to clean it. He couldn't give me the name of the product and the warranty book didn't name any specific brand, but he was sure that whatever I used was bad for the floor. I'm not the most fastidious housekeeper. I vac weekly and spot clean any spots with a sponge. The floor has only been "mopped" once since I've owned it and I was careful about getting the water up to prevent water spots. I asked the rep to explain to me how the cleaning solution damaged the floor only in certain locations and not others, since it wasn't my custom to vary the cleaning solution depending on which boards I was cleaning. He hemmed and hawed and switched his tactic when I pressed him for a direct answer. Then it was due to pets. Except that I do not own any pets and no animal has ever been in the house. We don’t have small children anymore or I’m sure that would have been next.
    The dealer’s rep needs to have to have someone else look at the floor. He maintained that this is a high quality floor even though it didn't last 2 years. It must be my fault. Hopefully the person they send out to look at the floor will be able to recognize a manufacturing defect when they see it. I know they don’t want to deal with this. It’s not the highlight of my life either, but the floor is obviously defective if the floor is truly too fragile to handle cleaning what lands on it within 18 months for whatever reason.

  • Ra
      17th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Great write up on this junk flooring Julie W. Thats why I think there should be a classaction against shaw!!!

  • Co
      12th of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Add Mannington floors to that list. We had our installed professionally less than 1 year ago. After 6 months there has been significant bubbling and the company has refused - in writing and twice - to provide replacements. They say it is due to water damage, but their floors are supposed to be under warranty for 25 years under "normal household conditions". We take great care of them and cannot figure out why this keeps happening, other than they just sold us a crap product and don't want the cost of replacements.

    Moral of this story...DON"T BUY MANNINGTON FLOORS!

  • Ju
      8th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    This floor is absolutely impossible to install. I am writing this as my installer is ripping it up. Shaw flooring sold my mother this flooring with out telling her bout the moisture problems. But this floor just will not lock! Everytime he tries to lock it in place another piece pops out of place. Its frustratin for me to watch him. Its been days to have it installed and im finally done. We are rippin out the floor and lookin for somethin else. I am not waitin to have the bubblin problems yall have.

  • Cm
      12th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    We have a house full of Shaw laminate. It is swelling where no water has been. This flooring is terrible! I wish we had never installed it. Do not buy this crap! It's hard to keep clean. It has no moisture resistance. We have been careful to mop with a barely damp mop head specially designed for wood and laminate. We have area rugs. We have door mats at every entrance. The flooring is still bubbling. Shaw doesn't care.

  • Sh
      21st of Aug, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Same problem here. I could understand if flooding damaged a floor, but a laminate floor needs to stand up to everyday situations, it shouldn't be delaminating because of an icube melted on the floor. Also having separation issues on the short edges. I bought this junk because of the 30 year warranty, yet people who installed cheaper brands are not having these issues.

  • An
      6th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have the same complaint with my Shaw laminate flooring. ..the edges in several different areas seperating from the core for no apparent reason. This was first noticed over two (2) years ago and I thought since it was just a small area at that time it was not an issue. However the delamination of the edges is now in both door entries, kitchen, living room, dining area, and hallway. I spoke with customer service at the store where it was purchased and they immediately contacted Shaw who sent out their own independent inspector paid for by Shaw, of course. His observations showed that his readings for temperature, humidity did not change much indicating older damage. How about two years? No buckling or tenting noted due to lack of expansion space. No odor or evidence of pet accidents noted. Evidence of dried moisture from maintenance, pet, or drips left on the planks (meaning dot sized water spots in the kitchen). His report conclusion ... swelling damage is locally caused TOPICAL moisture in seam joints, COULD NOT determine sources. None are manufacturing related concerns. Topical moisture in seam joints is excluded by warranty for most laminate products.

    From this report I get that if you own a Shaw product you should only dust it and never use anything with moisture in it to clean. Not even the laminate cleaner that I bought especially for that purpose.

    All this simply means that Shaw will NOT stand behind its warranty. They have their money and are enjoying it. I recommend that anyone who is interested in laminate flooring do NOT purchase a Shaw product. I know that since I am having to totally redo my floors SHAW IS NOT going to be considered. I guess they do not want repeat business.

  • Mb
      13th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    We installed Armstrong laminate in our condo several years back, and we enjoyed them immensely. Armstrong made a great product, and we assumed all laminate flooring would behave the same way. We were wrong. We built a new home 2 yrs ago and the builder installed Shaw laminate flooring. Now 2 yrs later, this flooring has no resistance whatsoever to even a drop of water falling on it. It is buckling in several places. It is hard to clean. The high traffic areas look awful. We removed our area rug for cleaning and the floor underneath is like new- totally different from the flooring everywhere else. We hate that this floor will have to be replaced before we can even hope to sell our home sometime in the future. I'm not exaggerating- it MUST be replaced. I am sickened by this cheap flooring and can guarantee you that we will never again use Shaw.

  • Th
      18th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    My parents have been attempting to install the Shaw flooring in their living room. It is a modest 13' by 12' room, and after 8 hours of struggling, crying, and much cursing, less than one quarter of the floor is laid. The planks simply refuse to lock in place. Numerous instructional videos have been watched; we are positive that we are going about installing this in the right way. If we try to lock one end of one board, the opposite end of a different board pops out of its lock. And in several spots where the boards DID lock, there are noticible gaps and ledges between planks. After examining about 30 different planks, I noticed that each and every one of them has a noticible warp to it. This probably explains why they don't lock together. But my parents have given up. They are just going to install the floor, regardless of how many gaps come out of it. Shaw upgraded this flooring to a 40 year warranty, but I find it impossible that they will even be in business in 40 years. Do go to Hell, Shaw.

  • Sc
      23rd of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I really wish I would have read these comments before we had Shaw flooring installed in our house. We too had buckling issues 3 weeks after we had it was installed. Because the flooring was paid for by our insurance (we had a housefire ) they sent out an inspector. The first inspector was hired by the installers. He said it was a consumer issue meaning it was something we did. I wiped it with a lightly damp towel and there was no reason it should have buckled. After a few months our insurance sent out another inspector who they hired. He tested it for two weeks cleaning it according to manufacturers instructions and guess what? It buckled.
    Our insurance has agreed to replace it and we will probably go with Costco. We installed the inexpensive laminate they sell on the floor, in my sons room 5 years ago and it still looks great!

  • Sc
      21st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I am another person who wishes I had checked for posts like this before I had the Shaw flooring installed. Ours was also an insurance claim - replaced the carpet and I noticed the buckling of the joints almost immediately. My husband told me to just let it breathe for a bit and it would settle. The other morning, I got up to find a puddle of water on our kitchen floor. Couldn't have been more than 1 cup of liquid. We cannot determine where it came from, we are assuming it was a kid who spilled and didn't clean it up, but really - not a lot of liquid. The floor is a MESS. I have three kids and three animals in this house. If this floor could not handle a little bit of liquid, I sure would have appreciated the sales guy telling me that from the get go, cos spills are bound to happen!! I called the flooring installers this morning who called an inspector to come out. The guy had a water measurer thing which beeped all over the place where the floor is buckling and warped and bubbled. He said we spilled 2L of liquid. I told him there was NO way. HE tried to find a leak on my dishwasher - no go. Tried to find a leak on my fridge, nothing. I told him that I have seen this in another spot where my dog lifted his leg - he is a [censored]zu yorkie - can't produce a whole lot of liquid, and he sort of shrugged. Told me that it wasn't the floor - it was designed to withstand moisture damage. Now here I am with a totally damaged floor - that I HATE. We can't afford to replace the whole thing. I have no idea what to do. Devastated by this and feel 100% ripped off.

  • Hg
      16th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    I could cry reading these. We just installed Shaw laminate about two months ago. Spent a lot of money on it and had it installed. We too are very unhappy with the quality and it is hard to keep clean. We have bubbling along a seem in our front room and are sick about it. W They left us some extra planks, but after reading these posts I hesitate trying to replace that area ourselves. We have two small dogs and have been persistent in making sure there were no accidents. Very frustrated.

  • Jo
      9th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    My husband and I just had shaws laminate flooring put in and three weeks later we have a total of seven pieces coming up! We also have had lots of bubbling and gaps forming. You'd think only being three weeks old that they would have no problem fixing it but two months later we are still fighting them to do something about it! Today we will file a small claims court against them.

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