Interiors Exteriors / Teragren — Horrible product / worhtless guarantee
I have to let people know about our experience with Teragren flooring and Interiors Exteriors of Colorado Springs. If you are even thinking about putting down hardwood or bamboo over radiant floors in a dry climate, DO NOT DOT IT. We researched flooring for close to 5 months to put down over a radiant system (low temp pex system on the underside of the sub-floor) and got a ton of information - much of it conflicting. In the end, we bought through a local company believing that would give us more recourse should something go wrong. We also went with a pricier product as the Teragren stranded bamboo was guaranteed over radiant floors and looked great.
After a few weeks, the floor began to cup (edges warped up). We thought it might "stabilize" as the local store told us, but it just got worse. When we told Interiors and Exteriors that their Teragren floor was getting bad with extreme cupping and checking (splits in the flooring) they assured us they would stand behind it and told us everything we wanted to hear. After multiple visits and multiple months of run-around and having people form the "distributor" probe and investigate, they "turned down our claim due to the radiant heat being too high". Straight-forward, right?
Here's the problem… FIRST - there was cupping before the radiant system was ever turned on as the floor went down in July and the heat did not come on until late September. We noticed the cupping within the first 4 weeks. SECOND - there is checking in flooring pieces that do not have radiant lines connected to the sub floor - the temperature in these rooms is well within specs. THIRD - there is cupping and checking on the extra pieces of flooring we have that were NEVER INSTALLED. Yes, that's right. They never sat on the radiant floor. But the "warranty" was denied because the radiant system was too high.
Even when the distributors and whomever else they brought into this mess spoke about temperature, they didn't know their own specs. They told us the surface of the floor shouildn't be above 80 degrees. The warranty stated 85. Now, I don't know if you've ever tried to heat a home in Colorado with a radiant heat system that functions by heating surfaces, not air, but heating a house with 80 degree of less surface temps when it is 20 below outside is impossible. That's it. Regardless, I tried to keep our floors around the 85 degree level. The temperature taken by the crack team of investigators/sales people had a high reading of 89 degrees which was taken from an area under a rug - which their literature states will br 3 to 4 degrees higher than the rest of the floor.
So what caused the flooring to turn to crud? Humidity. The one item never mentioned when we purchased. The one item that is a bit obvious (living in Colorado, buying for a house in Colorado, and Colorado has LOW HUMIDITY) to retailers, but was never addressed. Homes with radiant heat more often than not do not have central humidity systems as there are no ducts in these homes. The humidity level in the fine print requires 40-60% relative humidity - something that is almost impossible in arid regions without spending 10 grand or more. HAD WE KNOWN THIS, we never would have gone the Teragren bamboo/hardwood route - PERIOD. Buying lacally does not help.
So, after all the time and trouble, the expense of a guaranteed product form a local store that "stands behind their products", after using the special Teragren underlayment that costs 4 TIMES what regular underlayment costs but you have to use it to get the guarantee, after spending $7, 000 plus dollars on materials alone, we have a horrible floor. Our sickening loss should be your lesson.