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Mohawk ArmorMax Engineered Wood Floor

builtinvestor
8 years ago

Would anyone happen to know how Mohawk's ArmorMax finish with Scotchgard compares to other companies' finishes within the realm of engineered hardwood products? There is not much posted online about the product, aside from what is found on Mohawk's website and a couple of trade magazines that I found, which provided general information. In fact, there are only two other posts on GardenWeb that show up when you search for "ArmorMax," and my local flooring store hadn�t even heard of it (and they�re a "Mohawk Color Center").

Due to some recent water damage at my condo, I have to replace all of the flooring with another engineered hardwood product, which will be installed directly on concrete because I have a ground-level unit. My primary concern with choosing a product is durability. I will probably be selling the home in a year or two, and I really don�t want to have to have any repair or replacement work done to the wood flooring if I can help it. I was looking on Mohawk�s website (purely because I had previously purchased Mohawk Smartstrand carpeting), and the ArmorMax products really stood out to me. They apparently offer a 50 year warranty on this product, and they say it is five times more resistant to wear than leading competitors.

So is this just marketing BS? Is ArmorMax no better than your everyday Aluminum Oxide factory finish? Or is it really that good in spite of its seemingly reasonable price? Is there a product that has a better and more durable finish? All of these manufacturer�s seem to say that their product is many times more resistant to wear than everyone else�s product. But the thing that caught my eye is that this product was awarded the Best of Show Indoor Feature at the 2013 International Builder�s Show in Las Vegas. Between that fact and the 50 year warranty, I�m inclined to give this product a try?

What do you think???

Comments (32)

  • gregmills_gw
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ive never used the product. But im willing to give ya my two cents on warranty and finish claims in general from someone in the biz.

    25, 30 , 50 yr claims sound great, gets people to buy the product. But you need and i cant stress this enough. You must read the fine print. Every warranty is different but they are all designed to protect the manufacture. Its very hard and most of the time youre claim needs to fit in very tightly defined situation. So things like cleaning with a wrong product or dog scratches or other silly little things are not covered. Many people get burned by buying into these warrantys thinking they'll get a new floor in 10 yrs. its not the case otherwise these big manufactured would be out of business.

    Another thing to keep in mind is if the warranty transfers to the new owner. Some might not.

    Key point i want to make is the warrantys do work but reading exactly what is covered is more important that the age of the warranty.

    Next you asked about finish durability. You will find people have differing opinions. If i have dogs that will be living on the floor than i must accept the fact that it will get scratched. Theres no finish created that will prevent it. If they did everyone would use it. Also small kids get rough with toys and whatnot. Kids will more than likely scuff up the finish.

    Im just guessing here but mohawks finish claim is talking about wear damage not scratch damage. Meaning their finish will hold up to wear n tear in heavy traffic areas. But this is where reading the warranty comes into play again. They may say warranty doesnt cover certain areas without protection. Ie floor mat by front door.

    not trying to scare you away from any product. As i have no personal agenda against Mohawk or any wood flooring company. I simply want to stress the fine print in Any product is more important than the marketing techinques used to sell products.

  • SarasotaDude
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My wife and I just had a Mohawk Armormax floor installed for $15,000 and we are woefully disappointed.

    The floor is the most important part of the house, and every guest's opinion has been that our floor looks dull and unfinished like raw wood, and is unpleasant to the feet. It develops a hazy film after every cleaning. I would so much like to get a representative directly from the Mohawk corporation look at my floor and explain to me why they would manufacture something so awful that sends shivers up your spine when you walk on it with socks.

    It is not possible to look at two planks in a showroom and determine how a floor will look, feel, sound, or perform after installation. But one would hope the salespeople might know or make recommendations. I knew something was wrong with the floor as soon as it was finished. It was really dull looking and still is.

    I had beautiful engineered wood floors at a condo I sold early in 2014. When you walked on the floor with socks, it was silent -- unlike the scratchy sound we have now with the Mohawk product. The lesson I have learned here is, "stick with what you know."

    I am probably going to rip this Mohawk floor out within five years if nothing can be negotiated. I was hoping for something I'd want to keep for 17 or more years, like at my condo. I hate the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it sounds… and it is really, really, really hard to clean. We hate walking on it barefoot or with socks because it sends shivers -- like walking on paper that's been glued to the floor.

    We have decided not to do any more business with Mohawk's largest distributor here in the Manasota area. The other half of our house is ready for flooring, but we don't want to do business with them because we don't feel like they knew the product enough to warn us about it.

    Every time we walk on this floor or look at it, we just want to rip it out. It makes us sick that we spent so much money on junk. I feel like we are the guinea pigs for an experimental new finish called ArmorMax, and it's a failed experiment. Before we purchased, we looked all over the internet for reviews of this product, and couldn't find anything except Mohawk's own promotional video. Now we now why -- it's something new and unproven.

    After emailing Mohawk, they just told me to get in touch with my installer. The installer told me to get in touch with them.

    Mohawk should send one of their own to our home, and they should explain to us why they would manufacture a floor that feels rough like paper, looks dull, makes a tapping sound like laminate, makes a scratchy sound when you walk on it with socks, is impossible to keep clean, and has big ugly gaps on the short ends of the planks. That's not what we signed up for.

    But no, they won't send anyone to our home. They let the distributor deal with that for them. An "independent inspector" was sent to our home, and there were omissions and inaccuracies in his report. We feel like he was an insurance adjuster -- looking out for the corporations and looking for ways to get out of paying claims.

    Since installation, we are still having issues with a hazy film showing all the footprints and smudges. We should have moved on to the next project by now, but are still consumed by this floor issue. My previous experiences with wood floors was that the job was done by Day Two, and then I moved on with my life -- no repeated or unsuccessful cleanings.

    The floor was cleaned 4 times by the installers within a month. The haze, smudges and footprints just kept coming back. I suspected that the paint thinner they used on the floor to clean off glue was the culprit -- but nobody can verify this or identify an alternative cause. The company who did the installation tells us nothing is wrong with the floor -- which of course they are going to say because they have too much to lose otherwise. I feel like the distributor is afraid to stand up to Mohawk.

    We bought this floor with the ArmorMax finish because we thought it would be low-maintenance. This floor has the highest maintenance of any floor I have ever owned. If it's not cleaned every day, it looks horrible. It's embarrassing and cheap looking.

    At this time we are requesting a Mohawk representative to look at this floor. The finish on this floor is not working as intended.

    At this point we are disappointed with the $15,000+ price tag for what we now believe is an inferior product.

    This post was edited by SarasotaDude on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 9:17

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  • j45470b
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    SarasotaDude - "I suspect that the paint thinner they used on the floor to clean off glue was the culprit." And yet you post a scathing review of the Mohawk product. Have you lot your mind?

  • SarasotaDude
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    j45470b - Neither the installer nor "independent" inspector have acknowledged that the floor was damaged by paint thinner. The fact that Mohawk has not sent one of their own to assess and review the ArmorMax product installation is enough reason to post a scathing report. They are a large corporation. They can afford to send someone.
    Most of the reviews that appear in Google search are from industry insiders and trade publications. This tends to bury reviews from real people like ourselves.
    Thus far, neither the installer nor Mohawk have offered to remedy the situation. I don't like throwing away $15,000, so I reassert my scathing review of the product until Mohawk sends one of their own.

  • builtinvestor
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    To add my own two cents, I ended up purchasing the Mohawk Rockford Maple engineered hardwood to replace the flooring at my condo. I got the 5 inch boards in Bourbon color. To install over a roughly 900 SQFT area, it cost me approximately $7,500 total. Roughly $3,000 of that was for my installer (which actually included a small amount of carpet installation for two large closets). The materials (engineered hardwood and glue) cost around $4,500, and I purchased them separately. I ordered 35 cartons and 5 buckets of Mohawk’s glue from QualityFlooring4Less.com. Aside from some confusion in the shipping instructions, the order worked out fine, and I ended up with the engineered product for $3.79/SQFT.

    After installation, everyone remarked at how great the product looks. The installation was only done 2 1/2 months ago, and this is a rental property, so I don't see the floor every day. However, it seems to be holding up well so far, and I'm unaware of any hazy film. There was a ton of dust floating around for a week or two after the installation, but I think that has subsided. I am guessing that if your flooring's finish is now hazy, that it has to do with the installation and not the product itself. That film might be a very thin layer of glue residue if the installer was sloppy in applying the glue. One simple question to ask is whether or not the product had a hazy finish BEFORE it was installed. Were you able to see it beforehand? Or did you purchase from a company who also installed it for you?

  • DIYguy_FL
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi SarasotaDude,

    I'm Jordan, and I'm from Mohawk. I'm really sorry to hear about your flooring issues. Thank you for contacting Mohawk and letting them know about the problems you're seeing. I've forwarded your posts to our Consumer Affairs team, and they are going to follow up on your claim. Again, I apologize for your flooring experience.

    Jordan
    Mohawk Flooring

  • DIYguy_FL
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi SarasotaDude,

    I forwarded your posts to our Consumer Affairs team, and they need your contact information in order to locate your claim. Do you mind providing me with the email address that you used to register your claim with Mohawk Flooring? Again, I’m sorry about your flooring experience.

    Jordan
    Mohawk Flooring

  • amyhlr
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We had a mohawk hardwood maple floor installed in late May of this year into our newly renovated kitchen. The finish on some of the slats is bubbling and cracking. Our contractor had the floor covered by cardboard during the course of the renovation, so we really couldn't imspect the entire thing until he finished in June. The contractor spoke with the flooring store, and they are providing another box of material so that he can replace the slats that are cracking. Although we initially noticed 6 slats that were problematic, every day I see more. I don't know if we are better off replacing the damaged slats or having the entire floor refinished, which would void the finish warranty. Does anyone have an opinion?

  • DIYguy_FL
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Amyhlr,

    I’m from Mohawk, and I’m really sorry to hear about the issues you’re describing. Have you spoken to Mohawk’s Consumer Affairs division about this? If you would fill out this form, (link below) detailing the product information and the issue, our Consumer Affairs team will contact you shortly. Again, I’m so sorry to hear about your flooring experience.

    www.MohawkFlooring.com/consumer-affairs/

    Jordan
    Mohawk Flooring

  • amyhlr
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks Jordan. Last week I went to the store where we purchased the flooring and they completed a claim form on my behalf. They said I should hear from the customer service dept within the next three weeks. They will schedule an investigator to come look at the floor.

  • DIYguy_FL
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you for sending this update, amyhlr. Again, I apologize for the issues you're experiencing and appreciate your willingness to discuss the situation with me.

    Jordan
    Mohawk Flooring

  • amyhlr
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    An inspector from Mohawk came to look at my floor on 9/19. He wouldn't give me any feedback, he said that he was impartial and was simply there to observe and report back to the company what he saw. He said I should be hearing from the company in a few weeks (I think he said 2-4). I have not heard from the company. I contacted the flooring store, they said they would followup with Mohawk, that was a couple of weeks ago. I just completed a form on the Mohawk site myself, which was what Jordan recommended back in August. Let's see if anyone contacts me. I'm so disappointed in this floor and this company. I will never purchase a Mohawk product again.

  • amyhlr
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gee, thanks for your kind words. I will check with my contractor to find out if he tested the subfloor for moisture. My previous floor in this location was a laminate floor, and I didn't have any problems with it. He didn't use glue, the floor was nailed down. I have vacuumed the floor, and I buff it with a dry cloth. No water. I would think that if there was a moisture problem with the subfloor, I would have had a problem with the laminate floor as well. The laminate floor was fine. Any productive ideas? Maybe some feedback from the independent inspector sent by Mohawk?

  • GreenDesigns
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Consider hiring your own independent inspector if you have any doubt about the manufacturer's rep's inspection report. That way, you own the report, and it's an industry standard objective inspection. Of course, there is always the (big) chance that it's not the wood that is the problem. It rarely is. It's usually the site conditions or install that are the culprit. A cell phone pic with the date and reading on it are all that it takes to substantiate that the testing was done, yet few guys around here do that. It does bite them occasionally, but not enough to make them do it as a regular practice. Mostly because they've made it a practice to use polyurethane adhesives.

    Here is a link that might be useful: NWFA Certified Wood Flooring Inspectors

  • amyhlr
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you Greendesigns. I imagine I will end up going that route. The inspector who came in September gave me his business card and at the time I checked out his website. He certainly seemed to be experienced, but wouldn't tell me his conclusions. He kept insisting that his job is not to make a judgement about what he observes, but simply to report what he observes. He also refused to give me any information about what he saw. So, I have no idea what was in that report. I'll try the store again. In the mean time, we'll see if consumer affairs from Mohawk responds to my inquiry.

  • DIYguy_FL
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Amyhlr, Jordan here!

    Our consumer affairs team will definitely respond to you with the report, and I'm so sorry it's taken longer to hear back. I saw your email come through this morning, and I've alerted the team that you're waiting for the report, so we'll be reaching out to you soon with that info and next steps. Please accept my apologies for your wait, Amyhlr. We will be in touch!

    Jordan
    Mohawk Flooring

  • amyhlr
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Jordan,
    I received an email from the consumer affairs team this afternoon. They said that they sent the report to the store where the flooring was purchased. They sent another email shortly thereafter and said that they checked with the flooring store, which stated that they forwarded the information to my contractor because I purchased the flooring through him. I'm checking with my contractor now to see if he has heard anything. I'll let you know what happens.

  • DIYguy_FL
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Amyhlr, I'm so sorry for my confusion--as you've noted, the Consumer Affairs team sends the report to the retailer who then shares it with you (in your case, via your contractor). I'm sorry I skipped a step - and thank you for providing this update!

  • amyhlr
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I received the report last week. As I expected, the report says that the "checking" is present, but doesn't explain the cause. He did not find any moisture present in the wood. He alludes to the fact that the product was not acclimated properly, which is nonsense. I have researched online, and found articles from the National Wood Flooring Association. I still don't know if the store will cover the cost of replacing the slats which are afffected by checking. From what I have read, checking happens during the drying process, it has nothing to do with site issues post-installation. Looks like I'll be disputing the report and will have to pay for my own report.

  • dch454
    6 years ago

    Need some advice, please. Had 19 cartons of Mohawk American Retreat 3" flooring in Butternut Oak delivered to our home yesterday (12-23-15). After all 19 cartons were moved into our home so it could "acclimate", we began almost immediately noticing a very distinctive smell. We opened only 1 carton just to take a look at the flooring. Question I have: what is the proper way to acclimate the product, i.e., do we open each and every carton to let it "breathe", or can we simply leave all closed and let all sit for "x" number of days? Lastly, just how many days do we let it acclimate before install (which we're doing ourselves) ? Thanks to all who respond !

  • dfresh1988
    6 years ago

    DCH454 - Did you read the directions? The answers to your questions are very clear.


    I am a DIY person, just like you, and I cannot stress enough how imperative it is to read every single word in the directions. You are reading posts above yours about terrible experiences because peoples' installers likely didn't follow the directions the manufacturer supplies with the material.


    I just bought and installed Mohawk engineered wood flooring and have had no issues simply because I followed the directions.


    The answers to your questions are: yes, you must open each and every package. If you don't, you will have one of two problems: any moisture within the wood that needs to escape has nowhere to go, or if the wood is dry relative to your home, it cannot absorb moisture because it's enclosed in plastic. Acclimation is a minimum of 72 hours BUT it is not complete until the moisture levels of the wood and the subfloor are within a specific range of each other - check the instructions for details; I can't remember off the top of my head.


    Again, I cannot stress the importance of reading the directions. Don't skimp on any materials - underlayment, vapor barrier, staples, glue, etc. Everything MUST be used if you want to stand any chance of winning a warranty claim down the line and if you want your floor to look the way it's supposed to.

  • dch454
    6 years ago

    Why thank you, dfresh1988, for attempting to make me and my husband feel
    like complete idiots. That's the great thing about social media; one
    can use so many different "tones" to convey a thought. No, we have not
    YET read the entire instructions simply because we're not yet NEARLY
    ready to install the new flooring. Many other things (one example, a
    stair rail project), need to be completed (and as of this writing, not
    yet even started due to trim carpenter's schedule....) before new
    flooring install even begins. We have, however, taken your advice, that
    is, un-stacked and opened each of the 19 boxes of new flooring.
    Hopefully, the materials will acclimate just fine, given at least the
    2-week time frame they'll be in our home climate. Again, thank you, but
    might suggest, if you wish to be helpful, lighten your tone. And please,
    don't bother responding back hatefully or in any other way, as I'll
    have clicked on "switch off notifications about new comments" as soon as I post
    this one.

  • dfresh1988
    6 years ago

    Lol okay.


    Just trying to be helpful - the last thing I want is for you to waste time and money and energy and to be unhappy with your floors. Try reading my post again without assuming it was written in a rude tone and you'll see it doesn't have to come across that way unless you want to put that tone into it.


    Enjoy your floors.

  • amyhlr
    6 years ago

    I honestly don't remember if my contractor opened every single box. He did install all of the other required elements. dch454, if you're still reading, I can only suggest that you inspect each and every piece of wood carefully, I wish I had done that. No one else notices the damage in my floor, so I've left it alone. The contractor told me what he would have to do to replace the damaged slats, and I didn't want screw holes covered by putty in the middle of the floor. It wouldn't take long for that putty to get dirty, and that would be really noticeable. So I'm living with it, but I'm not happy. I will never again purchase a Mohawk product. I still maintain that this problem was not an installation issue. The research that I have done indicated that checking happens during the drying process, it is NOT an installation issue. I wish Mohawk would pay to have the entire floor re-finished, but that clearly won't happen. I won't buy pre-finished wood again, and I will never buy a Mohawk product again.

  • Patrick Fessenden
    4 years ago

    Don't ever buy Mohawk. They don't stand behind the warranty. I bought 1000 sq ft of hardwood engineered flooring armor max finish and random boards pealed after 2 years. They sent an inspector and said it's normal wear. Don't trust this company to warranty anything, this was an obvious case of manufacturer defect, but they didn't act on it.

  • Jordan
    4 years ago

    Patrick, I'm Jordan and I work for Mohawk - I'm sorry to hear about your experience with you floors. You can hire an inspector to assess your flooring and have them send Mohawk their report - that will reopen the claim for you. Did you get info about your option to hire an inspector? If you contact consumer@mohawkind.com and ask about it, they can send you the info. I'm very sorry again to hear about your experience. Take care-- Jordan

  • Paul Salgado
    4 years ago
    Has anyone had *major* scratching of their Mohawk floors? We had hand-scraped engineered hardwoods installed 6 months ago and our floors look like they’re 10 years old (even medium/low traffic areas have scratches). These floors scratch with just about anything.. even our barstools and kitchen chairs WITH the felt protectors have left HUGE marks. We have had to completely change the way we live because of these horrible horrible floors.. I don’t let *anything* touch this floor (not even a trash bag or a backpack) because it will leave marks. I can’t even roll my carry-on two feet without scratching! Also dropping anything semi-heavy (like a bottle of sunscreen or video game remote) does this: (see first pic). We covered about 2000 square feet of our home in this floor and 6 months later I’m already thinking of replacing it. ANY chance this falls under the “finish” warranty? I’ve never been so disappointed with a product in my life. Friends and family are amazed at how easily these floors scratch too... we’ve never seen any flooring this horrible. These floors are driving us absolutely crazy.
  • Jordan
    4 years ago

    Hi Paul, I'm Jordan and I work for Mohawk - I'm really sorry to read about your experience with your floors! If you haven't had a chance, please talk to your retailer about your experience - your retailer will work with Mohawk on your behalf if needed. If your retailer isn't responsive, you can send us info below, but in almost all cases, your retailer is the right contact: http://www2.mohawkflooring.com/consumer-affairs/default.aspx
    I'm extremely sorry again for your experience, Paul.

  • Maria Sheptock
    4 years ago

    These comments are for Mohawk Armormax only. I 100% agree with the comments from SarasotaDude:

    We bought this floor with the ArmorMax finish because we thought it would be low-maintenance. This floor has the highest maintenance of any floor I have ever owned. If it's not cleaned every day, it looks horrible. It's embarrassing and cheap looking.

    Any little thing on the floor shows. The floors have to be cleaned every day to keep them looking clean. When we have guests and the floors receive more foot traffic, it's a total disaster. It looks like everyone spilled their drinks! And you can see footprints everywhere. Embarassing!

    This product in no way meets up with the marketing provided by the company. I would never purchase this product again. I am very sorry I purchased these floors and they were not cheap!


  • sjc4479
    4 years ago

    We have Mohawk engineered wood floors as well and we are so incredibly disappointed by the quality of their product. They scratch, bubble, peel, chip, dent and show a film/haze in certain lighting. it’s awful!!!!! I’m so sorry to read other people have experienced the same.

  • Jordan
    4 years ago

    Hi Maria and SJC, my name's Jordan - I work for Mohawk. I'm really sorry to read about both of your experiences. I would really encourage you to talk to your retailer, if you haven't had a chance yet - your retailer will work with Mohawk on your behalf if needed. If your retailer doesn't respond to you, please send Mohawk some info below and mention specifically that your retailer is not responding to your request for assistance - but in almost all cases, your retailer will be able to help you: http://www2.mohawkflooring.com/consumer-affairs/default.aspx
    I'm extremely sorry again for your experiences!!

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