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sierra400

Newly Installed Rigid Vinyl Plank Flooring Makes Crackle Sound?

sierra400
4 years ago

We just finished installing Flooret Modin Rigid LVP in two bed rooms and noticed the floor has a crackle sound, sort of like rice krispies?, when walked on in spots. We plan to put this floor throughout the entire house so I am started to get concerned now we are doing something wrong or the flooring is defective. I have reached out to Flooret to see if they know what it could be.


Does anyone know what may cause this type of sound? My husband has been installing the floor himself. We are installing it directly onto plywood subfloor. He has prepped the subfloor some by sanding the joists and filling in any low spots. Possibly he needs to spend more time prepping the subfloor? I have noticed during his install, that the 1/4" gap around the permiter is not always perfectly 1/4" as the floor shifts some during install. Could this be causing the issue if the flooring is not given the propoer 1/4". It was my understanding that the Rigid Vinyl Planks aren't supposed to really expand/contract much. The flooring has an attached foam underlayement. Heavy walking over the area doesn’t seem to resolve the sound. I notice that if I am walking around a lot in the room the sound lessens, but then becomes more audible if no one has been in the room for a while. I also noticed when it got really warm in our house the other day before we turned AC on the crackle sound was minimal. Strange!

Comments (95)

  • Kyle peterson
    3 years ago

    Thanks @sierra400 and @aziline - I wish I could say I enjoy the "gift opening" sounds everywhere I walk. However, I think I will actually learn to resent wrapping paper sounds after this. :) With that being said it is very encouraging for me that you experienced the same things and it improved with time. It refreshing to get a response like that instead of all the "Doom and gloom - everything is terrible, your subfloor isnt perfect so you need to redo everything......." responses. Again, I'm still waiting to get the inspection and will let you know what I find out.

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    @ Kyle A quick look at the expansion gaps left at the walls (behind the baseboards/molding) will help you get an idea of installation technique. On average, a floating floor (laminate, hardwood, vinyl, cork, marmoleum, etc) requires the same gap at the wall as the thickness of the plank.


    Example: if the plank is 8mm thick (common with CoreTec for example) you will need to see 8mm (or more) of expansion gap around the ENTIRE edge of the floor. So a quick search behind the moulding (see if there is anything 'crinkly' underneath the floor like underpad or vapour barrier) will help you figure out how 'good' the installer was when it came to the BASICS of installation.

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  • Kyle peterson
    3 years ago

    I don't have a vapor barrier and the flooring has an attached unperpad. It does seem that there is an expansion gap by most vertical surfaces (although some smaller than others). The noise definitely seems to with the joints and it's everywhere. Like I and others have said it seems that once you walk on it the noise goes away until it sits for an extended period of time again

  • HU-479954949
    3 years ago

    We have the same issue with a new install on Vinyl plank from Lawson. It is definitely more noticeable at different times of day. I also know I have plenty of expansion gap around the perimeter and the floor is level (but even if not there is no chance it would be that wavy all over the house to cause it to pop everywhere we walk). Super frustrating and I am hoping it settles out over the next several months (it’s about two months old now). I have even looked at trying to use graphite powder to maybe try to quiet down the joints.

  • Tim
    3 years ago

    Really curious if the last couple people are still having this issue? I just installed Flooret Signature a few days ago and I have this crackling sound all over the whole thing. It's really driving us crazy and I'm scared to even put it in the other room that we bought for. I feel like if it were just some dips in the subfloor it would be more isolated and not happening all over the entire floor. I'm incredibly discouraged right now and can't decide if it's worth eating the cost and tearing this out and shipping my unopened boxes back.

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    If you read up higher in the postings, the solution = TIME. Yes. The noise issue reduces OVER TIME. After about 6 months (some as quickly as 6 weeks) the crackling reduces to 'only in the mornings'. That's because vinyl is FAR MORE dynamic than ANYONE tells you. It expands and contracts much much more than the industry lets on (sorry about that!).


    Right now you have spent the money and the floor is in. So you might as well 'sit tight' and wait it out. I would see how you feel around about Christmas time. And to be clear, the FASTER you install the vinyl in the other room(s), the faster the noise in THOSE ROOMS will go away.


    The choice is yours. The money is out the window. Time cures all heartaches. And right now time is FREE. You might as well sit tight and wait. It is the CHEAPEST, EASIEST thing to do.


    As far as I can tell, the underpad (that spongy stuff on the bottom) has quite a bit to do with it. Not all but most of the noise comes from that stuff. Sigh. Which is why I've been telling anyone who will listen that vinyl does NOT like underpad (even when it is attached to the plank).


    I'm sorry you are going through this. The best thing to do is sit tight and HOLD ON to those boxes. A vinyl floor product has 18 months on the market and then it is gone FOREVER. If you ever change you mind you will NEVER find the same colour/batch again.


    And if you do end up removing the product you can still make some money because SOMEONE will want MORE only to discover they cannot get it anymore...oh dear.

  • zachr5
    3 years ago

    How are the planks doing now after some time?

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @kylepeterson did you have any success with figuring out the sound for the Flooret flooring? I wanted to update that this winter we have not noticed the crackle sound. Maybe slightly in like two spots over the whole house though. It has significantly lessened over the last year.

  • Kyle peterson
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hello - I apologise for not updating the group. I honestly just need to stop talking about this for a while hahah. Anyway, Flooret sent out an inspector who cited a couple areas that deviated from the required flatness as well as an area that was glued down (which was the end cap installed and glued PER FLOORETS instructions). I will post the report in this thread soon (I promise). Anyway, it was very obvious that the intent was simply to find a warranty voiding issue rather than offer any insight. Flooret, did send me five boxes to help with repairs (aka tearing it all out and doing it again). I accepted the five boxes to have in case I have any planks fail and for the points that @SJ Mccarthy pointed out above. In terms of the noise level, it is still present, but much much less and, as others have said, more present in the morning or when it hasn't been walked on for quite some time. Overall, I'm not very impressed with the floors and would not install them again, but I also paid far less than installing harwood floors or something like that. Again, I apologize for not updating sooner and will add that inspection report here. Also, please continue to aks questions as you have them. I know how stressful this situation can be and definitely want to help how I can.

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @kylepeterson thank you for the update! No worries at all. That stinks it sounds like the inspection wasn’t very helpful. Yes we have kept several extra boxes too in case we need to repair in the future. Glad to hear the sound is lessening over time, if it’s like ours it will be very minimal within a year.

    I agree that the floors are fine for the price, I actually love the floor since it’s so easy to clean and are durable and we were able to do our entire house without transitions (bathrooms, laundry etc). We originally wanted to do walnut hardwood floors but so $$$ we are happy with Flooret overall for our purposes!

  • zachr5
    3 years ago

    Did you ever have any issues with joints failing anywhere?

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @zachr5 no i haven’t and we are rough on the floors like we don’t baby them at all. I have noticed some scratches from our cats racing down the halls and Tokyo drifting while digging their claws in 🤦‍♀️ but other than that they have been holding up great

  • zachr5
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    How long did it take your floor to “settle”?@sierra400

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @zachr5 we installed the floor room by room kinda slowly, so I don’t have an extract time frame but it’s been about a year for most rooms and like I said I barely notice anymore except in a couple spots. I would say the sound lessened significantly within a few months and then now after about a year it’s fully settled

  • HU-479954949
    3 years ago

    We are still having the crackling sound throughout the house unfortunately. Ours is a Lawson brand flooring and it was installed around July-August of 2020. The mornings are worse it seems but still present throughout the day. Its frustrating for sure, I dont know the solution and hope time will help it.

  • zachr5
    3 years ago

    What kind of sunfloor?

  • zachr5
    3 years ago

    Subfloor

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @zachr5 our subfloor is plywood

  • S
    3 years ago

    I bought Coretec Plus luxury vinyl tile and installed it before Christmas and I too am experiencing the crackling noise. I bought extra flooring for other rooms and am currently holding off on installing the floor in those rooms. We really like the looks but the crackling noise is driving me crazy. if I knew for sure the noise would be gone in 6 months then I could maybe live with it. Before I get countertops I think I might pull up my cabinets and cut the flooring to give it some clearance. After reading some comments on here, I am not sure that will even help. The crackling noise doesn’t happen in the center of the flooring which is 12 x 24. If I step on the edge, then almost everywhere I can get the noise.

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    @ S - So you have a floating Coretec Plus floor that runs underneath the cabinets, is that correct? And you are also experiencing the crinkling sound at the edges of all the tiles, yes?


    OK. Some questions. Who installed the flooring? How much subfloor prep was involved? What is the subfloor material? How flat was the subfloor before the Coretec was put down? Did you use any form of underlayment? Or Underpad?


    Are you aware you can cut the floor out from underneath the cabinets instead of removing the cabs and then removing the floor and then reinstalling the floor? Once the floor has been cut away from the cabinets, you can add some quarter round or shoe molding to cover the gap.


    How much space did you leave at the edges of the room? Is it the same as the thickness as the floor (ie. 8mm or 10mm)?

  • S
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Yes. It is a floating floor that runs underneath the cabinets and almost all the tiles have the crackling sound. I installed the flooring. i prepped the floor before I began and felt it was in good shape. The entire area has 3/4 inch sub floor plus 1/2 inch plywood that is screwed down every four inches. I have included a couple pictures below that show the plywood screwed down.

    I had to tear up the subfloor in two areas to install plumbing so the new subfloor and plywood was 1/16 higher. I felt like this was minimal and within spec so I did not do anything else to prep the floor.

    There is no underlayment or pad. The Coretec product does have cork on the back of it.

    How can the floor be removed underneath the cabinets without removing the cabinets?

    I left 1/4 to 3/8 all around the edge.

    i am trying to decide if this is better left alone as some have stated their noise has gone away. it drives me nuts listening to the crackling noise.



  • millworkman
    3 years ago

    WIth a 10' or 12' straight edge, how flat is the floor? Not level, flat. Needs to be within 1/8" in 10' or it is not flat enough.

  • S
    3 years ago

    Thanks for your comments. My new plywood that I put down was 1/16 higher than the area that already had the plywood. Other than those adjoining areas, it is flat. The spec sheet shows 3/16 within 10’ or 1/8 within 6’. I feel like I am within the guidelines.

  • cat_ky
    3 years ago

    You would be leaving the floor underneath the cabinets. What you would be doing is cutting out a gap from the cabinets out to the recommended gap for your flooring. You would then put a corner round moulding around the bottom of the cabinets, nailing into the cabinets and not the floor, to cover the gap you cut out.

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    There is a floor cutting saw that has an angled blade and a 'foot' that maintains the depth for you. You angle the blade to under cut the cabs. Just doing that will loosen up the floor.

    But your biggest mistake was choosing to leave the 1/16" lip on that subfloor. If a pro had left that, you would scream bloody murder! You needed to send it down. There is no other way to say it.

    Right now your install has 2 major mistakes. They need to be fixed or you will have more issues in the summer...when the floor tries to expand and it catches in 2 spots. The biggest being under the cabs and the other where you left the lip. Either one is enough to rip your floor apart.

  • S
    3 years ago

    Appreciate the feedback from both. I can’t live with the noise so I will be taking up a few rows and will sand those areas down smooth. I like the idea of just undercutting the cabinets and possibly not having to remove the cabinets Thank you!

  • S
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    So I have cut back the flooring from under my cabinets and I pulled up a 8x15 section of the floor. I have patched the area that had the 1/16 difference in flooring and two weeks later, I still have the crackling noise. I have done absolutely everything I could do to resolve the issues. A little frustrated I have spent all this time and no difference. i have since then looked closely at the flooring and the locking portion of the flooring and was able to duplicate a crackling noise similar to what it is when I walk on the seem of the flooring that is installed. I will attach a video to show two pieces in my hand that stay locked together but make sounds I have been describing. Obviously an issue with the floor and not the installation.


  • lizhanretty
    3 years ago

    I just installed Coretec in our basement on top of concrete. Concrete seams prepped by professional floor installation. I’m not sure if our noise is similar as your video above-to some degree. Or if it is more crispy contact of the cork interacting with the concrete. Either way we have put about 1,200 sq feet in. The thought of the sound persisting is making me anxious. And sad. I was assured the floor was adequately prepped but cannot confirm as I didn’t inspect. Also, I’m not sure how you correct any discrepancies over concrete (beyond what was done with seams) without doing subfloor which I would want to avoid if god forbid the basement gets wet (not in our plans). Keep me updated. I have not reached out to Coretec or the distributor from which I purchased.

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    The concrete must be flattened to within the Coretec requirements. Prepping the seams is most likely (99% sure about this) NOT ENOUGH. Sorry but your prep (which you asked for and paid for) is not enough. I always guestimate $2-$5/sf for concrete slab prep. Your seam prep would be much closer to $1/sf...am I right?


    Anyway, I can comment on the cork. Cork does not make that noise...at all. Ever. You would have to swing at it with a baseball bat to get to to 'smack'. As a cork flooring expert, this is well within my wheel house to answer.


    And PLEASE tell me you used a vapour barrier (6mil poly sheeting + red duct tape = $0.15/sf)? If you/installer did not, the whole thing needs to come up again anyways.

  • S
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    lizhanretty

    i have sent an entire box of my flooring into Shaw and they replied by saying there is no problem. They have sent out an inspector and no issues were found. I have asked multiple times for an explanation of the sounds if there is no problem but have not received a reply. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and Shaw has asked me to send in the pieces of flooring that I had in this video. I can get noise from any of the pieces but have sent them my two pieces for further review. They replied to my complaint and said they would open my claim back up. My noise is like a wrapper being crinkled up. It drives me nuts and is unacceptable for the amount of money I spent on this floor. I have two other types of vinyl in my basement that were a lot cheaper that do not make any noise. If I knew for sure that the noise would go away over a short amount of time, I would live with it. However, when the company says there is no problem, I know that is not the case.

  • mtgirlann
    3 years ago

    For those of you who used Flooret, please share if it was Signature or Base and what color you have that is making the crackling sound. Thinking of installing a whole house with Flooret signature Soho and Elmstead and having second thoughts. I’m super noise sensitive. Thanks.

  • Tim
    3 years ago

    We had Arbor signature. I'm the same...noises drive me crazy. I don't think I'd take the risk if I were you to be honest. We returned what we hadn't installed and replaced what we already had because the noise drove me insane.

  • Kyle peterson
    3 years ago

    SOHO Signature for us. It would be tough for me to recommended Flooret.

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Ours is signature arbor

  • SJ McCarthy
    3 years ago

    @mtgirlann - The noise has two sources:

    1. The FOAM on the bottom of these planks causes MOVEMENT of the plank (just a snick...hardly able to notice the deflection)

    2. The MOVEMENT causes the EDGES to GRIND against each other = squeaky noise.


    A super-awesomely prepared subfloor (read: MONEY lots of money thrown at that subfloor...like $3 - $5/sf worth of money!!!!) may or may NOT stop this deflection.


    Remember: if there is the POSSIBILITY for the floor to 'squish' (foam underlay) or move under foot (poorly prepared subfloor with DIPS in it) you have a STRONG CHANCE your vinyl planks will "squeak and creak".


    If you are super noise sensitive then you really have two choices: carpet OR Cork flooring. That's about it.

  • User
    3 years ago

    Hi, we have had floating Cortex LVT for a year and a half now. The crackling never went a way. We have the original sheet vinyl underneath. Cortex said our house was level and fine for the plank to sit on top. we have always used the special cleaners from the store felt pads under the chair and table legs. (We really shouldn’t have to baby LVT like this) It is under warranty and so the installer came back and reinstalled it again. The noises actually got worse. Cortex sent out two inspectors and they pointed to the installation.


    Humidity plays a huge part in the amount of noise it makes. We noticed during the dry month of January it was less crackly and so we took our humidifier and ran it for a bit in the room and the crackling got really bad. That would explain why all spring and summer it was really loud. It is predominately bad on our first level in the kitchen.


    Ultimately the flooring company has agreed to replace our flooring throughout the entire house. We love this floor it is beautiful, warm, and it is fantastic for my knee’s and back. Sad to see it go, but better the floor than my sanity!

  • Carol Kulaga
    2 years ago

    I had a new house built and used biscayne oak Coretec in the kitchen and Smartcore by Lowe’s in the basement. I have the crackle sound with the Coretec upstairs and the smartcore in basement installed by Lowe’s - no sound at all. I wasn’t sure if it was the installer, the builder or the product. I love the dark color and look of biscayne oak Coretec , so I’m living with it. Wish there was an easy fix….

  • NIk Rog
    2 years ago

    @Andrea Gómez

    did your floor settle (crackling issue) over time?

  • Kelly Myczka
    last year

    Hello

  • Kelly Myczka
    last year

    So, we just installed 1200 square feet on a plywood subfloor of Coretec pro plus in canterberry elm. We LOVE the look but the cracking is pretty bad. My husband is a perfectionist and spent the better part of 50% of the install sanding spots and driving in screws that might have been drilled in crooked originally, ever so slightly. Way beyond the manufacturers recommendations for “level subfloor.” He was more diligent than any floor installer would have been. The crackling is worse with no rugs laid down, but once we lay down rugs with proper mats under them for LVT and as the day progresses the crackling gets better. In the morning the crackling is the worst. We are pausing on the entire house at this point despite having 3,000 square feet ordered until we can figure out why this product is crackling. If anyone figures it out, please update here. Thank you!

  • PRO
    G & S Floor Service
    last year

    Are you using anything under tge flooring - plastic or padding?

  • aziline
    last year

    @Kelly Myczka We've been in our home 5 years now and haven't had any for years now. At the end it'd only make the sound in the morning the first few times I walked over it.

  • MENG LI
    last year

    My husband and I hired contractors to install Palka Signature from Flooret. Just like other people who had Flooret product, the noise happen to us too. Today is the first day of our project and contractor had installed the floor in 3 rooms. Now I don't know if I should continue with the project tomorrow. We spent more than 10k on the floor and more than 10k to hire the contractors. It doesn't seem like a good decision to stop the project halfway and return the floors or continue despite the noise. @Tim@Kyle peterson@sierra400 How's noise going for you now?

  • Tanya S
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Would not recommend the floor... it looks great though. I got Flooret Signature Lato and the noise is still driving us nuts 6 months later. Seems like we will have to eventually rip it out and buy something else and thats many $$$$$ down the drain.

  • Kyle peterson
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I hear or notice the noise way less now, but still hear it from time to time when walking over an area for the first time. We have a couple of seams that have a small gap forming. As others have pointed out and i have come to learn, the problems that we have with the floors are caused by the unevern (not flat) subfloor. So, from that perspective, i cant blame flooret. However, most people that are buying these vinyl floors are doing so for the advertised ”value” and installing them in extisting homes. When you consider the time and expense to make old subfloors PERFECTLY flat, they are no longer a good value. That is my biggest complaint at this point; they drastically under communicate the amount of time and money required to achieve the desired outcome. To those of you who installed these Flooret floors, im sorry and hang in there. The noise and /or your attention to it will improve greatly over time.

  • millworkman
    last year

    "When you consider the time and expense to make old subfloors PERFECTLY flat, they are no longer a good value"


    Pretty much everything other than carpet and sheet vinyl require a flat subfloor.


    "The noise and /or your attention to it will improve greatly over time."


    Not unless the floor is flat, the click locks will break and the noise will get worse.

  • Kyle peterson
    last year

    hahah - thank you for that insight and contribution millworkman. What we do without you?

  • johnnybads33d
    3 months ago

    @S what was the outcome of this?

  • mtokar123
    last month

    Melissa Crockett Clement

    What flooring did you finally install?

  • mtokar123
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    After testing 5 lots of Coretec Hayes Oak, FloorMeisters in Naples tells me that all of the lots squeak!! We are at a loss as to what to do as we already have this floor in the adjacent bedrooms in our open concept home. I was told that there is no other brand that looks like Hayes Oak. ( I can't imagine that Floor Meisters is continuing to install this floor in other homes knowing that it will squeak.) They do not have a solution for me so my only alternative is to rip out the vinly flooring , the ceramic floor under it, and install a different ceramic tile that looks like wood flooring. It's big and expensive job that we did't want to undertake to begin with. Beware of buying Coretec flooring and installing over ceramic tile.