sierra400

Newly Installed Rigid Vinyl Plank Flooring Makes Crackle Sound?

sierra400
last year

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 (80)

  • VickyandJohn Kuzma
    10 months ago

    There is a very very thin piece of rubber attached to the bottom of the vinyl planks. Might as well be nothing as it is about as thick as a piece of paper. Yes I plan on cutting around the island to leave an expansion gap and install quarter round around the base of the island. I installed 3/4” quarter round around the base of the cabinets to cover the expansion gap and will pick up more.

  • SJ McCarthy
    10 months ago

    I might have found the noise problem: "...very very thin piece of rubber attached to the bottom of the vinyl planks."


    It would be a 1.2mm layer of foam underpadding. It is the type of vinyl that does NOT allow underlayment - at all. The squeaking can come from the rubbing of the backing against the QuietWalk.


    I'm sorry to say but this has been royally mucked up. If I'm correct the noise may never disappear.


    If you had this installed by a professional you would have legal recourse. Right now you simply have to live with a squeaky floor that was improperly installed that is completely void of warranty.


    The locking mechanism was NOT properly engaged. The installation instructions clearly state you MUST use a ROLLER (white rubberized roller) several times over the short edges. Tapping the short edges isn't enough. It is unlocking and squeaking, etc because the installation was as close to wrong as you could get.


    At this point, I wouldn't even bother with cutting out the island. This floor is only going to last a few years. You'll get fed up with it much sooner than you think. And then you will rip it out and start again.

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  • Andrea Gómez
    9 months ago

    Hi sierra400

    has the sound get any better?


    we just installed floating vinyl last week and having same problem!


    thank you!

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    Hi @Andrea Gómez, it has gotten much better with time. When I notice the sounds now it is primarily in the morning after it has been cold. I think the warmer weather helps which makes me think it is something to do with the vinyl settling into the subfloor. From what I understand it is a subfloor issue. Our subfloor is plywood that is level over a large area BUT not in great shape since it is an older house. there are many knicks and small divets that my husband did not fill in them all just the large spots, when he installed the floor and we are assuming that is the reason for the sound. What was the condition of your subfloor?

  • Andrea Gómez
    9 months ago

    I really hope it gets better.
    ours is concrete and when we check the condition it was good and leveled within acceptable and we cleaned so good, with a contractor vacuum and removed any kind of dust
    but now when we walk, it sonds like crackling or like there is debris underneath.

  • Kyle peterson
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    @sierra400, thank you for sharing. We just installed Flooret modin signature floors in our entire main level and are experiencing the crackling/crinkling sound. Ours is pretty noticable and it is really discouraging for me. How long would you say it took for the sounds to improve noticably? Do you have rugs down anywhere? I'm hoping/wondering if getting rugs and furniture down will help dampen/dissipate the sound.

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    @kylepeterson it took a few months, we have rugs down in most rooms and it helps. it mostly seems to happen during the mornings after the air temps have dropped. But when the house warms up I don’t notice the sounds.

  • Kyle peterson
    5 months ago

    @sierra400 well that is good to hear. I really hope ours lessens. We too have an older house with imperfect subfloors. However, we ripped up all of the old particleboard underlayment and replaced it with thicker 5/8 osb over the subfloor which I thought would greatly help. However, it seems that these floors require a very close to perfect subfloor. Has anyone else had any success with the noises dissipating? (Outside of tearing it all up and perfecting the subfloors, then reinstalling)

  • Kyle peterson
    5 months ago

    Ok - so I reached back out to Flooret today and they are working on finding an inspector in my area. In talking with them the indicated that it would be unusual for it to be the planks. However, they also said that even with a less than perfect subfloor the planks should contour to the floors without making much noise. The odd thing about it as well is that it is happening everywhere. I could maybe see it being a problem in areas surrounding spots that are outside spec, but I know for a fact that the floor is flat in most of the house. I will keep you updated on where this lands with Flooret as I know several of you are experiencing similar issues, and the answers "you need to tear it up and do it again" is not generally helpful.

  • Kyle peterson
    4 months ago

    In the meantime, question for those of you who have also experienced this - How prominent/loud was/is the crackling noise? The mornings (as others have said) are definitely worse.

  • aziline
    4 months ago

    mornings for sure you have it. We've been in our house 3 years now and we no longer have that issue.

  • Kyle peterson
    4 months ago

    Thanks @aziline - when you did have the crinkling/crackling sounds, were they fairly noticable? It seems that ours are very noticeable until you walk over them a few times so it gets better throughout the day. It super encouraging to hear that they did go away for you over time. How long would you say it took for yours to get noticeably better? I appreciate the response

  • aziline
    4 months ago

    It was fairly audible for a few hours in the morning and then "reset" at night. I'd guess it was quite a bit less within 1 year.

    But I actually liked it. Made me think of unwrapping a present and I got to unwrap it very morning. But maybe that just makes me odd :)

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I agree it is pretty audible to me but first thing in the morning. I don’t notice during the day after that. I wouldn’t say it’s loud, but noticeable if your house is completely quiet. I don’t hear the sound when walking on rugs only areas without.

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I want to add I saw a post on Reddit recently about this sound and it was another rigid core LVP, not Flooret. Several people chimes in saying they have the same issue and all different brands of LVP rigid core type flooring. I think it’s because the rigid core stuff is so stuff compared to the wood composite kind.

  • Kyle peterson
    4 months 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
    4 months 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.

  • Kyle peterson
    4 months 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
    4 months 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
    4 months 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
    4 months 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
    2 months ago

    How are the planks doing now after some time?

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    last month

    @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
    last month
    last modified: last month

    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
    last month

    @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
    last month

    Did you ever have any issues with joints failing anywhere?

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    last month

    @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
    last month
    last modified: last month

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

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    last month

    @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
    last month

    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
    last month

    What kind of sunfloor?

  • zachr5
    last month

    Subfloor

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    last month

    @zachr5 our subfloor is plywood

  • S
    last month

    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
    last month

    @ 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
    last month
    last modified: last month

    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
    last month

    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
    last month

    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
    last month

    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
    last month

    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
    last month

    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
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 days ago
    last modified: 2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago

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

  • sierra400
    Original Author
    yesterday

    Ours is signature arbor

  • SJ McCarthy
    yesterday

    @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.