LVP install story and more questions

26 days ago

After much looking at flooring for our condo (my husband calls it the "the year of the floor") we selected a LVP from Carpet One, their in-house Invincible brand. The floor was not too dark, not to light, had a bit of grain and seemed just what we had been looking for. The install was complicated by having very uneven floors and after removing the carpet a special team was brought in to level all the floors - a two day job which required many bags of leveler, plus sanding and grinding. They did a fabulous job in keeping the dust to a minimum and really cleaned everything up after themselves. Next came in the actual floor installer who put in the planks. It was a rainy day and they were tromping in and out of the condo through the wet parking lot etc. so when we saw splotchy, dirty marks on the LVP we assumed it was dirt from residue of concrete dust in the air and the damp and dirty shoes. The salesman for our floor came and looked at it and then had the installer come back to clean the entire floor - hands and knees, special cleaner, boxes and boxes of microfiber cloths. It was somewhat better - some obvious spots removed but the floor still has a splotchy, dirty look so we called the salesman back for another look and he is horrified that it didn't clean up any better so HE starts cleaning the floor to see how much dirt was left behind during the cleaning and discovers IT ISN"T DIRTY, it's the tile that has that horrible look. He's promised us a new floor and is bringing in a manufacturer's rep to determine if it is a manufacturing defect.

My conundrum now is that I must select a new floor. Even if it is determined that it is a bad batch of planks I don't want to have this LVP reinstalled. I'm considering changing from LVP to Engineered Hardwood (we would pay any extra materials costs) since I no longer trust the idea of LVP but have done no research on engineered wood as I completely discounted it for a Florida beach condo. What do I need to consider as I make a new selection? If I go with engineered wood I'm only looking for a good moderate grade as I don't plan to do refinishing in the future (we have no children, no pets, and you don't enter the condo directly onto the wood so the wear issues should be minimal). For the engineered wood should I do floating (as was being used for the LVP) or should I consider glue down? Pros/Cons? What questions am I missing?

Using porcelain or ceramic tile is not an option for two reasons - 1) our entry, kitchen, and tv room are already tiled and that is staying so I don't want to mix a new tile with it, and 2) I find tile very hard on my feet and legs as I get older and having it throughout my house is not something I want. Having it in the kitchen and entry is good for water, dirt cleanup etc. but I don't want it in the living room and bedooms.

If I reconsider LVP I wonder about grain vs no grain and whether the grain lines have contributed to the strange look of this tile. How does the grain look under different angles of light and are their issues I need to be aware of for the light reflectivity? Better to install so the angle of light cuts across the grain or with the grain?

I thank anyone who has read this long posting and especially thank anyone who has any thoughts or suggestions for my decision.

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