Q: A few months ago, I hired a contractor to install laminate tongue-and-groove flooring over concrete. It was installed with glue. Now I hear pops when stepping on various places on the floor. The contractors have come back to correct some pops, but others are still left. What should I do?
A: The popping rises from space formed between the subfloor and the laminate boards. This space results from the tongue-and-groove system’s tendency to buckle. A moisture barrier installed between the flooring and the concrete will help prevent this in new installations. Otherwise, the moisture and temperature changes in the concrete and flooring can result in the flooring pulling away from the adhesive and creating air pockets, as well as the associated unwanted popping noises. One method to solve this is to drill a small hole in the flooring over the problem area and pour in a filler to eliminate the space. Pros also use a special saw similar to a Rotozip, which is designed to saw through tongue-and-groove joints to relieve the pressure between boards. Tell the contractors to try one of those; they should be fixing this problem, not you.