KINGS MOUNTAINS, N.C. -- Theresa Browning put down her new laminate flooring in January 2012, and she was hoping to walk on it, not get walked on by the manufacturer.
“Within a week, we started seeing some bubbling, corners bubbling, scratches, and it just got worse from there,” Browning said.
Theresa’s part of an animal family: two dogs, four cats and two kids, so she picked out Shaw floorings “Bronze Birch” laminate at a home improvement store. But soon after, the floor began to bubble and Browning says she was shocked that Shaw wouldn’t uphold their Web site’s claim of “Great service. Always.”
Instead, Shaw sent out an inspector that reported the bubbling was caused by spills, moisture, and “pet urine” that wasn’t cleaned up quickly enough. Browning says “it’s been a year now, and we have over 32 spots. Our pretty floor doesn’t look so pretty anymore.”
Tom Bartholomy is president of the Better Business Bureau and says in consumer fights like this, it’s best to seek out a third party opinion.
“And have them do an analysis, and let that be the independent review of what the situation is,” says Bartholomy.
Browning did get her own inspection that said the floor reacted poorly to “temperature and humidity.” That’s odd, because her laminate in other rooms by other laminate floor makers has fared just fine with the dogs, the cats, the kids, the temperature and the humidity. “We have animals, they have accident s, we have kids, they have accidents, and we can’t even leave a damp towel on the floor. “But that’s why you put laminate down. Yes, I wish I knew that all laminate wasn’t the same.”
Shaw flooring, on their Web site, advertises that their laminate flooring will stand up to the “toughest household conditions.” NBC Charlotte spoke with Shaw flooring and they told us their “product is fine,” they stand behind it, and they don’t intend to reimburse Browning any part of the $4,000 she spent to buy and install the floor. Shaw Floors has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau.