A warranty on a flooring product is a guarantee that the named flooring product will last in a certain condition for a certain timespan.
The details of a warranty will stipulate what situations will allow for repairs or exchanges if the product does not function as intended.
How a Flooring Warranty Works
Warranties have exceptions that limit the conditions in which a manufacturer will be obligated to rectify a problem. Typically, a flooring warranty will say that the flooring product will be free from manufacturing defects if installed according to the manufacturers’ guidelines – essentially putting the fault of any defects that occur on the installation and the installer from the outset.
This goes for related flooring materials such as adhesives and floor preparation products under that manufacturer. A warranty will often say things as the product will not stain, discolor, the edges won’t curl up, it will not indent from normal use, the product will not swell, buckle or lose integrity if installed following guidelines. Should the warranty need to become effective, the flooring contractor must prove the product was installed according to the guidelines.
This leaves flooring installation companies in a difficult position. Are warranties from the manufacturers worth the paper they are written on?
Reasons Why a Warranty Could Be Denied
The reasons why a flooring warranty could be denied far outweigh what the warranty covers. The situation and circumstances of use will also weigh heavily on the warranty as abuse of the flooring won’t be covered.
A failed product still within the warrantied timeframe will not be automatically covered. The product manufacturer will often require multiple points of proof to show that the product failed in normal use. However, if the product failed due to the actions of the owner, and not the design or manufacturing of the product, the warranty is not likely to be honored.
Testing and Proper Documentation is Key
To make a claim you have to deal with the claims departments whose first job is to protect the manufacturer from false claims – so testing and documenting the installation is vital.
As a flooring professional, your reputation is at risk if you experience a flooring failure, even one that is not your fault. If you don’t have proper documentation of moisture testing, and the installation process, it can be hard to prove that the fault is with the flooring product. Therefore, it’s always important to make sure that the slab is properly tested and documented in compliance with ASTM F2170, and tested using in situ probes.