Friday, March 13, 2015

My Laminate Floor is Killing Me (Lumber Liquidators WARNING)

Update: Lumber Liquidators somehow won their lawsuit. They don't even have to do a recall of their obviously dangerous floor because of the BS excuse that it's better left undisturbed .. Sounds kinda like Asbestos, doesn't it? They didn't even get fined for putting people in harms way. I don't really have any words to explain how I feel about this, but it sounds like the typical BS where companies are typically protected more than citizens. The only change is that they are now required to make their flooring in the US, but I still would NEVER trust this company. Buyer beware!

Hi all!

I haven't posted in way too long, because I'm a huge slacker!

I'm still working on getting a brand new blog on Wordpress set up but, like a said before, I'm a slacker. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, I really wanted to warn you all about Lumber Liquidators, especially because this site is probably attracting new home buyers, DIYers, or renovators. Here is the episode of "60 Minutes" that made us aware of the problem.

As some of you may have seen, 60 Minutes did a story on them and how a good amount of their flooring is tainted with a very high level of formaldehyde that violated safety limits set by the California Air Resource Board (CARB). Formaldehyde is used in the glue used to put together laminate flooring. If the levels fall within the safety limits the flooring should be safe, but the flooring from Lumber Liquidators (sourced from China) surpassed the limit on almost every single test 60 Minutes adminstered. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause health problems as serious as cancer. It is especially harmful to children.

This article by CBS does a good job at discussing the issue. In the article (and on the 60 minutes episode) they say "In test commissioned by '60 Minutes,' 30 of 31 boxes of the product labeled compliant were not, with some emitting as much as 13 times the Carb 2 limit."

The video also shows Managers of the manufacturing plant in China admitting the products made for Lumber Liquidators are not CARB 2 compliant despite what the boxes say. They also say how it is about 10-15% cheaper to buy products with this level of formaldehyde, and they COULD make it CARB 2 compliant, but this would be more expensive. AKA Lumber Liquidators is a money hungry, greedy, low-life company that cares more about profits than the health of it's customers (Of course, that's just my opinion...).

The company is defending their product and is STILL selling this flooring, but they are now offering customers an air testing kit that will measure the amount of formaldehyde in the air of your home. In my opinion, this is ridiculous. This test does nothing to test the actual flooring, and they could easily argue that something else in your house could be contributing to the levels in the air. The company says, IF the levels are higher than normal they will CONSIDER replacing your floor at no cost.

As some of you know, my boyfriend and I put our own flooring in after our home was built in order to save money. Guess where we bought our laminate flooring... Lumber Liquidators. Guess where our floor is sourced from... China. Guess what our floor looks like... The floor the Manager in China was pointing to when he was say it was definitely not CARB 2 compliant.

Awesome, right?!?!

As of now, we're not sure what our immediate move is. Our flooring costed us  around $2000 and countless hours of installation (I was sore in places I didn't know I had and my knees and hands we red, cracked, and aged about 10 years). I'm also really concerned about the health affects of cutting all of that wood. As you may know, I installed this flooring myself. I was surrounded in saw dust from this product for DAYS, and so was my dad, mom, boyfriend, and dogs. I would imagine sawing open this flooring would release whatever chemicals are hiding within, and a very large portion of their customers do the floor install themself. Also, what about the companies they work with for installation? Those workers are around this stuff ALL day EVERY day.

Deep down, I know we can't live with this floor. I feel like I'm breathing in poison. With all the testing done by labs (you can see them all in the 60 Minutes video), I have a hard time believing they aren't dangerous to have in the house. We absolutely need to replace them before kids become a reality. We'll probably reach out to the company, but I have a feeling this will lead nowhere. They're sticking to their "our floor is perfectly fine" story, and I think a lawsuit will be the only way to make them give people a refund or replace their flooring.

Anyways .. I really just wanted to get the word out, because I think you deserve to know this if you are thinking of buying flooring from them. I know I would have liked to know before I made the decision to do business with them. I will never do business with them again, even to buy their un-tainted, formaldehyde free flooring. I can never support a company that clearly cares more about money than the health of their employees and their customers.

If anyone knows of any good, affordable flooring places in the Pennsylvania/Delaware area, please let me know! It looks like we'll be replacing flooring instead of going on a vacation this year...