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Saturday, May 18, 2013

ARMSTRONG, What Does Lifetime Mean Anyway?

the up close and personal shot. the edges of planks
are peeling, the inside of the planks have white specks
where it is wearing away
the crack in the hall where it
all started!
the area in question
near the fridge and doorway

Hallway, 3 copious drooling dogs sleeping , Sure they turn a white door brown but the floor is still fine, no cupping, wearing off of the edges of planks, no white spots!

you own an  ARMSTRONG FLOOR 



I have to admit I am always on the lookout for sturdy and interesting dog products. I have always owned dogs and many dogs at once and I suspect I always will.  Big ones, small ones, medium ones, dry mouths, wet mouths, and droolers.

   I pick out my paint with an eggshell coating and my wallpaper so that it is easily washable. When I had the outside  of my home redone I made sure that all the windows had no decorative bars that would hamper any window washing inside or out  and the siding was an easy washable vinyl. 

My yard was put together with dogs in mind. My deck was made large enough to accommodate humans and dogs alike with a separation gate if I needed to put the dogs in their part of the yard. A nice privacy fence divides the property, the front half for humans the back half for dogs. And another gate blocks off the pool.

For when I was not home the sheds were well insulated and built with windows that could accommodate air conditioners and for those times when AC was not enough, I hooked up a misting hose in the pen and set it to go off three times a day so the dogs could stay cool or just play. For the most part they were in the sheds chilling to the AC.

I purchased  the king of dog blow dryers to dry them quickly after baths or for those rainy days. For their lounging comfort I grabbed every preschool 4 foot nap time mat that was headed for the preschool garbage heaven because it had a  little tear in it which made it unsuitable for young humans but very suitable for dogs to use as their beds. Sometimes I layered them three high for their achy bones.

During mud season if you drop by unannounced you will find that the throw carpets are turned upside down so as not the leave dirty foot prints on the carpet itself and  the larger carpets are covered with tarp. Let’s face it, I do not wish to do continuous washing of a white carpet during the spring and fall mud season.   A tarp is so much easier to remove when you are expecting company!

Am I a dog nut? Can I be compared to the crazy cat ladies of the world? Yes!  My dogs have always been trained and well mannered. As well, some were therapy dogs and they gave of themselves freely to others just for a smile.  Who am I to try and block their comfort among the family? 
  I am no one without the heart and soul of a dog beside me.

So, Where am I going with this?         

Back in 1998 it was decided that new flooring was needed in my kitchen and attached hallway. So off to the flooring store we went.  I told the salesman that I had several dogs when he tried to show me vinyl flooring rolls, or squares, or rugs, and rug squares, and a bunch of other stuff .

“Oh no!” I said. “That just won’t do, that is not accommodating to dog paws! The vinyl will dent, the caret will pull and tiles can crack if something drops on them.”

From there he lead me to several other types of flooring of which I can’t remember but they ranged in color and style, much of it dark flooring and I again expressed the amount of dogs I had and the floor must be strong enough to withhold such traffic.   

Suddenly hubby and I were brought to the laminate flooring section.

“Is this Pergo?” I asked intriguingly. “I have heard a lot of good things about Pergo.”

“No.” The salesman said. “It is like Pergo but a little less expensive. We don’t carry Pergo flooring, but this is made by Armstrong Flooring and is just as good as Pergo. And it has a lifetime guarantee!”

Hmm. I thought, just as good as Pergo? Lifetime guarantee? This could be the one.

“Will it hold up to dogs?” I asked. “And kids, I forgot to mention I do have kids!”

“Oh yes!” The salesman replied. “This is just as tough as Pergo and if there’s any problem with it just call Armstrong, it is warranted for as long as you own your home.”

That was it, I was sold! All that needed to be done now was pick out the color. The salesman again showed me dark colors because I have dogs. 

I don’t think he gets the whole dark color floor and mud drying on it thing!  

“Lighter colors do better with dog paws.” I suggested.

And so it was born, an Armstrong oak laminate floor to brighten my kitchen too have and too hold till death do us part. A lifetime actually, for as long as I owned the house.  

Enter the year 2000. Two years after the purchase of the Armstrong guaranteed for a lifetime flooring.

I awaken to the sweet smell of coffee dripping into my pot and start heading to the kitchen to snag quite a lot.  But wait, what before my wandering eyes should appear? A very long crack, a separation of the flooring in the hallway I fear!

Ah, I should call right away about this fault, but dad’s diagnosis of cancer has us all too distraught.

That crack in the floor was forgotten as our lives went on, and mother moved in with us so she would not be alone.
My home improvement receipts were moved from space to space as we tried to squeeze mom into this place. 

Enter 2011:  A new job for hubby might land us in Jersey so packing begins and the house goes topsy turvy. By now the floor crack has spread to the kitchen but I got no time for moanin’ and bitchin’! 

Ugh, another box marked bills to be shredded, a day’s event that’s always dreaded. I opened the box to find envelopes entwined and among held the golden receipt of a lifetime!

Thus began my phone tag with Armstrong and Lowes, which sold and installed the flooring I chose. 

Enter 2012:  Hubby’s job went bust before it got started and our house is still packed but off the market.

Okay serious business here!

I drove to Lowes with the flooring receipt and pictures in hand and Armstrong's  lifetime guarantee to get the ball rolling.  The Armstrong Company set up an appointment for an inspector to look at the problem. Five weeks after that appointment was completed I put in a call to see what was going on.

I was surprised that a huge company like Armstrong could not contact me with this information when they had gotten it within a week or so after the inspection was completed. 

While I know nothing lasts forever, I think when a company is going to have someone sell a product for them, and have the salesman tell the customer this lasts for as long as you own the home, they should specify the limits.  Like when you put this flooring in a kitchen, a laundry room,  bathroom or den, where there are bound to be fluid spills, that this will cause the  flooring to cup and become warn or  damaged, then you are not covered!  Especially when underneath this flooring is laid a thick piece of plastic like material which might not really allow any fluids to pass through it or be evaporated into the air thereby creating a constant puddle. So if your kids use the water and ice machine on your fridge and your Armstrong floor starts cupping, surely don’t blame the kids because you know how well they pick up after themselves! Ah hahahahahahahaha and ha!

Let us not forget those large breed dogs either, you know, the ones with the “copious drooling!”   

It is safe to assume that this inspector had to go home and look up Newfoundland dog as the two dogs that he saw in my family room were certainly not drooling nor are they copious droolers, in fact these particular two are smaller females and only drool when you hold food in front of them. They are not capable of   copious drooling!  I wonder if he would have made that same assumption if he saw my Saint Bernard, Forrest Gump standing there. Even though Forrest was a dry mouth saint he probably would have blamed him too!  I guess he had to come up with something, but copious drooling! Really?

Another thing that made no sense if the inspector is basing this theory on the dogs is that they have the run of the house except when there is company, so would not their copious drool affect the hallway that leads into the kitchen as well? Yet the hallway aside from the long crater that opened up not long after the floor was installed  is fine! There is  no spilling going on in the hallway only copious drooling!  Yet from the inspectors theory of the dogs being problematic, you would think that the hallway would have the same wear and tear as the kitchen! 

  And, OMG! What if he saw my 91 year old mother! He must think her incontinent at her age!  Can a 91 year old have copious urination?



I give this product a  4 paws down not only due to wear ability if you have children or dogs, but also in customer service. This does not mean they were not polite when turning the claim down, this means they give no concern or forethought to telling the public that x, y, or z can happen if you  have a family and thus the guarantee  is over!  So unless your name is Felix Unger,  that fastidious character from the 1970’s TV series “The Odd Couple” you haven’t a shot in hell after spending your hard earned money on this product to have it corrected.  Well you might have a shot in hell if you live where there are no kitchens, baths, dens, children or dogs!  

Seriously though folks this is not a product I would consider putting down if you want it to look nice for a long period of time. I would not trust the company guarantee for the reasons above.  Your best bet is tile or stone which is sealed. This particular laminate is just a cheap imitation of a wood floor and the company does not back up their product.

 As for Lowes, I give then a 2 paws up.  The salesmen knew I wanted a product that would hold up and he should have been better equipped to give guidance. I am not a contractor so I would not have the specifics of this product.  That being said, once Lowes found out that Armstrong did not stand behind their product, Lowes offered me a 30% discount on any flooring I decided to put down in the kitchen. I thought that was nice and very customer friendly.   Unfortunately due to the economy, money was not gathering enough moss around here to have a new floor put in the kitchen so for now I am stuck with this eyesore.  

Share this so other big dog lovers that have copious drool  don't make the same mistake I did. 

I am on a lot of Newfoundland social media sites and I will share as well, and if you are questioning if I am just a disgruntled customer I would tell you to look at my posting again stating that 'the dogs have the run of the house and the hallway is the first thing they hit when coming into the house and the first cool floor to lay on' so  why aside from just one crack down the middle is the hallway which is connected to the kitchen  not being affected by my dogs copious drool?   I'll tell you why, because we don't walk down the hallway carrying drinks that could be spilled! This is a kitchen issue only so far!  

Link to Armstrong Laminate flooring if you are not aware of what laminate flooring is and want to avoid it.

 Hallway = Dog= drool
Yet it is still intact! No wear, no tear! 

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