LIFECORE Flooring Warranty & Installation Guide

A Cheat Sheet to Understanding Your LIFECORE Warranties

They come in every box, those lengthy, legal-sounding pages commonly known as your flooring’s Manufacturer Warranty.  It’s easy to file them away simply as an assurance that your floors were built to last.  Read a little closer, however, and you’ll see that they are more like insurance that your investment will be protected should covered issues arise.
As mentioned, they can be long and filled with legalese, making it easy to lose interest a few paragraphs in.  That’s why we’ve prepared the checklist below for your reference.  We wanted to ensure that you’re informed of the more important points of this valuable document and can enjoy your floors with confidence!

1) How long is the warranty in effect for?

LIFECORE offers a 50-year Residential Finish and Wear Warranty, and a Lifetime Structural Warranty. Our Light Commercial Warranties are 15-year Structural, and 5-year Finish and Wear.

2) What is the difference between a “Structural” and “Finish and Wear” Warranty?

A Structural Warranty protects from milling or grading issues that are present out-of-the-box, such as differences in the grade as described or any defects to the flooring planks. It’s important to note that if defective flooring is installed, it is no longer covered, so you should let your installer know that any issues should be reported prior to installation in order to be covered. An example of post installation coverage in our Structural Warranty includes delamination, which is the separation between plies (the layers of wood that makeup engineered flooring).

Our Finish and Wear Warranty covers any faulty application of LIFECORE’s finish or stain that results in bubbles, cloudiness, or other defects in the finish itself. This does not include scratches or other marks caused by the end user.

3) Are warranties transferable if I sell my house?

LIFECORE’s Warranties apply only to the original purchaser of the flooring. Note: the purchase receipt will be needed for verification in the event you need to file a claim.

4) If I don’t like the way my floors look after they’re installed, can I return them?

Unfortunately, no. That’s why we strongly recommend that you open one box and lay several planks down in the room you want to install in so that you can be certain it is the right style for you. If you find that it isn’t, most dealers will work with you on a return as long as you can put those planks back in the original box and return any others unopened.

5) Why is it important to deal with an authorized dealer and not purchase online?

LIFECORE is sold only through authorized, brick and mortar retailers and not internet-only shopping sites. If you are unsure of whether or not you are dealing with an authorized dealer, you can search by area on our dealer map or contact us.

6) Does the same warranty apply if I purchased my LIFECORE floors through an unauthorized dealer or online?

No, it does not. LIFECORE warranties will NOT be valid if you purchase through an unauthorized source. You can contact us if you are unsure.

7) What does “acclimated” or “acclimation” mean?

Acclimation is the process of allowing your new flooring to adapt to the climate of the environment it is going to be installed in. The best way to acclimate floors is to place the boxes of flooring in the room they will be installed in upon delivery and allow them to remain there for a minimum of three days prior to installation (the flooring should remain boxed). Acclimation is an important step, as it allows the flooring to become adjusted to the moisture content of its new environment so as to prevent issues like cupping (where the side of the boards warp upward and are higher than the centerboard), or gapping (where the planks shrink and there is a noticeable gap between them).

8) What is a “subfloor?”

A subfloor is the supporting surface beneath the flooring. Usually it is concrete or plywood. However some installations can occur over existing flooring, such as tile, but check with your installer and the installation guide and warranty.

9) Why do I have to order extra flooring?

It is recommended that you order 5% to 7% more flooring than actually needed for cutting and waste (e.g. improper cuts, damage during installation, or extra cuts) and for easy replacement later if a plank becomes scratched or damaged or you change out an appliance.

10) What does “on grade,” “above grade,” and “below grade” mean?

These are the different areas of the home that you might install your new floors. Below grade would be under ground, like a basement. On grade would be on the ground level of your house, like the first floor. Above grade would be the second (or higher) floor. Engineered flooring can be installed on all three grades, where as solid flooring should only be installed on or above grade.

11) If my floor changes color, is that a defect?

Color changes from exposure to direct or ambient light are considered natural occurrences in wood floors and are not the result of a manufacturing defect. The LIFECORE reactive collections perform better than most.

12) Some of my planks look a little darker/lighter or have different graining from the sample I saw in the store. Is that a defect that is covered by the Warranty?

Variations from the samples you may have seen when floor shopping or on the website is common. Because wood is an organic material, no two planks are the same. Color and graining can vary, and this is not considered a manufacturer defect, therefore would not be covered. This is why we recommend you lay out one full box to see how your selection will look.

13) If I refinish my floors will the Wear and Finish Warranty still be valid?

Unfortunately, no. LIFECORE floors that have been refinished, re-coated, screened, or otherwise treated or altered from its original factory finish will no longer be covered under our Warranty.

14) If I install flooring planks on my walls or outside on my deck, is that covered too?

Our flooring Warranties apply only to flooring installed on the floor and indoors, as designed

15) If I accidentally scratch or stain my floor, or it warps in a flood, is that covered?

LIFECORE’s Warranties cover manufacturer defects only. Issues caused by improper installation, improper care and maintenance, and everyday wear or damage done to the flooring post manufacturing will not be covered.

16) What happens if I have a claim?

Contact the store where you purchased your LIFECORE hardwoods. They will contact our claims department on your behalf. You will need the receipt for your flooring purchase as well as photos of the issue in question. LIFECORE may send an inspector to the claim site for further review.

Hopefully, this cheat sheet has been able to provide you with a better idea of how our warranties work. To really learn what is covered, what isn’t, and more importantly, how to get the most out of your floors, we urge you to read our complete Warranty. You can access it here.

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