Medallion is coming up around the edges

Q: We hired a flooring contractor to do our floor which included a feature strip and a compass rose medallion for the center of the floor. Cut to the chase, his references must have all been friends or family because he knew nothing about the process. Now the medallion is coming up around the edges. The medallion has a fiberglass backing, and I am wondering whether with extreme care and lots of time, it just might be possible for me to pry it out of the recess.

Any suggestions?

A: I’ve worked with feature strips but never had occasion to install a medallion. If adhesive was used I doubt you will get it out in one piece. I think I would contact the company who made the medallion and get their advice. There is a forum I used to participate on years ago that might be helpful. I knew a guy on there who made medallions. You can do a search and see if you can find an answer.

I am curious as to why the medallion is now lifting. Did he not use enough adhesive or is the adhesive failing? Is the floor under some pressure from moisture imbalance? I’m thinking it is likely poor fastening.

Follow-up Q: The really sad thing is, we had a medallion installed in another house, so we kind of knew some of how it should be done. We supplied the installer with the adhesive brand and type recommended by the maker of the medallion. We told him that the medallion was to be finished at the same time as the floor (sanding etc.). We gave him YouTube sites to watch. We asked if he had ever done any medallion installations and the answer was, “yes.” He apparently, just went about it in his own way.

A few days after the job was done and we could walk on the floor, we noticed that it appeared that glue was oozing out from one area between the edge of the medallion and where the floor was cut out. We put some weight on it and let it set a few days hoping the glue would set up. It never did. We had him come back and look at it and he agreed that yes, the glue was oozing out and the edge of the medallion was lifting. His response was, “What do you want me to do about it?” We told him that he was the professional, that was why we hired him. What do you think should be done?” He said he would nail it down. At that point, rather than have him even try to fix it, we figured the best course was to keep him away from it and from us.

Since that time, it has only gotten worse and glue is now oozing out on the opposite side and the medallion is lifting there too. We are going to contact the maker of the medallion for his take on it. It is very disheartening to investigate references just to find that this contractor, just didn’t know what he was doing and was unwilling to use the help that was provided him. I think he must have just used Liquid Nails or a similar product not appropriate for the application. Thanks for the very timely response.

A: Boy, this is a shame. Can you tell me what adhesive you recommended to him? And you don’t think he used what you recommended? Honestly, I’ve never heard of an adhesive not setting up and drying. Clearly what he used is still active. Maybe I can learn something here too. My guess is, and I likely would have used some type of polyurethane adhesive or Dri-tac. There is a recommendation with at least some polyurethane adhesives to allow 20 minutes or so for it to skim over. A ‘wet lay’ can be used too but you risk having adhesive squirt up the edge of the board. But I’ve never heard of adhesive not drying.

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