The installation involves drilling sawing, sanding and machining of the planks. All these processes generate considerable amounts of wood dust which is known to cause cancer if inhaled for long and in large quantities.
Some models require the installer to apply glue on the edges to fasten and connect the planks. Under a novice installer, excess glue can stick on the actual plank instead of the seams, thus creating very sticky areas on the edges. This heavy adhesive glue is very difficult to remove, so it may stick on the bare foot until a professional comes to rectify the problem. The excess glue will also take away the visual appeal of the floors.
Improper maintenance of the floor is another problem. Use of detergents, wax products, floor polish and soaps will lead to a permanent discoloration of Pergo or may even leave permanent residue on the floor. The strong and shiny appearance will thus be lost. To avoid this, simply dry-clean the floor or lightly clean with a slightly dampened cloth.
Moisture also poses a great challenge to the durability of Pergo. Although the pieces are designed to be self-sealing, standing liquid should not be allowed on the floor for more than 30 minutes as seepage may occur, leading to permanent damage. Cleaning with a steaming machine will also lead to permanent damage of the floor.
Though Pergo can be installed in a do-it-yourself project, careful attention is required to get a lasting solution. Installation of chipped planks, failure to acclimate the product before installation, failure to properly measure the moisture content of the concrete before installation, failure to properly undercut doorways during installation, etc. all lead to defective installation, in which case the product warranty is rendered null and void. Failure to maintain a 1/4 inch expansion space around the perimeter and where the floor meets a vertical surface will cause the planks to buckle and warp uncontrollably.
A few health problems are also associated with Pergo. The melamine resin used is a compound made with formaldehyde. This releases volatile organic compounds that lower the indoor air quality. This can be rectified by use of various chemical processes that reduce and neutralize the formaldehyde emissions throughout the life of the floor.
Some of these are avoidable problems, so follow instructions to the letter and you’ll save yourself this headache.