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Old 05.09.2017, 21:39
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Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

My boyfriend and I are moving out and today we had a few prospective tenants coming to see our apartment. One of them was a business woman in stilettos and, silly me, I let her in without asking her to take them off. (We allowed everyone else into the apartment with their shoes on and it didn't occur to me that this wasn't a good idea). I had failed to realize that she was wearing the HEELS OF DEATH!! (insert explosion). She was the last one to leave and, a few minutes after she did, we realized that the floor (laminate) was now full of stiletto-sized pokemarks (and a couple of scratches, but those are not as bad):

heels-vs-laminate-flooring-guess-who-won-img_20170905_201444-1-.jpg

It's especially bad in the hall (seen in the picture), but they're all over the place. You cannot see them unless you look against the light, but that's not that unlikely and we imagine the administration will do so when we hand over the apartment. Sooo...
  1. Has anyone had a similar problem?
  2. Is there anything we can do? We saw some suggestions that olive oil could help, but we've tried it and it doesn't work. I guess that only works with tiny scratches.
  3. Do you think we're likely to get in trouble with the administration?
  4. If so, what can we do? IMO it's ridiculous that this floor is simply not able to withstand some basic stiletto action. I mean, this (pretty slim) lady was just walking around, she wasn't stomping or doing anything unusual. Can it be argued that this is an acceptable damage? If we end up being liable, I don't know if we can pass this on to this lady, since we would have to prove not only that she was there (we do have witnesses) but also that she was the one who damaged the floor.
    We do have home insurance, I have to check what it covers, but... Do you think we'll need it?
Needless to say, we'll try to research ourselves, but it helps to have other opinions.

Thanks!
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Old 05.09.2017, 23:34
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

The damage is normal for your floor, walking with stilettos and their small surface is like using a hammer on the floor and no average wooden floor can handle that.

Repairing so many small dents in laminate is impossible, only a new floor would solve this, since it's laminate it can't be sandpapered and be given a layer of oil.

And who's to pay, well we can debate about such, just call your insurance and handle it from there.
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Old 06.09.2017, 08:19
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

Jesus I would be gutted if I had that damage in one hour from one apartment viewing where previously I had none... I would say it only counts as wear and tear though as they are 'only' minor dents and not major holes or cracks.
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Old 06.09.2017, 09:43
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

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The damage is normal for your floor, walking with stilettos and their small surface is like using a hammer on the floor and no average wooden floor can handle that.

Repairing so many small dents in laminate is impossible, only a new floor would solve this, since it's laminate it can't be sandpapered and be given a layer of oil.

And who's to pay, well we can debate about such, just call your insurance and handle it from there.
I think there's a misnaming here - that looks like wood veneer floor, laminate is more normally the name used for the artificial melamine surfaced boards, which also don't suffer from heel damage. (Although they do suffer from looking and feeling crap).

Veneer can be sanded a limited number of times.

The other question is how old is it?

It looks quite mature, from the depth of colour, so possibly that level of wear is OK.
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Old 06.09.2017, 11:59
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

It may be in your interest to send a quick email to the landlord/administration with the picture you uploaded here and explain the situation. They should be able to tell you where they stand on the issue.
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Old 06.09.2017, 12:07
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

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IMO it's ridiculous that this floor is simply not able to withstand some basic stiletto action. I mean, this (pretty slim) lady was just walking around, she wasn't stomping or doing anything unusual.

Pressure = Force/Area.

The pressure on your flooring from the stilettos would be ten times that of an elephant.

Quote:
Example problem
The elephant and the girl!
A girl of mass 45 kg stands on one stiletto heel of area 0.25x10-4 m2
and an elephant of mass 5000 kg stands on one foot of area 2.5x10-2 m2.
Calcuate the pressure that each exerts on the ground.

Pressure = F/A
For the girl: Pressure = 45x9.8/0.25x10-4 = 18x106 Pa
For the elephant: Pressure = 5000x9.8/2.5x10-2 = 2x106 Pa

The pressure exerted by the girl is nearly ten times that exerted by the elephant!!
From here

To be honest, unless the lady was a dumb blonde, she really ought to have known better and had better manners and taken her shoes off.

A thoughtless woman from our Gemeinde did the same thing in our first flat here but luckily the floor was well past it's best.
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Old 06.09.2017, 12:50
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

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It may be in your interest to send a quick email to the landlord/administration with the picture you uploaded here and explain the situation. They should be able to tell you where they stand on the issue.
Or maybe not - I wouldn't recommend pointing out an issue that they may not have made a fuss about anyway!
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Old 06.09.2017, 14:24
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Re: Heels vs. laminate flooring... guess who won?

Thanks everyone for your responses! To address a few of your points:
  • I'm not sure about laminate vs. veneer... My boyfriend calls it "Laminat" and tbh I'm no flooring expert, so I cannot say one way or another. In Spain wooden (or wooden-like) floors are nowhere near as common as here.
  • The floor was by no means in a pristine state when we got this apartment. It had quite a few bumps and grooves in specific places, but we recorded this in the protocol when we took over the apartment and the new pokemarks are in new places that didn't have this specific kind of damage before.
  • Interesting point about the elephant-like pressure... of course, it's not like the whole weight of the person is focused exclusively on the heel, but I guess most of the pressure does go there.
  • I also tend towards not pointing this out to the Verwaltung and waiting to see whether they bring it up. It may end up not being an issue at all, I don't know.

Looking again at the floor this morning with natural light... it's not that easy to see in most places. It's really only if you look against the light and even like that it doesn't look that bad, IMO... It was quite a shock yesterday but I'm feeling better about it today. We'll see...

Thanks again for all your feedback!
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damages in the apartment, floor scratch, home insurance, verwaltung




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