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Laminate Floors

Old 03-18-2018, 07:41 PM
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Default Laminate Floors

I am thinking of replacing the old carpeting in relatively low traffic areas of my house. Laminate flooring was recommended to me by friends but I am seeing mixed reviews online. I am pretty handy but never installed these myself. Is this something I should hire a professional for? What kind/make of floors should I get/avoid? I have a large dog and a 13 year old son that will be abusing these floors but as I said these floors are in relatively low traffic areas.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:12 AM
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The good brands (Armstrong, Pergo) make a very good product. The cheaper stuff is pretty crappy imho. I installed the best stuff Armstrong made about 6 years ago replacing carpet. Best thing I ever did. I was worried about moisture bucking it if I ever had a leak or something. I took a piece of the lam, put it in a bowl of water for a week and NADA! Nothing. No warping. No absorption. It shed the water like it was made of oil.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:23 AM
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Are you talking about that luxury vinyl type of laminate? Might have my products confused, but I’m about to redo floors in my home with the stuff. Ive been seeing people do it in their homes for a while and the floors look incredible and are insanely durable. Dropped my Klein’s from the top of a 12’ ladder on someone’s new floor, didn’t even make a dent or a scratch.

That sold em.

My old style laminate flooring has nicks and imperfections all through it after 10 years.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:49 AM
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Smartcore engineered vinyl with the built in underlayment.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:26 PM
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Never considered vinyl. Any suggestions on where to look and brand names?
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jagerhunchback View Post
Smartcore engineered vinyl with the built in underlayment.


This is what both of my sons and a few friends are installing in their home now. Looks great and easy to work with.

My turn in about 6 months.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:42 PM
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Flooring is truly you get what you pay for. The higher end laminate is great, the mid-price and lower price stuff can be dodgy. I would go to an actual flooring store, they tend to be less expensive the HD/Lowes and the reps actually know what they are talking about.

As for install, its not very difficult. Its more physically demanding than skill demanding. If you can measure and cut you can install it just realize every cut in the room you are going be bending down, getting up, cutting, bending down again. At the very least get a decent set of knee pads.

Most all laminate floors click together and just float on top of the subfloor. Like the flooring, its self, don't cheap out on the underlayment and don't skip it. Its an important part of the floor and it will sound strange when you walk on it if you skip it or get the cheep stuff. .

Also due to styles going in and out of fashion, I would recommend keeping an entire extra box of flooring. If your floor ever gets damaged its a lot easier to pay the extra $80 for a box and keep it on hand than to try to match it up, cover it with a rug or rip the entire floor up and start over.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:45 PM
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How is this stuff on uneven floors? Does the pad or glue help it not bounce?
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
How is this stuff on uneven floors? Does the pad or glue help it not bounce?
Don't glue it unless it specifically meant for glue. when you say uneven what are you specifically taking about? If its concrete than I would use some floor leveler or patch to even out the low spots.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:54 PM
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My house has 1/2 dips every 10 feet. Plywood subfloor.

Sorry to hijack but this might also be important advice for older homes like mine.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by carbidemanfishing View Post
Never considered vinyl. Any suggestions on where to look and brand names?
They sell it at Lowe’s. I work in the flooring department there and i try to steer people away from laminate to that product because it’s waterproof petproof and kid proof. It aberages around $3.50 a sq ft but it’s the last floor you’ll have to buy short of a fire breaking out. Had a customer that had it in his basement, basement floods they drain it pick up the flooring dry out the basement then lay the same flooring back down.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:07 PM
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As someone above said you get what you pay for. If you pull your baseboards, that is the best way in my opinion. Then just put them back after. While they are off you can repaint or polyurethane. The only reason not to pull base is if you transition to another floor without a door, in that case I might add a cove mold on top of base. Kids running with sneakers can separate the snap lock, which can be annoying. But, again, this will happen less often with high grade laminate. Sound can be an issue, but with good underlayment will help. Dogs nails will be heard when they walk on it, but will not scratch it that I have seen. Installation, with a little research is very easy and I would rate it easy if you have even a little knowledge of using a saw and measuring.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
How is this stuff on uneven floors? Does the pad or glue help it not bounce?
Smartcore.

dry and level to 3/16” per 10 ft. radius
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:36 PM
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Bruce 3/4 pre-finished hardwood.

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Old 03-19-2018, 04:15 PM
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I was thinking about laminate for my gameroom, but ended up going with porcelain tile that was on sale at home depot for about the same amount.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:37 PM
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My first house has pergo top tier stuff. I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

It was essentially indestructible. Dropped a knife one time, point down, digged it. But having a boxer running around and she never made even the slightest mark on it.

My last 2 houses were hardwood and I hate it. Dog nails, high heels, anything seems to scuff and scratch it.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:34 PM
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Coretec Plus or Adura Max
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:47 PM
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Don't forget to buy a few speciality tools, and
a table saw is very helpful with the long rips.
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:16 PM
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I have a circular saw and was thinking of getting a reciprocating saw for this job as it Is more portable. To be honest I am not sure if all these choices are helping me. I plan on going to Lows and checking out their stuff soon to compare with what I saw in Home Depot. The wife and I love the mahogany color offered by HD but I am wondering if the vinyl product from Lows is better for my needs?
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:28 PM
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It helps to have a miter saw to cut the boards.

I have installed luxury vinyl strip flooring in a couple of my houses. You have to use the proper mastic or the stuff will pop up. And the good Naafco/Tarkngton strip flooring that looks like wood costs $4 a square foot or about the same I can get hardwood for.

I also installed 900 square feet of the thick laminate bought at Lumber Liquidators. I sure hope the buyer never figured out if may be the floor leeching formaldihyde.

They kind of flooding needs to correspond to the quality of home it is being installed in. You would not use a laminate on a 10,000 square foot house. And you wouldn't use a Bellawood Rosewood 3/4 inch floor in a tiny FHA house.
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