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Shakey 04-04-2013 11:48 AM

Advice on vinyl vs. laminate brands
I've been searching locally and on the internet for flooring that will suit my needs. I have 2 teenagers with many friends and a 90 lb. lab. Our house is 4 feet above ground with a plywood subfloor. Carpet is now predominately in the house with vinyl sheet flooring in kitchen/laundry/baths. Being a single mom, money is always an issue, but I have to get this horribly stained carpet out and put something down.

Locally, it seems our flooring stores are way out of reach for my budget, however, I have found both laminate and vinyl planks online where I got samples and both seem of good quality. The laminate is from Kronoswiss and is 10mm. The vinyl planks are by Vesdura and are 4.2mm with a 0.5 wear layer. Both products are click locking. I'm also waiting on samples to be delivered of a brand called Featherweight that is also 4.2mm. Prices for all of this are slightly over my budget and I'll have to wait to do the entire house because of that. For now though, I will be doing everything except the bedrooms. The company with the Kronoswiss and the Featherweight have $97 shipping, whereas the company selling the Vesdura is extremely high in shipping cost.

Which products do any of you recommend for longevity, ease of installation, etc. and am I even going in the right direction with those products given that I have teenagers and a dog.

TheJerk 04-04-2013 12:51 PM

Since your a single mom I'm going to assume money is the huge issue here, and while I see that your looking for the most for your money, there might be another solution that is better.

Step away from the "flooring stores" in your area and instead check out your local home improvement stores, where you can save the shipping costs. $97 will buy roughly 3 boxes of laminate flooring, not sure as I don't use vinyl at all myself.

We also have a store here called Ollie's which is a close out store that stocks all kinds of things, laminate flooring is just one. Check your area for close out stores that also stock laminate & vinyl, there are more than you think and the quality is again dependent on the brand, not the store it comes from.

Another thing to consider as you do this is do you plan to eventually sell your home? If you do, then vinyl will decrease it's value, laminate roughly hold and hardwood will increase it. (Note: Saying the laminate will hold it's value means it's considered the middle value item in resale values)

I'm going to refrain from commenting on vendors/brands as I'm not qualified to compare them since I have a personal bias against any vinyls.

Shakey 04-04-2013 01:47 PM

Thanks so much for replying. What do you recommend if I get something from HD/Lowe's? I don't have a flooring store anywhere near me that can compare price wise and no closeout stores.

I'm still in my "starter" home after 19 years, lol, so I'll probably be here for another 19. I'm not worried about resale value. I just need decent flooring that will hold up to teenagers and the dog. I've been searching for 3 months now and it seems the more I look, the more confused I'm getting. There are pros and cons to every type flooring, and after researching, I'm pretty sure my best options for wear, price, longevity are the laminate and vinyl planks. I just need some advice on what product brands will serve my needs and if I'm going in the right direction with thinking that laminate and vinyl are truly what is best for my situation.

I realize that to professional's my choices of laminate and vinyl suck, but I'm living within my means and just need some affordable, lasting flooring.

TheJerk 04-04-2013 02:18 PM

I'm not a vinyl fan but let's do this room by room and realize this is just my opinion:

Kitchen/Bathroom: No laminate or vinyl tiles. Your going to hate those tiles in 6 months and the laminate will have major water issues. Tiles will just begin to move and have impossible to clean crevice lines. For those rooms either get a single sheet good quality vinyl or go for the ceramic tiles. Those ceramics will make it through the next 19 years for you if installed correctly and an additional 19 years if you give the house to 1 of your kids.

Dining Room, Living Room, Hallways, Bedrooms and Family Room: For this your choices are a good quality Laminate, at least 8 MM thick with a good quality underlayment, at least 6 mm. When picking laminate you get what you pay for like anything else and looking at the sample in the store is a world of difference than holding a small piece in your hand. As long as you keep the dog's nails trimmed and the kids aren't using jackhammers and other destructive items on the floor your going to be pretty happy with the laminate in the main living areas.

A few notes:
1. Wise to wear socks and not shoes on laminates. While it can be walked on in shoes, socks are much gentler on it.
2. Laminates do not get mopped like your used too. Instead you want to research different cleaning supplies for them and use what fits your budget best.
3. Invest in those little coasters that go under furniture for moving it. Nothing will make you scream louder and longer than putting a major gouge into your new floor because you moved a table or couch.
Please keep in mind that inexpensive materials are not cheap materials and expensive materials are not always quality. Look at the warranty on the item, minimum 25 year warranty on laminate floors, anything less I wouldn't even look at it to be honest with you.

Shakey 04-04-2013 10:00 PM

The vinyl I'm talking about are not tiles. They are vinyl planks. It is 4.2 mm thickness with a 0.5 wear layer. It has click locking installation with an AO coating. It has a 25 year residential/5 year commercial warranty. the planks are 6" x 36". I'm not sure if that makes a difference to you as to your thoughts on vinyl for the kitchen/laundry. Knowing the above information now, would you still stay clear? Shipping is not free on this site, but the site that has the laminate has a vinyl plank that is about the same as above mentioned.

The laminate I like is by Kronoswiss. It's 10mm thickness with a 25 yr residential/3 year commercial warranty. It is rated AC4. It has 4 sided micro beveled edges with a V4 locking system. It's made in Switzerland. The planks are 4.57" x 54.33. Shipping is free, and 3 in 1 underlayment is also free with this particular laminate right now.

I went back to HD & Lowe's tonight and opened boxes to actually feel the products. The only ones that seemed sturdy and looked really nice were almost $4.00 sf and that's just out of my range.

Any more input you can give me is much appreciated!

mehrlich 04-24-2013 09:04 AM

[QUOTE=TheJerk;1152373]I'm not a vinyl fan but let's do this room by room and realize this is just my opinion:

I am brand new here. I am just starting my search for flooring for a house I am buying. After a little bit of research it seems luxury vinyl flooring is the best route. The house is large and I have four large dogs. May I ask why you are not a fan of vinyl, and what your recommendation for the most best flooring for my crew?

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