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danidisney 07-19-2008 12:34 PM

Any experience with Dupont Real Touch elite laminate flooring?
We are considering this flooring from Home Depot, supposed to be one of their better ones. Is $3.97/sq. ft. Have considered Pergo Prestige but haven't been able to find out if something similar to Beech is available in that line yet. We plan to install it ourself in our very dry basement. Any information or recommendations would be appreciated.

26yrsinflooring 07-19-2008 02:00 PM

Just another Home Depot thinned out product made by some other manufacture and Dupont has put thier name on it, nothing special.
Give me about three business days I will find exactly who makes it.

HomeDepot23 07-19-2008 10:30 PM

I'll save you time 26. It is made by the Faus group, one of the early innovators of bringing this flooring to this country.

The product is good, but if you pick one with heavy graining be aware that it scratches easier than smooth flooring.

Installers are split on how to best istall it. Many prefer to tap it in, but the manufacturer frowns upon this and will void the warranty.

They have a kit designed to place the products in at the correct 30 degree angle. I found it cumbersome.

Have your home depot allow you to find a place to install a 5x4 area with some loose boards, I bet they have them, and check to see if you like the kit and if you can easily put a long edge in whilst hooking in the short side.

26yrsinflooring 07-19-2008 11:22 PM

Faus eh? Thank you, you saved me some phone calls but I am finding you dead wrong again,
I sold Faus in my showroom they came to America in 1997. Pergo was here long before that, Faus has record in Spain but all thier American records start in 97.

They did not even start production here until 2007!

danidisney 07-20-2008 04:26 PM

Dupont Real Touch flooring
"The product is good, but if you pick one with heavy graining be aware that it scratches easier than smooth flooring."

The Beech Block variety that we are looking at has "Embossed-In-Register" texture and "InterPlank design" that's supposed to mimic look of real wood. Would you consider this heavy graining? I don't want it to scratch easily. It does have an AC-3 rating, but I think that's more related to wear. It's 10mm thick and has a 30 yr warranty, but I haven't been able to find exactly what that covers.
Thanks for your help.

tigerbalm2424 07-20-2008 04:38 PM

I installed the alabaster slate variety upstairs in my house after purchasing it new for cheap off of Craigslist. So far I havent had any issues other than a minor corner chip during install. I have rolling chairs riding on it and so far no visible scratches. I thought install was pretty easy, just attached each row by itself and then lifted up the edge and snapped it in. :wink:

whisper 07-20-2008 05:16 PM

I installed it a couple of years ago and it has been perfect. No wear- no visible scratches. I would use it again without a worry.
One caution that would apply to most laminates- if you choose a square stone pattern like my wife wanted, you will end up cutting about 1/2 to 2/3 of the boards to match the side to side pattern. The plank style doesnt have this problem because there is little or no side to side matching needed.
I posted a lengthy "how to" somewhere after I finished learning and doing. The Dupont instructions were very sparse and of little help. If a Google search on the brand doesnt bring the post up I can probably find it for you if you're interested in doing it yourself.

whisper 07-20-2008 05:31 PM

Here's the post I mentioned above
DuPont Real Touch Elite- Grey Slate pattern
Some thoughts after completing a 12 box Kitchen job.

Actual Measurements- as installed with virtually no visible gaps.
5 Lengths = 231 7/16” or 46.288 each board.
12 rows wide = 138 7/16” or 11.536” each
DUPONT package lists size as 11 9/16 W X 46 5/16 L
There are 5 Pcs in a Package.
The package says don’t open until the day of installation with no explanation-
Mine were open 3 days with no problem.
I allowed 20% for waste and had 3 boards left over- but I spent some time in preplanning and I didn’t spoil any (unusual for me).

Tools used:
Table saw with 10” carbide blade- The blade started with some miles on it but still pretty sharp.
It ended pretty dull but still cutting cleanly after 12 boxes and many, many cuts. I think 2/3 of my boards had to be cut at least once.
I used no other saw- and can’t imagine doing the job without a table saw with a pretty wide table extension.
A 4 Ft square and a 12” square.
A 12 in steel ruler- or a good regular flat ruler with accurate ends. Some cheap rulers have some extra space at the end so they cant be used to measure up to something.
A 25 foot tape that is accurate- check it against your ruler or square- the little end tab that adjusts for inside and outside measurements may not be doing its job correctly.
A plastic or wood tapping block. Mine came from Lowes and was labeled item 98844 by Precision Components (but probably most such laminate tools will work OK).
A Pull bar from the same place- mine was model #33120 - or any similar tool
Some pencils and a soap eraser.
A couple dozen inch spacers. After the first few rows are down the spacers aren’t needed as much.
A hammer and Knee pads!
Important Homemade tools- 4 wedges. Make from a 4 in 2x4 cut diagonally across the face
to give two 1 W x 4L and 3 1/2 High wedges. – make 2 sets.

And a helper for an occasional 2 extra hands when needed for the tricky parts.

The boards have a long and a short side with a wide flange on the bottom –I’ll call this the female side. The other long and short sides have a small 1/16” protrusion near the top face. I’ll call this the male sides- (sorry guys).

Start on a long wall with the long male side toward the wall- don’t forget to leave the 1/4” expansion gap- but don’t bother to trim off the puny male extension. Hook the long edges together by placing the short male side over the female flange with about 1/16 to 3/32 gap between the faces- then lifting the board about 10-15 degrees and gently push into the female (aahh, you’ll say as it slips in and the gap disappears- if it isnt easy you’ve got the angle wrong- tip it more or less until it seats evenly across the short side, Repeat for each board on the starter row.
The first board of the second row is also easy because you just place the long male over the long female and tip it up about 1 3/8 to 1 “ (You can use the wedges here) and gently tap it into place- when the gap virtually disappears you can remove the wedges and the board will settle almost to the floor. Give it a few light taps along the length with the tapping block and it will seat and go flat to the floor. The seam will disappear too- if it doesn’t, a few more light taps will make it do so. Note – if there is a visible gap of more than about 1/64” you must lift the board up and start over- you cannot pound the board home without damaging it.

Now comes the fun part- the second board in the second row and all the subsequent boards go like this: It's more challenging because the second and subsequent boards requires you to engage the short side with the board to the right in the second row and the long side with the board in the first row. (This sounds confusing but when you start the second row you will understand).
Place the two male sides over the two mating female sides with about 1/16 to 3/32” gap between faces- lift the new board up about 10-15 degrees and engage the short sides as you did before. Now put a wedge under the just engaged board joint and lift the side nearest you about 1 ”. Put a wedge under the outside edge of the new board (near your right knee) to lift it about 1 ” and another wedge under the board left end to match. Now you can tap the new board (best to do this near the joint with the previous board) into the long female edge until the joint disappears- when it does remove all three wedges and the two boards will sink almost to the floor. Give it a few light taps along the length with the block and it will seat and go flat to the floor. The seam will disappear too- if it doesn’t a few more light taps will make it do so. Note – if there is a visible gap of more than about 1/64” you must lift the board up and start over- you cannot pound the board home without damaging it.

A few more thoughts-

While the “female first and to the right” method as described above is probably best (is this the Missionary position?), it is possible to engage a loose female to a floor where the boards are already in place with the male side exposed (it’s hard to write this without the sexual overtones- sorry). You use pretty much the same method. I did this with a closet and a doorway which connected to the starting main wall- but I didn’t want to start in a closet or doorway.

When marking for cutting around a cabinet, I found it best to draw the actual cabinet profile on the board- and then marking out ” for the expansion gap. Trying to measure the cabinet and mentally adding the gap sometimes put the gap on the wrong side- not good.

You can engage boards under a kickspace if you can lift them the necessary 10-15 degrees- this means that you can not lift the long boards enough to engage the short sides if you’re working under a kickspace. What you can do is pull the whole row out, engage all the short sides, push the row back in, and engage all the long sides along the whole length at once. You will need several extra hands to do this- and maybe a couple tools with a hook on the end to lift the panel along it’s length.

Be gentle and don’t get angry- the stuff works great if you take your time and use a light touch. You cannot pound a joint closed when there is a gap of more than about 1/32” (maybe even less) – if a few smart taps don’t close the gap you must take the joint apart and redo it correctly.

Don’t bring lawyers in too early- They talk a lot and they usually make the situation worse-
and they cost much more than the laminate.

In summary- this stuff makes a fantastic floor- I defy anyone to find a seam in mine without getting down on hands and knees and maybe using a magnifying glass. The three dimensional stone look is very effective and Its perfectly quiet to walk on.
I couldn’t be happier.

HomeDepot23 07-20-2008 07:15 PM

26. I stand corrected. Pergo and other laminates din't hit my area until about 1995-96. I was at coverings in 1997 and Faus were trying to sell me on their stuff.

I didn't get into laminate until about 97.

HomeDepot23 07-20-2008 07:27 PM

Great post, Whisper. It isn't the easiest laminate to work with. For the tapping in part, I would be tempted to hook in a small throw away piece and tap that instead to avoid damaging the piece you just installed.

I have had people tell me they put in row 1. Then put together row 2 and hooked row one to row 2. I don't know how much stock to put in this, you would have to be precise and woud need a small army on long rooms.

AC3 is just a wear rating. I don't really place much faith in warranties. They won't warranty against scratches.

A friend put in the weathered amber oak and it showed no scratches, despite the customers making our sample look like a cats scratching post, which is probably where my fears of this product originate. :)

danidisney 07-21-2008 12:24 PM

Thanks for all the input. We do want to install it ourselves so the info. will be helpful. It sounds like this Dupont Real touch series would be a good choice. (much cheaper than our local flooring business and yet good quality and we'd be able to buy from our local home depot instead of online ordering)

whisper 07-21-2008 07:11 PM

I did a small edit on my instruction post above to remove the confusing sentence, correct an error (7/17 to 7/16) and to clarify the interlock routine a bit. Hope it helps.
Good luck on your project.

UNCgal91 08-24-2008 03:22 PM

Real Touch or engineered hardwood?
I hope someone will answer this since this thread is a little old. We are considering both Bruce Turlington Lock and Fold Engineered Wood and this Dupont Real Touch Elite product for our kitchen and dining room. My biggest worry is the scratching of the floor from the chairs at the kitchen table. I would think a lighter wood would show less scratches? I have a sample of the Brazilian Cherry Real TOuch. I put it under a chair leg and moved it around pretty hard. Scratched right away. There are non-scratch things on the legs but they are old and would be replaced with a new floor. What does anyone out there think? The prices are close so I just want the better product for our lifestyle and resale value. Thanks!

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