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Old 04-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Feedback on laminate brands


Hi -

I'm about to do the flooring on about 600 sq. ft. of our condo. Have been researching this a while and need to settle in and pick a brand. Have been looking at Lumber Liquidators, Build Direct, and Wood Floors Plus (local joint). Some of the brands are known are some I've never heard of (Woods of Distinction). Does anyone have any feedback on brands that they've had particular success with?

I should state that we are looking to rent this condo and then sell in the next few years. So we want something durable, that looks nice, and are concerned with sound and insulation as a 2nd floor unit.

Am looking at 12mm thickness, click float laminates, which will be laid over old parquet or new sub-floor.

Thoughts on thickness (12mm) - could I make do with 8-10mm?
Recommended brands (quality/level milling in the tongue and groove)
Pre-padded vs. laying insulation
Necessity of new sub floor

Thanks.

Alison

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #2
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Feedback on laminate brands


Quickstep has got to be the most commonly used brand IMO. The warranty is good, the product is good, and the click system is one of the best and most installer friendly around. 12mm will basically get you a more realistic sound since you have more mass to absorb the hollow sound. 8-10 has been more than adequate for many years though. I prefer a separate pad with tapped edges for a vapor barrier. If you use pre-attached pad you still have to put down a separate vapor barrier depending on what you are installing over. Your subfloor needs to be very flat. Commonly 1/10th inch in a 10 foot radius.

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Old 04-20-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Feedback on laminate brands


i would stay away from LL and BD and find a reputable local dealer. there are a lot of bad reviews about both. don't read any reviews on a site associated with either company but read some you should.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Feedback on laminate brands


I replaced an 8 mm laminate floor that had a hollow, "tapping" sound when you walked on it with a 12 mm floor that sounds much sturdier. So I guess size does matter (ba dum DUM).

My big grievance with the laminate I chose (Armstrong) is that any water on it means trouble. The local dealer assured me that laminate floors are resistant to water problems thanks to the laminate coating, although obviously not water-proof as any wood product can over time be damaged by water. But what I found was even just a few drops of water (snow or rain falling off a jacket, etc) could land undetected where the boards joined up, would work their way into the grooves, and then they would swell up. I have little swollen, raised areas here and there along the edges of the boards, and it's barely a year old.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Feedback on laminate brands


Just be aware that any moisture, even a high RH voids the warranty on most laminates. And if you are selling, laminates will not up the value.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Feedback on laminate brands


Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
But what I found was even just a few drops of water (snow or rain falling off a jacket, etc) could land undetected where the boards joined up, would work their way into the grooves, and then they would swell up. I have little swollen, raised areas here and there along the edges of the boards, and it's barely a year old.
Odd, my veterinarian has a laminate floor in their facility in the waiting area/entrance, it replaced carpet they had before.
It looked fine to me, and you KNOW in a vet's office there will be lots of traffic with wet feet, raincoats, wet paws, occasional accidents, lots of toenails.
Looked good to me when I saw it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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Feedback on laminate brands


I had the carpeted flooring in my rental condo replaced a couple of years ago with laminate flooring that a buddy (carpenter) and I installed. had about 1300 sq ft installed. I went with a company that was well recognized for quality at the time, called Kronotex. Paid a bit more than I wanted to but it was worth it. My buddy dropped a steel hammer from about 7 feet in the air and not a scratch. i chose a AC4 (light commercial duty) rating.

Currently I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my basement reno, but if I use a Delta FL with 3/4" T&G plywood, then I can go with either Hardwood or Laminate.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #8
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Feedback on laminate brands


I put in about 800sq ft of Wilsonart Classic laminate about 15 years ago in our house. It was a high end at the time and was the old tongue and groove type that you glued together. We have always had 2 large labs that run and slide on the floor and it still looks like new. I've seen people put in the pergo and other lower end brands that look like crap just after a couple years. Don't cheap out unless you plan to replace it often. Go to a flooring specialist store and get a good high end brand. It will be worth it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:52 AM   #9
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Feedback on laminate brands


I'm glad someone is having good luck with Kronotex. They have a reputation in the laminate world and it isn't a good one.

Wilsonart was the highest end laminates you could get, which is why they no longer make laminate flooring. They made the stuff so good that it was too expensive for most people and would last so long that no one ever had to buy it twice.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Feedback on laminate brands


I have a very limited experience but I'll throw it out there.

We had the orange place install Pergo XP for us. The XP stuff is quite different from the other Pergo lines, or the other laminates at HD. Much, much more resistant to scratching. It's 10mm with the padded underlayment on it. I used a key on every sample in the store.

We're very happy with it 1.5 years later. Dogs and cats and moving and renovating and not a single scratch of any kind yet. Seriously. It's very durable. We've also spilled water, had doggie accidents, spilled water bowls left all day etc and no problems of any kind yet.

The install was pretty easy. I watched them do some of it. Normal subfloor prep. No problems with the locking mechanism. It tore through their saw blades tho. 1600 square feet. They worked really hard and got the details right such as transition pieces, subfloor prep, gap at walls, etc. I want to hate HD as much as everyone else but it was actually legit. The install price was fabulous. Delivery, carry-in, tearing away and disposing the old carpet and laminate, then installing for about $800 total with their special deal.

It's fairly quiet from the lower level, but we have an open bilevel so it's not easy to tell.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #11
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Feedback on laminate brands


Maybe consider engineered hardwood. For the cost of a quality laminate you can buy engineered. Engineered has a layer of real wood so most of it can be refinished in the future. Engineered wood will add value to your property, look much better, and it's actually wood. If this is something you want to consider, some quality brands are; real wood floors, and shamrock. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:32 PM   #12
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Feedback on laminate brands


Quote:
Originally Posted by RWolff View Post
Odd, my veterinarian has a laminate floor in their facility in the waiting area/entrance, it replaced carpet they had before.
It looked fine to me, and you KNOW in a vet's office there will be lots of traffic with wet feet, raincoats, wet paws, occasional accidents, lots of toenails.
Looked good to me when I saw it.
After less than a year with the Armstrong I'd have to give it a thumbs down. My kids have also dropped things on occasion (can of food, silverware, etc) and it chipped the floor. Even though these are metal items being dropped, we're talking about kids dropping them so we're only talking a few feet, so it shouldn't have chipped like that.

The only things I would give a thumbs up would be, one, it was a nice looking finish and, two, there was a good pattern variety to the pieces. I've noticed with some laminates that once you start laying out the floor, you find there are only so many patterns on the pieces and you notice all the identical pieces around the room. Makes it look "cheap" IMO.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #13
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Feedback on laminate brands


Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
I replaced an 8 mm laminate floor that had a hollow, "tapping" sound when you walked on it with a 12 mm floor that sounds much sturdier. So I guess size does matter (ba dum DUM).

My big grievance with the laminate I chose (Armstrong) is that any water on it means trouble. The local dealer assured me that laminate floors are resistant to water problems thanks to the laminate coating, although obviously not water-proof as any wood product can over time be damaged by water. But what I found was even just a few drops of water (snow or rain falling off a jacket, etc) could land undetected where the boards joined up, would work their way into the grooves, and then they would swell up. I have little swollen, raised areas here and there along the edges of the boards, and it's barely a year old.
Think you are the first person I have heard that actually has used lam a second time around. Most people that use it say they will never use it again. Sounds like you wont a third time tho huh?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Feedback on laminate brands


Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonspain View Post
Hi -

I'm about to do the flooring on about 600 sq. ft. of our condo. Have been researching this a while and need to settle in and pick a brand. Have been looking at Lumber Liquidators, Build Direct, and Wood Floors Plus (local joint). Some of the brands are known are some I've never heard of (Woods of Distinction). Does anyone have any feedback on brands that they've had particular success with?

I should state that we are looking to rent this condo and then sell in the next few years. So we want something durable, that looks nice, and are concerned with sound and insulation as a 2nd floor unit.

Am looking at 12mm thickness, click float laminates, which will be laid over old parquet or new sub-floor.


Thoughts on thickness (12mm) - could I make do with 8-10mm?
Recommended brands (quality/level milling in the tongue and groove)
Pre-padded vs. laying insulation
Necessity of new sub floor

Thanks.

Alison

Thoughts to consider. Lam is durable on the surface and great for rental because of that and because of price and ease of install. Engineered is better for reasale like the woodguy said above. When you go to resell if the renters damage the floor you have to replace where the engineered can be resaneded...or even just recoated to bring the life back. BUT the wear layer is much stronger on plastic vs wood. ALSO cheep lam installed twice may be less then engineered installed then sanded later. The value of the condo may be your deciding factor. high end area equals money equals no laminent. Thats like a millionare driving a ford focus. Even tho if i was rich i would still drive it but i am wierd.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Feedback on laminate brands


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Think you are the first person I have heard that actually has used lam a second time around. Most people that use it say they will never use it again. Sounds like you wont a third time tho huh?
Only did it once. The 8 mm floor was already installed by the previous owner and I replaced it because it sounded "thin" plus a few other issues.

I would do laminate again....in a closet, and that's about it!

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