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Old 06-07-2006, 05:25 PM   #1
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Hello, all. Short time lurker, first time poster. I'm needing some help picking a brand of laminate flooring.

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Some history (skip to the real question if you don't want to read):
My wife and I have decided to redo our kitchen floor. We currently have vinyl in the kitchen which transitions to carpet in the "dining room" (more like a combined kitchen / dining room). Our foundation is a concrete slab.

We have a 1-year old baby and another one on the way in October. As such, our carpet in the "dining room" isn't going to cut it.

So, we went looking for some wood-like vinyl. When we did, we realized it probably wouldn't be too much more to get laminate flooring. So I did a lot of research on here, learned a lot from someone named Florcraft (as well as others) by reading lots of posts on the topic.

Our combined kitchen / dining room is around 310 sq-ft. We called around to local flooring companies (such as CITY tile, CITY carpet company [don't want to say which city], CITY carpetplus as well as many many others) and got various responses which left us with a not-so-warm feeling about the company and/or the use of laminate in the kitchen.

We finally called another company here in town (we are in Indiana). The guy was very knowledgeable, answered all our questions, and even provided some insight we didn't think to ask about.

So, we think this may be the company we'll have do the work (I don't want, nor do I have the time, to do it myself). The charge is $2.00 / sq-ft for installation plus whatever the laminate costs per sq-ft. Pretty reasonable I think, and about the going rate based on posts on contractortalk and here. He says he uses a 3-in-1 base too?

Anyway, I'm now left deciding which would be the best I can get in my price-range.
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So, the company in question sells:

Mannington
Quick Step
Mohawk
Shaw

I was wondering what I should avoid, what would be the best, and which "series' within each manufacturer would be the best.

In reading on contractortalk, I can summarize my impression of the info on each manufacturer as:
Mannington - not too bad at all
Quick Step - very tight seal, very good stuff
Mohawk - Not bad, but may scratch easily
Shaw - horrible

Each one of these have what the owner called a "moisture warranty" of 15-20 years which covers small spills and such which shouldn't normally cause a problem. He showed samples of how each one had a green tint, which he said was the moisture protection built into the compressed laminate.

So, what should I look for. Which series would be best. What is a good price (for example, quick step classic and eligna was $3.30/ sq-ft, while quadra was $4.49 - are those good prices???).

Just want to get the most I can with what money I have (less than $1800).

Open to thoughts, suggestions, comments, recommendations and all that. Ask any questions I may have left vague in my description. We'd like good scratch resistance and as "water proof" as reasonably possible.

I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks.

DIYDD

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Old 06-10-2006, 01:04 PM   #2
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Does anyone from the "contractortalk" forum visit here? I'm really curious as to the "expert's" recommendations. I wanted to post in there, but it said it's for "contractors" only, and that I'm not.

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Old 06-11-2006, 08:39 AM   #3
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


DIY DD,

Sorry that no one has gotten back to you yet. Don't worry about the "Contractor's only" heading over at Contractor Talk. It's really there - to keep ALOT of simpleton questions from popping up and also to keep 'rookie' how-to 'ideas', out...
If you have a legit need (in this case, you sound like you do), post your question on the flooring forum. Let them know that no one has reponded to your question over at DYI.

I have only installed a few laminate floors. What knowledge I have, I have gotten from speaking to:
1.) Flooring Store guys at the flooring stores.
2.) Speaking to my Flooring guy (That I use for carpet and VCT)
3.) Doing personal research: like on 'Epinons' , or doing a serach on the web for whatever particular 'thing' I need info. on.

Hope this helps a lil.
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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For what it's worth -(I'm not a pro) I put in a Mannington Laminate floor about 7 years ago, and it's still going strong. - It was a "Glue together" type. Its in a Kitchen/dining room area. Two kids, two dogs. I was worried about the dog claws - but no scratches. Same for the chairs.

Personally I think the Glue type would give better spill protection - but most of my friends went to the snap together kind.
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
He showed samples of how each one had a green tint, which he said was the moisture protection built into the compressed laminate
Actually it is just a dye. it is a gimmick to show moisture protection.
It probably is moisture resistant, but the green dye has nothing to do with it.
What does have to do with it is invisible to the naked eye, so they dye the core green.

All manufacturers have good, better, and best grades. so pick from any of those manufacturers, and pick the best in that line you can afford to.
I personally like Quickstep the best out of that group.

Quote:
So, what should I look for. Which series would be best. What is a good price (for example, quick step classic and eligna was $3.30/ sq-ft, while quadra was $4.49 - are those good prices???).
For that kind of quality......yes.
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses!

What is the "good, better, best" within those brands (especially quickstep)?
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Old 06-11-2006, 05:02 PM   #7
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All I knowis that Pergo is the most popular. I've installed some cheap stuff for a client that was quite thin and fragile until put together. I will be installing some higher quality product soon (Not sure of the name yet) - I was given a sample of it, you can see the higher quality in just the top layer - it being thicker and stronger. Another consideration is in the foam padding you will use. There are several levels of quality. You should go to a few Floor stores and see what they have for both Laminates and Foam underlayment. They will show you samples of each and be able to tell you what the differences in each brand are.
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Old 06-13-2006, 12:34 PM   #8
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DYI DD,

I am undergoing same process, and finally settled on Alloc as the brand. However, I heard favorable responses from wholesalers on both Mannington and QuickStep ... everyone hated Shaw. The rapidroll 3 in 1 product is effective per wholesaler. However, the wholesaler I spoke with suggested that if I was placing laminate on top of vinyl, that I would be much better off placing a thin layer of cork on top of the vinyl rather than the 3 in one barrier ... he said the 3 in one was a waste of time over the vinyl. The cork would provide better feel and sound protection. Otherwise, he suggested an underlayer was a waste of time over vinyl. Also, he suggested that I place a thin bead of silicone caulking around the entire perimeter to help with water protection, although the mfg instructions say only to put the caulk around kitchen / wet appliances. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:38 PM   #9
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Quickstep

good - Quickstep builder grade - 10 year warranty
Better - Quickstep steps - 15 year Warranty
Best - 800 seiries and above 20+ Warranty

Different Variables will make these products a better quality.
Core, Water resistance, Alum Oxide finish thickness, ect....

I would not use Cork as an underlay unless the manufacturer will still warranty the product.
I would Caulk everywhere there is an expansion space -----cheap insurance.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:45 PM   #10
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Where on the quickstep page do I find these "good, better, best" all I see is "Eligna," "Classic," "Quadra," "Perspective," "Country," and "Elegance"

Am I missing something?

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Old 06-21-2006, 03:22 PM   #11
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look at warranties. the lowest is good, the mid is better, and the longest is best.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:40 PM   #12
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Gotcha. Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:08 PM   #13
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Okay, everything I find on quckstep website says it has a 25 year warranty.

The dealer says it's all about the same anymore. The only difference is in price for the picture they put on it.

I found my favorite U842 - Honey Oak Double Plank. It says it has a 25 year warranty + 25 year moisture warranty.

This will be good, I take it?

thanks

-DYI_DD
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:35 PM   #14
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Yes it will be good.
And yes they are starting to be right.
Laminate is heading in the direction I predicted.

High quality and low quality will be more easily determined by the look.
But there are still lots of manufacturers where you can not tell the difference visually.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #15
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Help me Choose a Laminate Brand


Hi. I have been looking for laminate flooring also. I found an article on ifloor.com (http:\\www.ifloor.com/learnmore/laminate.html) called "Brand Wars 2: A Laminate Showdown". It is a comparison of several brands and series within brands. I found it helpful.

Anne

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