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Old 02-05-2010, 01:46 PM   #1
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


Hi all,

The situation is that we have a new home that has hardwood (oak) flooring in 80% of the house. In a lot of places you can see where there has been sanding work done, and all of that aside, my wife does not like the grain. So, new floors are on the menu. Two small children means hard wearing attributes are important.

Right now I am about to tackle the largest room in the house, about 300 square feet.

My question is this - should I fit a good quality laminate (leaning to this product) directly on top of the existing floor? The height is not an issue since new doors will be fitted between the rooms. and the baseboards are already ripped off.

I know that the obvious answer is "why not refinish?". Again, my wife wants an entirely different grain, probably lighter. (we can't argue, right? Or at least we must realize we are doomed to lose) As I said earlier, hardwearing is also a requirement.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Hugh

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Old 02-06-2010, 01:11 AM   #2
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


I would NEVER put laminate over real hardwood. It simply doesn't make sense. If you have to, use a darker stain on the real wood so the grain isn't as noticeable.

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Old 02-06-2010, 01:55 AM   #3
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


Doesn't like the "grain"?? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Trailed closely by the idea of putting laminate over real hardwood. Sack up and tell your wife to deal with it!!

This is a new to you house, not a new house, correct?
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:50 AM   #4
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Originally Posted by ConstantChange View Post
I would NEVER put laminate over real hardwood. It simply doesn't make sense. If you have to, use a darker stain on the real wood so the grain isn't as noticeable.
Why darker, I said in my post that it would probably have to be lighter.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Originally Posted by brons2 View Post
Doesn't like the "grain"?? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Trailed closely by the idea of putting laminate over real hardwood. Sack up and tell your wife to deal with it!!

This is a new to you house, not a new house, correct?
Guys,

having looked i here a few times, and finally deciding to join, I have to say that the responses to my first thread seem to border on hostile. The one quoted above in particular.

The two points above are the most ridiculous things you ever heard? Really?

I asked a question regarding the feasibility of laying laminate over hardwood, I didn't ask for personal opinions as to which would suit one person over another. I kept my original post concise and to the point, but lets get into details.

1. The existing floor is in far from perfect condition. It has previously been refinished, and there are obvious large circular sanding marks. As well as that, there are quite a few joints that have opened, there is water staining (from someone having plants I suspect) lots of other little faults, like holes drilled for cables, etc. Additionally, there are deep gouges in the middle of the room where furniture had been dragged around - what do I do with that?

So, I know that I might go to a lot of trouble trying to fix this, and it not work out. Even if it does work out, what would I end up with? The floor is not as hard as I would like, so I need to be careful with it, right?

Well, since this room will be a photographic studio, I will be moving furniture around often, also, I will be moving lights, tripods, etc (all heavy stuff) back and forward. How long before my new finish is destroyed?

I was being a little "tongue in cheek" about the wife thing - surprised you thought I was serious. In any case, the oak grain is not the preferred finish, please tell me what is ridiculous about that???

If you read the first post, I said probably a lighter wood was required. That is for the photography side of things. So staining the floor darker is not an option.

Bottom line - I wont use the existing floor, which led to the question, leave it under a floating floor in hibernation for a die hard wood fan in the future, or remove it completely. Hey, you can have it for free if you want to come get it.

In the end I need to fit a hardwearing floor finish that will take a lot of punishment. If there is a hardwood floor I can buy that fits the bill, please tell me which one it is. Cost is not the issue, but under $6 a square foot would be nice. A laminated surface choice is borne out of need, not desire.

Sorry, but I was really disappointed in the attitude of the responses, if I read them wrong, let me apologize in advance.

Hugh

Here's some pics.










Last edited by hugh71158; 02-06-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


I hate oak flooring unless its quarter sawn white oak which has a pretty tight grain and is durable to traffic. Still wouldnt put it in my house without deep stain.Your floor you decide. Bamboo will probably be a good choice as I am not real big on laminates unless you get into an engineered floor/ Bamboo has a wide color selection and can be found in thin thickness
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


IMO you have two choices.
1. Sand and refinish. When you remove the decades-old finish you'll see that the natural wood color is much lighter. A water based finish will maintain that lighter color. Oil based will wear better, but will darken with age.
2. Rip it all up and lay solid maple floors.

Hardwood will wear better than any laminate. Having kids and equipment is not a valid reason to lay laminate.

If durability is a challenge, I disagree with the previous poster. Bamboo is a grass, it is soft. The only bamboo that is hard enough for your preferences is strand bamboo, which only comes in 5/8 or 3/4 inch solid tongue and groove.

Hugh, no need to get defensive. The responses were rough because what you are proposing is rather silly. As an installer, I would simply refuse to put laminate over hardwood.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:57 AM   #8
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Originally Posted by tpolk View Post
I hate oak flooring unless its quarter sawn white oak which has a pretty tight grain and is durable to traffic. Still wouldnt put it in my house without deep stain.Your floor you decide. Bamboo will probably be a good choice as I am not real big on laminates unless you get into an engineered floor/ Bamboo has a wide color selection and can be found in thin thickness
Well, I'm happy to see that someone else does not like the oak grain, maybe it's not the most ridiculous thing ever heard after all!

Bamboo, I hadn't looked at that yet, but I will now. Did you mention the thin option as a possibility of going over the existing floor? Would you cover it?

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

Hugh
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Originally Posted by Dairylander View Post
IMO you have two choices.
1. Sand and refinish. When you remove the decades-old finish you'll see that the natural wood color is much lighter. A water based finish will maintain that lighter color. Oil based will wear better, but will darken with age.
2. Rip it all up and lay solid maple floors.

Hardwood will wear better than any laminate. Having kids and equipment is not a valid reason to lay laminate.

If durability is a challenge, I disagree with the previous poster. Bamboo is a grass, it is soft. The only bamboo that is hard enough for your preferences is strand bamboo, which only comes in 5/8 or 3/4 inch solid tongue and groove.

Hugh, no need to get defensive. The responses were rough because what you are proposing is rather silly. As an installer, I would simply refuse to put laminate over hardwood.
I take your point that maybe my question was seen as silly - but then if we always knew the answers, there would be no questions. I honestly would never answer someones question by saying it was the mist ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Especially to a newcomer to the forum. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, flooring is not my strength.

I wanted to ask about the stance of never putting laminate over hardwood. If you were definitely going to lay laminate, if that is a decision that has been finalized, regardless of whether it is the best finish to have, would you use the existing floor as a backing?

That is the question that I am basically asking, regardless of what floor I lay, if I lay a new one is it best to remove the existing? You said one of my options was to rip it all up and lay maple. That's a pretty straight answer, I am taking it that you would not leave the old floor down.

Thanks for the answer, I do appreciate it. Although I am a capable person when it comes to DIY, I don't know a lot about the hardwood floor scene in the U.S. (I'm originally from Scotland) You guys seem to be much more into it.

Hugh

Oh, one other question please - does the floor in the pics look like it could be saved??? The water damage look particularly difficult to fix.

Last edited by hugh71158; 02-06-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


Hugh,
Your existing floor definitely looks like it's in rough shape visually but how is it structurally when you walk on it? Does it squeak, or have any bows in the floor? Also, is it upstairs or downstairs? I'm not familiar with Michigan homes but if the existing wood floors where put down over a slab than I would at least try the laminate over it in one room first to see how it goes. If it’s upstairs, then I would remove old wood floor first. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Hugh,
Your existing floor definitely looks like it's in rough shape visually but how is it structurally when you walk on it? Does it squeak, or have any bows in the floor? Also, is it upstairs or downstairs? I'm not familiar with Michigan homes but if the existing wood floors where put down over a slab than I would at least try the laminate over it in one room first to see how it goes. If it’s upstairs, then I would remove old wood floor first. Hope this helps.

Hi,

the floor seems to be nice and level - it's on a timber subfloor, with our basement beneath. No squeaks or any other issues other than what's in the images - it's just getting well past it's best.

Regards,

Hugh

Last edited by hugh71158; 02-06-2010 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:35 AM   #12
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


Hugh,

I would not hesitate to put a new floor over what you have since it is solid.

When it comes to what type of floor, well that's the $64 question. For every positive comment you read on the net you'll fine an equal number of negatives on most floor brands/type. That's the reality. I'm also fairly confident thats due to who installed it and over what surface.

I'd start by picking out what finish your after and then look at every product you can get your hands on that offers something close. Then research by manufacturer and consumer use.

Stay away from discount flooring and look for companies that stand behind their warranty.

Just my 2
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


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Hugh,

I would not hesitate to put a new floor over what you have since it is solid.

When it comes to what type of floor, well that's the $64 question. For every positive comment you read on the net you'll fine an equal number of negatives on most floor brands/type. That's the reality. I'm also fairly confident thats due to who installed it and over what surface.

I'd start by picking out what finish your after and then look at every product you can get your hands on that offers something close. Then research by manufacturer and consumer use.

Stay away from discount flooring and look for companies that stand behind their warranty.

Just my 2
Thank you Shamus, that answers my question pretty clearly. I have come to the conclusion that the old floor stays, regardless of what type of flooring I lay over it.

The basement below will become a games room later on in the proceedings, so maybe the extra flooring will help keep the noise down.

Thanks again.

Hugh
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #14
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Laminate over hardwood floor.


hugh, if your existing floors are solid (no loose boards, no squeaks, no wavyness, etc) you will have no problem installing a new floor on top.(floating or nailed) the only issue you might come accross is raising the level of your flooring - think door jambs, thresholds, doors that are hanging low, etc. also, if this new flooring is going in the kitchen too, make sure it's not going to block in any under-countertop installed appliances. the last thing you want to do When you're trying to remove a dishwasher is to rip out the flooring in front of it....
keeping all that in mind, you should be fine installing on top....
dunno if you made up you mind about the floors yet, but look into engineered floating floors... you might like it and i'm pretty sure you can find someting that fits your taste...(dunno about your budget..)
good luck...
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #15
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hugh, if your existing floors are solid (no loose boards, no squeaks, no wavyness, etc) you will have no problem installing a new floor on top.(floating or nailed) the only issue you might come accross is raising the level of your flooring - think door jambs, thresholds, doors that are hanging low, etc. also, if this new flooring is going in the kitchen too, make sure it's not going to block in any under-countertop installed appliances. the last thing you want to do When you're trying to remove a dishwasher is to rip out the flooring in front of it....
keeping all that in mind, you should be fine installing on top....
dunno if you made up you mind about the floors yet, but look into engineered floating floors... you might like it and i'm pretty sure you can find someting that fits your taste...(dunno about your budget..)
good luck...
Hi,

this is actually the main front room in the house, it leads to the hallway and the dining room. Bother entrances are open, with no trim whatsoever. I am installing new baseboards, and will also fit doors into the openings.

In a nutshell, there is absolutely nothing in my way. I will have a look at the engineered stuff more closely - I was considering that as a possibility.

Thanks a lot!

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