Laminate vs Hard wood vs Engineered??
I'm going to put down 500' wood flooring in my new bedroom over a tripple garage just being built. I've installed engineered floating floors before (Kahrs) and they are great, however in going to the stores there are now so many options to choose from - so here's my questions considering I'm looking for an easy install and think the "click" flooring is best and wanting handscrapped finish:
Is there such a thing as a "GOOD" laminate that won't look fake in such a large space? Should I be concerned about the MDF core? Please recommend the brands.
Saw some nice engineered but they are almost as costly as hardwood, but do have the click
Saw some solid banboo with a Janka rating of 2789 and it was on sale - however this would have to be nailed.
Should I be concerned with the time it will take to install (doing it myself) if I have to nail it, knowing I am getting a quality product at a good price, or go with the engineered flooring that will take 1/4 the time to install at relatively the same price??
BTW - the hardness of the floor matters as my 2 cats no doubt will scratch it up as they have the rest of the house, but they like myself have to live and it's not too bad.
Any recommendations will be appreciated.
You can get bamboo flooring in just about any color to nail down or as an engineered flooring material. It is harder than any domestic hardwoods. Strand bamboo is harder than most exotic hardwoods. Get it from a real supplier though. There are others but clients have always been happy with materials specified from this company. They sell through flooring outlets too.
Laminates have their place I guess and again they come in a range of quality. My aunt and uncle were getting up there and realizing they were going to have to leave their home and its stairs when I redid their kitchen. I put a real Pergo floor in for them and it lasted 15 years showing no sign of wear. They didn't have kids or pets though. I avoid specifying laminates except in extreme situations such as the house being sold soon or budget. Even then, I cringe.
I guess I am a purist and would nail down a floor if I could? Nailed floors will adapt to and with the natural flex of the house and its floor system. That said, some of the better engineered systems have a lot going for them and are certainly great where nailing is just not possible. You can also get engineered systems with wider plank looks than conventional nail down flooring.
Key to any flooring is to make sure you understand the installation. Put a decent cork underlay under them too if you can afford it.
As for pets, kids and floor surfaces? The reinforced urethane coatings can withstand a lot and the warranties reflect this. But.... There is still much to be said for area rugs and runners on heavy traveled floors.
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