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Old 07-17-2014, 10:10 PM   #1
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Second time doing laminate


I did a Pergo floor a few years ago. It was pretty fun snapping those pieces together. It came out nice. Today I had the opportunity to do another laminate floor, so I jumped on it. But there were two key differences. The floor was concrete instead of plywood and the product was Allen + Roth instead of Pergo.

It was a total nightmare. I completely embarrassed myself. I spent two hours trying to get the first three rows in and then I finally had to call the lady and tell her this is not working. I couldn't get anything to click in right and I was tearing the tongues and grooves to shreds.

She had paid somebody else $400 to "level" the floor. He troweled on a bunch of S type mortar. It had some trowel marks, but based on my experience with the Pergo, I thought I could make it work. It didn't. But it had to. There are 20 cases of wood sitting there and they have to get installed.

I figured if I made it nice and smooth with a thin layer of self-leveling underlayment, I'd have the best chance of it working. Holy crap. That stuff is $40 per bag!

So then I thought maybe I could grind it smooth with the angle grinder and a diamond cup. That was way too aggressive and it just tore that mortar to shreds.

Then I thought about maybe renting a big floor grinder...

Then the lady suggests getting one case of Pergo and seeing if that works better. So that's what we did. It was night and day. The Pergo snapped together and actually stayed that way. So now we are returning all the wood and getting Pergo.

Has anybody had success with Allen + Roth from Lowe's? It actually got pretty decent reviews online. How do their installers put it in? It just seems like complete garbage to me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #2
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I never installed that brand---but I did two rooms for a customer,using some cheap junk---glorified card board---took way more effort than good quality product would have----
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Yes.... You tend to think of click lock/floaters as being somewhat equal.... and boy can they be different systems/quality.

If shopping new brands, I always take a case apart and test the locking system.... they are not all the same.

On unlevel/un-flat floors, even besides shimming/filling/grinding, I really like a "glue up" product (TnG glued) rather than click lock....

Unfortunately, not many makers/selection available anymore.

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Old 07-18-2014, 09:27 AM   #4
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I hope the Armstrong laminate I'm putting down soon goes well. How does Armstrong's stuff compare to Pergo? We were originally going to go with an Allen + Roth and decided not to.

I plan on gluing all joints as per their "bathroom install" instructions even though I'm putting it in our livingroom.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj133 View Post
I hope the Armstrong laminate I'm putting down soon goes well. How does Armstrong's stuff compare to Pergo? We were originally going to go with an Allen + Roth and decided not to.

I plan on gluing all joints as per their "bathroom install" instructions even though I'm putting it in our livingroom.
I don't recall Armstrong per se.... but I do believe the extra effort to glue is worthwhile in terms of floor performance......

but alot of systems have a waxy or podery click lock (to prevent squeeking) that you obviously cant glue.

Good luck
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:20 PM   #6
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What did you put under that floor for a vapor barrier?
Was a moisture check done?
No way would I be using laminate in a basement, bathroom, or kitchen.
Seen it fail way to many times.
I just flat out refuse to use cheap flooring or lay it over a slab.
Guess who they blame even if you warn them.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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I don't recall Armstrong per se.... but I do believe the extra effort to glue is worthwhile in terms of floor performance......

but alot of systems have a waxy or podery click lock (to prevent squeeking) that you obviously cant glue.

Good luck
Yeah, I was looking at one of them that is waxy. The Armstrong one recommends gluing if used in a wet area such as a bathroom. I even bought Armstrong's glue for it which btw, as someone else said seems to be Elmer's glue or close to it. Certainly smells and looks just like it.

I bought Armstrong's' padding as well and am surprised how much thicker it seems than the stuff sold at Lowes / Homer.

Either way, from everything I've read any laminate floor no matter how good should be viewed the same way as carpet, it's a temporary solution and I'm ok with that right now.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:38 PM   #8
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What did you put under that floor for a vapor barrier?
Was a moisture check done?
No way would I be using laminate in a basement, bathroom, or kitchen.
Seen it fail way to many times.
I just flat out refuse to use cheap flooring or lay it over a slab.
Guess who they blame even if you warn them.
There was no moisture check, but it's a living room on the 11th floor. Moisture doesn't seem to be an issue. She was advised that she could skip the vapor barrier. So I went with the retailer's recommendation on that.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:01 PM   #9
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Finally got the Pergo down and all trimmed out. Not perfect, but I'm pretty happy. Anybody have any good tips on how to do the transitions better? They have a matching kit that can be used as a "T" or as a step-down. What if I'm up against a high marble threshold where tile begins? What if I'm up against something that isn't close to being level?
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #10
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With a router in a table you can custom make your own transition pieces.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:51 PM   #11
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With a router in a table you can custom make your own transition pieces.
Ahhhh... Yeah, I don't have one. I just have a little trim router. But I can imagine that working like crazy. Do you just get a hunk of wood and try to match the stain color? Or is there a trick with the laminate?
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:59 AM   #12
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If you have a table saw--along with your trim router--you can make nice transitions---and ,yes, you will need a variety of stains so you can mix a color to match-

Spray varnish works well for the top coat.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmonger View Post
Ahhhh... Yeah, I don't have one. I just have a little trim router. But I can imagine that working like crazy. Do you just get a hunk of wood and try to match the stain color? Or is there a trick with the laminate?




I always use a hardwood, and as mike said if you have a table saw you can make it work with your trim router.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:52 PM   #14
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Ahhhh... Yeah, I don't have one. I just have a little trim router. But I can imagine that working like crazy. Do you just get a hunk of wood and try to match the stain color? Or is there a trick with the laminate?
Mathmonger...... Often when I have a stain matching problem (flooring transitions or counter trim/filler etc....

I go to Floor and Decor and find a matching flooring....then tool it to what I need.

They let you have a sample for a $5 deposit.

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Old 08-16-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Mathmonger...... Often when I have a stain matching problem (flooring transitions or counter trim/filler etc....

I go to Floor and Decor and find a matching flooring....then tool it to what I need.

They let you have a sample for a $5 deposit.

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Sounds like a great idea, but doesn't it leave a raw edge where you cut it? I can't totally visualize how that would work.
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