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Laminate Flooring Info - Please Help!

Hello everyone. I just bought my first home and I am going to be ripping up the carpet and putting laminate flooring down. I have never done this before. Is there a certain brand I should use, a certain thickness (7mm.8mm). Does the thickness really matter? Does the moisture barrier reall work or do I need to seal the concrete with a liquid barrier? Is this something I can do myself without messing it up? I live in Sarasota, Florida and I am looking for deals on the laminate now, cause my funds are really tight. Any info you can give me I reall would appriciate it. :) FYI - I would like to find good stuff under $1.40 sq ft.:thumbup:
 

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For that price range you are probably looking for a 7mm product. Don't go less than 7mm. Lowes does carry a 6mm and 5mm from time to time. They break as you install them they are so cheap. I prefer an 8mm or better myself because you get less cracking and hollow sounds with a thicker product. Yes the pad with the taped edges does provide an adequate moisture barrier. As for brand, stay away from anything made by Kronotex, that includes Formica brand. Quickstep is one of the easiest to install. Mannington, Wilsonart, Shaw, and Armstrong are all good easy to find brands. Yes you can do it all yourself with some planning and research ahead of time. The hardest part is usually dealing with installation around door frames.
 

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I never put anything with less than 9mm but for your budget you'll have to go for less. All the flooring is wear rated and the packaging has the ratings right on them and how much traffic they are rated for.
 

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FYI - I would like to find good stuff under $1.40 sq ft.
You will find stuff in that price range for sure....good? Maybe.
Try to stick to the major manufacturers....Quickstep, Mannington, Wilsonart...ect...
 

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http://www.simplefloors.com/products/Laminate-Flooring/Genva-Loc-Acoustic/collection31.aspx I just used this flooring in my home project. It was a great value for the price. We only ordered half a pallet because we were only doing ~450 SF, so it was a bit more spendy than ordering a full pallet, but it was worth every penny. It's 10.3mm (keep in mind it has the padding already attached, so it's really more like an 8mm laminate) and, if you order a full pallet, under $1.40/SF (shipping is not included and ran us $250). The floor was easy to install and it looks amazing! Most of the types have the finishing pieces available... I did make a newbie mistake and ordered their newest line, which did not have any finishing pieces, so I'm still trying to work around that. If you need the finishing pieces (transitions, stair noses, etc), make sure you verify they have it in the finish you want before you order.

This was my very first DIY project and it went amazingly well. After about 2 hours of frustration trying to figure out the best method of laying it, the floor went in smoothly. We finished 1 room in about 4-5 hours.
 
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