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We have two dogs, a daughter with mild allergies and a swimming pool so water was always being dripped on the floor. The goal was to remove all carpeting in the house. I installed an inexpensive ($0.99 sq ft) laminate in the three bedrooms. The first install must be at least 10 years ago. I have been very pleased with how the finish has held up to the dogs' claws. My wife likes how much easier it is to keep clean.

I would be cautious about using laminate near water such as a bathroom. I used the older style laminate that was glued and somewhat water resistant. Shortly after I installed the laminate in the bath area, the shower valve started to leak. The water got under the laminate and it swelled up like a sponge. Small amounts of water on the surface are ok if cleaned up quickly. There are a few places in the bedrooms where a water spill was missed and the water had time to soak in through the joints. If you do use the laminate around water, the instructions will probably be detailed about using caulking around the perimeter.

One final comment - If you use laminate, pay close attention to how true and level the floor is. Small imperfections are fine, but stay within the limits the manufacturer specifies or you may feel a flex in the floor when you walk on it.

This has been my experience; your mileage may vary.

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