Buying laminate online & hiring an installer

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-30-04, 08:24 PM
Raine
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Smile Buying laminate online & hiring an installer

Here's my experience, in case it's helpful to anyone...

I needed to rip out the carpet in my kids' rooms due to dust mite allergies. I planned on replacing it with a laminate floor from either Lowe's or Home Depot, but I didn't care for their Pergo selections. After spending a lot of time looking at the laminates on-line, I finally decided on the Witex Town & Country Plus. It's 10 mm thick, has true-to-grain surface texture, is rated AC4, has a 30-yr warranty, and has 4 extras--Plus Silent Comfort backing, Aqua Protect water resistance, Sanitized antimicrobial protection, and Surface Armor aluminum oxide finish.

I found it at a great price at diyflooring ($2.99/sqft), but the shipping was high, plus I live in WA state where they are incorporated and so would have to pay tax. Over at fastfloors, it was more expensive ($3.35/sf), but the shipping was cheaper and there was no tax. They also had a 110% price match guarantee. So, I figured I'd buy the floor from fastfloors and have them match diyflooring's lower price, and take advantage of fastfloor's cheaper shipping. Well, there was a catch with fastfloors--they will match a competitor's price, but you then have to pay whatever that competitor charges for shipping!

Well, I ended up buying from fastfloors due to no taxes. Also, at fastfloors they ship to your door--at diyflooring, the difference between shipping to your door versus shipping to a Seattle terminal was over $100!

My next hurdle was hiring an installer. At Witex's website, they'll give you a list of Witex distributors in your area. I called a bunch of them and finally found two who didn't carry the particular type of Witex I needed but could give me the name of a floor installer they recommended. The one I settled on is charging me $3 per sq ft and about $1.25 per sq ft for the wallbase, plus $50 to rip out/dispose of the carpet from the 2 bedrooms for a total of $1017.

The floors will be installed in the next 7-10 days. I will post later and let you know how the installation goes.

Also, the total price for the floor, wallbase, square nose, carpet pullout and disposal, and installation is $2300 to cover 2 bedrooms totaling 275 sq. ft.

P.S. If you're "in the business," can you tell me if the expense for the floor and labor sounds reasonable. Thanks!

P.S. 2: At Witex's website, they have a "design center" that allowed me to look at a bedroom, select the color of the furniture, and then select the color of the floor, enabling me to better picture how the floor will look with my kids' pine wood beds. I was going to order the traditional cherry, but upon seeing it with the pine wood furniture I selected the Victorian cherry instead.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-30-04, 10:29 PM
salamanca
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I also live in WA state. This is the first year you can deduct WA state sales tax on your federal income tax return. Since you can deduct the sales tax, it shouldn't be a deal breaker. I would ask around or go to the CFI or Better Business Bureau website. I was going to have a wholesale place (not the big box places) install laminate after a reasonable price for the product and installation was quoted in the store. The installer did not show to measure the floors on the appointment day and the store was called. The installer came the following day and am still waiting for a quote one week later-even after calling the store. Well I am back to plan B and have found a liscensed and bonded installer through a collegue who was pleased enough to have the installer return and do an additional room. My best advice is to take your time, do your research, and don't be afraid to revise your plans. By the way, I removed the baseboard and carpet to save money. It's tedious work but not that hard to do.
 
  #3  
Old 12-01-04, 10:33 AM
Annette's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,158
Thumbs up Do It Yourself!!!!!

$2300 for 2 kids' bedrooms?? wow. are you sure you don't want to install it yourself?! it's surprisingly simple! my husband and i did our kitchen & dining room, and ran into no problems whatsoever! all you need is a mitre saw (or circular saw - heck, you could make do with a jig saw or hand saw if you HAD to!), and if you don't have one, your neighbor probably does. or you can buy one for yourself for Christmas for about $100. and if your flooring already has the pad attached to the back, there's one less step.

seriously - i did 90% of the work myself, while my husband kept our 2 toddlers occupied. if i can do it, anyone can. it only took a couple days to lay it, and i put the trim back up the next weekend. it's a great DIY project.

we bought ours at a big box and they had the instructional video running, so we just stood there & watched it a couple times, then did exactly as the instruction sheet said to. and with all the help & advice you can get HERE, i'd strongly encourage you to consider it!

P.S. Here in Missouri, the big box is charging $2.00 sq foot for installation, but i know of a couple handymen-type guys who'd do it for $1.50. $3.00 sounds high, but maybe everything's higher there.
 
  #4  
Old 12-01-04, 02:56 PM
dkarizona
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Annette
$2300 for 2 kids' bedrooms?? wow. are you sure you don't want to install it yourself?! it's surprisingly simple! my husband and i did our kitchen & dining room, and ran into no problems whatsoever! all you need is a mitre saw (or circular saw - heck, you could make do with a jig saw or hand saw if you HAD to!), and if you don't have one, your neighbor probably does. or you can buy one for yourself for Christmas for about $100. and if your flooring already has the pad attached to the back, there's one less step.

seriously - i did 90% of the work myself, while my husband kept our 2 toddlers occupied. if i can do it, anyone can. it only took a couple days to lay it, and i put the trim back up the next weekend. it's a great DIY project.

we bought ours at a big box and they had the instructional video running, so we just stood there & watched it a couple times, then did exactly as the instruction sheet said to. and with all the help & advice you can get HERE, i'd strongly encourage you to consider it!

P.S. Here in Missouri, the big box is charging $2.00 sq foot for installation, but i know of a couple handymen-type guys who'd do it for $1.50. $3.00 sounds high, but maybe everything's higher there.
We're thinking about installing laminate as well. For the carpetted areas, was it easy to rip the existing carpet out and prep the floor? Is there any prep needed? For lino areas, can we just install it on top or do we have to scrap the lino off first?

Also, I don't know what the differences are between brands and materials. What should be my considerations in making a choice?
 
  #5  
Old 12-01-04, 03:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,615
There are no installation instruction on the site but the backing seems to be already on. These installers will love you. And your money.There are 7 pieces in a box,for which they will relieve you of about $60. This is simple stuff. Do it yourself. You can get all the help you need here.

I see another post. Get click together and forget the glue. The ones with the backing on the back save work[you can add backing if you want to]. Go right over linoleum. I have alloc and it will never come apart. The installation charges are outrageous for such a simple thing.
 
  #6  
Old 12-01-04, 05:55 PM
florcraft
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The installation charges are outrageous for such a simple thing.
over 80% of failures are due to installation.
Mostly by DIY'ers.

yes it is simple, but when a mistake is made, it can cost a bundle.
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-04, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
Ask the installers if they will do it on an hourly + materials used that they have to supply basis. I do stuff hourly, just because it isn't worth it to bid it per sq.ft. at a low "going rate" I start @ $2.25 per sq.ft for glueless laminates, and go up from there, but I am really bidding on how much time I estimate it will take. So one laminate job could be $2.25, and one $5 per sq.ft.

Being a small job, I too would bid it high.
 
  #8  
Old 12-01-04, 07:26 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,615
Why not charge by the day or the hr. like say $30 per man hr or $250 a day for a real mechanic and $150 for a helper. Homeowners have no idea how long it takes you yo put down 1sq ft on average

over 80% of failures are due to installation.
Mostly by DIY'ers.

When I did my floor it was either right or wrong. If it was wrong you knew it right away. Next piece didn't fit. I really can't see a lot going wrong. I mean you put the flooring in the room a few day ahead of time.Do your layout so you don't end up with a too small piece. leave your 1/4 in around the edge and put the floor down. I don't see this as being a job that requires any other expansion joints. My floor cost $1700. the contractor wanted $4000 floor[much more $than online] and installation. Sounds like I saved $2300.For 2 days work. I could do it all over again and still be ahead of the game [moneywise]. Sure it would be a hassle but odds are it will not happen. And anyway I doubt that the warranty,not the floor the installation would be in effect now.

I would not hesitate to do it myself on any substrate including concrete. Find out how to do it and go for it
 

Last edited by joneq; 12-01-04 at 07:37 PM.
  #9  
Old 12-02-04, 07:21 AM
Annette's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,158
We're thinking about installing laminate as well. For the carpetted areas, was it easy to rip the existing carpet out and prep the floor? Is there any prep needed? For lino areas, can we just install it on top or do we have to scrap the lino off first?

Also, I don't know what the differences are between brands and materials. What should be my considerations in making a choice?
dkarizona:

it is easy (and kinda fun if you really hate it!) to rip out carpet. grab a corner (might need some pliers to grip it good) and pull! it's also really gross! be prepared for the horror that awaits you underneath!! you can also cut it in half or fourths beforehand to make the pieces easier to handle & get out of the room. our subfloor was ugly but smooth & seemingly flat (you're supposed to check it, but we didn't - oops). our prep consisted of sweeping & vacuuming & pulling out all the staples that had held the carpet pad down, and removing the tack strips.

we had glued-down vinyl in our kitchen and carpet in our dining room. so we ripped up the DR carpet, but left the Kit vinyl down and laid the new laminate over it. our instructions said laying it over vinyl was ok. don't do anything that will void your warranty. we were told that attempting to pull up the vinyl would be (a) a nightmare and (b) even if we were able to get it up, we'd be left with an uneven, dried glue mess to deal with, which would be much worse than just leaving it. plus, the vinyl is an added layer of protection/insulation over the subfloor.

one pro here, florcraft, has said that the best ones are Pergo Select, Wilsonart Estate, Armstrong Laminates for Life, and Mannington Icore (which is moistureproof). we went with an inexpensive one ($1.99) from a big box and are happy with it (TrafficMaster). if i had it to do over again, i'd spend a little more for the kind with the underlayment already attached to the back. it wasn't difficult dealing with the underlayment that comes in a roll, but it was just one more hassle that could be avoided.
 
  #10  
Old 12-02-04, 07:47 AM
Raine
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thank you, all, for responding. I wish I were a true do-it-yourselfer, but alas, just buying the laminate on-line is about as DIY as I get.

I am re-thinking the use of the installer as he really has it easy on this job with no underlayment to deal with since it's already attached.

Salamanca: If you live in the greater Seattle area, could I get the name of the installer you're using? I live in Sammamish.

By the way, does anyone have an opinion on Witex Town & Country Plus? While I've already purchased it, if I love it I may later also put it in my office and bonus room.
 
  #11  
Old 12-02-04, 07:56 AM
dkarizona
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Annette
dkarizona:

it is easy (and kinda fun if you really hate it!) to rip out carpet. grab a corner (might need some pliers to grip it good) and pull! it's also really gross! be prepared for the horror that awaits you underneath!! you can also cut it in half or fourths beforehand to make the pieces easier to handle & get out of the room. our subfloor was ugly but smooth & seemingly flat (you're supposed to check it, but we didn't - oops). our prep consisted of sweeping & vacuuming & pulling out all the staples that had held the carpet pad down, and removing the tack strips.

we had glued-down vinyl in our kitchen and carpet in our dining room. so we ripped up the DR carpet, but left the Kit vinyl down and laid the new laminate over it. our instructions said laying it over vinyl was ok. don't do anything that will void your warranty. we were told that attempting to pull up the vinyl would be (a) a nightmare and (b) even if we were able to get it up, we'd be left with an uneven, dried glue mess to deal with, which would be much worse than just leaving it. plus, the vinyl is an added layer of protection/insulation over the subfloor.

one pro here, florcraft, has said that the best ones are Pergo Select, Wilsonart Estate, Armstrong Laminates for Life, and Mannington Icore (which is moistureproof). we went with an inexpensive one ($1.99) from a big box and are happy with it (TrafficMaster). if i had it to do over again, i'd spend a little more for the kind with the underlayment already attached to the back. it wasn't difficult dealing with the underlayment that comes in a roll, but it was just one more hassle that could be avoided.
Annette,
Thanks for the great info!! Was your DR and kitchen connected? The reason I ask is waht do you do about discontinuities between rooms? If we leave the lino in the kitchen but remove the carpet on the adjacent room, wouldn't we be left with a height difference between the rooms? Is there some sort of leveling strip that we put on top at the joint between rooms? Or can you just use a planer/sander or something to make a smooth transition?
 
  #12  
Old 12-02-04, 08:12 AM
Annette's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,158
Annette,
Thanks for the great info!! Was your DR and kitchen connected? The reason I ask is waht do you do about discontinuities between rooms? If we leave the lino in the kitchen but remove the carpet on the adjacent room, wouldn't we be left with a height difference between the rooms? Is there some sort of leveling strip that we put on top at the joint between rooms? Or can you just use a planer/sander or something to make a smooth transition?
dkarizona:

they used to look like 2 separate rooms, because of the 2 different floorings, but we laid the laminate lengthwise from one room to the other, so now it looks like a huge eat-in kitchen. i was concerned that you'd feel a "bump" where the vinyl edge was, but you don't. the underlayment helps to level it out some, and the vinyl is really soooooo thin (thinner than you'd think), that you can't possibly feel it under the stiff laminate, which is like, what, 3/8" thick? it's not a problem.

we did, however, have to lay an additional 1/4" plywood subfloor in the dining room, to bring it up to the same level as the kitchen. apparently, the builders laid an additional 1/4" subfloor in the kitchen, under the vinyl, so it would be the same height as the dining room. i guess carpet & pad brings up a floor higher than vinyl.
 
  #13  
Old 12-02-04, 09:52 AM
florcraft
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Witex is a good product as well. The town and country series is quite nice.
Plus Witex uses the Uniclic design, so it's easier to get together.
 
  #14  
Old 12-02-04, 05:11 PM
Raine
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks, florcraft.

Okay, I'm happy. Because of you guys questioning the cost of the installation, I went to servicemagic.com and contacted other installers. I ended up finding an installer who is licensed, bonded, and who just happens to live within a mile of my house. I told him that the other contractor was charging me $1017. Anyway, he ended up offering me a flat price of $650. I think the fact that it's nearing Christmas and work might be slowing down may have helped--he said the $3/sq ft bid I had been given was not unreasonable for this area.

I'll let you all know how it goes.
 
  #15  
Old 12-06-04, 11:28 AM
dkarizona
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Annette
dkarizona:
....
we did, however, have to lay an additional 1/4" plywood subfloor in the dining room, to bring it up to the same level as the kitchen. apparently, the builders laid an additional 1/4" subfloor in the kitchen, under the vinyl, so it would be the same height as the dining room. i guess carpet & pad brings up a floor higher than vinyl.
Annette,
Thanks for the good advice. I also read somewhere that for a concrete base, I need to put down some plastic sheet. Not sure why.
I'm also worried about removing the baseboards for some reason. I am imagining cracked pieces of wood everywhere!

I've been checking out the cost of carpet installation and I got one quote which was $2.50/sqft labor. With that cost I can do laminate everywhere and come out ahead (other than a sore back).
 
  #16  
Old 12-06-04, 11:32 AM
Annette's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,158
Thumbs down no way

are you sure that carpet labor wasn't $2.50 per square YARD? i think it probably was............

if your house is 100 years old with the original tall baseboards, i wouldn't touch them - just add 1/4 round. but if your house is newer, remove them. it seems scary, and it is, but they probably won't crack. if you do it slowly, a little at a time, inching your way down the length of it, then come back to the beginning and do a little more, it'll be fine. a good tip i heard recently was to just hammer the finish nails all the way through before you start removing the trim. it's worth it for the finished look you'll get.


and the plastic is a vapor barrier. for the moisture that comes thru concrete. i'm not a pro on that subject, though.....

...or THIS subject, for that matter!!!
 
  #17  
Old 12-06-04, 11:46 AM
rlvarcoe
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
$2,300

I think I am moving to WA...lol.. My wife works at a beer distributorship and they wanted to redo the office (about 200 sq feet). So being in the business I volunteered to do the work. With moving the furniture (including a big big safe), removing the carpet and installing I was done in about 8 hours.... You do the math!
 
  #18  
Old 12-06-04, 01:16 PM
Raine
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Just to clarify, I purchased my floor (Witex Town & Country Plus) for $1017 on-line. Regarding the labor expense, I got more bids and am now using a contractor who bid the whole labor (carpet removal/disposal and installation of floor & wall base) for $650. The total expense to cover both bedrooms is now $1667.

Unfortunately, they're out of stock on my floor color so I'll have to wait 2 more weeks.

You don't want to move here, believe me. The cost of living is extremely high.
 
  #19  
Old 01-09-05, 05:59 PM
Raine
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Well, the Victorian Cherry-colored laminate is finally on my kids' bedroom floors. It looks absolutely gorgeous and is so easy to clean, plus their dust-mite allergy symptoms have disappeared!

I was planning to damp mop it using my Swiffer wet mop--fortunately, I called the manufacturer to make sure this was okay and was told to STOP! I was told to use Bona Kemi Hard Surface Cleaner as the Swiffer wet cloths would damage the laminate. I found the Bona Kemi (a Swedish product) at Linen n Things. I use it with a mop with microfiber disposable cloths. My kids now have the cleanest floors in the house.

The final cost was:

Product: $1017 (includes shipping to my front door from Atlanta to Seattle) for the laminate and baseboards for 2 bedrooms
Labor: $650 (for installation and carpet removal/disposal)
Other: $150 (to install some floor boards)

TOTAL: $1817
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes