Laminate floors vs wood floors

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  #1  
Old 10-07-05, 08:27 PM
rcarmid
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Red face Help!!! Laminate or wood floors

I'm new at this so please bear with me. I read a response to a query about laminate flooring options. A response was made stating that recarpeting and or placing down a laminate floor will not increase the home value??? Also stated that laminate floor does not hold up to heavy traffic. My concerns, I live in a small house with kids and two dogs. They have trashed my carpet and I'm considering laminate after researching which flooring would best meet our needs as well as the recommendation of the retailers (not to mention the cost). All pretty much say that wood floors would be extremly diffucult to maintain given the traffic. After reading the response mentioned above, I'm a bit confused. I am considering purchasing either Wilsonart, Alloc or a retailer recommended BHK. Your thoughts?

I really need some advice about this. Any one out there that can help?
What should I expect to spend for a quality engineered wood floor in a 368 sq. ft. space?
 

Last edited by rcarmid; 10-07-05 at 09:03 PM. Reason: I really could use some advice.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-05, 10:02 PM
HERBIE
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I Would Go Laminate Buy A Quality Name Brand Not The Cheap Thin Kind. It Should Last 30 To 50 Years, I Went On Ebay Got It At 1/2 Price,and It Was Delivered To My Garage On A Pallet, The Truck Lowered It Down And Wheeled It Inside My Garage. From There I Moved It Inside So It Would Adjust To The Climate. It Was Easy To Install And Looks Great!
 
  #3  
Old 10-09-05, 09:12 AM
tsurvey
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Don't know much about flooring but being married to a RE appraiser whom I often discuss these issues, I have some input there. Flooring is added for your pleasure, not for increasing the value of the home. Solid wood floors might have an impact, but why should I care, as a buyer, if you put in laminate or decent carpet if the cost of the floor is the same. I good quality carpet with proper care will also hold up for a long time). If your traffic patterns are that extreme, you might even want to look at tile. There are some very nice looking, interlocking tiles that look like stone. You can not refinish laminate and I don't think they will hold up well under the conditions you talk about. But again, durability is not my area or knowledge.
Teresa
My husband always says, if you want to increase the value of your home... remodel the bathrooms and kitchen.
 

Last edited by tsurvey; 10-09-05 at 09:13 AM. Reason: addition
  #4  
Old 10-09-05, 07:27 PM
HERBIE
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the laminate will last min.25 yrs low maintanance, compared to carpet 7 to 10,and hardwood floors are more expensive and harder to maintain sand,varnish,while laminate is a easy diy project and carpet and hardwood arent, just my way of seeing the situation.
 
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Old 10-09-05, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HERBIE
the laminate will last min.25 yrs low maintanance,

You have been oversold!!! Laminates will micro scratch and dull over time. You may not wear through to the core board in 25 years but I guarantee they will "ugly out" within 7-10 years in the high traffic lanes.
 
  #6  
Old 10-10-05, 08:21 AM
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As mentioned above, my personal feeling is that flooring as a general rule isn't really about adding value, like adding a garage or finishin ga basement, its more about having something that YOU enjoy walking on. Remember the "value" of a home and its makeup isn't like a set sort of thing, it's just a matter of any individual really wants. While I like hardwood, my wife could care less and hates the maintanance, so when we were buyin ga housei t had no extra"value" to us.
Seems to me the "added value" just comes from the general expense of the product, AKA hardwooid floor will cost you $2-5k (for example) while teh same in laminate can be 1k or less... the "value" comes in that the buyer thinks (oh, now I don't have to spend that much $$"...if laminate cost as much, then I bet it would "add value".

SO in other words, my humble opinion is, buy what you want and will work best for you. Seems like laminate is the way to go, even if it dosn't last 20 years (and I bet you'll wnat a change in less time anyway) it will be alot less work for you and look nice. Oh and also w/ kids, won't hurt as much as tile when a head hits it...
 
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Old 10-10-05, 08:33 PM
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My concerns, I live in a small house with kids and two dogs.

Dogs and wood/laminate floors do not go together. But, at least with "real wood" you can always have the scratches buffed out when you refinish the floor every year.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 07:51 AM
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I have laminate and solid in my house. The laminate is in the high traffic areas and kitchen. Its Pergo and was installed in 98. We have 2 kids and use our kitchen more than the avg person. It still looks nice, although you can start to see the micro scratches. We have a cat that slides across it often with no problems. I'd imagine a big dog would cause some problems, but laminate may help control the dog smell.

You didnt mention when you plan to sell your house. Either will add value to your house if they are replacing something that is in poor condition. For resale value, the biggest thing is being in good condition and a neutral color (laminate or carpet). If you have poor condition flooring replace it before selling your house, it will cost you more in the long run not too. If big items (i.e. flooring) in your house are in poor condition, it will give the buyer the impression the whole house was probably poorly maintained and result in a lower price.
 
  #9  
Old 10-11-05, 07:57 AM
gary63
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What about putting down decent quality rugs with non-slip backing in the high traffic areas? I know this would be useless if most of the floor has high traffic, but it may help say by entrances, etc and would add a nice appearance to the rooms. I would suggest something like Indian or Persian rugs, they will last more than a lifetime but are not cheap.
 
  #10  
Old 10-12-05, 09:33 AM
jfq
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We were going to put laminate floors in our house originally but the more I looked at them and walked on them the cheaper they looked so we went with prefininished teak, 3 1/4 x 3/4, and the difference is 1000%.Just an opinion but if it was a choice of laminate or carpet I'd go with the carpet.
 
  #11  
Old 10-12-05, 09:53 AM
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my 2:

background: we replaced the vinyl flooring in our kitchen and the carpet in our dining room with one big expanse of floating laminate and we love it. granted, it's not real wood, but it looks great, it's held up perfectly (2 young kids, 1 dog), it's a cinch to clean & it's a huge improvement over what was there.

we've spent the last year looking for a bigger house to buy. whenever i walked into a house and saw either vinyl or laminate anywhere - even though it was new and/or attractive - i thought to myself, "oh, that's nice." whenever i walked into a house with tile and/or real wood floors, i said out loud, "ooooh! tile floors!! oooh! wood floors!!!!! "

i can't say that i wouldn't have bought one of the houses with the vinyl or laminate, but i was always instantly more interested & impressed in the ones with tile or wood. it's an upgrade. it's "nicer." it sets the mood that you're entering/in a home that's higher quality. and usually it goes hand in hand with other upgrades, like nicer trim, crown moulding, more details everywhere.

i think when you're deciding what to put in your own home, you should think about "how nice" your home is or "how nice" you want your home to be. if it's a starter home, or just an average-nice house, in an average neighborhood, laminate is easy to install, looks great, and probably is an improvement over what's there. if you house is - or will be - nicer than average, in a really nice neighborhood, with all the other upgrades & details, then go for real wood. your choice should be appropriate and in-line with the home. when you go to list your house for sale, "wood flooring" is an upgraded feature to be mentioned & played up. "laminate flooring"...not so much.

you say your house is a small house, so i'd think laminate would be money well spent. it will definitely look better than trashed carpet, and it will wear better & clean up better than carpet, in heavily trafficked areas. however, i'm not sure which rooms you're thinking of putting the laminate in - ? personally, i prefer carpet in bedrooms.
 
  #12  
Old 10-12-05, 08:19 PM
colinear
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i am going to be installing pergo select in the living areas of my entire house (1300 sq. ft.). the pergo select is rated AC5 so it will withstand the wear and tear of pretty much anything that you do to it. granted, for resale value the best way to go is hardwood. but i just spent $5K and got the top of the line Pergo with the top of the line underlayment, mouldings, stair noses, everything. and the pergo select has a lifetime warranty. knowing that i won't have to keep all over my kids about scratching and dinging hardwood made the choice that much easier.

you should go with laminate. just make sure you get the best stuff out there. good luck!
 
  #13  
Old 10-13-05, 08:02 AM
smittymike19
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hmmm

Originally Posted by colinear
i am going to be installing pergo select in the living areas of my entire house (1300 sq. ft.). the pergo select is rated AC5 so it will withstand the wear and tear of pretty much anything that you do to it. granted, for resale value the best way to go is hardwood. but i just spent $5K and got the top of the line Pergo with the top of the line underlayment, mouldings, stair noses, everything. and the pergo select has a lifetime warranty. knowing that i won't have to keep all over my kids about scratching and dinging hardwood made the choice that much easier.

you should go with laminate. just make sure you get the best stuff out there. good luck!
i am in total disagreement with this idea. sorry i was just at a friends and he has pergo and let me tell you it looks and FEELS so cheap. its clickity like you are walking on cheap plastic and am SO glad i went for real hardwoods. i highly doubt if you let your kids have their way with the laminates that they are going to hold up any better than the hardwoods. plus when the hardwoods get banged up, they can always be refinished. in my eyes a very poor choice to go with laminates.

woods vs laminates
1. cost: woods are marginally more expensive than laminates. as you say you spent 5000 on laminates for 1300 sq ft. thats 3.84 a sq ft. i just bought hardwoods for 4.39 sq ft. price difference is basically negligible.

2. wear and tear: as far as i have found it appears that woods and laminates are roughly equal in durability. the major difference is that once laminates are worn or damaged they must be removed. hardwoods can be refinished and look brand new again.

3. value. no question that wood floors add SOME sort of value to your house. probably not going to get more than 60% of your investment back but as the saying goes "60% of something is more than 100% of nothing".

4. look and feel. this is where (imho) wood floors blow the doors off of laminates. there is no way that you can tell me that laminates feel "rich" under you feet. they feel very cheap and look cheap too. sorry but its the truth. additionally, the wood floors add some "stick strength" to your house. these days new houses are being thrown together faster and cheaper than ever before and the woods floors will definitely help with tightening the structure. trust me on this. i just put in hardwoods and the house feels SO much stronger, not to mention it sounds much better too.

sorry but to me putting in laminates seems like a "good enough for now" type of job. why not do it right the first time and be done with it?
 
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Old 10-13-05, 09:27 PM
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Here's my two cents worth!
I own rental houses and have been putting laminate in them. Every single person that comes to view loves the flooring. Its a great selling feature for rentals. It doesn't stain and is almost indestructible. However, I use $1.00 a foot stuff so it is cheaper than carpet, I can install it myself and it looks better imo. In rentals I expect to get about 3-5 years out of a carpet in high traffic areas so if I get 3-5 out of the laminate, I'm ahead of the game. Anything past that is a bonus.
In my own house, I expect to be putting in hardwood rather than laminate mainly because my kids are older and our dogs are small. Hardwood defintely looks better and I think will at the very least, make your house easier to sell. However, my sister-in-law is unhappy with her hardwood because some of it is in a high traffic area and is getting scratched up. In my office area, I would like to use laminate because of rolling chairs etc but I don't like a patchwork flooring effect so I'll probably hardwood everythign.
From what you have told us, I would reccomend laminate. The quality of the laminate would be determined by how soon I wanted to sell my house. I liked Annettes decsion process i.e. are you going to be the nicest house on the block in an average area. Personally, all home upgrades don't need to be made with resale as the defining factor so if you like and can afford hardwood, go for it.
If laminate doesn't work out replace it in 5 years just as you might with carpet.
There's my opinion
 

Last edited by mjd2k; 10-14-05 at 01:42 AM.
  #15  
Old 10-14-05, 01:38 AM
colinear
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Originally Posted by smittymike19
i am in total disagreement with this idea. sorry i was just at a friends and he has pergo and let me tell you it looks and FEELS so cheap. its clickity like you are walking on cheap plastic and am SO glad i went for real hardwoods. i highly doubt if you let your kids have their way with the laminates that they are going to hold up any better than the hardwoods. plus when the hardwoods get banged up, they can always be refinished. in my eyes a very poor choice to go with laminates.
what line of Pergo did you friend install? if it was one of the lines sold at lowe's or home depot then i am not suprised that it looks and feels cheap. those versions of pergo are actually just lower end laminates with a licensed pergo name slapped on em'. pergo select is pergo's top of the line laminate. you can tell it isn't wood, but it doesn't look cheap.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
woods vs laminates
1. cost: woods are marginally more expensive than laminates. as you say you spent 5000 on laminates for 1300 sq ft. thats 3.84 a sq ft. i just bought hardwoods for 4.39 sq ft. price difference is basically negligible.
$715 is negligible to you? and you are forgetting that my $5000 price includes everything. all materials, including underlayment, installation kit, trim pieces, stair nosings, etc. installing wood requires additional materials other than just the wood flooring. not to mention tool rental and a statistically significant increase in installation time. that's all money.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
2. wear and tear: as far as i have found it appears that woods and laminates are roughly equal in durability. the major difference is that once laminates are worn or damaged they must be removed. hardwoods can be refinished and look brand new again.
no wood is as durable as an AC5 rated laminate (like pergo select). but you are right in that wood can be refinished. but that costs $. pergo select has a lifetime warranty against wear, which saves a lot of money over time.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
3. value. no question that wood floors add SOME sort of value to your house. probably not going to get more than 60% of your investment back but as the saying goes "60% of something is more than 100% of nothing".
good wood flooring is beautiful. i'm sure it can be a major plus when selling a house. however, wall to wall "pergo" can also increase interest, especially when the potential buyer finds out that the top of the line version was installed.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
4. look and feel. this is where (imho) wood floors blow the doors off of laminates. there is no way that you can tell me that laminates feel "rich" under you feet. they feel very cheap and look cheap too. sorry but its the truth.
"rich" and "cheap"? i will agree that wood floors have a different feel than laminate floors. but, again, the "feel" will depend on the quality of the laminate that is used.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
additionally, the wood floors add some "stick strength" to your house. these days new houses are being thrown together faster and cheaper than ever before and the woods floors will definitely help with tightening the structure. trust me on this. i just put in hardwoods and the house feels SO much stronger, not to mention it sounds much better too.
from a structural standpoint the "stick strength" added to a house by installing wood flooring is negligible (i know this because i am a structural engineer). but, the fact that real wood floors are nailed and laminate floors are not does make some difference in the way the floors feel when walked on.

Originally Posted by smittymike19
sorry but to me putting in laminates seems like a "good enough for now" type of job. why not do it right the first time and be done with it?
high quality wood floors are beautiful, no doubt about it. but a top of the line laminate floor can have a very eye-catching appeal as well. for people that need durability, and yet want a wood floor look... for the price i can't see any reason why they wouldn't choose laminate. a really good laminate, of course.
 

Last edited by colinear; 10-14-05 at 01:55 AM.
  #16  
Old 10-14-05, 08:50 AM
smittymike19
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ok

i am not really sure i have seen these high end laminates that you are talking about so i guess i may be comparing cheap laminates versus the hardwoods. to be honest i still have a lot of doubt that even the more expensive laminates could "feel" or sound as solid as hardwoods. but then again i could be wrong, it wouldnt be the first time...
 
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