Lock N Seal flooring-- here we go.....

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  #1  
Old 01-15-08, 09:29 AM
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Lock N Seal flooring-- here we go.....

I've been shopping around for laminate flooring for some time. And like other uh, "specialty" home-improvement iteems, I am astounded at the range of pricing available, and can only imagine the profit margins...

Anyway, I stumbled upon the LOCK N SEAL flooring (made by UNIBOARD) at Sams Club, and well, I'm going to give it a shot. I first purchased some samples and at home basically couldn't scratch the flooring with my car keys at all-- seems as hard and tough as the others. The texturing on top looks great. A phone call verified it's AC3 rated (I'd prefer AC4, but this is for LR+DR - low traffic in our house).

From what I've read, the responses to this particular flooring has been mostly positive, and well, I just can't pass up the pricing (about $1.25 a sq foot here) - while the other stores (Home Depot, Menards, others) are charging $3 a sq foot++ for a thinner product.

This stuff is 9mm thick AND with included/attached padding.

It will be a few weeks before I begin; I still have to clear out the Christmas Tree and stuff, rip out the carpet, remove the baseboard trim-- and will post my experiences here as I go and how it all turns out. I have a few tricky bay-window areas that will make floor cutting an "adventure".

I also purchased a full kit (one package, 17 sq feet) so I could play with "installing" a few boards and seeing how it fits together. I figure I'd practice on a few boards that I won't use (in case I crack a tongue), so I have the process down pat when I order the rest.

Based on my square feet, I need 28 packages. They have a "30 pack" that has slightly reduced pricing- that would be ideal, but that is ONLY available for delivery ($250+). So, even though the "30 pack" is cheaper, the delivery-only charge voids and actually makes the cost HIGHER.

There's a sams not too far away, and I can get all my cases in 2 trips in my minivan.

I also ordered the install kit and a bunch of t-molding online, since for whatever reason they don't carry that in the stores!

INTERESTING TIDBIT: I called their corporate center to get details on their warranty, and was sent to a PERGO office. It appears that PERGO is in the middle of buying the Lock N Seal factory (!). So, this brand MIGHT not be around too long (warranty will be handled by pergo). That got my vote - if it's good enough for pergo, it's good enough for my living room :-)
 
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  #2  
Old 01-15-08, 04:45 PM
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Pergo makes several private label floors, they sell through different retail stores. It doesn't say Pergo, but it is made at their mill.

Pergo has owned then for a long time. There isn't a buyout happening.
 
  #3  
Old 01-17-08, 08:35 AM
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Pergo, and my test

OK, that makes sense.

I'm always skeptical when it comes to trying new things (like laminate), so I purchased one full pack and laid it down ("snapped" together) on my tile floor (next to the carpeted room where it will eventually go). I wanted to get a "feel" for how they go together, and how it's really going to look. a 3" sample just doesn't do it.

Putting the floor together to me seems a little tricky. The floor (as you insert it into the existing planks) doesn't seem to "lay down" real easy, it feels like you have to "work" and "wiggle" it a little and SLOWLY make it lay flat. Don't want to do it fast and snap something. I assume this is normal since the flooring grooves are a nice tight fit?

Overall it looks real nice. Carpeting is going to go in a few days as soon as we can get time to clear the furniture...
 
  #4  
Old 01-17-08, 09:09 AM
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You can post before and after pictures and pictures of our project at www.photobucket.com and post links here for all to share and learn from your project. Thank you for sharing.
 
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Old 01-17-08, 07:47 PM
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Yes, please share you experiences...

I found this link on their site.

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/nav...30&prDeTab=1#A

Whats the square footage of a pk?
 
  #6  
Old 01-28-08, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by creedog View Post
Yes, please share you experiences...

Whats the square footage of a pk?
There's 7 planks in a pack, they measure 7 inches wide by 48 inches long. 17.7 sq feet in a pack. With normal pricing, I think that translates to $1.29 a sq foot.

OK, sorry for no pictures yet (coming), but I am about a third done- I have the living room done up to where the dining room joins it. The trickiest piece was the VERY first piece, which had to go around three fixed wooden posts that form a pseudo-wall by the front door. Although I've only done special trimming of about 4 pieces with my jigsaw, that blade is already toast (!). But, for the standard edge cuts, my mitre saw with a carbide-tipped blade is holding up.

I am doing this in chunks-- rip about 6 or 8 feet of carpet and padding, then add flooring. Most of the living room furniture is still in the room (nowhere to put it!).

The process of attaching the planks certainly takes practice to get right. I probbaly did 3 rows before I had it down where I would add a plank quickly, and not end up accidently pulling out the rest of the row (which happens, and is annoying and frustrating).

I had ordered an install kit from sams club online-- the bar is fine, as is the tapping block- but the spacers were a waste. They are 1/4" thick, yet the installation instructions call for a 3/8" spacing by the walls. So, I can't use the spacers from their kit! I ended up buying some pine trim from Home Depot (stuff that was exactly 3/8" thick), and cut 25 or so pieces from it. The trim was 6 bucks.
 
  #7  
Old 01-28-08, 05:28 PM
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Uh??? Doing sections at a time?? How are you making positively sure the substrate meets the strict flatness requirements??? 1/8" in 6', or you void any warranty, because the tongues will eventually break off.
 
  #8  
Old 01-28-08, 07:52 PM
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Cool

Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright View Post
Uh??? Doing sections at a time?? How are you making positively sure the substrate meets the strict flatness requirements??? 1/8" in 6', or you void any warranty, because the tongues will eventually break off.
I checked the levelness of the floor before I started- no issues. Relatively modern plywood underlayment that was nicely installed and no slope issues. Helps to have a home (like my last one) built in the 1930's with a ski hill for a living room floor
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-08, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by caseybea View Post
Helps to have a home (like my last one) built in the 1930's with a ski hill for a living room floor
Meant to say helps to NOT have a home with a ski-hill floor!
 
  #10  
Old 02-01-08, 08:44 AM
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Photos Of The Installation

Hi gang- sorry this took so long. Tons of photos of the installation process are here (link below)-- enjoy

http://picasaweb.google.com/caseybea...ngInstallation

I turn the corner this weekend- finally got a base template for the custom china cabinets being made-- so I can now lay the floor and have it trimmed to exactly where the new cabinets go. Probably won't get a lot done on Sunday-- the big game ya know.....
 
  #11  
Old 02-11-08, 07:19 AM
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Finished!

Well, I'm DONE. (with the floor, not the room! Still have to paint, put wood back, etc).

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results. The 3/8 (or 5/8) inch gap thing is making me nervous, as I know the floor will expand a lot in the summer! Dead of winter here and freezing outside. I think I'm going to leave some of the trim unattached (put there, but not nailed) in a few key places the first year so I can keep a close eye on the floor's expansion- and IF by some long stretch I end up with the floor expanding too close for comfort, it's easy enough to fix with a dremel tool (shave off edge) BEFORE the floor hits the wall and causes great harm!

OK, some notes for those of you doing laminate installation. Note, I'm not a pro at this-- this was my first time, but I learned a lot that may be quite useful:

* Measuring: Pay close attention to the instructions with regards to this. I have an "L" shaped room, so this was complicated a bit- if I went too far, the final edge would only be 1" wide or less-- and if I went too far the other way, then the wall around the corner would have the same problem! Careful measuring did the trick - and the pieces "fell" where I expected when I ended up on the other side of the room.

* Installing boards: This most certainly takes practice. As you face the already-installed floor, you install right to left- and the trickiest part is raising up the existing floor as you slide the next piece in. If you raise up the existing boards until they "pop" - you went too far and everything basically falls out. Instead, lift up the existing boards about 3/4 of the way to that point, then kind of "tap" the new board into its slot with the palm of your hand- it eventually pops right in.

* Most recent row: As you finish a row, you will notice that it does not want to lay completely flat. This is normal. The key here is, the tapping block is your friend. While you may not THINK the floor needs to be tapped in, tap it in anyway. As you go along the long edge and tap in, you'll notice that last row lays ljust a little flatter. Not completely, but better.

Basically, every time you add a row, the preceding row then lays flat, nicely. You really won't see how this works until you have about 3 or 4 rows in place.

* Last row?: Which leads me to what I did last night- the last row! The last row is a pain. It's hard to tap in place (even with the tapping "bar" thing), and it just wants to stay kinda popped up. I resolved this by relieving a tiny bit of the pressure - I shaved off a SMALL bit of the "tongue" of the last row with a razor-- and then made sure to use laminate glue. The last row pushed down nicely a little easier- and with the glue, it's not going anywhere.

* Saw: Someone mentioned earlier that you'll kiss your saw blades goodbye. Maybe! I needed two saws-- my mitre saw for most of the cutting (90%), and a small jig saw for the tricky corners and odd shapes. The jig saw blade, a normal one- did not last very long at all. Have plenty of these on hand. But my mitre saw came with a "carbon tipped" blade that I used, and that blade seems as sharp as when I started. Cut through the laminate like butter, and left a smooth edge.

While I had some worries about the "cheaper" lock n seal from sams-- I am quite happy with it. The floor is smooth- the edges are nice, and it installed and lays down nicely. The key point in all this (as you'll read elsewhere)- it's all in the installation. Take your time-- CHECK every single seam and edge as you go for tightness. USE the tapping block. EVERY piece should be tapped at one point. It makes a difference.

As a final note- I had an interesting find! As I removed the oak woodwork around the room (simple plain oak base shoe- nothing fancy) - most pieces were from 6 inches to 6 feet long. Lots of corners and angles in my room. Then I got to the piece behind the couch- which at first I thought was two pieces and turned out to be one! ONE piece FIFTEEN FEET LONG. Boy- you just don't see that anymore.
 
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