Laminate flooring BEST ones

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  #1  
Old 10-03-12, 04:59 PM
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Question Laminate flooring BEST ones

Installing A hopefully thick laminate floor in a 3rd floor rental condo. The more I look the more brands that are out there. Places like Sams and many other companies have brands never even heard of.
1.Would love some recommendations of brands that not only install well but hold up well over time.
2. Can anyone warn me away from any brands/lines because of wear, breakage,difficulty of installation, consistency in quality of product, coming apart etc...
3. Any odd or little know brands anyone can rave about?
3. told to buy 10% extra for breakage etc... is that really enough? does that just get the job done or leave some extra in case of damage down the line.
4. For a rental property,anyone have a recommendation of amount how much extra would be a good idea to store in case of some water damage down the line?
 
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Old 10-03-12, 05:40 PM
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1) I would love to talk you out of laminate in the first place. It is mdf compressed compound with a picture of wood on top and a wear coating. Feel warm and fuzzy yet?
2) I would recommend you look into a layered engineered flooring about 1/2" or better thick. It has a better wear layer of real wood with plys below to aid in expansion and contraction. For the most part they click lock together.
3) You see I am avoiding "brands" as brand bashing is not allowed on the forum. I just don't like laminate period. We put in about 300 sf in two bedrooms the first of the week, and my guys, I am sure , cussed me all day long. If the tongue and groove area aren't perfectly clean, they will not mate up. You can't "bang" on the edges even slightly or it will booger it up.
10% waste usually takes care of the installation, odd cuts and leaves a few pieces left over. However, it is to no avail, because you would have to take up the entire floor to the damaged piece to make a repair. Not a happy day.
4) Again, storing laminate is usually not worth it except for color and style rendition. Write the brand, color, style on the back with a sharpie.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 06:30 AM
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Can I talk you into ceramic tile instead? That or engineered wood as Chandler suggested. I just don't think you're going to get the durability you need with laminate.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:57 PM
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Speaking as a landlord, for high traffic areas, I bite the bullet and get plain old 2 1/4 wide 3/4 thick t and g solid red oak for about $2.75 a square ft and then pay someone to sand and poly. All in all I probably pay $ 1.50 a foot more than a low end prefinished floor when its all done. For low traffic areas, I can used a 5/8s inch engineered bamboo.
As Chandler said, trying to fix that stuff is impossible, at least with solid wood and some engineered floors, you can cut out a problem and replace.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 07:01 PM
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I had Wilsonart laminate installed about ten years ago. This was a T&G glued together product and the installer messed up by not wiping off completely the glue squeeze-out as he laid the floor. Even when I pointed out the instructions called for this he said that he had laid a lot of floors and clean-up at the end was all it needed. Well, he was wrong but that isn't the story I want to tell today.

Ten years later my laminate floor looks as good (or bad, depending on your opinion of laminate flooring) as when it was installed. I have seen less-expensive laminate that looks like crap only a year after installation so I would definitely steer you towards the well-known names and the higher priced brands. Actually, I would tell you to read carefully what the others have written and opt for either a site-installed solid hardwood floor or the more expensive and better known brands of engineered flooring. That's what I am going to do in my back room.
 
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Old 10-05-12, 04:24 AM
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well-known names and the higher priced brands.
This is important. The laminates we have installed were purchased by the homeowner, obviously for cost alone. HD brand of flooring at 68 cents a sf Total trash IMO, but we made it look good, at least for a while. Not sure what the long range prognosis will be for such cheap flooring.
 
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Old 10-05-12, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the Reply so far and keep them coming. I too think that most laminate even the expensive ones look pretty trashy before installation but have seen some that are fine 20 years later. I certainly wouldn't have in my home. But this is a LOW END RENTAL. Even some so-called engineered flooring is basically paper and looks just like laminate to me.
I do know some better laminates do hold up well over time -just a lot of confusion about which ones because if you look at even the expensive, thick,well known ones as far as reviews go, the reviews vary so widely that I assume the fact that co. change products/colors every six months causes quality issues. So rather hear as many expert opinions as can.I see such mixed reviews for them.
If anyone knows of a reasonable priced engineered flooring that is the click together or DIY friendly, would love to know.
Using good porcelain in the kitchen and baths but tile is not very accepted in living areas in my area and I do not think we could ever level some areas well enough to put tile in.
As far as the old fashioned oak hardwoods go (just what I have in my house)never thought of this as a DIY progect. Is it in the DIY scale? Husband has done carpentry,masontry, built 3 level level deck,tile floor, framing etc... So is putting strip oak hardwood down a reasonable DIY job. There is some of the 1 inch of cement/or leveler on the floor what would need to be done to make feasible? Son really wanted to help his dad with whatever flooring use that is a reason did not want to hire out. If they could put down, I WOULD hire someone to sand down.
We live so close to the PERGO Outlet and can get the top thick Pergo for great prices. Anyone have good things to say about PERGO? Thanks a bunch - keep it coming
 
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Old 10-05-12, 04:12 PM
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Anyone have good things to say about PERGO?

Sorry, no. I tried to re-install a pergo floor and could not match the floor that was installed.

As far as the old fashioned oak hardwoods go (just what I have in my house)never thought of this as a DIY progect. Is it in the DIY scale?

It seems that your husband has all the mechanical skills required. It is actually a very fulfilling project. You only need 2 people or one person willing to get pretty tired. The hardest part might be getting the floor sander up to the third floor. There is plenty of advice on how to install a wood floor on this site .

I don't understand the cement you mentioned. Isn't this on the third floor of a house? If you do indeed have a cement floor, than you might be stuck with a floating floor of some kind.

 
  #9  
Old 10-08-12, 05:44 AM
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The mm grade of the laminate makes a big difference in quality of the floor, the higher grade less cheap-o it will feel.
 
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