Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Flooring Laminate vs Hardwood
Old 09-04-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Flooring Laminate vs Hardwood

Looking for information regarding DIY wood flooring over wood project. Laminate floating flooring appears to be the easiest to install but have heard it is not like walking on "real" hardwood. Any one DIY this type of project? Products by name brand, cost, ease of install etc., would all be appreciated. Thanks.
__________________

__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-04-2007, 08:30 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
I did a project in my old condo where I put down 1,000 sq ft of Pergo Presto which is the non glue version. It looked better than the carpet, but it isn't like walking on real wood, doesn't look as good, and did nothing to the re-sale value.

I'd spend the extra dough for real hardwood. You can buy a pre-finished version and the price difference isn't that much over laminate.
__________________

__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,850
Laminate is cheap and easy. Lots of people think it is ever so terrific.

I wouldn't have it in MY house, though. I just don't like it!! When I look for my retirement home, if it has laminate floors (even the newest or nicest type) I would mentally compute the cost of carpeting over all of it. I hate laminate that much.

Obviously I agree with Saluki - - real, genuine hardwood is worth the price.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
If you have dogs, forget about the laminate. We installed our own lumber, straight from the mill and finished it ourselves (7 coats of poly!). Not for the faint of heart or bad knees, but a beautiful job at the end. Random widths of 4" 6" and 8", with rich red tones. Holding up to 7 dogs at the moment!

Heart pine is what we use here, durable and less expensive than other woods, direct from the mill. I wouldn't do the laminate unless you were moving soon.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 09:13 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: No. California
Posts: 1,600
I installed hardwood with a laminate coating in my house, and I love it. Walking on it feels like hardwood.

The downside is if a board is damaged, it can't be sanded down and refinished like hardwood. So, I bought an extra box to have replacement boards.
__________________
KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
If you have dogs, forget about the laminate. We installed our own lumber, straight from the mill and finished it ourselves (7 coats of poly!). Not for the faint of heart or bad knees, but a beautiful job at the end. Random widths of 4" 6" and 8", with rich red tones. Holding up to 7 dogs at the moment!

Heart pine is what we use here, durable and less expensive than other woods, direct from the mill. I wouldn't do the laminate unless you were moving soon.
Is this pine cut tongue and groove like normal oak hardwood?

Also, did you sand it with one of those big disc sanders? That always looks like the scary part to me.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 09:53 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
We have 2 rooms that we put down solid oak flooring almost 40 years ago. Hand sanded and hand finished. A LOT of hard work, but definitely worth the results!!! It still looks GREAT!!!

I have friends that have the laminate.....to ME the look and fell of it is cheesy. I personally wouldn't have it.

I'm thinking about putting down the solid oak in my bedroom.....someday!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 09:57 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
twaddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,378
I prefer "engineered" wood flooring over laminates. A laminate is basically a picture of wood glued to MDF. Engineered flooring is a real wood veneer glued to MDF and finished with a tough ceramic coating. Both snap in and "float." Generally, the veneer on engineered flooring is thick enough to be sanded once or twice, but I'm sure it's preferable to keep some spare sticks around and replace any damaged ones.

Try Lumber Liquidators Durawood QuickClick.
__________________
twaddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 10:04 AM   #9
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Yes, it is tongue and groove. You use a big hydraulic hammer and wedges to get the boards tight against each other all down the boards. Takes two people!
The big sander is used for the first few passes. The trick is to lower the handlebar and keep downward pressure all the time. If you let it lift up, it it will fling you into the walls and such. Start with rougher paper and go down with each pass. The initial coats of polyurethane will raise the grain worse than later coats.

By the end, I was using my beloved Porter Cable hand sander on my knees to find the few rough spots left. But all that work paid off, it's been five years and we can probably go another 3-5 before we have to sand and refinish.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #10
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,925
We have Pergo in our house but aren't quite happy with it. It is not holding out as well as it should, my wife's desk chair is making marks in it. Next floor will be hardwood.
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 10:34 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 359
We have laminate and like it, although as others have said it does dent. I think its more durable than vinyl which is what we had before...

One gotcha with going to laminate from vinyl is that we had to raise all of our baseboard and door casement trim to accommodate its thickness.

Overall we're happy with it (we have Alloc brand, made in Norway).
__________________
FinanceGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 10:57 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 113
DIY real wood definitely takes more effort and knowledge than laminate. You can judge for yourself if the look is worth it. If new construction I would go with site finished as you won't have the bevels between boards to trap debris. If replacement look at engineer or solid prefinished. It will be less of a mess and you won't have to stain or poly the floor. There are many species of wood flooring for sale now. Some are easier to work with than others. Hope that your subfloor is level. Good luck.

Here is a forum that I've read re hardwood floor. Many pro's frequent the site. They all have varying opinions. One opinion doesn't vary, don't buy from lumber liquidators.

Hardwood Flooring Message Board - DIY & Professionals
__________________
boutros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 11:40 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 844
Go with real wood...how many laminate floors are going to be around 100 years from now?...there are plenty of wood floors that old and older.

From a distance they look OK (laminates), but you are not going to fool anybody closeup.

Regret the price once, instead of regretting the quality forever.
__________________
farmerEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 11:56 AM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
I have spent a fair amount of time lately looking at possible houses to buy. I have seen a lot of crappy looking laminate.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 11:56 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
bright eyed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,891
The house we are living in was redone before we moved in (fire)...and they put in laminate...i absolutely dislike it!

i think it's a fad that will wane as soon as people realize how cheap it is. I'm sure there are better brands vs. others but overall, i've seen it in many houses...it's crap.

we also have a small dog and any "liquid" that remains on the floor for any period of time can make the laminate bulge or lift...

it is also hard to clean and makes marks...

i have had hard wood and would definitely take it over the laminate. you might save money up front but i doubt laminate will last 5 years (especially if you have kids and dogs)...you can suffer w/ crappy floors for a few more years post the 5 then you got to replace it! whereas hard wood is a few bucks more per sq foot and you can have for 10 or more years before needing to do any resurfacing...
__________________
If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
bright eyed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
I have no doubt our laminate will last 5 years or more. Our house we just sold was installed in 2001, and it still looked great, to me anyway. I installed more in the house we moved into. We don't have inside pets. If we did, I don't know what we would do. My SIL has hardwood, and they have an inside ankle biter, and they're floor looks pretty beat up. I think it's around 5 years old.
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:32 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
I've done a few installs for friends and relatives. They all picked laminates. IMO they go down easy but look and sound awful.

I selected Mullican 3/4" T&G prefinished oak. Widths were 3" 4" and 5" in a repeating pattern. When the last piece is nailed down, its ready to walk on, and the factory finished can't be duplicated on site. Its been down 3 years now. Still love it.
__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:43 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 216
Man, I don't know what laminates some of you are using, but ours are great as far as durability. I'll grant you that nothing comes close to true hardwood; not laminate, not "engineered," etc, nothing. However, we have one 65 lb dog and a toddler. They have not caused one scratch, dent, scrape or anything in three years. We used a thick "QuietWalk" padding underneath the flooring, which reduced the hollow sound when walking that I've heard in other homes.

We knew that we were selling when we bought the place, so I was not going to spend the money on hardwood. When we're in our house that will be ours for twenty or more years, I doubt we'll go with laminate. But for our purpose, I couldn't be happier.

To make a long story short, I think someone could argue that laminate looks cheesy, will go out of style, etc., and I wouldn't be able to argue. But the durability of the stuff we got is outstanding. We actually put a piece of the flooring in a glass of water for a week (to test the waterproof claims of the manufacture). We pulled it out a week later and it had not warped, bent, lost its finish, etc.

If you're interested, I'm sure I can track down the name of the supplier we used.
__________________
"...I'm the kind of guy who if he can't have too much of a thing doesn't want any at all."
GatorBuzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:50 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,080
Jeez, I didn't realize we had a forum full of "flooring snobs". (Just kidding...)

Last year I got sick of the carpet we had in our family room, ripped it up and replaced it with laminate - Kronotex Swiftlock Plus (Lowes). True, a lot of laminate flooring looks cheap, but some of the better brands/colors/patterns are difficult to distinguish from the real thing. We shopped hard to find one that is difficult to distinguish from natural wood, even if you look closely.

The floor shows no sign of wear, even though I've been rolling my desk chair over the same spot for 18+ months.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Last year we had new flooring put in our dining room, kitchen and laundry area. We chose a brand of flooring called Amtico. The linoleum and carpet were pulled up and the floors were leveled. They then put glue down and installed the new flooring.

It comes in strips, just like hardwood flooring. It won't scratch, it's water resistant and it won't fade. They have this flooring on their showroom floor, and it looks brand new even after several years of heavy foot traffic.

Our last house had hardwood floors and I loved them. I love this flooring too. I think the texture of the floor makes it look so great. Every one that comes in our house thinks it's hardwood.

It wasn't cheap. To do our three rooms (average size) cost $4800 installed. It would have been the same price for hardwood.
__________________

__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
laminate floors Shredder Other topics 3 09-14-2006 09:35 AM
Vinyl flooring laurence Other topics 27 01-16-2006 10:29 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.