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Roop-Dogg

laminate flooring

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my wife wants to put laminate flooring in our kitchen and dining room. we currently have vinyl in the kitchen and carpet in the dining room. i guess i can see not having the carpet in the dining room. anyway, any thoughts, pro or con, to switching to the laminate type flooring???

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Pro's:

Cheaper than real wood. +- $2.00 sq.ft.

Relatively easy for the diy'er to install.

Decent finish warranty, normally +- 20 years.

Cons:

Un cared for water spills will ruin the floor. Swell the joints...

That's all I can think of for now.. I have installed quite a few floors like this for folks in areas just like you described, havn't heard anyone say they wished they would have done something else...

If you have a table saw with a melamine blade, you can install the whole floor painlessly. Get a undercut saw for the door jambs/casings and you are good to go.

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Make sure subfloor is flat, generally no greater than 1/8" in 6'-less is better (this is very important). Follow manufacturers instructions on proper expansion space around perimeter of installation. Also, follow instructions for transition areas, such as recommended width of doorways and "flow thru" areas. Some manufacturers state that doorways less than 6' wide need a "T' molding. If concrete subfloor, check for moisture. Acclimate product. Be careful when securing moldings/quarter round to vertical surface, the fasteners do not go into laminate flooring or the edge of the flooring. Make sure whom ever installs the flooring that they follow the installation instructions. Keep standing water off the floor and don't over-wet the floor when maintaining it-lightly damp mop only. Lastly, stick with the better quality laminates.

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We put laminate flooring in our dining room a year ago. I really like it - much better than carpet in that area.

The kitchen, when it gets redone this summer, will have tile on the floors. Don't know what kind yet, but we made that choice due to the water problems a laminate could have.

We had our carpenters help us install the floor, and it went pretty quick.

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I would not rule out going with real hardwood. If you have any problems with water or drop that big frypan and crack the surface on that laminate it costs big bucks to replace a peice of the laminate. If you can install yourself and shop around you can almost go with 3/4 toungue and groove for not much more money.

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Most of the laminates sold today are installed "glue-less" or "rotate and click together". All you have to do to replace is dis-assemble back to the damaged plank. Solid and engineered wood floors are very temp and humidity sensitive, not to mention very costly to fix or replace a plank.

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I did this two years ago in the Kitchen and dining room. Looks great. One thing to watch, the spacing around the trim. The instructions said to keep it 1/8 or so off the wall and leave the existing trim on. I did this only to find out it is another way for them to sell you more product ( 1/4 round )Take your trim off and leave the 1/8" and put your old trim back on. I did this in the Bathroom and it looks great.

Good Luck.

Mike

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In a small bathroom you might get by with 1/8" expansion space around the perimeter. But on a larger room you better leave a 1/4" (I think that is what most recommend) around all vertical surfaces or with seasonal temp changes you will get buckling.

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Very simple and very nice. I did it in my kitchen, entry and utility room. Completely change the look of the house. Much nicer. I didn't spend the big buck on the more expensive stuff and yes there are some flaws but you have to be pickey like me to notice them anyhow.

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Just be careful not to get it wet iff. We have it in the foyer in front of the front door and you can't believe how bad the joints swell up if it gets wet. We had some pretty good quality flooring too...or so I thought.

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My sister and her husband use tile flooring. They have used it in several spill rooms. As the bathroom, kitchen, dining room and mud room where the hunting dogs use alot in bad weather. There is a product out there that is self leveling as she lives on a farm also and the existing sub floor may not be quite level. This stuff is great and easy to do. They installed all their floors themselves. The self leveling compound sounds very easy to mix and use and then they lay the tiles down. Very reasonably priced for the self leveling compound. The tile cost would depend on your taste for price. My wife is already hounding me to re-do the bathroom and the kitchen with this method.

Good luck - Farmer

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We had the same situation, vinyl in kitchen and carpet in dinning room . We took the carpet out and put down a 3/16 thick sub floor to make it even with the kitchen . Put down the laminate over the vinyl , no need to remove it as long as it is in good condtion and not peeling . Then put the foam stuff then the laminate . It looks great. We use the same Laminate down stairs over concrete in a large hallway and the computer room . The cement was uneven and thought about the self leveling cement but would of needed a ton of it so we put in down the way it was and we have no problems at all . We used the Wilsonart brand and are very happy with it .

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I would look more into the pros and cons of laminate products. Laminate is not even a real wood product, just a picture of wood laminated on. It should be expected to last as long as carpet. Tile and hardwood last longer, but are more expensive. I do hardwood flooring and prices range from $10 on up for new installations after sanding and finishing. Prefinished would also be a good option to look into, but then you usually have a bevelled edge. I guess all I'm trying to say is make sure you know what you are getting into before you start.

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