Would you use laminate in new build?

phoggieApril 10, 2012

I have heard that actually laminate hard-wood looking flooring is more durable than real wood? True? Did/would

you use this flooring in a new build?

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I would not... but your house, your likes!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Once it scratches it must be replaced. There is no refinishing at all like with solid or engineered wood. There is no touching up with a touchup pen like with solid or engineered wood. A scratch shows up pretty badly also. But many use and love it. I had a friend use it because she was worried about people coming in and out of the house from the pool. But personally, I'm a wood person. It just looks and feels and sounds nicer (in my opinion).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Yes! I plan to use vinyl that looks like wood, in the kitchen, back hall and laundry area. We live on a farm and I need something that can stand up to a lot of abuse.

As for scratching, check out the kitchen forum...someone is complaining about the scratches all over their new wood floor...after only a few weeks.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:06AM
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My mom used it in her modest home with her conservative remodel and it is perfectly lovely. It does not scratch easily, despite her big old dog with big old claws and she sniffers it about every every day.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Swiffers not sniffers!

Hers is Pergo or some such thing.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I think it is a personal choice too. My big problem with it is the "ticking" sound when you walk on it, sort of hollow. I bet they have come along way in making it better though. I love hardwood and yes, it scratches but I have never had anyone say my floor looks scratched up! I also love that it can be refinished.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:58PM
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We used laminate in our entire upstairs (living, kitchen, dining, great room) and for our stairs in our home that we just completed in January.

I love the "wood" color we found. My wife picked it out after looking at dozens of samples and stores.

We chose the Costco version made by QuickStep. On sale we paid something like $1.21 sq/ft for material and $2.50 sq/ft for install. Hard to beat that price - and we can easily change it if/when we decide we don't like it or it wears too much.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 1:13PM
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I have it in my current home which is an old farmhouse we remodeled 10 years ago. Ours is Pergo brand, and it is has held-up great. We haven't had a problems with scratches or the hollow sound that another poster wrote about. That being said, I don't think it looks as nice as real hardwood but then again, ours is 10 years old so surely there has been improvement during that time.

In our custom home, I will only have laminate if I have to because of budget constraints. I would prefer to get the square footage that I need over high-end finishes that I want. Flooring is one of those things that I consider easy to replace later, so if I get the space and have to sacrifice hardwood flooring upfront, I will.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Our original plan was to use hardwood on the main and upstairs bedrooms. However, we were able to realize a large savings by going with laminate upstairs instead.

We actually have received more comments on it than the hardwood on the main. Most casual observers are surprised it is not hardwood. After living with it over the past year, there really are no issues that bother us. Unfortunately, over the course of a build, one must choose best to deploy available funds and flooring is a line item where a single choice can have a significant financial impact.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 3:58PM
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My parents went with Earthwerks Linkwerks Rapid Clic which is considered floating luxury vinyl plank. It installs much like laminate, but none of that clicking noise. It is a tongue and groove system and although not the easiest, a damaged plank can be replaced. Although I am not fooled that it is real wood, however, the ever so slight give to it feels more like wood than most of the laminates I have been around. They are in a rural environment with inside pets, livestock (which translates to dirty shoes), garden, orchard, etc. and needed something more resilient to water and scratches than wood. (Also they are on a slab foundation.)

I'd use it again if I had the option.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I personally would not.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 4:29PM
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I personally would not either. I would use laminate on counters before floors - but it is a personal opinion. I knew when we bought our current house that we would rip out the existing laminate and put in real hardwood. It was the first thing we did - still have laminate kitchen counters though ;)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:46PM
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"My parents went with Earthwerks Linkwerks Rapid Clic"

We are using the same product in the lower level plus the mudroom. I find it to be an attractive product that is extremely affordable and looks great. The main floor is hardwood, but I wanted an alternative on the lower level and our high traffic area. There will eventually be a pool with lots of little wet feet and the Earthwerks product will hold up.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Depends on the price range!

I've used it on the main floor of modestly priced renos. And in some basement areas of luxury homes.

Once when I mentioned scratching to my flooring supplier, "Big John", he laughed then reached under his desk and came up with a steak knife that he uses on any sample of wood, vinyl, laminate he sells. "They all scratch!"

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Laminate flooring is made of strips of wood fiberboard with a thin plastic laminate top surface that interlock so the flooring doesn't need to be nailed or glued to the substrate.

Strip or plank vinyl flooring is made of PVC and is joined with self-adhesive on lapped edges so it does not need to be adhered to the substrate.

The laminate is more susceptible to damage from scratching and water than the vinyl. Neither flooring really looks like wood flooring but they can be more attractive than other low cost alternatives.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:45AM
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We have some Pergo knock off stuff upstairs, we got it at auction very cheap, so it was a great value, and it has held up really well (and we are hard on stuff). The biggest drawback is the hollow sound and the fact that it's slippery feeling and just not that pleasant to walk on, especially barefoot (prepare to be offended, we are one of the dreaded "no shoes" homes). But the stuff is bulletproof, and hardwood isn't, however, if you oil hardwood instead of putting poly on it, the scratches are lessened considerably IMO and it becomes DIY spot renewable with a little sanding and reoiling.

Good luck-


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Just as an FYI, the Earthwerks Linkwerks Rapid Clic is not self-adhesive. The planks interlock like a laminate. The planks do have a texture to them.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Another HW complaint on remodeling forum today...
I think it depends on how you live, who you live with, and how upset a "patina" and scratches will make you.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:24PM
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We installed laminate in our basement. Used the vapor barrier with little styrofoam balls. It does help to deaden the hollow sound, but there seems to always be a "breaking in" period when you first go down there. That's my biggest complaint about the floor. If you haven't walked on it for awhile, you do hear slight popping or cracking sounds the first time you walk across the floor but then it's OK after that first walk over. It looks really nice as we used the 3" planks that imitate hardwood. And dealing with scratches is not a big deal as some have said. Ours was scratched during install in some areas and I just went through with a combination of my kids orange and brown markers and colored them in. You can't even tell anything was ever scratched. And we have a high gloss finish that shows everything. I'm not sure if the floor would behave differently if it were installed in a high use area. But as we have it in a low use area and the way it is with the popping at the beginning, I'm not sure I would install it again.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Interesting about the hardwood complaints. I am a perfectionist, and we have a big dog and 3 boys. There is one area where my hardwoods are scratched where the stairs come into the entrance hall, but I never notice it. It really isn't scratched, as much as "dented" from the dog nails.

I am careful not to drag furniture across it, but they have seen all sorts of cars run across them, dog sliding on them, etc. and they have held up well for 11 years with no refinishing. If we were staying in this house, we would likely refinish them but they look good enough now to put the house on the market without it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:20AM
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I will have hardwood on the main, tile in mudroom, carpet upstairs, and in the basement I was thinking about vinyl that looks like wood. It will be easier to clean than having to vacuum. I also thought about doing a tile with wood inlay as well, but that may be too cold and costly. I doubt I would use actual laminate since the vinyl has such great reviews.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:33AM
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gaonmymind - believe it or not, tile is actually more expensive than hardwood for basements. We did the same hardwood in the basement as we did on the other levels. Even a cheap tile was more expensive because of the labor differences.

When we added hardwood to our current house, prefinished hardwood was more expensive than site stained and finished. We chose the site stained and finish for looks and cost reasons. Even many laminate woods were more expensive than site finished oak.

I think the vinyl that looks like wood is a great less expensive option for a basement area.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Athensmom-so it was ok to use real hardwood in the basement?

Any special precautions?

Sandy ponder--

"But the stuff is bulletproof, and hardwood isn't, however, if you oil hardwood instead of putting poly on it, the scratches are lessened considerably IMO and it becomes DIY spot renewable with a little sanding and reoiling."

Would love to know more, maybe on another thread, if I'm hijacking this one.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Athens - Thanks! Great info. I had no idea it was more expensive. We are also going site finished oak. I am going to price the wood and vinyl. I wonder if the wood sub will give me a discount. If I do the basement in wood it would double their contract.

My mother in law has wood and carpet in her basement. The house is 15 yrs old and the wood doesn't have problems.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Yes, there were special precautions of some sort including a vapor barrier between the concrete and the wood and maybe something else. My builder has been doing it for years and never any problems at all.

Even with the additional extra prep work needed to put it in the basement it was less expensive than tile. We used 5" wide white oak and carried it to the basement, although we could have saved a bit by doing a smaller width. My husband likes the larger width and I like the continuity.

I was shocked too that it was less and that was very important as we decided to finish the basement after we broke ground.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 3:22PM
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