Flooring overload

autorotateJuly 20, 2014

Hello, I am on complete overload after looking at flooring. We are installing flooring into our new home and wanted as close to real hardwood look as possible (We have 3 dogs).

After countless hours of reading we decided we were going to look at vinyl planks. However, after looking at them, they were made of nothing. We are going over leveler on a subfloor in the living room and lauan with old glue on it in another room.

I wanted something with a little thickness to absorb from the old subfloor. Does anyone have any recommendations as to whether laminate or vinyl planks are the better option?

We looked at: Mannington Adura, Karndean, Armstrong, and Shaw HGTV. My eyes are going crossed and I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore. Every company makes a laminate, vinyl, plank, lock, regular, non-plank, etc, etc, etc.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!

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I'll let someone else answer your questions. However, be aware that in the case of vinyl plank over old lauan and glue is concerned, the new glue must be compatible with the existing adhesive residue or you must isolate the new glue from the old by skim coating the existing with the appropriate cementious product.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:00PM
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If you want it to look like hardwood, why not use real hardwood? What are your concerns WRT the dogs?

Engineered wood can be floated, even DIY installed.

I've had hardwood for almost 15 years, and 3 different dogs, ranging from 35 to 115 pounds. I make sure to trim the dog's nails weekly - or as soon as hear his nails clackity-clack on the floor. Our floors have scratches - we live here, after all - but not from the dogs.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Thank you for the responses. However, I have never heard anything but nightmares from dog owners with real hardwood floors.And I am not hearing or reading anything great about laminate now either.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:39PM
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First determine which type of material you want to use. laminate or vinyl? Then make a choice in that type of flooring.
Most laminates, if not all, are going to be click lock.
Most vinyls are going to be thinner and require a smooth subfloor.
Laminate can be creaky and/or bouncy if the subfloors are unlevel or are not flat. Click lock flooring laid over foam, even the higher density foam, will be noisier than vinyl.
A good vinyl would be less susceptible to water and wouldn't potentially chip like a laminate. It would be easier to replace a damaged piece. It would probably ultimately last longer. I'm not a fan of locking vinyls. I've used a vinyl plank from Freefit and had good luck with it. In fact I saw it in a restaurant where I ate just last Wednesday.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Hmmm that's a tough question - sounds like vinyl might be your cheapest option. Otherwise, have you seen the porcelain tiles that look like wood? I'm not sure what they cost but they have them in a restaurant here and I thought they looked pretty nice.

We went through the same debate on our floors with our dog and his looney toons take-offs. His nails have scratched the hell out of our old oak floors but to be fair we practically have MMA style wrestling matches all over the house.

That said, we ended up going with hardwood in the new house anyway. We looked at all the options and short of tiling the whole house (which would be $$$) there was no real way to ensure the floor wouldn't get damaged (even vinyl and laminate can be damaged if you try hard enough). We ended up picking hickory with an oil finish. Hickory is a bit harder and won't scratch as easily, but if and when they do scratch, the oil finish will allow us to repair/reoil only the areas that are damaged, vs having to move out and refinish the whole house. Also, the oil finish won't chip like a scratched poly will, and it penetrates into the wood instead of sitting on top, so scratches aren't as evident when they do happen. At least this is what I'm told.

IMHO we don't live in a museum and I kind of prefer the look of lived-on floors. They'll be classic and timeless and much less plastic in the house. That's a personal taste thing though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Porcelain Wood Tile

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:34PM
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