Laminate vs Engineered flooring in basement

eks6426September 22, 2010

I am looking install a hardwood looking floor in my finished basement. We currently have berber carpet and I hate it. The rest of my house is site finished oak (it's an older house). I know I can't put straight hardwood below grade. So, it looks like my options are laminate or engineered flooring.

I would like to put down the electric heated flooring mats before installing the new floor to help keep the basement warmer.

The basement is a fairly high traffic area as our laundry area is in the unfished part of the basement and we have to walk all the way through to the finished part to get to the laundry.

I went to Lumber Liquidators and it looks like laminates are about $1-$2 per square foot while engineered flooring is around $4 per square foot. I need 285 sq ft.

Suggestions on which option would be better--laminate vs engineered flooring?

Pros & Cons of both?

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woodfloorpro

A poor quality laminate is in that price range. Make sure you get a high pressure laminate if you go that route. Engineered in the quoted price range is going to be rotary cut, you want a sawn cut. A rotary cut will soon have a checked surface and feel rough.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:18PM
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uniquewoodfloors

This is a quote from our blog article:
--Choosing Quality Floating Wood Floors For your condo, basement, radiant heat floors--
'Now you may be asking yourself. Why should I choose floating wood floors over laminate flooring which is just as easy to install and has the similar wood grains? Well floating wood flooring is real wood that offers all the advantages of real wood floors. The biggest advantage is that real hardwood is warmer on your feet. Like solid wood flooring, floating wood floors with thicker wear layer can also be refinished a few times. Remember the thicker the wear layer the more times you can refinish. Quality floating wood floors should last 40 to 50 years!'
If you like to read more about engineered floating wood floors, here is the link to our blog page. Hope this can help to make your decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floating Wood Floors ve Laminate Floor

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:16PM
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susanelewis

I just watched an episode of Holmes on Homes (yes, I'm a HUGE fan) and Mike simply refuses to put hardwood or laminate in a basement on a concrete floor. He ripped out poorly installed laminate and built up the floor and installed heated tile in part of the refinished basement and carpet in the other. I have never seen him install any type of wood flooring or laminate on concrete and I've pretty much watched every episode of every season. He did a similar thing in another episode where he removed hardwood that was buckling and warping in a kitchen over a slab. He installed tile there.

If you insist on doing that I would check out his site and watch the episode "Lamin-Ain't". He explains how to build up the floor about an inch to keep any kind of moisture from moving into the finished flooring.

Wood + concrete = bad idea (at least according to Mike).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 11:18PM
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uniquewoodfloors

I do not agree with "susanelewis". Floating wood floors were designed for concrete slab by Europeans for many decades now. If they are properly installed, the successful rate on concrete is very high, even in the basement.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:11PM
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susanelewis

I'd like to be there when you told that to Mike Holmes....lol.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:30PM
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inspector

I'm with uniquewoodfloors on this one. If Mike Holmes has had problems with engineered in basements he's either a) used inferior products or b) installed them improperly. Using a good engineered product with a thick sawn cut wear layer will give you the same look as your oak upstairs not to mention enough material to sand and refinish in the future and they are going to be fairly warm without the heating mats.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 4:36PM
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pher_hal-9000_net

I know this is an older post, but in that episode the problem was a bad install. There was a floor drain and leaking foundation. Yes when installed right in a basement it works, just not in that basement.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:01PM
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