Flooring Questions: Laminate? Luxury Vinyl like Karndean?

redbazelJanuary 18, 2013

Sold our home in December and we're building in a development. So, the builder offers laminate or wood or tile or the base is carpet, but we think we have all our incentive money spent so may have to just do our own hard surface flooring after we close escrow. We only need about 800 sq.ft. of whatever, and are torn between a good laminate and maybe trying something like Karndean or Mannington Adura, luxury vinyl wood-look planks.
Anyone have experience they want to share with the vinyl planks? They are in the model and look Amazing! But I've only had wood before and don't know what to expect. We would do the hard surface in entry, great room, kitchen, and den. We only have a 1500 sq.ft. house so want it all to flow.


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We are very happy with our vinyl plank floors - very easy to keep clean, looks better than most laminate for less cost, and no noise at all. Laminate - even properly installed - tends to have a hollow sound unless you spend a fortune on underlayment and even then can sound odd.

Also laminate should not be used in moist areas such as kitchen and bath. I love having a continuous flooring material in all the rooms.

This post was edited by tinan on Thu, Jun 13, 13 at 0:19

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:12PM
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I don't have the vinyl but my local Home Goods store has it - in a kind of weathered beach-y looking wood. Every time I go in there I think how nice it looks - and feels to walk on. It must be very durable with all the carts and foot traffic.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:10PM
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We put in Amico commercial strip vinyl and loved it. We even had a relative who owned a $500,000 house comment on what a wonderful hardwood floor we had and wanted to know what brand it was. He had a hard time believing it was vinyl. I agree that laminates have a hollow sound no matter what kind of padding you use.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I have allure cherry in my house. It is by far a 'luxury' vinyl, but in the last 2 years it has taken a beating and still looks new! I had laminate in a rental before, chipped and scratched in a year looked bad. I love my floors!

Here is a link that might be useful: vinyl floors in my house

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 12:42AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Similar question was asked on the building forum...link below

We have amtico flooring and are very happy with it...durable, easy to clean, and often mistaken for stone and wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amtico flooring

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:34AM
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How easy is it to clean a whole houseful of vinyl flooring?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Very easy....no different than how we care for the tile floors in our baths and laundry. We have it in our foyer, our kitchen, our FR, our library and our DR....we vacuum it and we mop when needed...kitchen needs mopping more frequently than less used rooms...we went to an industrial maintenance supply store where we got a neutral floor cleaner for vinyl floors and it does a great job cleaning and no rinsing and no sticky residue like that swiffer stuff leaves. Mopping the floors is like wiping off a counter so I will take a rag and spot clean at times rather than mop the entire floor.

When we were looking at homes before we built, a family we visited had just installed brazilian cherry floors...beautiful. But a drop of snow off my boot hit the floor before I took them off and the homeowner went rushing to the kitchen to grab a towel and wipe it up. I could not live that way! With vinyl, no worries.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:08AM
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The thought of mopping makes me think of keeping our LR/DR carpeted, but I suppose that even if I didn't mop frequently, it would still be cleaner than carpet.

Annie, we looked at Amtico for our kitchen and I know it's the best out there--used for decades in Europe. But I remember reading you need to have a certified installer or it voids the warranty. Was your installer certified?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes he was...he was an installer for the store we bought it from....dad owns the business, daughter is a salesperson, son is installer....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Cleaning this is super easy. I have 3 kids ages 2-4-8. 2 dogs over 80lbs and I still only have to mop once a week, and honestly I don't even have to do that. Just a quick go over with a mop and just about any cleaner you want. I sometimes use pledge for hardwoods to give them a bit of shine.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I installed Mannington Adura oak look thru out our lake cottage - entry, kitchen, bath, lr, dining. It has been about 5-6 years and gets lots of muddy foot traffic.. Looks great, very easy to care for. I vac and mop as needed.
I do suggest getting one of the light commercial or higher end residential for the better wear/longevity. Check out the commercial at a flooring store that caters to businesses. You'll be surprised at the choices.

While prepping our previous home for sale we put some home depot vinyl planks in a bath. They have their place, inexpensive and looked nice, but thin wear layer and scratched more easily. Not a glue down so easy to replace when desired,

So far, the only scratches I notice on the Adura is where my heavy dh scraped a dr chair that had lost it's glides. It was professionally installed, with adhesive over baltic birch (I think) underlay. I don't expect to ever replace it.

I'm a fan of quality vinyl. It just takes some looking to find attractive-not cheesy, patterns. I recently replaced some really ugly and slippery when wet laminate that po's put in the back hall/ldry/guest bath with a really nice looking sheet vinyl in grey/tan/cream tones. What an improvement! Tip** I found what I wanted then purchased it through a local wholesale flooring co using the independent flooring guy's contact. Big savings! I have done that with carpet too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:06PM
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may_flowers - yes you could put in carpet, not see all the dirt and consider it easier... but yikes! I find vacuuming wall to wall carpet to be exhausting, mopping with the steam mop is easy, and I only have to do it every other month or so. The carpet will never ever be as clean as a hard floor. I just despise carpet as an allergy sufferer and on an aesthetic basis.

With the vinyl floors, you can give it a quick sweep with the broom, or do what I do - have a robot vacuum run daily, your floors will always be clean. I have only mopped twice in the past 6 months, I use a Bissell Steam mop on the floors, they stay very clean since we don't wear shoes in the house so dust and cat hair gets vacuumed daily by the Neato, and I don't have to do much at all!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:39PM
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Hey IRuehl,
I love that paint color in the picture of the room you posted above can you tell me what it is?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:55AM
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Sure its "koala bear" by behr. I love it too :)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Tinan, I hate the carpet because I do like my floors clean. My dilemma is our long hallway and powder room are oak hardwood and they are the leg of the T, which is the LR/DR. I wouldn't rip it out for vinyl, but I don't like the golden oak hardwood enough to extend it into the LR/DR. I'd also like a wider plank.

I will be using the vinyl in my bathrooms, however, and considering it for the upstairs bedrooms and sitting area. But then there's the stairs, which are now carpeted.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:38AM
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I'm curious Tinan, what brand and color is your LVT? I stumbled upon the recent post in the building a home section and "discovered" this high end form of vinyl. I had planned on wood look tile but knew it had drawbacks (well all flooring does i spose) now I'm seriously considering LVT. Received some Amtico samples in the mail just today in fact, and darnit it is sure nice looking. I know my builder may look at me like I'm crazy when I mention we're considering vinyl tho >

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:23PM
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It is from Lowes, it is Surface Source Chestnut Vinyl Floating Plank. However, I think it has been discontinued! I may have gotten such a great price (80 cents/sq ft) because I bought the last of it!

A month ago I heard it was being discontinued (I recommended it to someone, and they couldn't find it on the website) and bought the last box that was in my local store, just in case i ever need more - say we replace vanities or cabinets that don't match the footprint of the existing. So now I have 2 extra matching boxes, including one that I kept from the install, for future use.

When I decided to use this flooring, I got samples from Armstrong, Mannington, home Depot Allure and Lowes brands. Of all of them this one was my top choice due to price, neutral color, lack of repeating pattern (some of the Allure obviously only had 3 different plank patterns, this one is printed on a large sheet and randomly cut into planks so it doesn't exactly repeat), and scratch resistance. I had all the samples - some full plank - and used nails, put them under furniture, etc. I also liked the simple tape-based installation. I had to replace a board due to a nail coming up out of the old plywood sub-floor upstairs (I pounded all the nails down before installing but with the heat on in the house one worked it's way back up and caused a lump) and the adhesive system made it very easy to pull the plank up, remove the nail, and replace it - you can't tell I replaced the plank and the replaced plank has stayed put.

i never worry about scratching, denting or staining this floor. And if I ever did somehow damage a plank it is extremely easy to replace (which would not be true with a click-lock type)

Don't let your builder discourage you, I think this flooring will become more and more popular due to it's ease of maintenance especially with pets and kids!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Some really nice photos here and information. We had never considered the vinyl wood look flooring till we saw it in the model and thought it was real wood. Right now, we are pricing the Karndean (more pricey) the good laminate that our local place offers, and even some floating hardwood. Need to decide soon. We were hoping not to have to spend any extra money for this house, but hard surface flooring is an option I just don't want to do without.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:11AM
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Here is a link to a post on the flooring forum. I posted a picture of my Mannington sheet vinyl. I am still very happy with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: vinyl floor

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We used sheet vinyl in my craft room...it's nice because it's durable, easy to clean and cushioned and a little warmer as the room is on the basement floor.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:55PM
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I haven't even had the time to check in at Decorating in so long. I miss it.
My update is, I looked hard at all the options and we went with laminate. Just installed 3 weeks ago. If I can get the furniture all in this new house, I might even post pix eventually.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:36PM
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I would be interested in seeing rooms with vinyl plank flooring for future reference. My husband and I are still seeking a nice downsize house that will most likely need remodeling. First, we live in Florida and will have a pool and we have three dogs. So, is the vinyl plank a floating floor? I prefer that. Although I love and have had real wood flooring in past homes I do not like what heavy furniture, dog nails and Florida sand does to it and I do not want the expense of having them redone. IâÂÂve had laminate wood look too and like it well enough but not enough to have it again. IâÂÂm sick of tiled floors, one of the main reasons is that the styles can really date the home faster than anything, they can be loud and I will never have light tiled floors again with dogsâ¦too much work. As this next house is one we will grow older in I want low maintenance but good looks. IâÂÂm willing to spend more on high-end vinyl wood look but have no idea of all the options there.
Can you all post pictures of your vinyl plank flooring? Are there any cons? What are the names of other higher-end vinyl wood look plank flooring ?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:47PM
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I'm so glad i found this topic!!!
I was just posting about vinyl wood looking floors on 2 other gardenweb forums.
I ordered some samples and can't wait to get them. Their web site makes them sound like the best thing since sliced bread. I need the tough yet beautiful floor for my kitchen.
:) Laura

Here is a link that might be useful: the video makes me want them

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Here is our vinyl plank floor. We had a major leak in our two year old home and the builder suggested vinyl to replace our laminate. As has been mentioned, it is quieter, and very easy to keep clean, even with our zoo.

I liked the laminate, but had no idea how much better I would like the vinyl. The laminate streaked, no matter what kind of cleaner I used or how I cleaned it. The vinyl does not.

It is Naturelle Luxury Vinyl, but I don't know the color. There was only a number on the sample.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Here's ours - it was from Lowes and now discontinued. It is a self-adhesive floating floor. You can find "click lock" floating vinyl planks, self-adhesive planks and peel and stick.

I have heard of some issues with click lock systems being hard to use or letting loose, or adhesive lifting, but we have not had any problems and ours has the cheapest adhesive which is really just a band of tape under the boards. I think those problems are installation issues such as people fitting the planks too tight in cold weather and not leaving expansion room, installing in a basement over unsealed concrete, etc. If you have it professionally installed or if you follow all the directions, I don't think you'll have problems.

The floating floors are very easy to install! This was my first ever flooring project, I watched videos on youtube and the only tools needed were a sharp knife to score the planks (they snap on the score) a metal square and measuring tape. I compared many samples and I like this one better than even the Armstrong planks, for the color, lack of pattern repetition, and scratch resistance. It was 80 cents/sqft on clearance.

We've been living on it a year now with cats, and it looks the same as the day it was installed, no scratches, marks or problems. It is so easy to clean, just sweep or vacuum (we have a neato vac) and steam mop it once in a while, but it never looks dirty, and we don't have a single scratch despite furniture being dragged around etc.

We don't have any cons to report, it looks and feels more like wood than most laminates and is more durable and easy to clean. Most people initially think it is wood in person unless feel it.

Laminate needs to be very well installed over a good underlayment or it will crackle and pop or sound hollow - no problem with this floor.

I don't have many pictures that show the floor well since the light from the windows often glares ... the only photos I deliberately took of the floor were during install...

floors going down over old plywood subfloor upstairs

and over sealed concrete(drylok) on the main floor ...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:48AM
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I'm sold!
You're floors look amazing. Now I want to rip out all the carpet in my house. (sigh) my budget is confining me too just the kitchen for now :)
I got some samples in the mail yesterday so I ran them through some tests lol
:) Laura

Here is a link that might be useful: how much abuse can vinyl tiles take :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:28AM
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The vinyl flooring looks great! Do the vinyl planks come with a built-in cushioned backing? I didnâÂÂt see any in my searches (or, does it even need it?). When husband and I did the floors upstairs as well as the stairway in sonâÂÂs house we used the laminate flooring from Costco with the built in pad on the underside. Costco often runs sales on the padded laminate planks so the whole upstairs was done very inexpensively. The built-in pad makes a big difference in that you donâÂÂt get that hollow sound because it is a denser pad compared to the standard rolls of padding often used. I would recommend that flooring for a good bang for your buck (itâÂÂs very hardy). I donâÂÂt love the colors but they are ok and it looks great down. However, it does not look as nice as the pictures above of the vinyl plank. The other thing IâÂÂm having a hard time narrowing down is that some of the vinyl planks supposedly come in staggered lengths but when you click on the product there is only one length.

Edited because I forgot to ask...have any of you used the vinyl plank over existing tile floors?

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 8:43

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:40AM
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The vinyl will take on the contours of the floor underneath, so I would not install it directly over a tiled floor. You would see the outline of the grouted areas.

It might be possible over some kind of underlayment.

I have the cheapo version from Lowes or HD in my dining room, can't remember which. I have some marks that look like a rubbed area, even though furniture didn't get moved across it. It's also a little too slippery for my dogs. My old guy, with an old knee injury, has trouble getting up.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Alex, I have three dogs and two with bad legs. I canâÂÂt do carpet due to allergies and the fact that I hate wall to wall carpet here in Florida. Whatever I get for flooring in the future I will still have area rugs here and there. I wish floating floors would become the vogue of decorating/ remodeling. Most people have tile throughout their house down here and after a few years it just looks so dated and horrible. IâÂÂm not keen on white tile floors or beige tiled floors and lately thatâÂÂs all IâÂÂm seeing in my house hunting. ItâÂÂs a big ordeal changing it as itâÂÂs in all the living areas, kitchen, halls, bedrooms ect. If everyone did floating floors life would be good (just my opinion) ïÂÂ

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:57PM
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No the vinyl planks do not come with attached foam, it is not needed and they even say do not use underlayments- the movement would cause the planks to loosen.

Yes the vinyl planks will "telegraph" any major textures or bumps in the subfloor. You might be OK laying it over tile if the grout lines are shallow and the tile is not bevelled much. Do you have a photo?

If I were to put it over tile that wasn't very flat (deep grout lines and/or larger raised tiles), what I'd do is get some concrete tile floor leveling compound and the polymer to mix in to make it strong in a thin layer. You paint the polymer binding agent onto the grout areas of the tile, mix some in with the concrete. Then fill in all the grout lines with the concrete mix, trowel flat and let it set. Then install the floor over that!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:20PM
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HI Titan, I have not found my house yet so no pictures. However, all but two or three homes I have looked at so far has the 2nd ugliest ceramic tile in the world, and itâÂÂs all through the house sf. The number one ugliest ceramic tile in the world is all through the down stairs of my sonâÂÂs house. He wants to eventually do wood floors which would not be practical for him as well as the fact that the expense would be over kill for his starter home. However, since his tile is I guess meant to be rustic (?) with a weird faux unglazed look edging around the borders and is sort of an uneven constitution I think it just needs to come out. Big pain!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:56PM
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I'm putting down some Armstrong vinyl planks (12 x 36) in the kitchen, back hallway and LR/DR. Got it at Lowe's - ours doesn't have anymore of this color/pattern so I'll have to get something else for bdrms and laundry room. They have some that are darker - one looks like a slate.

I put about 6 sf of it just outside my bdrm door into the LR and then for about 6 wks I threw the pup's toy through the doorway into the LR area and she'd run for it and skid and slide all over it. I couldn't find a scratch, so that clinched it for me. Well, I have lots of scratches on ME from the pup, just not on the floor. Her nails are sharp and often draw blood.

I wanted something easy to clean and walk on - no carpet! tho, I will have some area rugs.

It's a floating floor but on Lowe's site it's under vinyl tiles. I have no idea why.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:14AM
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I had Amtico vinyl wood look planks put in my kitchen, eating area, and laundry room in 2004 and it still looks good. I had both cheap sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles before that and neither of those held up well. Both nicked easily. I don't have a single nick or tear in the Amtico.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:54AM
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redbazel - Any pictures yet?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:38AM
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I just had Karndean luxury vinyl plank installed. Honestly, this is a nice product but a huge pain to get installed. First, the company market it as a loose lay. Second, they recommend only professional installers and the tech guy at the company gets annoyed when a consumer calls to ask questions.

So I went to find a pro installer. The fist guy I spoke with said the loose lay is a joke, it never stays down or in place, that everything needs to be glued down. I spoke with a bunch of guys, had one come out to do it. Looks horrible, he did not prep the floor properly. This is what I get for looking for a pro. Now, I have to find someone to tear out sections, fix the subfloor and reinstall. Really NOT worth this trouble.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Uh-oh, I have just decided on Karndean loose lay! Supposedly this is what Walmart uses, so it cant come up that easily!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 2:02PM
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