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Am thinking about installing laminate flooring my kitchen and dining room. What should I look for in a good quality laminate and any tips and advice would be appreciated. Deb
 

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Flooring Guru
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good question.

well, there are many things to consider. First I would have you look at the top brands in the industry.

Pergo
Wilsonart
Quickstep
Armstrong

and keep in mind, that these manufacturers have different levels of quality, good, better, and best. Buy the best you can afford if you feel you need it (kids, dogs, ect..)

A better quality will be more resistant to water, scratching, chipping, ect, but it does not mean it won't be damaged, just a better chance it won't.

over 80% of lam failures are due to install. The most important day of the lams life is the day it's installed. so make sure it's installed to specs.

and buy area rugs for the perfect complimentary addition, and the right cleaner and mop per manufacturers recommendations.

and keep me informed!

please feel free to register, so I can better understand who I am talking to :)
 

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Flor is right on the money!
When going over concrete I put down 2 coats of sealer as added insurance against water vapor. I live in FL where the water table is only a few feet down and we average 50 -60 ins. of rain annually.
I also prefer the Pergo transitions and use the T stock as much as possible. You will find that carpet and tack strip are very close to the installed height of the flooring, a lot of tile too. I find the carpet transitions too bulky and create tripping problems.
The kitchen is worth some thought. I do a lot of them as the newer 'open plan' homes tend to blend the kitchen into the familyroom. I also do a number of repairs there. A dropped pan can chip or dent and there is water everywhere. A leaking drain, icemaker, InstaHot, dishwasher, faucet can do a lot of damage before the leak manifests itself. If it makes you feel better, I did mine. We are also older, the kids are gone and we can afford to repair it if something does go wrong.
Which brings up another point. Ask about the most popular colors/patterns, something that is not going to be discontinued next week. Distributors will really stick it to you for discontinued stock, if you can find it. I always figure in 2 extra boxes and keep any good sized drops which usually add up to a third box of 'spare parts'.
Hope this helps.
 

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Buy Online

Pergo is no different from WilsonArts, Armstrong, or Kronotex.

All use the same machines to manufacture except Pergo was the first company to bring the laminate to U.S so naturaly everyone calls laminate flooring Pergo and thinks that its the best when its not because they no longer care about quality.

I read another post earlier that who actualy believes they can get quality for $1.00/sq.ft. But they were thinking from a wrong point of view.

Home depo for example has a HUGE amount of expenses that are built into every single item in their store thats y their prices are $2 or $3 /sq.ft

Online companies basically run an office and a warehouse, some drop ship and dont stock anything and have minimum orders. Others stock and import directly, have no minimum orders, and let others drop ship from them.

These online companies and Home depot or Lewes get their laminate at the same price, except the online companies do not have as many expenses.

Do you really think it costs $2 or even $1 to just MANUFACTURE 1sq.ft? NO, it costs about $0.30-.50/sq.ft

I know this because I used to work for an online retailer and we imported Kronotex, Classen, & Horizon our self's directly from Germany, no middle men involved.

The company is still operational and is doing great, check it out, www.eurolaminate.com, kronotex costs $0.95/sq.ft there with no minimum order because those guys stock everything and import directly.

To be honest, when i used to work there, we got the Krono for 0.78 including delivery to our warehouse from Germany! those are container prices of course but still.
 

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o.k. this is getting overbearing.

you need to be better educated on higher end products...jeesh.

you talk of laminate as if they are all the same.

if I was buying a car from you, I would buy a Honda thinking it was a Lexus!
 

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he might drive one of those hondas dressed out like a lexus. Hell he probably thinks it is a lexus, has it all dressed up, hydro shocks, right down to the table cloth balls and the minature Jesus.

Bob
 

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As i replied to the last one, there are exceptions to everything in this world. U have to admit, you wont see a Chineese laminate in a store w/ a 20 year warranty? At least I have yet to see one. In U.S. the warranty is determined by QC on how many rotations it takes on take off the protective layer on the laminate (think sanding machine).

The Chineese sell 8.2mm and sometimes sell it as 8mm, however it is no where near as strong.
 

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tuman84 said:
Pergo is no different from WilsonArts, Armstrong, or Kronotex.
Your wrong on this point completely.

other points you hit the button, on other points you are close, on this one you are wrong.
 

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Pergo is not better than ANY other brand, but it CAN be better than some brands.
Pergo SELECT is manufactured differently than alot of other laminates, it is a high pressure, and only Wilsonart and Allock have products with that manufacturing process. It has a better impact resistance than Direct pressure.
When determining how good a laminate is compared to others, it is really important that generalizing is not used...in other words, "Pergo is better than Quickstep, or Armstrong is better than Wilsonart". The reason being, there are too many variables to consider.....core, manufacturing, backing, density, thickness, manufacturer, and layers.
When I give advice on this site and others, I tend to ask questions before I speak, so I can discover the specific variables between different products.
Some laminates perform better with moisture, some with impact, some with scratching, and some with stability.
Alot of laminates are so close, it really is up to the consumer's needs to determine which brand would work best.
All laminate manufacturers sell good, better, and best within their lines, so that needs to be determined too, before advice on how good one laminate is over another.
Also, when I hear complaints, such as "Pergo is crap, or Quickstep is crap" or whatever, I take it with a grain of salt because it could be that the consumer was misinformed by the salesperson and their expectations were way too high, or they thought the laminate was indestructable or waterproof.
I cannot count how many times I have investigated complaints like " the laminate scratched when I had a rock in the sole of my shoe!" well, would a better laminate not have scratched? Hard to tell, maybe would have had a better chance at having not so deep a scratch but who knows?

One term I use all the time to ease client expectations in carpet and the wear factor on carpet is this:
A client walks in and says " I want a carpet that WILL NOT show wear!"
Well Berber would be a great choice, but I also add just to make sure " even concrete would show wear in time" And that sets them pretty straight on expectations.
The same concept can be used on lam.
the client says " I want a scratch proof laminate!"
Well high end Pergo or a high end major manufacturer will give them the best chances, but still needs to be said " all laminates can scratch"

In my opinion, Wilsonart Classic is the best laminate all around, but there are other brands that can tend to specific needs better.

hope this helps, now I have a fish to eat.....
 

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moo

Yes, the fuzzy one has spoken.

I agree, a lot of manufacturers have a good series and a bad one, almost everyone does actually.

But the bad range about $0.60-80/sq.ft and are usually imported from Asia and have thickness of 8.1 or 8.2 or . something, *cough* Shaw *cough*

I dont have anything against Pergo, except that it kinda pisses me off when customers call every type of laminate Pergo, its like calling every TV in Best Buy a Sony.

I find Kronotex, Classen, & Meyer (they no longer carry the series i used to buy, but still) among the best and much cheaper, when comparing to similar warranty, and ware rating products as Armstrong, Wilson Arts, and Pergo produces.

Most of the good stuff is made in Germany, and I usually wont even look at any thing made in Asia unless the customer has their mind set only on that product/color.

Moo
 

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Yes we eat alot of fish of course. You would too, if you saw some premium 40 lb and up King Salmon floppin around the river next to your house.
Catch a few of those and your all set for the winter.

I too dislike it when clients call all lam Pergo.
Asia should stick to making area rugs.

The Swedish really know what's going on in the flooring industry. If you have ever been in that part of the world, they love Linoleum, Lam and Hardwood. They are into flooring that is natural, and I don't blame em a bit.

Classen is a great floor to save money, but I have always been suprised by how big their warranties are. They just may go the same route as Formica and be out of business if they can't live up to them.
 

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If you want to get your post count up
please add to current threads, okay?
What does a Genfut do?
 
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