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Floating floor installation questions


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted January 14 2007 - 06:39 AM

My wife and I are considering purchasing a house. The only real upgrade we would need to perform on this house is to replace the kitchen floor. We are considering doing a floating floor such as Pergo.

Here are my questions:

1) For a kitchen floor is a laminate better than hardwood . . . what about for re-sale value down the road?

2) Whether we go wood or laminate we will probably go with a floating floor style. How difficult is this to do? I feel like my wife and I could do this, but we've never done anything like it before. Installation prices seem to run approx $2.50/sqft.

3) If we decide to install it ourselves, what should we know before we start? Does anyone have tips or suggestions that may not appear in the typical installation instructions?

FYI - right now we're leaning toward Kronotex brand. Consumer Reports rates this stuff higher than Pergo. Kronotex is rated second, but is less expensive than #1. Kronotex is almost exactly the same price as Pergo at Lowe's so I figured we'd go with the higher rated brand.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 14 2007 - 07:18 AM

I've heard conflicting reports over installing laminate in kitchens. As a floor that often gets objects dropped on it (pots, pans and plates etc) it can be a pain to replace boards that get dented. Obviously buying higher quality means the floor will be harder and you can have the same issue with tiles as well yet they're use a lot in homes. I'd considered doing the same in our kitchen with the kids still being young I think we'll use a nice vinyl that has a faux tile finish instead

As for installing laminate its very easy to do, esp if you have the proper tools. Even if you don't you could buy a decent chop saw for less then the labor charged by an installer.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 14 2007 - 09:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SethH

... we will probably go with a floating floor style. How difficult is this to do? I feel like my wife and I could do this, but we've never done anything like it before.


I was in a friend's home where this was being done last year, by the homeowner.
So, I can point out a couple of things to watch out for and consider.
1)The room may not be a perfect rectangle. How are you going to allow for one end being perhaps 2 1/2" wider than the other?
2)Transitions from one room to the next. Will there be a difference in height? What sort of threshold strip will you use?
"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted January 14 2007 - 10:45 AM

I've installed these before and as long as you have the proper equipment to cut the pieces it's very easy. Just remember, measure twice, cut once.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 14 2007 - 10:54 AM

Quote:
1)The room may not be a perfect rectangle. How are you going to allow for one end being perhaps 2 1/2" wider than the other?

That's not a problem so long as you use baseboards as the laminate will be cut to the approp length's for each run and any slight off angle will get covered up...besides you're supposed to leave a little gap around the edge to allow the floor to float.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted January 14 2007 - 11:06 AM

2)Transitions from one room to the next. Will there be a difference in height? What sort of threshold strip will you use?


Next time we go by the house we plan to check out the height issue. The transition pieces are sold in a set at Lowes (or wherever the floor is sold). They have several options to match up with carpet or hard surface, so I don't think it'll be a problem -- but the height is a very good point and we plan to check that out.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted January 14 2007 - 11:49 AM

Forgive my ignorance and slight threadjacking, but what exactly is a 'floating floor'?
 "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes. "
- Frank Sinatra 

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 14 2007 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Pratt
That's not a problem so long as you use baseboards as the laminate will be cut to the approp length's for each run and any slight off angle will get covered up...besides you're supposed to leave a little gap around the edge to allow the floor to float.

Andrew,
In the job I was observing, it was going to be a problem.
First, neither of the opposing walls were parallel.
Second, the installer had no clue this was the case.

I was the one that pulled out a tape and discovered this.
Now, if planned on ahead of time, splitting the difference will minimize this complication.

BTW, your "cut to the approp length's for each run" is wonderful...if that was the direction the BIG angle was in...it wasn't, and baseboards aren't 2 1/2" thick. Even if they were the suddenly odd angle of the wood grain would be, unsightly.
"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted January 14 2007 - 12:25 PM

Quote:
Forgive my ignorance and slight threadjacking, but what exactly is a 'floating floor'?

It's called a floating floor because it is not attached to the subfloor in any way.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Evan M.

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Posted January 14 2007 - 02:11 PM

I install floors. Pergo is junk. The brand you are looking at is much better. One advantage that a Laminate has over wood is that it is not as easy to scratch. The advantage of wood is.......it is wood. If given the choice I would take wood ANYDAY over a laminate. Laminates look fake and do not increase a value to a homa at all. with wood you will imediately get your investment back...and then some. A lot of people are afraid of putting wood in a kitchen bu if you use simple precautions then you are fine. Always put a carpet/mat in front of the sink and stove. Make sure you put felt under table and chair legs to resist scrathes. Other than that.....go with wood if you can swing the price. If you can't then laminate is a good alternative and one I would take over a vinyl floor.

As for installing.....laminate is VERY easy. Tools you will need is a miter saw, table saw and jig saw. If you do not have these tools.....i would buy them since they are VERY handy to have. If you do not want to buy them then rent them. Installing a wood floor is not as difficult as you may think but it does take practice. DIY saves you a TON of money if you have the confidence. A GREAT website that has a lot of how to's and a FANTASTIC forum is www.doityourself.com Good luck.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted January 14 2007 - 02:43 PM

I considered laminate in my home. Wood in a wet area is usually not a good idea. Check the laminate carefully - is it compressed particle board that the finish is laminated onto? If so then it is a bad idea. You want a synthetic compound that is non-absorbent.
My contractor at the last moment found Bamboo flooring. It is a very water-resistant wood and fairly inexpensive. We have been quite pleased with the results. You also may want to consider cork. I hear it is quite well suited for sound sensitive rooms (Home theater anyone?)

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted January 14 2007 - 09:45 PM

I would love to have cork, but it just doesn't look good enough. I looked at as many samples as I could to try and find one that would work, but it doesn't even pass my standards, much less my wife's.

I was interested in bamboo, but consumer reports was pretty down on bamboo. It offers no major advantage over wood (other than being more of a renewable resource) and it is much more likely to fade in sunlight. This kitchen has several floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of sun, so I'm not sure if bamboo would be good for us. Also, we want a darker look and IMO the bamboo looks best in the lighter colors.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Justin Lane

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Posted January 14 2007 - 11:19 PM

I thought about wood/laminate in my Kitchen but ended up going with Tile. The tile is surprisingly warmer then I expected in my room, and has been extremely durable.

In my kitchen, I have custom Oak cabinets and installing a wood floor would have ended up with too much wood in the room/house (I have a 1930's craftsmen style home with Chestnut Trim, ceiling beams, and wood room dividers/built-ins). If you have lighter cabinets or can go with more of a contrast betwen cabinets/floor it might not be that bad.

J

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted January 14 2007 - 11:27 PM

Good point, Justin. The cabinets are actually white and the countertops are gray. The vinyl that is in there now is white with a gray pattern on it -- so the room could really use a little color from a wood or laminate floor.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   LOWESHATER

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Posted July 04 2009 - 03:30 PM

Why not to select Lowe’s for flooring install…
 
… and why i HATE LOWE’S
 
After persistant nagging from my wife, I was forced to make a quick selection for my wooden floor install. I thought, if I went to a reputable, chain I should be fine.
 
First of all, the sales person never explained the difference between a glue down and lock in. The price for the hand-scrapped wood looked cheap. So, I paid $35.00 for the measurement. The measurer came for the measurement and took the measurements.
What bothered me was the measurer was holding the tape slanting instead of straight. But, I was busy during the time (and did I mention the pressure from my significant other!)
 
I wont get into the details, but during the installation, I was shocked to see the installers wasting wood. They used to cut a small piece of wood and through away a big chunk of the wood. Even after that, they were left with substantial boxes of wood!!!
 
After the installation, being the engineer that I am, I measured the flooring. With simple measurement, I came out with a difference of almost 25%. This was after lenient measurements. With the cost of installation and material cost, that was substantial.
 
What followed was nightmare! I called Lowe’s thinking that they will rectify the fault and what followed was accusations and counter-accusations and stuff like “why did you not call us when they were throwing away the wood…”, “everybody does (over) measurements like this”, etc. etc. They reimbursed me about 10% of the cost and the cost of the remaining material.
 
Needless to say – I am responsible for any increased sales at Home Depot. J
 
If you want to do any flooring installation, here is my advise to you:
1)      Measure your floor yourself
 Measuring is basically simple – multiply the length by the height. If the room is complexly shaped, break it down into components and then add up the areas. (Area of a square or rectangle is Length x Breadth, Area Triangle is ½ x Base x Height, etc) 
 
The grand total of all the areas, is what your installation should be.
 
2)      Shop around
Do not rely on a single store. The smaller local stores offer better rates. Because they DO NOT SUBCONTRACT OUT THE SERVICES.
 
3)      Do you research
Understand the difference between glue down, nail down and lock ins. The Lock ins are usually cheaper though the glue ins add to the value of your home.
 
You could get an installer separately and then buy wood at a cheaper discount outlet. It works out much cheaper!!!
 
And if you are a handyman yourself, get the wood at a discount outlet or internet and install it yourself. Lock-ins are great for this purpose.
 
4)      AVOID LOWES like a PLAGUE
You will be paying for their premium over subcontracted rates. People who have money to waste, should go there.


#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted July 06 2009 - 01:28 AM

Seth,

I installed Pergo in my kitchen five years ago. While I wouldn't call it 'junk', I doubt that it would help the re-sale value at all (nobody is going to mistake it for real wood).

On the handyman skill level, I'm probably a 7-8/10, and had no problems with the installation. As long as you have the right tools (saws as described above, plus the custom 'bang-it-in' tool that's available), you'll be fine.

In five years, we've dented it maybe twice; once was when someone dropped an iron on it. Can't recall what caused the other. Boards are not easy to replace. I did replace one by sawing it in half lengthwise with a circular saw, then sliding the pieces out. This only worked because of the damaged boards proximity to the edge.

It's actually sorta fun to install, like putting together a puzzle. Before you tackle the job, I would suggest looking carefully at the entire area and determining where problem areas lie - funny angles, tight corners, transitions - and deciding how you'll approach each.

My kitchen transitions into my living room, which has hardwood flooring. The kitchen is maybe a quarter inch higher. I installed an oak threshold between the two that looks real nice. The difference in altitude is no problem whatsoever.

Shoot me an email if you have specific questions, now or later.

Good luck!

Jon


#17 of 17 OFFLINE   tyler payne

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Posted July 19 2009 - 08:30 PM

Funny I ran into this thread when I did.  I am right in the middle of installing Pergo in my condo.

Quick back story:   I bought my condo a few years back at an absurdly cheap price.  It is a 1 bedroom/ 1bath with about 750 square feet.  The reason for the low price on my place were due to the cabinets in the kitchen and bath needing to be replaced.  (Which I have not got to do yet.)  The appliances worked but also needed replacement.  The carpeting also needed to be replaced, as it had some discolorment, and wrinkles and bubbles.  Well first thing I did was replace the washer, dryer, stove, fridge and dishwasher.  As I hate using credit cards, this was done over a period of time.  Next cane some of the carpet.  The last person who lived here put carpeting almost all the way up to the fireplace, and in the bathroom.  So I cut out a section of the the carpet around the fireplace and put in ceramic all weather tile.  Next, I tore the carpet out of the bathroom and put in some self adhesive tile.  ( This is temporary as I want to re do the bathroom within a couple of years.  But anything would be an improvement over carpet in the bathroom.)  This brings me to my current floor project.

I went to visit my sister and her husband and they had just finished putting Pergo in one of their rooms.  Up until I saw this I had been considering new carpet.  But after seeing their floor, I decided to go with Pergo.  While I agree that no one is going to assume that it is real wood, I think it has a classier look than carpet.

I am going to be doing about 600 square feet, and the materials cost me under $1,300.00.  My brother-in-law came over last Thursday and gave me some install tips, and I an currently about 1/5 of the way done.  I have a four day weekend coming up, and with some help from my dad, I hope to be done with the project this weekend.

The only tools I have are a skill saw, and a jig saw, and they have been more than enough to do any cut I need.  Including the cuts around door ways, which are time consuming, but not hard.

Even though it is not real wood, you do have to be careful not to damage it as it seems like replacing the planks in the middle of a floor would be a nightmare.  But as I live alone, I do not think the up keep will be to problematic.

I don't think the Pergo is going to increase the value of my place, but I don't think it will hurt it either.


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