Kitchen floor overload!
mamapaxFebruary 16, 2013
Hi gang

My husband and I are DIYing our kitchen facelift. We've painted the cabinets and are painting the walls tonight. Next on the list? Floors! our budget is tight, so our options are limited. Has anyone used the vinyl click lock floors? If so, what are your thoughts? We want durable (kitchen, toddler, dog), but don't want it to look cheap and tacky. Laminate is a consideration, but we are concerned about the swelling in case of water spills, leaks, etc. Thoughts on that too, please.

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Most good vinyls won't look tacky per se. It's usually poor selection or poor installation that makes them look bad. I would only consider vinyl tiles if you can make sure to do the floor prep right. Otherwise, floated laminates is one of the easiest floors for a homeowners to install and get good results. Buy and extra box and store in attic to manage any floods (which should be a rare occurrence).
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
Vinyl floating is starting to be the rage right now. My suggestion, if your budget allows, is an EXCELLENT underlay - solid, sound absorbent and excellent on the feet.

I believe a 6mm cork underlay will do all those things. Forna's 6mm underlay (1/4") is $0.67/sf = $99.99/carton for 150sf. Lumber Liquidators sells the same stuff (different manufacturer...our manufacturer was "too expensive" for them so we lost the bid) for $149/carton or on sale for $118/carton.

This little bit of extra protection will make any "low end" laminate/vinyl feel like a million dollars!

Remember: a floor is only as good as it's underlay!
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:46PM
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My husband is incredibly maticulous and particular. A good underlay is a must! Thank you for the suggestion and the rec of a brand.

We aren't looking to do a vinyl tile. We are more interested in the vinyl planks that look like wood. My main concern is I don't want it to look too fake - less like wood and more like a rubber tire. Can anyone reccommend a brand? We don't mind spending some money, just can't go all out and do real wood or a nice tile.

One other thing to consider, our home just celebrated it's 100th birthday. We want to update, yet maintain the integrity of the old girl.

One more question - bamboo. We have heard mixed reviews. I know it is supposed to be strong, but does it scratch easily? It is a grass technically.

Thanks again!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Ironwood Builders
Bamboo is extremely hard, in part because it is many small pieces glued together. The glue is hard but so is the bamboo...dulls saw blades! With a good wear layer and proper engineered construction it will last quite along time...caveat is I have no idea about brands or what look you want. Explore options at flooring stores and online, there are many bamboo products to choose from.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
My research is showing, for bamboo, you have to go HIGH END or your floor will smell because of the Urea Formaldehyde used for the binders. I've just done a quick research for a cork-underlay client of mine and the supplier of their floor (U S Floors) is being taken to arbitration because their floor exceeded their advertised "formaldehyde" data by 10,000 times....which also exceeds the US CARB standards by 1,000 times.

Please be aware that anything less than $5-$7/sq is going to be a crap shoot. You are looking for solid strand bamboo - NOT engineered (the stuff that is together with HDF core). You want NATURAL strand not "carmelized". Carmelized gives a beautiful rich colour BUT it is done by baking the bamboo (the sugars in the grass darken) which means the "toughness" of the material has been weakened. You want to see phenol-formaldehyde NOT urea-formaldehyde binders.

Here is an excerpt from an article I've found:
"Ecotimber’s solid-bamboo flooring includes an emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI) binder that contains neither urea- nor phenol-formaldehyde, according to Dan Harrington, product development director."

You want to see 7-9 year old bamboo; 6 years old is the "youngest" you want to see.

I've asked a bamboo sales man (a guy in it for the money) what the industry is doing been to correct the scratching/denting/warping/cupping problems. His answer: "Nothing."

Just a little FYI.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:11AM
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