Opinions on Laminate wood flooring???
February 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My husband and I are trying to decide what type of flooring to put in our house. From what I've read online laminate wood seems to be a good thing but i'm not sure. We live in a rural desert area, have young children and pets. We both grew up with carpet flooring but I hate cleaning and it seems like carpet traps everything (dust,pethair). However carpet does seem warmer...Can anyone share their opinions or experiences and help us end this debate???
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Tile.wood look
0 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Isn;t tile harder to install? I know it last longer but I was thinking that it might be too rough to have kids crawling on..?.
1 Like   February 23, 2013 at 11:34PM
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That is a strong consideration. (The children). Yes tile is harder to install but as she tells me on each project she is worth it.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 4:48AM
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Tile will increase the value of your home more so than laminate.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 4:59AM
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Diane Hutchins
I agree with you that carpet is harder to clean. It is also easier when cleaning to not have to change attachments on your vacuum cleaner. Tile is cool in summer (your pets will love laying on it) and it is also durable. I would recommend maybe a mix; tile in the high traffic areas and wood in lower traffic areas. Wood is better for resale value than laminate if you can afford it. If on a tight budget, I would recommend you splurge on the common areas and save in the bedrooms by getting a real wood or a really nice laminate that is rated high for durability and water resistance (since you have kids and pets this is very important). I have one room in my house that has carpet, but I do not usually let my pets in that room. It is our guest room and I keep the door closed all the time. If you have a little one that has a play area you might doing something similar and just keep your pets restricted to not be in that area all the time. If you need a new carpet later on it is relatively inexpensive to replace just one room. We have mostly hardwood throughout and I love the way it feels under my feet. Laminate will have more of a floating feel and if you have dogs you will hear the click, click, click more with the laminate than with wood. Lighter colors are always a good choice with an active family because they do not show dirt as much.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Homes By Design
We have had all of the floorings discussed. With the dogs and children (we have 2 of each), it is hard to find something that is durable. We originally had hardwood through out the main living area, but we had to replace it due to the dogs scratching up the finish. We replaced it with a Luxury Tile by Armstrong, it comes in a wood plank finish and stone/tile finish. It is a vinyl, but the wood plank finish comes in planks and the stone/tile can be grouted, non grouted, or mixed with the wood planks. We have had this for the last 3 years, and it still looks great. We did install it ourselves, and it was really easy. We have actual tile in the the front foyer now because the snow and salt that was tracked in trashed the wood floor, and the back hall has always been tile and all of the bedrooms are carpet. I am not a big fan of tile through out the living area, it feels too cold and impersonal to me. Though it does look wonderful in a kitchen. In order to keep the family room feeling cozy, we do have an area rug which also brings in a nice finished detail to the room, and something for the dogs to lay on. As for the laminate, it will make more of a clicking sound when the dogs walk on it, we had that in our old house. I wish I could tell you there was an easy answer, but there isn't. If you go for durability, you sacrifice a bit on the look, with cost you sacrifice the use of natural products....... So If you are reading reviews, make sure that the people that are reviewing the products you are looking at mention that they have kids and pets, and keep in mind that most people that post reviews do so shorty after the product is installed, so you don't really get a good indication of the longevity of the product. Good Luck!
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 6:12AM
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We have had wood-plank vinyl in our kitchen for 19(!) years and believe it or not, it still looks pretty good. Up close, there is visible wear and scratching, but overall, I have been quite pleased with it - even after wear and tear of three boys (no pets). We are currently in the early "decision-making" process of a kitchen remodel and will likely go with hardwood in the kitchen and also use hardwood to replace the carpet in our family room, but I have never regretted our wood-plank vinyl in our kitchen. I am attaching some photos - but not sure if they truly show the flooring but maybe you can get the idea.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Shelly Castille
We are building a new home in the West Texas countryside and we too are agonizing over the floor in the great room (we're putting carpet and tile in bedrooms and baths). Our builder has given us a $3/sq ft allowance for flooring. He says he can put in stained concrete for that price but my husband and I have never seen a stained concrete that has a "finished" look. To us it looks like they didn't finish building. We also considered the wood-look tile, but its looking to be cost prohibitive at over $4/sq ft just for materials, never mind the install cost. It is W. TX and I shouldn't be concerned that it would be "cold" but believe it or not, we have some winter here. Of course, wood floor is OUT as it would never stand up to 3 aussies and the countryside wear and tear. We have a Armstrong Luxury vinyl plank in our home we just sold - had it down for 4 months (see pics). We were not happy with it. It was the peel and stick strip stuff which meant you had to be careful when mopping - no excess water. Could not use a steam mop. It scratched easily. It showed everything. The installer recommended a swiffer to clean it but imo it left a film, only looked good for a hour and then it looked filmy and dirty. So, now we too are considering a high quality laminate. The home is in the country. We're older and it will be our final home for the next 20-30 yrs so resale is not an immediate concern. All that to say . . . sigh. I don't know what the answer is to this question. I'll be following this thread closely. ;)
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:09AM
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I have laminate everywhere in my home except the stairs/2nd floor hallway and master bedroom. My kids destroyed the carpet in their rooms, as did my dog. It's been about 14 years since we installed it and it still looks brand new. Very easy to wipe clean (see Pinterest for great homemade cleaners!) I'm not a fan of tile, since up keeping the grout is tedious. Also, I've been in many desert homes (AZ) and everyone has ceramic tile - very expected. The wood tone laminate would be a welcome change. Today there are so many choices for laminate - you can achieve any decor you like. Also, you can place an area rug over the laminate to soften the noise in your room and not have to worry about the pad harming the floor as it does on hardwood.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Are you considering a LAMINATE floor or an ENGINEERED floor?

The color or pattern layer of Laminate floor is paper or melamine with a protective layer on top and typically two layers below that give structure. Laminate can be installed over foam to provide some sound deadening. It will always have that "clicking" sound when heels, animals etc move across it. Should you somehow get a deep scratch that goes thru the protective layer there are no options to repair.

Engineered flooring is created by layering substrate in opposing directions. Products have as few as three and as many as nine substrate layers....depends on budget and stability needed as to final selection. The top layer is actual wood.....again, depending on budget you can get a variety of thicknesses, but the wood is usually thick enough that after years and years of wear should you feel the need to refinish they can be sanded and recoated. The protective coating on engineered floors is similar to that of laminate floors, they contain aluminium oxide. Depending on the application method, mil thickness, and once again budget, you can buy increasing amounts of life/warranty. Engineered flooring can be installed over a pad if you need added insulation or glued down directly like laminate.

If you go with an engineered wood with a handscraped look, medium range stain, wide plank you should be able to live with it for YEARS before you even have to think about doing anything other than routine cleaning. Although Minwax has a product that will mop out minor surface marring, getting a truly deep scratched is more difficult and hey, it's handscraped, they're just adding patina, but if it really bothers you a stain pen will hide it. But you really have to work to get a deep scratch.

Hardwood floors are full thickness wood that also brings its own set of installation constraints, but can be purchased prefinished and afford you the opportunity to have the same finish/ warranty as engineered.

You can find material for less than two bucks a square foot, but if you have to replace in a few years, is it really worth it? For a few dollars more of material cost, you can buy a product that will stand up better to wear and tear, can go in all the rooms needed. And will look better for many, many years.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:48AM
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We have high quality laminate and love it. Hardwood or engineered equals high maintenance and scratching - there is no way around it! We have two dogs and the laminate, after 6 years, is still perfect. It's easy to clean and virtually indestructible. We bought high quality, textured laminate in a nice rich color and most people think its hardwood. We do have a couple of goudges - caused by dropping a heavy object with a sharp edge. We were able to stain the mark with a stain stick and now we really have to look to find it. Go laminate. You won't regret it!
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 8:54AM
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We put tile in high traffic areas, kitchen, and baths We put laminate in similar tones in the great room. Tile is very practical, but we love how the laminate looks in the great room with a beautiful rug. We have only had it down about 2 months so I can't comment on how it will wear over time. Hardwood gets scratched here with all the sand that gets tracked in the house.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Ok thank you all for the info. You've helped me convince my husband that laminate is worth it. We are planning to put laminate wood planks in the family room and bed rooms. there is already tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. Our local homedepot has some great selections. thanks.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Just did living and dining room with laminate after having carpet for thirty yrs...could kick myself for not doing it sooner.. The space looks larger and cleaner and found a beautiful accent rug for a splash of color...also at same place I got the flooring found plank look tile for my kitchen that almost perfectly matches the flooring.. If you go to a flooring store you will find a lot more choices.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:44PM
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I like tile and hardwood.. No wall to wall carpet. Both can be DIY projects also. I have ten rental properties and use both in my homes. They last and look great.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:24PM
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