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Posted: 5/28/2002 10:33:22 AM EDT
My wife and I have pretty much decided to install laminated flooring in our kitchen and dining room.

We've more or less narrowed the choices down to Pergo Select and Witex. The Pergo is a glued together style and the Witex a glueless, snap together style.

We like the Pergo because it's our understanding that the surface is the most durable available and the glued together style is more impervious to penetration by liquids spilled on it's surface. It has a lifetime surface wear warranty but no warranty against failure due to moisture.

The glueless Witex is easier to install and we have been told that it's core material is made out of a material that is among the least water absorbent available. Something like it won't absorb more than 6% of it's mass. So if water gets under the flooring at the edges, like say from an overflowing dishwasher, we are told that it will withstand it better while the Pergo will swell up more and may even buckle at the joints. The Witex has a 30 year warranty that covers everything but obvious abuse.

Anyone know much about laminated flooring? Pros and cons of these two types or other suggestions?
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 10:37:23 AM EDT
It's a pain in the ass either way, but it looks nice.  We did the Armstrong T&G glue-type last summer.  Tips: get a Roto-Zip, a corner brush, the right blade for your circular saw, and measure thrice, cut once.

Link Posted: 5/28/2002 10:57:20 AM EDT
What type of sub-floor are you dealing with?

If it's a concrete slab, yeah laminate flooring would probably be the way to go.  Otherwise, have you considered real wood flooring?

Granted, I'm a cabinetmaker and I may be biased, but I put wood flooring in my kitchen and entryway over 4 years ago, and it still looks great.  These aren't low-traffic areas in my house, either!

With the right finish on the wood, the flooring should last (and look good) for a long time.  Plus, when it wears, you can refinish it.  Try that with Pergo.

Double check the warranties on both Pergo and Witex.  Do they cover replacement when the flooring starts to look like crap due to scratches or wear-through of the surface layer?

Installing basic wood flooring is no harder than putting in a composite (like Pergo), depending on your subfloor, and the advantages of real wood outweigh the advantages of composites, IMHO.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 11:06:54 AM EDT
I have put in Harris Tarkett Longstrip (tongue/groove - http://www.harris-tarkett.com/american.htm) in 2 rooms so far and it looks really nice and appears to be quite durable.  It is very thick and supposedly can be refinished up to 3 times.  Also has a refinish warranty.

Link Posted: 5/28/2002 11:16:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 12:04:42 PM EDT
My experience -

We have the snap together kind that floats over the subflooring. (I forget the brand name) w/ glue in teh joints.

Now, I wish I had done real wood.

Don't get me wrong, the laminate stuff is nice. Cleans easily, low maintenance, durable, no breakage from "kitchen drops" or anything like that.

It just sounds cheesy when you walk on it with hard soled shoes. Which may not sound like a big deal, but my house is a sort of log cabin-y house (sans the logs) and plastic floors just don't belong in it.

Decide what you want from your floor - a certain look vs. durability vs. low maint etc etc etc, and make your decision that way.

IMPORTANT - like quietshooter said, GET THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB. And weight that additional cost plus the time, aggravation and possibility of your install voiding the warranty against just paying the "experts" to install it.

Sometimes a penny saved is JUST a penny saved, but beau coup dollars wasted.

Good luck.

P.S. Go with the wood!!!! [:D]

Link Posted: 5/28/2002 2:10:54 PM EDT
RE: Laminate flooring

Home Depot gives free classes on installing your own...the price is right! You can also get book and video.

Don't worry about the swelling too much. You use spacers around the edges(also available where you buy the planks) to keep a gap so it can expand under the trim or wall.

Bought Armstrong vice Pergo after comparing the two planks side by side. It is a pain to put down, but looks like a million bucks when finished (costs only slightly less!).

Had a salesman demo durability. He rubbed a car key hard on the boards...it rubbed the color off the key! He did it with wood and wood/laminate combos and scratched the bejezus out of them.

After three years of heavy use to include big dogs, the laminate still looks like new at my house.

Tips: A table saw is a great time saver when laying and cutting the planks.
Wipe up the glue as you go along with a wet rag to avoid leaving a film on the boards you have to clean later.
No room is ever exactly square, and no wall is ever exactly straight, so don't sweat it too much as long as you have the expansion space around the edges.
Instead of renting straps to hold boards together you can use The Handyman's Secret Weapon...duct tape in strips till the glue sets.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 2:16:46 PM EDT
What Garandman said!

It is loud, and an "unpleasant" loud when walked upon with certain shoes, dogs etc.

Also, if there is EVER a chance that water will get under it, don't do it. We bought it for entryway, kitchen, breakfast area and utility room (all are connected). The installers didn't properply tie down washer drain in the utility room. Did my bride notice that before leaving?

Fortunately, the installers insurance paid for the Kitchen, utility room and breakfast area to get....>TILE!  We kept the laminate in the entryway.

Water spilled in the middle of the floor is nothing, but if it's like an overflowing toilet or something it can go under the laminate when it seeps under the baseboard...and then you're f***ked.

Just my opinion,,,,,I could be wrong
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 2:25:02 PM EDT
Did Pergo in our kitchen (three years ago)and we love it. It is damn near indestructible, looks great and so easy to keep clean. I highly recommend it.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 2:43:47 PM EDT
I have to go with Garandman & the Beekeeper.  I'm Mr. anti-wall-to-wall-and-synthetic-floor-covering.  I've ripped out wall to wall and vinyl on one room a year & replaced with hardwood, usually T&G strip about 3" wide and 3/4" thick.  It's easy to lay yourself; I'm using a radial arm saw which isn't the ideal tool.  I don't have the cojones to try the sanding myself, but I'm working with a retired guy who sands and applies stain and 3 coats of polyurethane for $2 per square foot.  

There is no subsitute for real wood.  I've had 3 offers for my house in a week and a half on the market, and everybody's commented on the floors.  PITA with real wood is that it needs to be stickered and left in the house for at least a month before you put it down to get to a balanced moisture percentage.

If you're selling the house, go for Pergo or a clone.  If you're keeping it, go for the real thing.

Link Posted: 5/28/2002 2:44:00 PM EDT
Tough choices!  Like NUCULAR (Jimmy Carter fan, huh?), I went with the Harris-Tarket laminated oak glue-together.  Mine's on two layers of glued and screwed 3/4 inch plywood, with the 1/16 foam underlayment.  Friend went with Pergo about a year before I did.

Both still look great, mine is a bit quieter.  His is noticeably flatter, mine has a bit of thickness variation due to the factory finish being a few thousandths thinner at the edges of each plank.

Overall, I think the Pergo will probably prove the more scratch-resistant.  On the other hand, I can refinish mine more than a traditional solid wood floor (no nail heads, actually have more useable wood thickness).   I did use tile in the kitchen, bath and utility rooms though.

Installation was easy, but it was time consuming, and you'll find out just why you want to buy a really good set of knee pads.  Fine-tooth veneering blade on a good table saw is worthwhile too.

Good luck,

Link Posted: 5/28/2002 3:03:04 PM EDT
Wife and I are looking at replacing our old capet and wood floors sound right to me. Anyone here had any experience with or know anything about bamboo flooring? I've heard some really good things about it and the ones I've seen look really nice. Stuff is supposed to be almost indestructabel.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 3:14:28 PM EDT
Wife and I are looking at replacing our old capet and wood floors sound right to me. Anyone here had any experience with or know anything about bamboo flooring?
View Quote

Just don't get it under your fingernails!!!
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 3:29:48 PM EDT
My wife and I installed Pergo a few years back and have been quite happy with it. BTW, Pergo markets a product that is meant to be placed underneath the flooring that helps quiet the stuff down. It's pretty effective.

One thing to consider, IMO, when choosing flooring is to get a flooring that is appropriate for the value of your house. Our house is truly "middle of the road" and we didn't want to spend the extra to get solid T&G red oak. It simply would have been a waste for our present home. Pergo looks pretty nice and in terms of durability we've been mightily impressed. One of these days after the kids are gone and we've moved to a smaller, but nicer place, we'll go with the flooring that we think looks best (T&G or stone). But for now, Pergo is perfect for us.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 3:39:54 PM EDT
We have WilsonArt Laminate Flooring in our kitchen, dining room and half bath. Our son's-in-law installed it 1-1/2 yrs ago, I love it, looks rich. Two drawbacks are floor feels colder and it "eats" socks. The first few months, we went thru many many socks (since I didn't wear shoes in the house) I don't know if it was from the glue remmants or from the texture of it, has grains like wood. While they were installing it, our daughter dropped a hammer from the kitchen counter, but no dent!
Another daughter put prefinished wood flooring, 3" wide strips, in her new house, that looks great also. Don't think I could go back to vinyl.
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