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Old 07-20-2013, 09:50 PM
 
61 posts, read 240,543 times
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We're shopping for flooring and didn't even look at laminate (based on pre-conceived notions) until a sales guy at a local flooring store (not big box store) recommended it.

Some of them look incredible - no way to tell the difference from wood to laminate IMHO.

The question is - if we were to sell our house in 3 years and this wood looking floor was in it - could anyone even tell it was a good quality laminate? I know I couldn't.

And as far as wear - we are thinking of handscraped flooring anyway (which would blend with any potential small marks from our dog), but I couldn't hardly even mark laminate deliberately with a car key - so that was impressive.

I'm not so sure why, in some circles, laminate seems to have a bad reputation. Maybe it's 500% better now than it was just 4 years ago? Maybe not? With engineered you have to be careful - some are under 2mm thick of actual wood, and you're subject to how soft/thin of a top coat and type of wood the veneer is.

BUT - if somehow people can just look at a top quality laminate floor and immediately tell it's not wood - well, that's no good.

Price is less, but not crazy less, so engineered is still a strong consideration - I did like that laminate had a ton more color choices! We need about 1600 sqft (kitchen and dining room) so it's not small purchase - but one we hope to get right the first time...
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 45,222,252 times
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Good observations. While I will agree laminate floors have come a long way in the past 4 years, I still can not recommend them as a Designer. When people stop making fun of cabinets that are made with superior particle board then I'll stop putting down floors that are made with recycled soda bottles that sound like a tap dance class when people walk on them.

The warmth of wood can never be duplicated. To get a high quality laminate floor, one still has to pay a high price and by that time one could buy wood. The low priced lam floors are still very poor quality. Many low priced lam floors are now being shipped in from China. They are probably just as deadly for your health as Chinese cabinets with all that formaldehyde, sulfur and lead.

Just last week Lumber Liquidators was caught selling very dangerous, bordering on poisonous Chinese flooring with levels of formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) so high that the numbers of people going to the hospital with respiratory problems was becoming epidemic. Company stock fell in half. I'd stay away from that store if I were you.

To preach as I always do on cabinets to make sure they have a KCMA sticker, on flooring make sure it has an AC RATING. They are rated from 1 to 5. 1 being complete useless trash and 5 being top quality. AC RATING 5 down to 3 and maybe 2 will be made in America. Chinese flooring will have no rating at all because it could not meet any minimum standard of quality set forth by any home building industries. Nor can it meet any emissions standards set forth by CARB or DEP or EPA or anything for that matter.

These are the facts. My opinion is laminate floors still are frowned upon by potential home buyers. My opinions are based on my own experiences with my homes and the Realtors I work with.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:15 AM
 
61 posts, read 240,543 times
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Excellent response! Just what I was looking for - we would hate to try to skimp and end up having it hurt us on resale down the road - or having it just cheapen the feel of our house - which is in the upper middle class range...

Currently, Lowes has a $0.99/sqft. installation promotion on certain brand laminates which made it very tempting compared to the $2.50/sqft. that the local (non big box) flooring store charges. Combine this with up to $1/sqft. lower costs on materials (laminate vs engineered) and it is potentially up to a $4,000 differential (2.5x1600) The handscraped laminate we liked even had wood texture....so yea.... Like I said - tempting!

FWIW, Lumber Liquidators has a whole page of info on formaldehyde on their website, saying they are beyond EU And CA standards compliant. But of course they wouldn't admit any wrong doing!!! Formaldehyde - What is it? | Lumber Liquidators

But all things considered we're leaning strongly towards just sticking with our initial thought of staying away from laminate.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 45,222,252 times
Reputation: 10414
Quote:
Originally Posted by LexusRX View Post
Excellent response! Just what I was looking for - we would hate to try to skimp and end up having it hurt us on resale down the road - or having it just cheapen the feel of our house - which is in the upper middle class range...

Currently, Lowes has a $0.99/sqft. installation promotion on certain brand laminates which made it very tempting compared to the $2.50/sqft. that the local (non big box) flooring store charges. Combine this with up to $1/sqft. lower costs on materials (laminate vs engineered) and it is potentially up to a $4,000 differential (2.5x1600) The handscraped laminate we liked even had wood texture....so yea.... Like I said - tempting!

FWIW, Lumber Liquidators has a whole page of info on formaldehyde on their website, saying they are beyond EU And CA standards compliant. But of course they wouldn't admit any wrong doing!!! Formaldehyde - What is it? | Lumber Liquidators

But all things considered we're leaning strongly towards just sticking with our initial thought of staying away from laminate.
Thanks for the compliment. If you ever have a 2nd thought about using the big box stores, especially for installation, I urge you to first google "home depot complaints" and your computer screen will light up the night sky. Here's the best part, they charge 100% in full up front so when something goes wrong, you are out of luck because they already have all your money thereby having no motivation to complete your project.

Think of how much more motivation the little Mom and Pop stores have to satisfy you then the big box store who have become a faceless corporate giant with no heart. And a bunch of people employed there who's grand total of home improvement experience amounts to hanging a curtain rod for Grandma. To me that is short changing the consumer. Oh but that store built with brick and mortar is all big and powerful and will always be there should something go wrong you say? Not so fast. Read up on some of the complaints to see just how these big box stores satisfy the consumer.

In a society where everyone wants to pay less and less and may the quality be damned, cheap is not always the cheapest price.

Good luck on your new flooring choices. The warm beautiful look of real wood will live on for a long time.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,408 posts, read 47,281,770 times
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Are you sure you're not confusing laminate floors with laminated floors? Engineered floors are several layers laminated together, with a real wood layer, but laminate floors are pressed board with a picture of wood on top.
There is nothing wrong with b, and nothing wrong with a, depending upon what you are using them for.
We are about to buy a click lock engineered floor which I don't doubt will serve our purpose well.
Up in our bonus room, which is used as an office and exercise room, we have laminate which is great for rolling office chairs over.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:28 PM
 
648 posts, read 898,244 times
Reputation: 707
I've been looking at engineered wood floors because my living level, LR & DR are on a concrete slab. I can't seem to find any quality product. SHAW is the only US made brand I have found and selections are limited. And the hardness ratings are not great. Could the poster expand more on the AC ratings.
I have always thought laminates have their place. They seem much sturdier for a kids room then wood that scratches. I don't hear sound issues and the feel is a lot more comfortable then tile.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
4,575 posts, read 9,930,256 times
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I personally love laminate floors. After the 2008 housing crash Real Estate is one of the worst asset classes. I don't look at my home as an investment, but rather a place to live. We bought a foreclosure in 2011, and have actually got some equity beside the 20% we put down. However, we live in a modest, but nice area 16 miles North West of Reno, NV. Honestly, I think people give laminate a bad name, because they want to feel better than someone else. Mine don't have this so called hollow sound, but maybe that's because they were meticulously installed by a 33 year retired carpenter (me). Why should I spend big bucks just to claim I have a perceived better floor? Won't make my house worth so much more that I'll recoup the added cost.

We have a dog, so I chose laminate for it's durability. Would it be prudent to put in hardwood only to have it get scratched? I used the Pergo XP with the pad already glued to it. Great product, easy to install, and looks good when done. People claim that water is bad on laminate, but my experience having hardwood is it will cup and buckle if you leave standing water on it. Just another bogus claim like my foreign car is better than an American car (Corvette guy).

Bottomline, you'd be very hard pressed to tell the difference once installed and the room is filled with furniture. I vacuum the room, and using my Strion Streamlight flashlight (uber bright) I wipe the floors with a damp cloth. Looks shiny and new again. Here's a page I built for the last room I did.
New Page 1
I still have the living room and hallway to do. After that, only our walk in closet will have carpet.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
24,301 posts, read 15,696,411 times
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I had Pergo in a kitchen for 13 years and I think it wore quite well. If you want to ask top dollar for a higher end home, say over $300,000, I'd get hardwood unless I could not afford it. Next choice would be engineered wood, but I'd be careful and I'd get as much warrantee as I could. Buy that from an established dealer who hires good installers and is proud of his work. There is a lot of junky engineered wood out there.

If you list a house with hardwood or engineered wood, the listing will say hardwoods--in my experience. This might not be the case in your area. If you buy laminate, you can get a good product, but you can't have hardwoods in the listing description. If your house is worth hardwoods, that's what I'd get. If it isn't, then get something else.

You will likely not get back the price of the installation. Get what you want now, and enjoy it, if you can.

If you have dogs, I'd get laminate, or possibly hardwoods, but not engineered wood.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,781 posts, read 25,713,172 times
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also just keep in mind, should you deceide to pick wood, just because it is real wood and not laminate, doesn't mean the next buyers will like them, that could go either way. wood comes in hundreds of shades.....

just sayin, since you said about selling in 3 years...


I would just get what you like.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:06 PM
 
Location: The "other" West Coast - in Florida
213 posts, read 503,224 times
Reputation: 130
Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Are you sure you're not confusing laminate floors with laminated floors?
No, sorry if I wasn't clear.
If I say laminate - it means plastic covering with a photo of wood inside it backed with particle board. Engineered means real wood - a veneer layer or hardwood on a plywood backing.
Hardwood means solid hardwood, but can also be used to describe engineered since it uses real hardwood.

Hope that doesn't further confuse - at least I know what I meant! lol

The other replies saying - "install what fits the market and/or your needs combined", makes lots of sense. This would probably be considered an upper middle class by most standards. While I don't think you can "get your money back" out of this type of investment, it can help you sell fast and create demand in comparison to doing nothing or cutting corners that can be a major turn off. And you never know what the next person might like.

It's currently filled with giant white gloss tiles wall to wall. We personally think its extremely hideous, cheap and dated. Someone else might like it. But hopefully hardwood is more of a classic look. In the higher end it's almost an expectation to have upgraded materials. For instance - We passed on many houses that didn't have renovated kitchens just due to the massive looming out of pocket expenses they demanded to bring them up to date.
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