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Old 02-05-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Schaumburg
741 posts, read 2,881,777 times
Reputation: 916

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Home insurance is paying to replace my maple wood laminate in my den. Had some water damage. I need suggestions with the best quality wood laminate available. I had a Lamton 12mm Maple wood laminate flooring that was pretty good, but I see now that a lot of companies are selling commercial wood laminate:


https://www.floorcity.com/products/a...SABEgLBX_D_BwE

Is commercial laminate better or do I just check the AC rating?

Any suggestions of good/bad laminate experiences are very welcome!
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:37 AM
 
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Well, the best would be tongue and groove oak. It's not all that much more that laminated wood.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
15,166 posts, read 22,692,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
well, the best would be tongue and groove oak. It's not all that much more that laminated wood.
+1
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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The "best".....Hmmm.....what does best mean to you.? Strongest, toughest, prettiest, most unusual, easiest to install? As a flooring professional, I ask my customers these questions almost every day. So let me give you a few pointers to guide you to the floor you are seeking.


1. Thickness - 12 mm (just under 1/2") is the target for a quality floor. Anything under 3/8" should have warning signs and sirens.


2. AC Rating - A measuring stick. Not a precise comparison of products, just a general rating of overall quality. Nice to know, but no more than that.


3. Brand - Yes, it does mean something. Shaw, Bruce, Mohawk, Pergo, Quick-Step. Mannington, Armstrong. If you've ever read any home décor magazine, you've seen these names. There's a reason they are still around. If you buy from a flooring professional, you'll run across some, if not all, of these brands. Big box stores have a couple. If you buy your flooring from Crazy Harold's Discount Emporium or Gaudy Mart, you get what you pay for. (Pro Tip - 2 Sneaky good brands you probably don't know about: Palmetto Road and Alexander Smith RevWood Plus, an Abbey Carpet Store house brand)


4. Price - A better quality laminate costs around $4.00 / Sq. Ft. Best quality laminates can get to the $5.00+ level. Higher price usually = better quality or more features.


5. Locking System - This is the litmus test for well engineered laminates. When you try to attach one plank to another, does it seat snugly? Is there any wobble? Does it slip apart does it take some effort to disconnect them? Do the ends work as well as the long edges do? Laminates that are locking (Click-Lock styles) should be a snug fit to each other, but you should be able to pop them apart. If your new floor requires you to tap the boards into place, they are less well engineered than you want.


Finally, the new player in synthetic flooring is LVT or LVP type. Luxury Vinyl Tile / Luxury Vinyl Plank. Almost all are waterproof, and solid vinyl or vinyl/resin core construction. Durable, easy to clean (Think Swiffer) pretty, realistic appearance for tiles (Stone) or planks (Hardwood).


The biggest drawback to laminate floors is that, at their heart, they are wood, pressed wood, or paper/cardboard - ish cores, and are subject to moisture absorption which causes them to swell, warp, move, uncouple, etc. LVT / LVP products are not subject to that kind of issue.


So there it is. Your primer on laminates. There's much more to know of course, but that's your pocket version of a shopping guide.


Regards,

Streamer1212
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Schaumburg
741 posts, read 2,881,777 times
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Thank you, Streamer1212. That was very informative, and just what I needed but couldn't find on web searches.

I did have 12mm Lamtom Laminate from Build Direct, and while I liked it, I'm not entirely sure I will get the same thing. Want to explore all my options.

Was thinking of the vinyl, but I want to sell my house in 5 years and want the best resale value.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
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I don’t have personal experience, but a pro I know has recommended Parklex. 14mm, used in commercial environments.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:11 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,207 posts, read 33,115,771 times
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Does it have to be laminate? The common varieties of hardwood flooring don't cost any more than the good quality laminate. Even a few of the more exotic woods are about the same price. Install costs should run the same. Hardwood is a bit easier to install.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Schaumburg
741 posts, read 2,881,777 times
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No, it doesn't, even the insurance guy said whatever money we give you, you can get whatever you want. I am planning on selling in 4-5 years so that is the reason I don't want vinyl planks. Too many people hate vinyl no matter what it looks like.

Oregonwoodsmoke--is there any preferred brand of hardwood you like? I've never had hardwood in a house before.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
15,166 posts, read 22,692,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesky View Post
is there any preferred brand of hardwood you like? I've never had hardwood in a house before.
You don't buy hardwood floors by brand.
You find an installer (read reviews and ask for and check references) first.
The installer will buy the wood and have it delivered to you.
It needs to sit in your house for 2+ weeks prior to installation to acclimate to your house.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:51 PM
 
29,495 posts, read 36,024,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
You don't buy hardwood floors by brand.
You find an installer (read reviews and ask for and check references) first.
The installer will buy the wood and have it delivered to you.
It needs to sit in your house for 2+ weeks prior to installation to acclimate to your house.
Yeah unless that guy has no affiliation with any wood you like. I tried every local installer and gave up. Then I found my wood I liked—-I’ll buy it and then hire an installer. Not the way I’d prefer to do it but I’m picky about my floors.
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