Advice on laminate/hardwood flooring

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I have solid hardwood Bruce flooring in my dinning room/kitchen. It was laid about 4 years ago. It is called "Gunstock".
The carpet in my adjoining dinning room and adjacent hallway is showing it's wear due to the kids spilling things and traffic in general.
I have available to me some new "laminate: hardwood flooring also called "gunstock" althought the color is not exactly the same as my solid hardwood floor. This flooring is basically free and have debated laying it myself. (I have never laid laminante or solid hardwood for that matter.)
What is your opinion as to if this will look aceptable? I can still go back with carpet, but it will cost more. I can also go back with solid wood flooring, but it will cost alot more. I plan on leaving the carpet in the bedrooms as it is in good shape.
Here is a link to a video of my current flooring and a few pieces of the laminate butted up against it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
ãYePipT7zo
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wrote:

Lay a few more samples out. Get another look at it and decide. I really don't see a terrible transition there. IMO.
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Well, laminate usually sticks out like a sore thumb next to natural wood. But from your video it is hard to tell. Laminates are getting more convincing.
I am with Oren, above. Lay out some more and then test it with every kind of light that will hit it. If you are happy we are too :^}
RonB
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I think what she has is an engineered hardwood. Plywood with a real wood top as opposed to the printed plastic.
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Looks very close to me. Given that one is four years old, it probably darkened a bit from age, as is normal. I'd go for it.
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stryped wrote:

'Dining room' and 'carpet' and 'kids' in the same sentence?
Not a fan of laminate, but given the free material and the operating conditions, I'd say it is the way to go. Unlike real hardwood, laminate is easily reversible once the kids get older, or the next owner decides they want something different. Real wood top layer on the laminate, of faux printed? I'd make the grain or 'grain' direction go at right angles to the real wood- that will help disguise the difference in the color. You can make another 90-degree transition to go down the hallway. Make sure you have enough of the laminate in the exact same shade before you start! Don't forget that there will be some wastage due to cuts and such.
--
aem sends...

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If the existing floor is solid wood, you might consider refinishing it first, trying to match the new laminate, and then put down the new laminate. Make the transitions in the doorways where it shows the least, in the darkest doorways areas if possible. From the video, the old wood floors are fairly discolored, so refinishing them would not be a bad idea anyway.
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I was thinking the laminate should continue across the living room the same direction as the dinning room? (Boards parallel to the dinning room.) Is that not correct? Are you sayign they should be perpendicular? (I am a newbie at this).
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stryped wrote:

Hard to tell definitively what with all the camera movement but the solid wood looks like oak, the laminate doesn't.
The name (Gunstock) doesn't matter as that is just the finish color. The same color on oak and, say, maple will look very different because of the inherent differences in the woods.
Should you use the laminate? Can't say, depends on your tolerance for a markedly different look compared to what you have.
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stryped wrote:

Well, the CARPET doesn't look the same as the existing wood floor, so I'd say your new laminate is probably okay. Worst case, you lay a bunch of the stuff and the wife goest nuts. In that case, you simply pick it up and start over with a carpet.
Laying laminate itself is easy. Follow these simple hints:
* Take up the floorboards. This will give you an opportunity to take them outside, fill the dents, sand off the stains, and repaint. Also you'll be able to lay the laminate close to the wall, cover with the baseboards, and avoid the tacky quarter-round.
* When you put the baseboards back, there will be gaps beneath the baseboards and the new floor. This is because no floor is perfectly level. Here's how to fix: Using a cheap school compass, open it to the widest gap. Then trace a line the length of the baseboard while the baseboard is in place. This is the line to which you should remove stock from the baseboard - with a jig saw or sander. The resulting baseboard will have a wavy or undulating bottom, but should fit perfectly on your warped floor.
* Undercut the door frames to slide the laminate beneath. The tool to do this is listed below.
* Tape a piece of cellophane wrap to the bare concrete for a couple of days. If you see condensation under the wrap, you MUST have a vapor barrier, but it's good to have one anyway.
* Usually laminate is laid parallel to the longest dimension of the room. This is not an inflexible rule, simply the most common and the least jarring on the eyes. Rubber-backed area rugs are common.
* Tools you will need: - Rubber hammer - Measuring tape - Square - Utility knife - Harbor Freight Multi-Function Miracle Tool (for the door jambs) - A saw. Best is a cheap table saw (~$100) or an electric saw. You will have to cut-to-length one plank of laminate on each row, and will probably have to rip a whole row as you reach the far wall. - Pry bar - An L-shaped bar and a two-pound sledge to knock the shit out of the planks that refuse to lock together properly. Here's one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber–447 - You've got to take up the nails that held down the carpet tack strips. I've found a cheap angle-grinder with a metal cutting wheel the easiest; just cut the suckers off !
Anyway, there's lots of folks here who've installed laminate. Check back with any questions you have and tap into our experience. Most will agree that it's a straight-forward, and fun, project.
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I hope you meant take up the baseboards, not the floorboards.
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Oops! Yes. Good catch, thanks.
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HeyBub wrote: (snip)

What makes you think this is a slab house? Existing real hardwood would indicate otherwise.
--
aem sends...

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This is a crawlspace foundation. Wood subfloor underneath.
When laying laminate would you lay it from the livign room through the hallway all together? Or would you put a transition stip where the living room meets the hallway?
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stryped wrote:

The fewer transitions, the better. If possible, make it continuous.
Transitions are usually used when there is a change in the flooring material (carpet to vinyl) or, in your case, where there's a change in texture, color, depth, etc.
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Would some sort of heating system work well under laminate flooring? One thing my wife is worried about is the floor being cold in the winter. Are these expensive? My living room is about 19 feet x 16 feet.
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On 3/23/2010 10:41 AM, stryped wrote:

I have a laminate floor in my living/family room. The room has a very high peak tongue & groove ceiling. Even with a large rug under the seating area, it is very hard to hear detail on the TV. There is a lot of echo. I have a large organ in the room and it is echo is great for that. I think if I had to do it over, I would have carpeted the room. My wife says she likes it the way it is, but she has a harder time hearing the TV than me. BTW, my hearing to pretty good yet.
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stryped wrote:

Ixnay on the heating. I suspect it will warp the floor, plus the laminate is a pretty good insulator in itself. Even if you could heat the floor, the wife's feet are still going to be cold. Women have about 60% of the blood supply to the feet as men do.
Your better solution to a cold, laminate, floor is the liberal application of tube socks.
Plus, they'll help keep the floor clean.
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I just found out this is "Engineered Hardwood 1/2 inch x 5 inches. Is this stuff different than laminate?
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stryped wrote:

I felt the same way when an architect's description of a building's facing was described as "Man-made stone."
Specifically, "engineered hardwood" is mystery material with a veneer of hardwood glued to it.
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