I want to purge carpet from my home


How hard is it to install laminate flooring? I recently picked up the home improvement bug but lacking in diy skills. The house is 6 years old with the original carpet. With pets and everyday usage the carpet is looking a little used. It still looks better than a lot of other carpets I have seen though. On occasion we go over it with a carpet cleaner but that can only do so much.
I would never want to do a entire floor in carpet EVER again. Its like a big dirty mop that you can never clean all the way. A area rug would be ok but not the whole floor. Is laminate the best choice for durability?
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Spork wrote:

Let me start by saying I also hate W/W carpet, and wish I'd had it ripped out before I moved in, and the hardwood underneath refinished. But it was brand new carpet, and I was in a hurry and feeling broke from the closing costs, so I said the heck with it. Cream color, of course, and after 5 years, looks like crap, even without pets and kids here.
What is under the carpet at your place? Given the age, I predict particle board underlayment. If so, laminate (as much as I hate it) is probably your cheapest choice for a smooth floor that (sort of) resembles wood, with okay durability. (Vinyl is cheapest, but I presume you don't want that other than in kitchen/bath/entry hall.) A step up is engineered floor, which goes down like laminate, but has a layer of actual wood on top. Both can be done DIY, given attending a free class at the Borg on Saturday (or having a buddy that has installed one before), and buying a cheap cutoff saw someplace like Harbor Freight or CraigsList. Most expensive would be the traditional choices of real hardwood and real tile for the wet areas, like near outside doors. But to put that down would require pulling up the underlayment, unless you want to modify every single door. Removing underlayment can be done DIY (unless glued down), and still have a pro lay the new floor. I do not recommend either real wood or tile for a first-time DIY project. It isn't hard, but at least watching someone with experience do it a couple times, saves a lot of learn-as-you-go.
--
aem sends...

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Not sure whats under the carpet. I guess I should check. I actually thought about doing all vinyl before I bought the house but had people tell me I'm crazy and they would never do that. I could consider vinyl if they had something that didn't make my whole house look like a kitchen. Does it also come in planks? I realize now that ANYTHING looks better than carpet after a few years. Just after writing my post one of the dogs barfed in the middle of the living room floor.
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I took a glance where the cable guy drilled through the floor and it appears to be particle board under the pad. I also wanted to mention if I did do vinyl whats a good way to seal between the planks to make them spill resistant? Also do I need any kind of moisture barrier like with laminate?
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Particle board is just, plain bad news. If you have a spill the goes unnoticed for too long it swells up and never completely shrinks again.
As far as appearance goes, vinyl is OK. Only an idiot would think that printed wood grain on vinyl is "real wood" but with furniture in place and a few "throw rugs" which can be laundered if needed it is "gud enuf" for most un-pretentous home owners. If you buy some extra pieces, you can replace damaged sections and keep the floor looking good until you really, really get tired of it or you have the urge to spend lots of money.
Part of the "surface prep" for vinyl is to paint the underlayment with latex primer and to fill cracks and holes in the underlayment with "leveling compound."
I suppose that if you MUST keep the particle board, the latex primer will give you a safety margin between the spill have having to get it up without excessive damage.
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Some good info in Consumer Reports. Check it out.
Joe
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Good idea. You'll like being rid of it in the long run. There are may types of laminate floor material of different qualities. Some are cheap plastic laminates that look fake, but are durable, other cost more but look like wood, others are real wood with a pre-finish.
I've done a few rooms and a hallway with engineered wood. You need minimal tools. A cheap miter saw is great for the end cuts. Aside from that, a hammer and a kit of tapping block and puller are about it. I'd star with a small bedroom and then move to the living room if you want to sharpen your skills first.
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Spork wrote:

Last question first: Laminate is (almost always) far more durable than carpet. Most laminate is coated with the same stuff used to bullet-proof fighter jet windscreens. Laminate flooring is MUCH easier to keep clean than carpet, but, like tile, you may have to clean it more often because it shows the dirt more so than carpet. Fortunately, a mere sweeping is often sufficient.
Throw rugs should have rubber backs - laminate is slickery.
Extra tools you may not have that will prove very useful: * Rubber mallet * Harbor Freight MultiMiracle Tool for under-cutting door jambs (on sale now for $35). * HF Floor installation kit: http://www.harborfreight.com/floor-installation-kit-96447.html Note the angled bar. No matter how clever and patient you are, some planks just WILL NOT click together. You've got to whack 'em with a hammer. * Circular or cheap table saw. You will have to rip some planks at the far edge of the room. * Knee-pads (or you can scoot around on your butt).
Helpful hints: * Remove the baseboards. Use this opportunity to clean, repair, and re-paint them. * When replacing the baseboards, there's a trick involving a school-compass to getting them flush with the new floor. * If what's under your carpet is concrete, an angle grinder is handy for cutting off the nails holding down the carpet tack-strips. * A spongy underlayment results in a better "feel" on the finished floor than a mere vinyl vapor barrier (but costs more). * Economical - but servicable - laminate can be found at --Lumber Liquidators (I used the $0.75/sq ft variety in two bedrooms) --Floor & Decor Outlet (And the $0.44/sq ft in another) * Planks are almost always aligned with the longest dimension of the room.
At less than $0.50/sq ft, laminate is a swell choice for bedrooms. Its more expensive cousins are more than suitable for high-traffic areas.
Bottom line: Try a small room first. I'll wager you'll like the result and enjoy the project.
Installation is straightforward and involves no special skills or tricks. You can do a bedroom in a week-end.
Now the bad news:
* When you remove the existing carpet, you'll retch for a week at the nastiness you discover under it. That's nastiness with a capital NAS.
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thanks to everyone for the great replies. I'm reading some very bad things about laminate and getting turned off of the idea. To me it seems if I were to go with some really high end laminate or the engineered wood mentioned I might as well save up and do hardwood.
Right now I'm leaning towards the peel and stick vinyl planks. Could I do this on top of the particle board underlayment? They say laminate is more fire resistant. If we don't smoke or do vinyl by a fireplace is the stuff safe?
I like the idea of vinyl because its cheap and I can do it myself. If I were to ever move I could just have some cheap carpet put down to sell the place so I'm not concerned if a future owner would want it or not. I plan to head out to some flooring stores and check out demo rooms.
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Spork wrote:

Not a fan of peel'n'stick, because it likes to keep moving around, and (especially in a kitchen or bath) there is often a problem with black crud growing in the cracks. They do have a cousin to laminate, that clicks together, but the top looks like tile. Not sure how thick it is, but the pictures I have seen look interesting. May be worth talking the local dealer out of a sample piece, to take home and try under all your doors and such, to see if there is enough headroom now that you have pulled up the carpet. While you are there, show the dealer a dimensioned diagram of your rooms, and get a price on textured vinyl- it may be cheaper than you think, and a pro install job makes a big difference. They (or you) will need to seal all the seams in the particle board, and pound down any high nails, but it should make an acceptable substrate for vinyl. Some of the fancier vinyls do a decent imitation of ceramic tile or slate. In a darker or mixed color, with washable area rugs here and there, it would not look too hillbilly.
--
aem sends...

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I have seen the squares get real nasty in bathrooms also. I'm reading some reports on the peel and stick planks and most people are happy using them in areas besides the bathroom. They claim its easier to replace a single plank because they don't click together. But you do bring up some good concerns. Whether they click or stick isn't there the possibility of spills to get underneath and fester? Only other option I see is to use the roll out vinyl so everything is sealed.
Actually I haven't ripped up the carpet yet. I have family telling me that the carpet isn't that bad and it would be a waste of money to rip it up right now. So maybe this is a project I should hold off on for a while until I find the best compromise between, looks, price, cleanliness, and durability.
I am also doing a room in the basement and plan to just stain the concrete floor. Simple and clean.
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No, no, no. That is where you practice and experiment.
I did ceramic tile on an area like that and the results were so good I'll use it again. Try your laminate there, or whatever you think you might like upstairs.
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Spork wrote:

What "bad things" have you read? And where?
Even cheap laminate is superior to carpeting and stick-on vinyl in almost every way (stick-on vinyl IS easier to install).
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