Laminate Flooring

I am planning to put laminate floors in my newly finished basement. right now I know close to nothing about laminate floors. I wonder what option in laminate exist and how they differ from each other. How durable is laminate floor? I have hardwood floors in entire house. Hardwood floor can be resanded and refinished that makes it almost new. Can a laminate floor be resanded and refinished? Do all laminate floors come prefinished? And finally how they are installed particularly how difficult is it to install them on a concrete floor?
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No matter what brand you decide on, just go to www.pergo.com now and get all the information that you need before you make a selection. Going over concrete is a special case and has to be dealt with correctly up front, or you'll have serious problems down the road.

laminate
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laminate
First, lets get the terminology straight.
Laminate: A man made material that has the appearance of wood, but is really a plastic. The finish is like a Formica countertop, but more durable and thicker.
Engineered wood. This is a plywood type of material that has a pre-finished layer that is real wood. The finish is factory applied and is much more durable that any on-site applied finishes.
I have both in my house and they have good features. Both can be put over a concrete floor with the proper preparation. Real wood cannot be.
I have Wilson Art laminate www.wilsonart.com and after six years, it show NO wear at all. Perfect as the day it went down in the highest traffic area of the house and on the stairs. This is a tough material and you need carbide saw blades to cut it.
In my family room I have Mannington engineered wood. www.mannington.com It has been down for about 7+ months now and I like it very much. To me, it looks better since it is real wood and has all the natural variations of color and grain.
Over concrete you put down a water barrier and go to work. Mine is glued panel to panel. Not really difficult, but get yourself a pair of knee pads. I also bought a miter saw to make cutting easier. Baseboards should be removed so the flooring can go under them, then it goes right back in. I used a special saw to trim the door molding so the flooring could slip under them. The time consuming part is when you have a lot of things to cut around. In general, it goes pretty fast. Ed
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