Laminated Flooring

I'm getting ready to replace the carpeting in my living room/dining area with laminated flooring. From what I've seen and read, it looks just like hardwood flooring yet is more durable and requires very little maintenance. It also has a 25 year warranty.
Lowes has measured and given me an estimate of just under $5,000. Before I spend this much dough, I was wondering if anyone here has laminated flooring in their home and how it holds up. I have two big german shepherd dogs that live with me. Also I'm wondering if the flooring will fade if I put down throw rugs.
Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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It is not warranted against scratches, and dogs scratch floors. If it were me and I was going to keeps dogs inside, I'd put down hardwood, because it can be refinished. I would also finish it with water borne polyurethane because it's the longest lasting floor finish available and you don't have to stay out of the hose as long for it to cure. My hardwood floors were put down in 1965 and have been refinished once since and still look almost new.
Tom J
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http://www.cometobuy.com/elitefin/FR_255.asp
http://www.buildcore.com/pdf/bona11se.pdf
I know of no other floor finish that can be used outside in the weather as well as on the floor. I have a high traffic den that was finished 5 years ago and still looks as good as new, so my statement is partly based on my experiences with different kinds of floor finish, back to when spar varnish was the choice. This floor had a sealer coat and 5 top coats put down in 10 hours with sanding with screen between each coat and we started using it 48 hours later.
Tom J
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Neither source appears to be exactly impartial or independent and complete. However the independent sources I have seen over the last few years (no I don't remember the sources) seem to all point to the fact that both the water and oil based polys are very good and overlap in most areas.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Actually there are independent tests. The National Wood Flooring Association, who represents both oil and water base manufacturers did some testing and determined that the best water base is better than the best oil base, if applied according to manufacturers recommendations. This was about 6 years ago when I heard that at a seminar at the convention. I'm sure they did the abrasion test, beyond that I don't know, but I was impressed how they went out on the limb considering the role Dura Seal(Minwax, who has never made a serious attempt at water) plays in the association. Water base has gotten even better since then. I have heard rumors of some advanced oil products but none have surfaced, so to speak....
M Hamlin

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You might get a better deal at a flooring store than either Home Depot or Lowes. They get special branded stuff and you don't really know what you are getting. Their stuff comes out to around $5 or $6 per sq foot installed. So were my local stores with lots more selection.

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