need flooring advice

We need to replace the carpeting in our basement familyroom. My wife hates vinyl or vinyl squares. She wants laminate flooring, like Pergo. I hate laminate because it warps when even the slightest wet, not the best. But laminate is really cheap compared to ceramic tile, wood, or even carpeting. Any better solutions.
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higgledy wrote:

How big is this room? I think you've basically gone through all the major types of flooring (other than finished concrete, which is probably too "cold" for a family room).
I'd suck it up and go hardwood. I've got hardwood in about 60% of my house and am in the process of doing the rest (previous owners had vinyl tile in two of the bedrooms), and it's one of my favorite features of our house. Everybody that comes over notices it immediately and compliments us on it, both the new floor and the original 1923 wood flooring that we still have in the dining room.
I think laminate floors look cheap, at least if you mean the kind made to look like wood. They're just obviously not wood to even an untrained eye.
The price difference is not prohibitive unless it's really a huge room. The guy we use charges $5 per square foot for finished hardwood and $3.50 per square foot for laminate.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The OP is concerned about moisture. One of the main features of engineered products, like Pergo or the engineered wood products that use a composite wood core and veneer surface is they are more resistant to moisture than traditional hardwood.
If he's worried about moisture in a basement, then hardwood isn't going to solve that concern. IMO, for a basement, Pergo or similar is not a bad choice, but a lot depends on how much moisture there is.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Well, neither is laminate. If he's worried about moisture in a basement, then his problem is not the floor - it's the moisture.
He needs to solve the moisture problem, not install a floor based around an existing flaw. What he actually said was he was worried about the floor getting "wet" - I didn't necessarily take this to mean that his basement was damp or that he's got leaks, but that maybe he's afraid of dealing with spills caused by rambunctious kids or whatever. If his basement's damp, though, then he needs to dehumidify. If he's got leaks, then he needs to fix the leaks and/or regrade. A basement should ideally be as dry as the rest of the house; otherwise you'll get mold and rot (and bugs). I was just assuming that if he's got a family room down there already, he's probably already solved these issues; he seemed more concerned with other, more temporary types of wetness.
A hardwood floor of any kind is pretty much impervious to water from spills; you just wipe it up and no harm done. Water from below is obviously a different story, but that's not good for any floor of any type.
Engineered wood floors are actually much worse than hardwood in terms of water issues, in my experience. We've got one of these in our living room, installed by our previous owner. Looks nice, and it is real wood on top of the composite, but it warps just like laminate if you let water sit for more than a few minutes because it gets through the cracks between the planks and gets in between the composite and the veneer. We unfortunately had water coming in through a window with an a/c unit installed in it during heavy rain one day, and the floor underneath it is now absolute toast. It just crumbles in your hand - the veneer has separated from the composite and warped really badly. (This happened over literally one night; we had just had the floor polished a week earlier so it was perfect prior to that night.) I would never buy this type of floor myself - when we do eventually replace this, we'll go solid hardwood. Our 1923 hardwood in the dining room has water on it from a leaky radiator every time it's on and we've had no issues with it (yet - we are planning to get this replaced before the next heating season).
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My experience is the opposite. When the pressure relief valve on my heater let go, I had a lot of water that got on my engineered hardwood. Water came up through the seams in spots. I was quite concerned, but had no problem at all.
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Would laminate floring or engineered wood be more resistant to water if I applied polyurathane to the underside before installing?
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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I would think so, but have no proof of it.
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I am not that concerned about about moisture leeching from the concrete slab but moisture from kids (and me) spiling drinks and pet accidents. We have Pergo in our kitchen, it came with the house. Pergo's edges warp with even the smallest spill, these spills never "sit" for more than 30 seconds. This is a poor performing floor for a kitchen.
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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I suppose brick might be an option as well. It would be pretty simple to install over concrete as well. This all depends of course on your style of house, tastes, etc.... cheers, cc
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Engineered wood. Check out www.mannington.com for some. That is what I used, but there are others that cost more and cost less. Mine is now two years old, looks great, easy to clean. It was a couple of day to install in the family room and hall.
Most cheap laminate looks cheap. Some is not too bad, like WilsonArt. I have some in another area for about 7 or 8 years now and it still looks good in spite of heavy traffic. Much as I like it, if the wood was available back then, I'd have use that instead. Just avoid the buck a foot junk.
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