wood laminate flooring

I wonder if anyone has any experience of wood laminate flooring.
We have a concrete floor, so 'proper' floorboards are out (without putting batons in and stuff). We have been looking at the wood laminates out there - some of which are very good and some very expensive.
The typical ones seem to be 15mm thick, and for single plank are above our budget. (Single plank is a particular bug-bear of mine as I think the narrow strips look like laminate!).
However there is a Kahrs product which is only 7mm thick and is about 22 a metre and looks really nice. As I understand it, the only downside of this is longevity as you can't sand it down and re-oil.
Anyone any experience of these thinner products? Is it just false economy? Or should I get over my aversion to 3 strip?
Daniel
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I'm looking at this now also - although I will be laying on chipboard underfloor. I have chosent o go for QuickStep 800 (harvest Oak to be precise). If you shop round on the net you get it for about 15m2 - it retails for about 25 in places like allied carpets. There's reason why you cant use htis range too - just make sure you lay a damp-proof membrane between the underlay and the concrete http://www.aspenflooring.co.uk/shop/Long_Plank_8002424.htm

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On or about Wed, 23 Jul 2003 at 15:31 GMT,

I've laid a floor of that make & model (Oak, long plank, but a different pattern name). We're very pleased with it. The joints really are impressive for closeness of fit. I did our conservatory, which has the advantage of being a complete rectangle with no pipes in the way. I took it steadily and completed the job (15 sq m) in just under a day, including the edging. "Fiddly bits" would undoubtedly add to the time. The whole lot cost rather less than 400 including edging and the special tool (which is to be recommended). You'll need a good saw for the crosscuts and possibly a mitre saw/block to cut the edge trim in the corners.
Check the price for all you need, not just the /m2 price, the edging can be very expensive. There are instructions (and even videos) online on the QuickStep site which you can check in advance...
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Mark
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Fantastic - someone's brain to pick !!!! A couple of question, if I may...: 1. Does the 'scotia' edging look OK? I am tempted to take the skirting off, fit the laminate and then put the skiting back over the top to hide the expansion gap. However, I am an absolute DIY virgin (will even be buying my first saw for this !!) and am wondering if I am better sticking with the edging.
2. What did you use to cut the planks ?? I was thinking of borrowing a jigsaw and buying an appropriate blade - is this a good approach or might I damage the laminate ??
3. when going under door frames, how easy was it to cut them to a high sufficient to pass the laminate under ??
4. In relation to the above, when you slip the laminate under the doorframe, how do you ensure there is still an expansion gap between the wall and laminate ??
5. How did you attach the underlay to the floor - and did you overlap it where there were joins ??
6. Are knee pads the MUST that everyone says they are ?!?!?!
7. Where did you get your lamainate and how much did you pay ??
I completely agree with your comments about the cost of 'extras'. I'll be doing our entire flat (not bathroom and kitchen), total of about 55m2. The cost of the laminate is about 760, but then the edging, tools, underlay etc etc bumps that up to near 960 !!
Anyway - a couple of questions have quickly turned into lots !! I would much appreciate your help !!
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some engineered wood flooring - which is similar to laminate, but about twice as thick and has a real wood surface.
If at all possible, take the skirting board off and replace (or renew) it after laying the flooring. In my opinion, beading round the edge *always* looks like a retro-fit job. [But paint the skirting *before* (re-)fitting it so as not to get paint on the floor, and stick it on with GripFill.
A jigsaw, with a fine blade designed for laminate is fine. The pundits say to cut from the underside so as not to tear the top surface. Whilst this is good advice, some people find it difficult to measure and mark out odd shaped pieces which are the wrong way round - and the cut will be covered by the skirting anyway.
Even if you don't remove the skirting boards, you *must* undercut the door frames. For this, you need a fairly bendy hand saw. You place a scrap piece of laminate against the frame, lay the saw flat on it, use one hand to keep the business end of the saw flat, and the other to move the slightly bent up handle end to and fro. [It's actually much simpler than it sounds]. If the saw doesn't cut all the way through the frame - as sometimes happens with rebated frames - you may have to use a sharp narrow chisel to remove the wood below the cut.
To ensure that you have an expansion gap under the door frame, slide a scrap piece of laminate under the frame and mark how far it goes before hitting something solid. Then measure and cut your actual piece so that it goes under the frame but still ends a few mm short of the wall.
I laid my flooring on a solid concrete sub-floor, and used combined underlay/damp-proof membrane. The membrane extended beyond the underlay down one edge, complete with a peel-off adhesive strip to facilitate overlaps. The underlay isn't actually *stuck* to the floor - but it ain't got nowhere to go!
I have never used knee pads, but I *do* have an old cushion to kneel on.
I'll leave it to others to answer about prices and sources of supply, because I used a different material.
One final point, *do* get all the proper tools - wedges, knocking block, pulling bar, webbing clamps, etc. if you want to make a decent job. My one regret is that I didn't buy a heavy duty pulling bar - the one which came in the 8 kit was far too flimsy, and one or two joints in awkward places are not as tight as I would have liked.
HTH, Roger
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Thanks for the info.
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thanks for the info - I appreciate your input. We should be moving in within the next month so it's going to be a while til I get going on this - good to have soem initial ideas / plans though. Cheers.
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It wasn't entirely clear whether these are solid wood surfaced (ie oak on the oak ones) or photo finish from the web site, as they do a range of definite wood ones as well (Baltic) at the same price (roughly as the Kahrs). If they are wood surfaced, how thick is the top layer? I have some 15mm Kahrs next to me as I type, with a 6mm oak layer on top (3 plank). I believe, as the OP suggested, as long as the underfloor is OK the thin Kahrs stuff only suffers from not being able to sand down after 10 years or so a couple of times.
We are currently also going through the same choosing process!
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On or about Wed, 23 Jul 2003 at 16:35 GMT,

The finish is synthetic. There are around 6 different grain patterns and each pack is mixed patterns. The only wood in the boards was originally sawdust. :-)
Sanding is simply not an option with this stuff, the top layers are plastic.
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