While it is possible to find inexpensive laminate at Costco, IKEA, etc,
the accessories such as the Base Board (sometimes called Wall Base) and
3-in-1 underlayment seem to be unproportionally expensive. For example,
Harmonics laminate for my whole house would cost me less that the Base
Board and 3-in-1 underlayment for the 2nd floor alone. I assume
laminate $1.30/sqft, Base Board $2.50/ft, and 3-in-1 $0.65/sqft.
Painted Base Boards are, of course, cheaper, but they don't look good
Is there a reputable online source where I could buy Base Board and
3-in-1 underlayment at reasonable price ?
The trim pieces are more expensive to make than the high volume flooring,
but that is a big profit for them also. I used some trim to match, but I
used my stained baseboards. Done right, they look just fine and much
We put down Pergo in our kitchen and used all Pergo trim. The trim is very
expensive, looks nice, but is not very good. The biggest problem is that all
of the seams will eventually show. The expansion/contraction rate on the
trim isn't even remotely close to that of the wall and floor. If you install
in the summer, there will be 1/8 -1/4 inch inch gaps come winter. The
contractor came out three times to try to fix it. It got somewhat better,
but not nearly good enough. We love the floor, but if I had it to do over
again, I'd go with wood trim and paint it.
For the most part, there is no need to stick with their underlayment
materials, unless it is required for the warrantee. There is no requirement
to use the same brand trim. I buy unfinished generic trim and finish it to
I have not installed it yet, just bought it. But I heard that it is
good for the money. They have this kind of deep locks, while other
cheap laminates usually have pretty shallow locks (but it also means
that you sometimes have to knock it into place with a special hammer
You can order accessories for it (moldings, base board) over the phone
from Harmonics, with exact color match. Their base board is expensive,
but moldings are reasonable.
There is nothing that will look better than a real hardwood floor. If you
have that option, go for it. Laminate is OK for areas, like concrete slab,
that cannot have real wood. Engineered wood is better in appearance than
laminate if you have that choice. Why settle for third best?
If you have kids, pets, or a home that's not treated as a museum then (the
right) laminate can be a great choice. Besides the fact that "looks better" is
I also don't think much of the "typical" laminate seen in the box stores, but
there is product out there that is much better looking and much of it has only
been available in the last couple years.
We recently did our main room in Wilsonart Red Label (english walnut) and we
have had to tell most of the people who have seen it for the first time that it
wasn't actually wood. I'm sure someone "in the trades" would recognize it
instantly, but that doesn't change the fact that is does look great.
One of the reasons I like the laminates is that they are offering some variety
over the one or two styles you typically see in real wood. I mean who needs to
see more red oak in 2 inch planks? And yes I know that's a generalization and
that other woods are available, but not so much as with laminates and typically
only at much higher prices.
I've installed about 1,000sf of the Costco laminate and it worked out well.
I'm now in the process of installing another 600sf in another house. Those
are for rental units - Laminates are cheap (for the DIYs) and tough. Wood
flooring is good too and has more warmth (feel and sound different too) to
it and your could renew it with a floor sander later on but its not as
tough (hard) as laminate. On still another house I'm replacing a 50 year old
oak flooring with laminate. Repairing a piece of laminate in the middle of
the room would be a pain in the ass but I'm not at that stage yet. On my own
house I'll go with hardwood or bamboo in the major rooms just for the warmth
and we're nowhere as hard on the flooring as the tenants.
The $5 rebate is pretty good. You could get cheaper laminates at Sam's Club
or http://lumberliquidators.com/ but some of it are just junk - Costco's is
warranted for 25 years.
I've had kids, dog, and tghe house is certainly not a museum. l But it is
cared for, clean, and floors are in great shape. A coat of poly every few
years is all it needs, unless you have a herd of cattle or kids that behave
So you only shop at Home Depot? There are many varieties of wood and
finishes available. Try this for starters:
Its your call. My reason was labor rate in San Francisco for refinish and
repair was much higher than the material for laminate and repair if I do it
myself. I did see a refinished parquet floor and it didn't look too good
because of too many nail holes and wood seperation. Too bad because
everything in that remodel job was very high end.
The underlayment at Sam's Club is junk just like the old Costco stuff before
they switch. Its lower density, tears easier and doesn't have a vapor
shield. With that said I did install the junk stuff (to maintain the
warranty of the laminate) and seems ok and the room I was in didn't need the
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