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.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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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