Laminate Flooring

27 Replies

Would you put 7mm aka 5/16" laminate down in a rental or is that too thin? Home Depot carries a variety of them but a lot of the colors only come in 7mm. Just want to make sure it's still durable. 

I normally stay away from 7mm which screams "cheap" to me. 12mm is usually better quality and not that much more. Find one you like and then check prices at Fast Floors.com. They carry a large selection online.

While wood laminates come with a lower price tag, an LVP click lock requires no padding, is easier to install and is not affected by water, giving you more years of use. I wouldn't go any thinner than a 3.2mm though 4mm would be better and some come with HD wearlayer and scratch resistant finishes.

I almost put down LVP in my rental upstairs (I really wanted to just because of the water resistant factor and the ease of installation), but I realized it was not a good match for the second floor. The downstairs has LVP installed and they look great and are holding up well. However, the temperature is a good 5 or more degrees cooler with less direct sunlight than upstairs. Vinyl tile is still very sensitive to temperature changes. It needs to be in 60-85 degrees or there is the issue of shrinkage and expansion. I'm in central Texas where the summers are extremely hot so anything around a window getting direct sunlight on the second floor will most likely have issues. I've reluctantly decided to put in laminate upstairs, after looking at LVP and carpet tiles. I got a great deal on 8mm with a 2mm pad so that's what I'm using.

All laminates "scream" cheap to me. Hardwood for dry rooms. Ceramic or porcelain tile for wet rooms. That's it!

Anyone have any experience with Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring?  It goes together like laminate but is supposed to be water proof (I once put down laminate flooring and if it even thought it was going to get wet it started to swell).  I saw it in Lowes today for the first time.

How do investors say it "screams cheap" when they have no idea what area and price point the person is placing the product?

Hardwoods are not rocks. They scratch, you need to sand and re-stain and re ploy. It costs 2-5 bucks for a crew to do it with materials. Its not for everyone.

The problem is in the install. Not the material. Leaving gaps, allowing chips - as well as water will damage many laminates. 

I figure if I can get an additional 2 turns from carpet- its worth the extra cost. Around here I can get carpet installed at $10/yd. 2 turns is 20 and three is 30/sy or 3.33/sq.ft. Three turns is over 6+years! think about that. 

the other thing to factor in is the perceived value. or will the cost increase your rental income. 

Originally posted by @John Santero :

How do investors say it "screams cheap" when they have no idea what area and price point the person is placing the product?

Hardwoods are not rocks. They scratch, you need to sand and re-stain and re ploy. It costs 2-5 bucks for a crew to do it with materials. Its not for everyone.

The problem is in the install. Not the material. Leaving gaps, allowing chips - as well as water will damage many laminates. 

I figure if I can get an additional 2 turns from carpet- its worth the extra cost. Around here I can get carpet installed at $10/yd. 2 turns is 20 and three is 30/sy or 3.33/sq.ft. Three turns is over 6+years! think about that. 

the other thing to factor in is the perceived value. or will the cost increase your rental income. 

 Good Pointe John. We are talking a rental here not a flip. 

We use Engage Essentials. We've tried it and the Allure and EE is 5x easier and faster to put down, and much thicker (11 mil) vs. Allure. It is expensive but it might just be the very last floor we put in. 

This may be going in my flooded unit, if insurance will cover it. I will post back if we use it. What price are you able to get it for?

We can install laminate over any type of floor except carpet, but different laminates are best for different sub floors. If you have plywood or hardwood, it's better to use laminate which is 7mm or more in thickness because thin laminates can damage your lock system.

I had an excellent experience in my rental propeties with the Costco laminate flooring. It looks really good installed and so far it holding in very good shape (3 + years.) If you're a Costco member grabbed when it goes on sale. 

I recently used the thinner HD laminate in bedrooms on a recent acquisition where the previous owner put down cushioned vinyl. It worked fantastic, the thinner laminate over the thick cushion vinyl matched the other floors in height very well, and the laminate I chose (a light hickory) hides marks very well. I dropped a Philips screwdriver point down and chipped it, and 5 minutes later I had a heck of a time finding the mark. Bonus, the flooring was made by Shaw in Germany, and the fit was flawless.

@Linda Weygant How'd it go with the Coretec flooring?

I'm starting a project next week and I'm leaning towards Coretec but I want to make sure its worth the price at $3 per sq ft plus installation.

Its going into a studio, so the plan is to have the CoreTec in both the main living space and the kitchen. I'd really like something durable and CoreTec seems to have the best rep in NY/NJ area (12mm PVC wear layer + 1.5mm vinyl top + 4mm core).

Just fyi, the vinyl plants will going over old hardwood floors (110 years old) that are uneven and filled with gaps. I wish I could save them but I think they too uneven.

Originally posted by @Mark Gee :

@Linda Weygant How'd it go with the Coretec flooring?

I'm starting a project next week and I'm leaning towards Coretec but I want to make sure its worth the price at $3 per sq ft plus installation.

Its going into a studio, so the plan is to have the CoreTec in both the main living space and the kitchen. I'd really like something durable and CoreTec seems to have the best rep in NY/NJ area (12mm PVC wear layer + 1.5mm vinyl top + 4mm core).

Just fyi, the vinyl plants will going over old hardwood floors (110 years old) that are uneven and filled with gaps. I wish I could save them but I think they too uneven.

 Did you end up using the Coretec?