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Old 09-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #16
ekatiel
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We have Allure plank flooring in our kitchen and living room area, and in our secondary bathroom. We LOVE it. It is water resistant (I think the new Allure Ultra is actually 100% waterproof, but it didn't exist when we put ours in). It is inexpensive, and it looks great! We have little boys, so we wanted something inexpensive and ultra-durable, as well as something that would be OK in wet areas. Allure fit the bill. I have heard that pets' claws can scratch it-- we don't have any pets. It also does scuff some-- you can choose to be picky and buff out every scuff or just leave it be (the scuffs only show when light reflects off it at certain angles). We would buy it again in a heartbeat. Here's the link: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...cmaster_Allure --Katie
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekatiel
We have Allure plank flooring in our kitchen and living room area, and in our secondary bathroom. We LOVE it. It is water resistant (I think the new Allure Ultra is actually 100% waterproof, but it didn't exist when we put ours in). It is inexpensive, and it looks great! We have little boys, so we wanted something inexpensive and ultra-durable, as well as something that would be OK in wet areas. Allure fit the bill. I have heard that pets' claws can scratch it-- we don't have any pets. It also does scuff some-- you can choose to be picky and buff out every scuff or just leave it be (the scuffs only show when light reflects off it at certain angles). We would buy it again in a heartbeat. Here's the link: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...cmaster_Allure --Katie
We just put this floor in our upstairs media room. Love it. I wish we had it in our bathrooms. We have tile and I hate it! If it wasn't so much trouble, we'd pull the type up and put this floor down
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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We have the Allure in our kitchen, living room, and hallways. LOVE it! It was suggested to us by the flooring store because of its resiliance in moisture areas - like the kitchen. We have a few scratches on it from moving heavy furniture but I am the only one that notices it. I liked the fact that if one gets damaged it is simple to replace - cut an x into the piece with a blade, blow hot air on the seam with a blow dryer and replace with a new piece. We have had this done and it worked perfect. The only area that has buckled a little bit is one of the planks the fridge sits on and I only notice it if I am wearing socks. We have had it for over 5 years and it still looks brand new. It was more expensive than other wood flooring but it was cheaper on installation.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:31 PM   #19
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The answer depends on the kind of resale you want on your house. If it's in a nice area, and you expect to sell to discriminating buyers, go with hardwood. Even if it seems cost prohibitive, you may be losing money by using laminate in a market that requires upgrades. What kind of flooring are the houses around you using? You will want to have commesurate values.

In our old home, we installed a laminate floor in our kitchen. It was a step up from the linoleum currently there, and I was very happy with it. It held up very well to the nails of two large, active dogs. My sister has laminate in her kitchen, and she is in a heavy electric wheelchair. The floor is showing some wear, but one would expect that after 2 years of 500 lbs rolling over and over it.

One drawback to laminate is that the dark laminates are nearly impossible to keep clean, more so than dark hardwoods. Another drawback is that it just doesn't "feel" like wood.

I would not use laminate in a bathroom. Buyers want a solid, hard surface in there, such as tile, for ease of cleaning and disinfecting. The cost difference between tile and laminate is not much, if anything.

For the stairs, you can buy hardwood treads to replace the wood that is there now under the carpet. I would definately go hardwood on stairs, even if you do choose laminate throughout the house.

Also remember to calculate that in some rooms, you will be paying for flooring twice. Once for the hard surface, and once for the area rugs to go on top to soften the space and make it comfortable.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #20
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I just bumped a 4 page thread about laminate on the community page for you.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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A question that hasn't come up yet: Just how expensive is your house and your neighborhood?

If your house is relatively inexpensive and the rest of the neighborhood has finishes like vinyl siding on the outside, laminate flooring and carpet, and laminate countertops, you'd never get your money out if you use real hardwood. On the other hand, if your house is more upscale, buyers would expect hardwood and granite countertop -type finishes. It's important to hit the right "level" for your price point and neighborhood.

Personally, I like laminate floors just fine. I'd be sure to get good quality laminate and to choose a mid-range color (too dark or too light, they're both hard to keep clean). It's easy to get carried away with the "gotta have the very best" in this or that, and when you put furniture on top of it and look at the whole package, it's not that big a deal.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:45 AM   #22
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I work for a major home builder that builds in various areas - houses ranging from $150,000 to $2,000,000 and with the exception of just a few homes they always install laminate floors. I maintain the inside of the homes until they are sold so I get to "swiffer" a lot of laminate floors. Just a few things I have noticed in the 5 years I have been doing this: 1-don't use a cheap flooring product 2-the darker the floor the easier to show scratches and dust 3-to clean use BONA it makes the laminate floors look like new. I would not recommend for bathrooms but it the kitchen it works great!
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:05 AM   #23
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I have laminate in my living and dining rooms; I gets tons of compliments on it and people are shocked when I tell them it's not real wood.

We opted for a very high-end laminate and a super thick pad underneath, to prevent that hollow sound. Our laminate is also wide plank with grooves - it's not a smooth surface like many that you see, which gives it a much more realistic look. Mine looks very similar to this, except it has actual grooves: http://www.bruce.com/laminate/L0222.asp

As much as I would have preferred hardwood, with 2 dogs and 3 kids it would have gotten trashed in a few years. Plus this is not our forever home, so I wanted to keep the costs lower.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #24
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I had Laminate in many rooms in former home, including powder room. It was easy to clean and maintain. I thought it looked nice. It was a different story when I went to sell my home. The only feedback I got was how people hated the "fake wood" and wished the house had hardwood floors. I would have liked hardwood floors but it was not in the budget at the time. When I finally sold my home, I bought a home and put in hardwood floors--ceramic tile in powder room. The hardwood floors look so much nicer. But, I am much more stressed about them getting wet, damaged, etc. I am glad I chose the hardwood and believe it is a good investment in the equity of the home.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #25
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We have laminate in our entryway, kitchen and eating area--about 500 square feet. We've had it for 5 years and it's holding up very well to 2 crazy boys and 3 dogs. That said, here is how you can make sure it will hold up--when we picked out our laminate, I went into the store and asked the salesperson if I could try to scratch the samples with a key. I told him if I wanted something that would scratch in 5 minutes, I'd be buying hardwood. They had no problem letting me attempt to scratch some samples. Some scratched VERY easily. We picked the one that didn't scratch at all. And 5 years later, it still looks BRAND new. Not one single scratch anywhere.

Like some others have said, you need to consider your neighborhood and how much you're willing to put into your house $-wise. We live in an upscale neighborhood and we have beautiful cabinets and granite, etc etc. But I love having my dogs and I'm realistic as far as pet wear, so I knew hardwood was not the choice for us. My neighbor just had the most gorgeous hardwood floors installed less than a month ago, and they're already scratched because of dogs/kids. I know myself, I would be way too uptight to deal with seeing new scratches every day. And laminate was 1/4 the cost.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:51 AM   #26
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I have Costco laminate and hubby installed it himself. Two cats have not scratched or otherwise (barf) ruined it. DD broke a whole bottle of nail polish on it the first week it was in and I was able to remove it using nail polish remover. It really is pretty tough. I really like it and don't miss carpeting at all.

I have heard that is isn't great for resale of the house. I live in underwater mortgage Arizona. This is probably my retirement home...lol...kinda...
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilseks View Post
We have laminate in our entryway, kitchen and eating area--about 500 square feet. We've had it for 5 years and it's holding up very well to 2 crazy boys and 3 dogs. That said, here is how you can make sure it will hold up--when we picked out our laminate, I went into the store and asked the salesperson if I could try to scratch the samples with a key. I told him if I wanted something that would scratch in 5 minutes, I'd be buying hardwood. They had no problem letting me attempt to scratch some samples. Some scratched VERY easily. We picked the one that didn't scratch at all. And 5 years later, it still looks BRAND new. Not one single scratch anywhere.

Like some others have said, you need to consider your neighborhood and how much you're willing to put into your house $-wise. We live in an upscale neighborhood and we have beautiful cabinets and granite, etc etc. But I love having my dogs and I'm realistic as far as pet wear, so I knew hardwood was not the choice for us. My neighbor just had the most gorgeous hardwood floors installed less than a month ago, and they're already scratched because of dogs/kids. I know myself, I would be way too uptight to deal with seeing new scratches every day. And laminate was 1/4 the cost.
I have heard that sometimes the samples you can pick up from the big box stores aren't really the same as the actual product.

I've got a high end laminate in my kitchen that I adore. It's slate-looking and it's the easiest kitchen floor I've ever had to take care of. I love ceramic tile, and probably would still prefer that, but we did a DIY kitchen total makeover that had to be completed in 2 months, and tile would have taken too much time.

I've also got laminate in my family room. This was less expensive, and the quality isn't as great. I still like it for what it is. I've had it about a year and a half, and it has no scratches or dings.

We've got kids and a dog. We also have hardwood in other areas, and both kinds of laminate are far more durable in terms of not getting banged up or scratched than the hardwood is.
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