PDA

View Full Version : Wood laminate floors



Eric
August 6th, 2004, 11:11 AM
We're thinking of ripping out our carpeting and replacing it with wood laminate flooring, probably the Harmonics brand that Costco is carrying. Has anyone here done this, and if so how did it go? Any tips on what to do, and what not to do?

adrian
August 6th, 2004, 04:33 PM
I don't know about installation of hardwood floors, but I'll give some advice on what not to do when you use them:

- Don't drop any liquids on the floors
If you do, then clean it up right away, or the wood will crack, then replacement will be a pain.
- After the installation, clean it by sections, and stain it to protect it.
Consult someone at the hardware stores to see what kind of protection you should put.

When my family ripped out our ceramic tiles to expose the koa wood floor, that process took 1 week (removing the tiles, cleaning the floor, staining, and repeating that process for the 3 sections we had to do.

cezanne
August 10th, 2004, 11:19 AM
I just recently helped a friend install the same Costco stuff in her son's bedroom. It was a lot easier than when I did Pergo (glue-type) in my house because you don't need to use those strap clamps and it's snap in. I believe the underlayment and the necessary tools and spacers were included as a separate kit. You'll still need a saw and hammer. Also, I believe there is a warranty regarding spills so long you install it per instructions.

The system is very user friendly as opposed to the Pergo installation. Even the underlayment was self-adhesive (no taping together required) and is already moisture-proof. Whereas in the case of Pergo brand you had to ante up more for a moisture-proof barrier. We ran out of underlayment but she was able to get more at Lowes or Home Depot.

Good luck!

Eric
August 10th, 2004, 11:53 AM
We did our living room over the weekend and it went pretty well for us neophyte fixer-uppers.

Ripping up the old carpet was fun. Prying up all the carpet tack strips, and pulling out all the old nails and staples, was a tedious pain in the back (literally -- ouch). But getting down to a clean, unfinished floor was really satisfying.

Laying the underfloor was fairly straightforward. Laying the planks together was a snap (pun intended), at least most of the time. Some batches weren't quite as finely fitted as others, and needed extra encouragement (i.e. judicious tapping with a hammer) to fit properly.

The tricky part was doing the corners and the parts near doorways, which meant using a contour gauge to get the exact outline of the corner/molding/whatever, and doing some careful measuring and cutting to get the planks to fit.

We didn't bother with getting the special-order moldings from Harmonics (they have a 888 ordering number on the side of the installation kit box). We decided that having to make a special order, and waiting for delivery, was more trouble than it was worth. We just went to Lowe's and got moldings from another brand instead.

We're not quite done. The very last row of planks is going to have to be a skinny row (gotta cut all the planks lengthwise, a real chore since we don't have a table saw) but it should be OK. And we haven't installed skirting boards and moldings and stuff yet. But overall it was a lot smoother than I was afraid of.

cezanne
August 10th, 2004, 03:06 PM
When my family ripped out our ceramic tiles to expose the koa wood floor...

Wow I just reread your post! I don't think I could bear to watch someone putting that ceramic tile over a koa wood floor! :eek:

cezanne
August 10th, 2004, 03:30 PM
We did our living room over the weekend and it went pretty well for us neophyte fixer-uppers.


Glad to hear that your experience went well. Yeah some didn't seem to fit well at first but light tapping closed the seams up real good. At first I used he-man whacks to get it the butt joints together but I noticed that it would leave kind of a peak at the seam. So it doesn't take much to get a good seam.

I convinced my friend to go with 3" baseboard instead of the quarter-round. She painted it white to go with the rest of the trim in the house...looks really nice.

Were you able to take advantage of the $5 off per box deal that Costco had recently?

Eric
August 11th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Were you able to take advantage of the $5 off per box deal that Costco had recently?
No, we missed it. Bad timing. We were at the Costco register and the cashier mentioned the same thing. Rats! We could've saved more than a hundred bucks. :(

On the brighter side, it looks really nice and is a huge improvement over the ratty old carpet we used to have. Now the other rooms of the house look dingy by comparison.

adrian
August 11th, 2004, 09:14 AM
Wow I just reread your post! I don't think I could bear to watch someone putting that ceramic tile over a koa wood floor! :eek:
Our parents put the ceramic tile because they had 2 kids (me and my older brother). We were babies, so we just spilled everything and were crazy.

As we got older, we cracked the ceramic tiles enough to remove it and replace it, so we just replaced it all.

The only bad thing about koa wood, is that when we use the pledge spray to clean the floor, its very slippery, and with socks on (during the cold winter months) injuries went up the roof (figuratively, not literally).

Eric
August 19th, 2004, 09:43 AM
We finally finished laying floor in the living room. Here are some tips for anyone else who wants to do this kind of project -- probably obvious to the pros, but they were new to me:


Fitting the planks together is best done as a two-person job. One person uses the hammer and tapping block, and the other keeps an eye on the joint to make sure that it's closing properly. If you try to do both yourself, you'll end up whacking the hammer into your fingers because you're too busy watching the other end of the plank. :p

Be really careful with the edges of the planks, because that's where all those finely engineered tongue-and-groove bits are. If you damage the edge, then the plank is ruined and you can only use it by cutting the damaged portion off and using it as a start or end piece.

Don't assume that anything in your house is actually straight, or level, or that corners are actually at right angles. They never are. Measure, measure, measure!

adrian
August 19th, 2004, 11:44 AM
Don't assume that anything in your house is actually straight, or level, or that corners are actually at right angles. They never are. Measure, measure, measure!
[/list]
Especially if the house was originally an old one story plantation style japanese house (like ours). We raised it to make two stories, and measurements weren't the best (nor the straightest).

Eric
September 16th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Well, about a month has gone by since we laid our floor. So far so good, but I have noticed a couple of joints where the seams have opened up slightly -- less than a millimeter, but enough to be visible. I am not sure why this has happened. Expansion and contraction due to humidity changes, maybe? I'm also not sure how to make the gaps close up again - with all the planks installed, it's next to impossible to shift them around. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, is it a big problem?

Eric
December 6th, 2004, 09:28 AM
After putting the living room flooring in, we took a long break from home improvement work, but now it's time to think about doing the stairs too. Costco only sells the planks and installation kits for their brand, but after a bit of snooping I found that Costco's laminated flooring product is actually a rebranded version of Quick-Step's (http://www.quick-step.com) Uniclic flooring. They've got accessories like stair profiles, so you can install the stuff on stair steps.

They have a list of dealers who carry their products, and there are some in Hawai'i. I haven't checked any of them out yet, though. Does anyone know anything about these businesses?

HOMEOWNERS DESIGN CENTER
1030 Kohou Street #201 96817 Honolulu 808-847-0216 HI

ISLAND FLOORING CO, INC
500 Ala Kawa street #109 96817 Honolulu 808-847-6577 HI

PACIFIC RIM CPT & DRPRY LLC
PO Box 29241 96819 Honolulu 808-454-1154 HI

Floors of Hawaii
1312 Kaumualii Street Honolulu 808-845-9915 Hawaii

FLOOR STORE
1130 N. Nimitz Hwy. Ste. 153A Honolulu 808-547-2777 Hawaii

Abbey Carpet
98-761 Oihana Place Aiea 808-487-6667 Hawaii

FLOORING & HOME FASHIONS
96734 Kailua 808-262-7723 HI

KITCHEN CABINETS INC
73-4800 Kanalani st 96740 Kailua-Kona 808-329-5836 HI

cezanne
December 23rd, 2004, 01:43 AM
Well, about a month has gone by since we laid our floor. So far so good, but I have noticed a couple of joints where the seams have opened up slightly -- less than a millimeter, but enough to be visible. I am not sure why this has happened. Expansion and contraction due to humidity changes, maybe? I'm also not sure how to make the gaps close up again - with all the planks installed, it's next to impossible to shift them around. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, is it a big problem?

Are the short joints opening? My friend had that happen to him. Luckily it was near the perimeter so he was able to use the metal tool that hooks to the edge of the flooring and hammer the joint closed. Only humbug part was having to remove the baseboard so that he can hook the edge.

cezanne
December 23rd, 2004, 01:49 AM
After putting the living room flooring in, we took a long break from home improvement work, but now it's time to think about doing the stairs too. Costco only sells the planks and installation kits for their brand, but after a bit of snooping I found that Costco's laminated flooring product is actually a rebranded version of Quick-Step's (http://www.quick-step.com) Uniclic flooring. They've got accessories like stair profiles, so you can install the stuff on stair steps.

They have a list of dealers who carry their products, and there are some in Hawai'i. I haven't checked any of them out yet, though. Does anyone know anything about these businesses? <snip>

I don't think they would be able to compete with Costco's price. Perhaps get the planks and underlayment from Costco's and the accessories from the dealers?

Eric
December 23rd, 2004, 07:15 AM
Are the short joints opening? My friend had that happen to him. Luckily it was near the perimeter so he was able to use the metal tool that hooks to the edge of the flooring and hammer the joint closed. Only humbug part was having to remove the baseboard so that he can hook the edge.
That's what's happening with mine: a couple of the short joints have opened up. Unfortunately they're not near the edges, so I can't easily whack them back into place. I'm thinking I might have to just fill the gaps in with putty or something to keep junk from accumulating in them. :(

Eric
December 23rd, 2004, 07:16 AM
I don't think they would be able to compete with Costco's price. Perhaps get the planks and underlayment from Costco's and the accessories from the dealers?
Yeah, that's the idea. Costco doesn't carry any of the accessories, so I'm hoping to get them from the dealers instead. First, I have to make the time to visit these guys and see what kind of inventory they carry.

cezanne
December 23rd, 2004, 10:33 AM
That's what's happening with mine: a couple of the short joints have opened up. Unfortunately they're not near the edges, so I can't easily whack them back into place. I'm thinking I might have to just fill the gaps in with putty or something to keep junk from accumulating in them. :(

That's what I did with my first installation which was the glue type... tinted putty... can't even tell it was there. Home Depot even has caulk that's made for (their)laminates. But I didn't want to spend bucks just to conceal a couple of open joints. But if you have some holes like on the perimeter or by those trick cuts around door jambs and such... the caulking would work there too.

cezanne
December 23rd, 2004, 10:43 AM
Yeah, that's the idea. Costco doesn't carry any of the accessories, so I'm hoping to get them from the dealers instead. First, I have to make the time to visit these guys and see what kind of inventory they carry.

A gal that I helped install Costco planks got her transition strips (door threshold) from HomeDepot. They were Pergo brand but matched really good. All I know is that those accessories come at a premium price. The wife wants to do the stairs too but the (Pergo) cost for the material to cap the edge with is laughable.

laminatetim
March 23rd, 2005, 01:32 PM
We're thinking of ripping out our carpeting and replacing it with wood laminate flooring, probably the Harmonics brand that Costco is carrying. Has anyone here done this, and if so how did it go? Any tips on what to do, and what not to do?

Costco's Harmonics laminate flooring is a good product at an excellent price. A lot of information can be found on laminate flooring (http://laminateflooring.oncloud8.com) | oncloud8 as well as on my blog entry (http://torque.oncloud8.com/archives/000379.html). Shralper recently contributed a nice post on the equivalence between the Harmonics product and the Quick Step 800 Series (http://laminateflooring.oncloud8.com/viewtopic.php?t=540&sid=89512dc70443861ee7f91537f328d892), very informative post.


Even more important, check out the price. Even though www.floorshop.com has some of the best prices on the internet, the 800 Classic still runs about $1 more per sq ft. than Costco's Harmonics. Not only that, but the Quick-Step (Combi Floor) underflooring runs about $50 for 160 sq. ft., and that doesn't even include the install kit. Suddenly, the Harmonics underflooring ($30 with kit), which sounds to be identical to the Quick-Step Combi-Floor, is also looking like another incredible bargain!

cezanne
July 9th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Just a heads up for anyone interested. Costco's got the $5 off per carton deal again... good until tomorrow, Sunday July 9. So that's $27.99 - $5.00 for 17.18 square feet. They also have the 150 sf of underlayment/vapor barrier with the tools for $34.50.

My wife got wind of it and guess what... I got another summer project to work on :(.

Oh it's the Harmonics brand and I have to agree that it's the same thing as the Quickstep 800 a very good product. For my project the complete package price at $1.56/sf still beats the no tax,Navy Exchange (thanks mom) cost of just the planks which goes for $2.89/sf. (underlayment/no vapor barrier @ $17.80/100 sf is an added cost and if you don't have the tools and spacers figure on kerplunking a few more dollars still).

Got back a couple hours ago and the wife is cleaning out the project room as I type my last words... whatever makes her happy I guess (sigh).