Author Topic: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad? (Read 10905 times)

jimithng23

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Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« on: June 25, 2013, 02:13:40 PM »
To those of you who have installed laminate plank (clicks together) flooring....

The type we have picked out (yet to purchase) is 12mm and has a pad already on the planks. The sales guy insists I need to install an entirely different pad, at $0.72/sqft and I need 330 square feet. Basically, if I can get away without the additional pad (I think I can, why else does the flooring already have a pad) I can save $250.

Thoughts?

Another Reader

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 02:25:28 PM »
I have some very inexpensive laminate. It did not come with a pad backing, not did we install a pad. We did use the inexpensive plastic sheeting at $0.25 per sf as a moisture barrier. It has some give and has a slight "pad" effect. This installation is over plywood subfloors, concrete slab may be different.

Spork

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 02:30:02 PM »
I've installed several different varieties -- though none had the pad built in. I always used the old-style Pergo underlay (even after they stopped making it) and really liked it. It's sort of a cusiony cardboard rectangle.

I am a bit opinionated on the laminate itself. I've had several brands and types. Some of them have a wooden core (either solid or wood chip/glue mix). Some of them have a paper core (many layers of paper/glue pressed together under pressure). Avoid the paper core laminates like the plague. They look nice, but they are very susceptible to water damage. A little water spill will seep into the seams and the core swells, making the seams cup.

If you have no kids, no pets, never spill anything and are not putting it in a kitchen or bath -- you might be fine. Otherwise: avoid, avoid, avoid.
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arebelspy

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 02:31:53 PM »
They push you towards the really expensive padding, but look around in Home Depot - there's some really cheap ones too.
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jimithng23

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 02:43:27 PM »
The material in question is at Lumber Liquidators and seems to be priced well @ $1.99/sqft.

I'll need to do some more research on the product to determine the makeup of the core tonight...

So, I'm still not clear - do you believe a third party pad is needed? The pad on the plank looks to be decent in thickness - probably just shy of 1/8" or so.


Spork

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 02:50:28 PM »
Not sure if that was directed towards me or one of the others. I've never used a built-in pad plank, so I'm pretty comfortable saying "I don't know" to that part.
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jimithng23

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 02:50:48 PM »
One more bit of info -

installing over plywood subfloor, removing carpet.

jimithng23

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 02:51:42 PM »
Not sure if that was directed towards me or one of the others. I've never used a built-in pad plank, so I'm pretty comfortable saying "I don't know" to that part.

"You" was the collective you.

;-)

I appreciate the input, as always!

citrine

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 02:53:48 PM »
We have the Pergo flooring which comes with the pad built in...two years with heavy use, cleaning, and two cats...it has held up extremely well. Home Depot had it on clearance....they usually do around June/July.

ketchup

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 02:57:53 PM »
If your subfloor is perfectly smooth, additional padding probably is probably not needed. If there are minor imperfections that would be a relative pain in the butt to fix, additional padding does a wonderful job of smoothing it out. I did two rooms in my little house with this stuff, one with the cheap trash-bag-like moister barrier, and one with the more padded one that costs three times as much. The difference is pretty obvious (at least to me). This was with Pergo that already had some padding on it. I wouldn't use the cheap stuff again unless I was 100% positive the subfloor was perfect.

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 03:00:20 PM »
It's not the padding, it's the vapor barrier that would concern me. Some installations require a vapor barrier. It was recommended here in the SF Bay Area because the plywood subfloor is over a dirt crawlspace.

I would not pay $1.99 for laminate when I could get real hardwood for not much more. On a plywood subfloor, a solid 3/4" product is easy to install, will last forever and adds a lot of value in my experience. Most of my house is 3/4 inch red oak over kraft paper and finished in place. After almost 25 years, the wood is in good shape, except for some wear of the polyurethane sealant in places.

arebelspy

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 03:45:19 PM »
We've used this laminate wood flooring at $0.68/sqft and been happy with it.



BTW this post totally looks like spam from users with 1 post that I delete all the time. :P
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Another Reader

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 04:18:34 PM »
Arebelspy:

I'm going to do the cheap laminate over slab in a rental. What do you use underneath the laminate? The plastic foam rolls?

kudy

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2013, 04:23:53 PM »
I installed a lumber liquidators laminate with attached padding and did not put down any additional padding, and it performs very nicely.

arebelspy

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2013, 04:26:34 PM »
Arebelspy:

I'm going to do the cheap laminate over slab in a rental. What do you use underneath the laminate? The plastic foam rolls?

Yup. At home depot there is 3 different ones, we just went with the cheapest. The salesman was shocked we didnt want to pay 5x as much because the one we went with "doesn't even have a warranty!"

It's basically a roll of plastic sheeting.

/shrug

One place we've had it in for 5 1/2 years, no issues. Just went with the same stuff last fall and again, working great so far.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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arebelspy

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 04:31:08 PM »
We've used this laminate wood flooring at $0.68/sqft and been happy with it.

Oh and if anyone does use the above, here is quarter round molding and t-molding for it.

The flooring itself is in store only, though you can order online to pick up in store, though the molding is online only and has to be shipped to your home, though I have ordered excess in the past and returned the excess uncut pieces to the store no problem.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Another Reader

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 04:37:32 PM »
It seems to work great with plywood subfloor. Never tried it with slab.

I can't see paying real wood prices for laminate. The Gladstone Oak at Home Depot looks as good as the $0.99 stuff at Lowes I used and better than the $0.68 oak at Lowes. My guess is that it will outlast the landlord grade carpet. We will see.

I pull baseboards and reinstall, so no quarter round needed.

jimithng23

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 05:09:23 PM »
...I can't see paying real wood prices for laminate...

I'm looking at laminate because everything I've read/heard/advice given says to go laminate over hardwood because we have a dog, a cat, and 2 young 'uns (4 & 2). Hardwood scratches, laminate is more resistant to scratches. As a result, I haven't looked extensively into pricing hardwood.

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 05:38:36 PM »
Laminate is useful in rentals in place of carpet. It's ok in a kid's room for a few years. Laminate bubbles if water or other liquids are spilled on the seams. I have some older laminate in a rental that is scratched from moving furniture.

Hardwood floors can be touched up and refinished. Hardwood will last 100 years or more if maintained and it's desirable in the resale market. I would install cheap laminate where it makes sense, but I would opt for real (not engineered) wood, tile, and stone for my own house or a higher end resale.

Greg

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2013, 09:00:00 PM »
I would follow the manufacturer's specifications. If an additional pad is not required or recommended, then you should be fine. I've installed cork planks and Marmoleum Click without additional pad with success.

Spork

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2013, 07:13:44 AM »
It's not the padding, it's the vapor barrier that would concern me. Some installations require a vapor barrier. It was recommended here in the SF Bay Area because the plywood subfloor is over a dirt crawlspace.

I would not pay $1.99 for laminate when I could get real hardwood for not much more. On a plywood subfloor, a solid 3/4" product is easy to install, will last forever and adds a lot of value in my experience. Most of my house is 3/4 inch red oak over kraft paper and finished in place. After almost 25 years, the wood is in good shape, except for some wear of the polyurethane sealant in places.

Personally, that's the direction I'd go, too. My previous house had > 2000sqft of laminate flooring. It was nice.... but it wasn't wood. Laying over a concrete slab... laminate might win. Laying over a wooden subloor: I'd just put down wood. Real wood, not an engineered product with 1/8 inch wood surface on the top. I'm about to floor my unfinished upstairs. As soon as I can find a good craigslist deal on some overstocked hardwood: it's mine.
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gecko10x

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2013, 07:57:51 AM »
To add some info regarding pets:

We moved into our house 1yr ago, which has real wood flooring in the kitchen/dining/hall (basically brand new when we moved in). We have 1 ~35lb energetic dog, which has DESTROYED (IMO) the floor. Hundreds of scratches/gouges 1/16"-1/8" deep.

In our old house, we had super-cheap laminate (paper-core stuff)- she never once put a scratch that I could see in that stuff.

Rural

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2013, 08:26:04 AM »
Our dogs are 141 and 130 pounds, high energy, lots of jumping. Not a scratch on the cheap laminate that was in the old trailer, and it just... stopped at the edge of the kitchen, tongue and groove showing. They didn't even mar the edge.

We had the older of those dogs in the rental farmhouse we lived in before, but its hardwood floors were in such bad shape when we moved in that I can't really comment on big dog effects on hardwood.

Spork

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2013, 08:33:46 AM »
To add some info regarding pets:

We moved into our house 1yr ago, which has real wood flooring in the kitchen/dining/hall (basically brand new when we moved in). We have 1 ~35lb energetic dog, which has DESTROYED (IMO) the floor. Hundreds of scratches/gouges 1/16"-1/8" deep.

In our old house, we had super-cheap laminate (paper-core stuff)- she never once put a scratch that I could see in that stuff.

I had name brand, not-so cheap paper core stuff. Not a scratch there either. But I had an aging dog with dementia that lost his potty training ability.
* paper core stuff: ruiined. Cupping at the seams
* wood core/snap together stuff: mostly ok. A little bit of cupping
* wood core/glue up stuff: no problems whatsoever. I know this stuff fell out of favor due to the snap together being easier to install, but this stuff is far superior. It creates one floor with no hinge points.\

All of the above did get dings from other things: drop a hammer/make a small hole that has to be patched, etc. But these are small and can be dealt with.

The good thing about real wood floors is that when they do get scratched, you can sand/refinish them. And I mean real wood -- where you can do this 3-4 times and still have a good structural floor that looks absolutely like new afterwards.
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Micheal

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Re: Laminate Plank Flooring - Pad?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2013, 04:16:04 AM »
The reason for the foam underlayment is to smooth out the small variations in the floor level allowing for better installation and to allow the floor to expand and contract smoothly (this is why its called a floating floor). Make sure to check the stuff you get before you buy and see if there is alot of chaff or debris in the lock channels, if there is it is a PITA to install and your better off paying a slightly higher price for simpler installation. Im not sure if the stuff has foam padding already if you need underlayment, but it cant hurt and will provide a solid vapor barrier, and it is cheap enough by the roll, you absolutely do not need the more expensive stuff, the stuff we use when doing it is about an 1/8 of an inch thick and will cover quite a bit of floor and has adhesive along one side and we buy it on sale from Menard's, Lowes, or HD. And do source different places, there can be quite different prices for different bits of material. One job we did we got the flooring one place, the underlayment another, and trim off of craig's list and cut transtion strips from the trim to fit the floor.