Pros:Easy to install and maintain, lower cost compared to hardwood.
Cons:Not a good option for high traffic areas. Use common sense, it can be scratched
The Bottom Line: A great choice only if you are willing to take care and use common sense precautions in keeping your floors looking new. Easy to install, fairly priced.
Last April we were preparing my aunt's home for resale. The home was immaculately kept but a bit out-dated. One of the first things we did was cover the old vinyl floors with Pergo Laminate Flooring. I'm sure the cost was nearly half what we would have spent on a tile or solid hardwood floor installation and after nearly a year of admitted light traffic, it still looks great and we couldn't be happier with our selection.
Recommend this product?
Installation Was a Snap
This laminate is designed to be a floating floor system that is installed without the need for gluing or nailing. The planks are clicked together with a tongue and groove system. In most cases the system can be laid right over top of an existing floor. Since the original vinyl floor was in good shape and showed no signs of lifting or separating from the base floor, this was the case for our installation as well. Installing this material eliminates the cost of labor for removing old floors, material and labor installing new sub-floors and reduced cost of more complex installations such as tile or hardwood. Due to the fact we were covering an existing vinyl floor, we did have an inexpensive rolled polyethylene vapor barrier placed under the laminate as suggested by the manufacturer.
We covered a bit over 250 sqft. of the kitchen and dining areas of the home. We selected Austin Oak from Pergo's American Cottage collection. Due to time constraints, we had the floors professionally installed but I did take the time to check in throughout the day and watch a portion of the installation to get a good idea how easy the job really is. The job was completed in less than a full day and am most certain I could have completed the job over a weekend.
In making your purchase decision, be sure to include all the necessary accessory pieces needed for your job. The moldings, transition pieces, reducers and quarter round moldings as well as moisturebloc or soundbloc underlayment will add considerably to your original estimated cost of flooring.
The end result is a nice looking floor. Make no mistake about it, visitors will most likely notice you have installed a laminate... not a solid hardwood surface. I've read of some who complain of spaces and openings between boards. If properly installed, there is virtually no space between planks. There are a few places where, end to end, I do notice a break between the planks. This is very similar to our hardwood floors at home which were also professionally installed.
The floor is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. We have not experienced problems with dirt getting between boards simply because there is no place for dirt to accumulate. This will not be the case if you decide on solid pre-finished hardwood, especially those with beveled edges. A simple ammonia and water solution with a lightly dampened mop is all we have found necessary for regular cleaning.
The manufacturer offers an amazing amount of choices for homeowners to select from. Look past the six or seven display choices at your local home store. This laminate comes in a style which resembles nearly any wood in every tone imaginable. The laminates vary by wood, tone, simulated grain, and plank width. If the website is up to date, there are 170 different options to select from... several even have the look of stone or tile.
Does Pergo scratch?
The Prego website answers this question point blank. Make no mistake about it, this flooring can and will scratch without taking the necessary precautions or proper care. The manufacturer is pretty specific with the statement below taken directly from their website. They clearly state their product can be scratched and also give you a few typical precautions one should take after installation.
While Pergo is very resistant to scratching, it is not "scratch-proof". To minimize scratching use felt floor protectors on all easily moved furniture (chairs, tables, etc.) and replace them as needed. Use walk-off mats inside any exterior doorways to catch gravel that may stick to shoes; replace plastic casters with rubber ones and lift rather than slide heavy objects across the floor. Please be sure to use only the hard floor attachments for upright and canister style vacuum cleaners, as the carpet cleaning features can scratch Pergo.
I have hardwood floors in my home and find every one of these precautions and more are necessary to keep the floors looking new. We took many similar precautions at my aunt's home where we had the Pergo installed as well. Floor coverings at the entrance, protection on chair and kitchen table legs, careful moving of furniture, damp or dry mopping, and in our case a "no shoe" zone.
I have found no reason to run the Oreck over this floor since as I mentioned earlier, it is most easily cleaned with either a dry or damp mop depending on what we are attempting to remove.
Should you encounter a scratch or gouge in your Pergo Laminate Flooring, the manufacturer does sell color coordinated finishing putty. I have not had the need to use the product but it would be worth looking into should the need arise. The manufacturer suggests replacing planks should larger repairs become necessary. While I would attempt a new installation, I would not suggest tackling a replacement project without both the proper tools and training.
First, I will guarantee that the same scratch or gouge you may find on your Pergo, will also end up on your beautiful hardwood floor. The idea one would prefer hardwood over laminate because it can be sanded and refinished is not a logic I would buy into. The process of refinishing a hardwood floor is a very labor intensive, dirty and expensive job best left to a professional for quality results... just like a Pergo Laminate Flooring repair. And I promise you, calling in a professional to replace a few Pergo boards will be much cheaper, cleaner and easier than any possible scenario a hardwood floor owner can suggest.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Making a decision on a new flooring option is not simple and should not be made quickly or without an honest look at your family's lifestyle. If you have kids or a 200 pound dog regularly running through your home with no regard for the look of your floors, Pergo Laminate Flooring will not be a choice you will be happy with. If this area is a place where your kids roll their Tonka trucks over, don't pick this floor. For that matter, don't select hardwood either - the new floor look will not last!
If your family just will not sign on to the "no shoe" policy in the home, not only should you not consider this option or hardwood, don't drop a bundle on new carpet either. Common sense should tell you, your hardwoods and laminates will get scratched and your carpets will get dirty and need regular cleaning.
Now, if you are willing to take sufficient precautions and care, Pergo Laminate Flooring is a perfectly sensible option. It looks great out of the box and will maintain it's look. You will no doubt see a nice savings when you compare it to a hardwood installation, especially when you realize this is something you can do yourself without the need to rent or make a major investment in new tools.
Before I add my recommendation, please remember the final result is a laminate surface... not real wood and will no doubt fool nearly nobody. That being said, based on the cost savings over other flooring options, the simple installation and the fact I expect there will be a nice looking floor for many years, I can't offer anything but a solid five-star recommendation.
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