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How to choose between laminate flooring or vinyl floor covering

By Edited May 4, 2016 1 4

 I am writing this article in the hope of saving other people from making the same mistake we made. After purchasing an old home we decided to have the kitchen floor sanded. We thought we could take it back to original and have the flooring look like new natural wood flooring.


We went to a timber flooring company and asked  a quote on having the floor sanded. The guy said it would cost too much as the previous owners had put an unknown substance on the floor, which would be too hard to remove.

Therefore we made the decision to lay laminate flooring over the uneven floor boards. They gave us a quote of $1100. On returning to the office in the afternoon to choose which color boards we would have the woman said they had made an error. It would cost $1650.00 as they would not make enough at the previous quote. They had to charge the whole day fee instead of half a day. Can they really do that?

As they had told us it would only take half a day to lay I was not impressed, so I told her I was not paying into their superannuation fund.


More disappointments

So we decided it could not be too hard to lay ourselves. We bought 7 boxes of the Quick Step laminate. It looked so easy. Then we read all the instructions. We had noticed that the floor was unlevel on one side. So we got under the house and jacked it up a bit and reinforced the stumps with bricks.

With this done we sat down and read all the instructions again. We did a lot of research on the internet about this and it appeared to be the best choice. Even the experts said the vinyl would still show the lines of the floorboards after time through the vinyl.

We again got down on the floor and hammered all the nails into the floorboards and then checked the levels of the floor. We could not believe our eyes. There was still approximately a 10mm difference from the middle of the floor to the sides.

Again we sanded a bit off the high surface side with heavy sanding disks. What a mess the dust made it was all over the house. We soon realized that this was not going to work as the directions stated there could be no more than 3mm difference.

Back to the drawing board

Fed up by this time, we were at the end of our tether. We just wanted to have it clean and tidy so we chose to look at the vinyl after all.

We went to a different store; this one said that vinyl would work. So we agreed to have a wood look vinyl laid. They came out and sanded and treated the boards and glued the vinyl on our flooring.

It does look good and yes we know further down the track it probably will show the lines of the boards underneath the vinyl eventually. But at this stage it looks great.

We are now stuck with these extra 7 boxes of quick step laminate and the expensive underlay. Oh well at least the kitchen is now finished with a new stove installed and it looks good.

QEP 10-35 Laminate Cutter
Amazon Price: $64.98 $49.97 Buy Now
(price as of May 4, 2016)
When doing any renovations you need to have the right tools so if laying laminate this cutter will cut your laminate up to 8-Inch wide and 12mm thick. It also has a strong steel frame.

The moral of this Article

Make sure you know all the facts, of what can and cannot be laid on the type of floor that you have in your home. To be honest we did ask the experts, so even they get things wrong from time to time.

This type of floating laminate flooring is probably best used on a concrete floor. Although before you buy anything, make sure you check the levels on your flooring. I have seen unlevel concrete work done before today.

Also, think twice about laying laminate in a kitchen situation. If water is continually spilt on the floor, like in kitchens and bathrooms it could expand, although you can now buy some that have a wax in the joiner sections which should seal this.

There are also other types of flooring like slate tiles that may be a better choice of flooring for your home.

I hope this article will help save you from making the same expensive mistakes on choosing the right flooring for your home that we made.

Home Improvement For Dummies
Amazon Price: $19.99 $9.63 Buy Now
(price as of May 4, 2016)
If you would love to renovate your home and need that little bit of assistance then this book will help steer you on the right track;
It covers the majority of renovations for any home


Sep 9, 2010 10:19pm
This is a helpful article that could save someone else from suffering all the problems and disappointments that you experienced. It is very thoughtful of you to share this with your readers. Hope you love your new floor!
Sep 10, 2010 3:03am
Thanks Deborah, it sure looks better than the awful floor boards. hope it helps to prevent others the same problem.
Sep 10, 2010 3:08pm
Great share Eileen. This can save a lot of people from experiencing the same problem because many times, vinyl and laminate flooring happen to be the most cost effective alternative. Although many of us wish that we could have a real bamboo or a luxurious marble flooring, or perhaps that plush cherry wood flooring that I have always dreamed of, it is not often affordable.
Sep 11, 2010 7:06am
yes i know what you mean about affordable. It gets expensive when you have to do renovations. thanks for commenting
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