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Flooring

How good is laminate flooring by dupont?

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Wiki User
2008-06-18 20:42:48

I installed Dupont Real Touch elite in our 13 x 12 dining room

and I'm very pleased at the way it looks. It is a high-quality

laminate with a medium-grade padding preattached to each plank.

While this makes for ease of installation, it does prevent you from

upgrading the padding because you cannot double up on padding

layers. The seams are virtually invisible and the installation was

extremely easy once you get the hang of handling the glueless

click-lock planks. I was able to install it without damaging a

single edge and the precision click-lock system functioned 100% for

every plank. The Dupont material has an embossed grain which is

matched to the pattern of the printed woodgrain. This gives it an

authentic look of real wood. However, that authenticity varies

greatly depending on the type of finish you choose, with some

species looking distinctly plasticky. The distressed wood finishes

and the more recent tile style finishes look extremely good. It is

too early to comment on its longevity, because the dining room

installation is only 2 years old. However, we have two rowdy boys,

and they have not scratched it yet. We had a couple of parties on

it, and I was happy to see that it stood up to stiletto heels and

street shoes. I feel that it is very robust and will last many

years. In contrast, the Bruce oak-plank flooring I installed in the

famly room badly needs refinishing after only 5 years. I currently

have 240 sq ft of this laminate stacked in my master bedroom

acclimating (you must do this). In shopping around for laminate, I

did not find a material that compared on price and quality. [Lowes

has a very good deal on special orders - 20% off this week.] Some

points to consider: * Our dining room is a simple layout - oblong

with two open-pan passageways. All the trim and moulding was

removed, and replaced with new non-wood materials. That is to say,

it was an "ideal installation". It is MUCH harder to fit click-lock

type laminates where you have many door frames to cope with. If you

have facing doors or doors that are adjacent, you will need to

remove at least one full door frame. I recommend that D-I-Yers

avoid click-lock in such situations and use tap-and-glue. * You

must prep the floor under the laminate. Screw down any loose

flooring and fill/sand low spots with s floor filler compound. Do a

"squeak test" by walking the floor. * It is worth covering bad

subfloors with a rigid underlayment. This can even be useful if you

want to level up the thinner laminates to an adjacent tile

floor.

The subfloors in my modern tract house are absolute junk, with

problems such as board seams missing the underlying joists or nails

missing joists. Even after fixing and patching the floor, I

overlayed it with 3/8 OSB over rosin-coated paper (prevents

squeaking) which is a dirt cheap solution to creating a nice flat

surface. Make sure you staple that underlayment down with a

fastener every 4"-6" (many fasteners per 8x4 sheet). * You must

leave an expansion gap. Given this, it is almost always worth

removing the baseboards so that the edge of the laminate goes under

the baseboard for a clean finish. If you do not, you have to finish

the floor edge with .5" quarter round. This makes it a pain to back

up your furniture close to the wall. * Do not install the baseboard

tightly against the floor in places where you walk close to the

wall. It will creak or click as the floor moves under the base

board. * Heavy furniture close to the wall will compress the foam

underlayment, causing a slight gap at the baseboard. * I'm very

handy with the tools, but I guess that this material is impossible

to mend, unlike real wood or engineered wood floors. Hope this

helps.


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