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Thread: Replacing carpet at home

  1. #1
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    Replacing carpet at home

    Struggling with choices for replacing my carpet (about 850 sf) at home. Includes a set of stairs to my basement. Narrowed it down to stranded bamboo vs luxury vinyl planks. I have installed both. I don't like the plastic stair tread nosing for the vinyl option, looks no better than cheap laminate, whereas the bamboo stair nosing is solid stranded bamboo. Kitchen floor is stranded bamboo from Lumber liquidators 7 years ago, style is no longer available or I would probably use that. LVT seems the be the go-to now on most new floors, my son and I have installed over 3000 sf and it holds up well with a lifetime warranty.

    LL is now telling me that their installers say that solid bamboo, vs engineered bamboo with an MDF core, has been problematic in humid climates and they seem to clump Michigan in that group for some reason. Solid would be special order. Seems like solid would be better in any climate, Nothing with MDF will go down on my floors. Most solid bamboo gets nailed down, LVT is click lock. I can do either, have the HF nail gun. I might mention that the solid stranded bamboo I have had down for 7 years has had zero problems and it looks like the day it was installed. BTW they call the MDF core bamboo "engineered", I always thought engineered always used a plywood base.

    One option I am considering is going with LVT and milling my own oak stair tread nosing if I can get a stain to reasonably match.

    Decisions, decisions...
    NOW you tell me...

  2. #2
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    I’ll be following. Good luck with your decision. I’m thinking about a similar issue. Replacing red oak hardwood in our kitchen of all places.
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  3. #3
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    we are scheduled for carpet and LVP install on the 21st for our bedroom level. lvp in master and attached small bdrm that will be our closet and carpet in kid guest room and stairs. we keep carpet on the stairs for safety reasons, I really think its much safer for kids and our dogs, and us.

    We did see a brand of LVP at our local carpet one that had some pretty good looking stair treads though. unfortunately I don't remember the brand.
    we have metrofloor in our office, with wheeled office chairs and our large dogs, still looks great. we are sticking with that brand.

  4. #4
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    The more I look at our bamboo kitchen floor, the more I am leaning in that direction. I just ordered a case each of two colors (not stock items) from HD that would be close to the color we already have. Return if one or both are a no-go. Ironically, my kitchen floor is the subject of a $30 mill class action suit against Lumber Liquidators for floor failures. Apparently failures in areas subject to large swings in humidity. I could use the voucher, due in April, to buy stair noses from them.
    NOW you tell me...

  5. #5
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    Well the sample cases I got from HD were engineered with an MDF core and were only 3/8" thick and had a smooth, too-uniform finish. They are both going back. Next try is a true engineered stranded bamboo from Cali Bamboo from Lowes. It seems to be the safest choice regarding stability. It uses a "green" eucalyptus ply substrate and is 9/16" thick with a 3 mm top of "handscraped" stranded bamboo. It is a click floating floor, but I am strongly considering nailing it down just to be safe. Of course it is special order so now I am waiting for that one to lay down and see how it looks.
    NOW you tell me...

  6. #6
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    I like the idea of continuing the bamboo theme, Ole....I'm a fan of keeping things simple and uniform for this kind of thing, so I hope that you find a product that will do the job for you.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Ended up going with the Cali solid bamboo, click lock style from Lowes in the light Mocha color. Enough for 900 sf of floor weighed nearly 3000 pounds. Took both my Acadia and my son's Tahoe loaded beyond their limit to get it home. No instructions on or in the box, had to go online to read them. Step one, unload all of the boxes and cross stack them and let them acclimate for at least a week. Planks were 6 feet so that 6'x6' stack in the kitchen has been interesting. Next thing I note in the fine print is that the warranty is void if nailed down. Oh well that will save me some time not doing the nail down. Then there is a lot of information as to allowable board and air moisture range for various US locations. They suggesting testing the flooring for moisture before installing using a moisture gage I never heard of. (Use a reliable moisture meter that is acceptable for strand bamboo flooring. Examples of acceptable moisture meters include Delmhorst or a Lignomat SDM. Contact the meter manufacture to verify settings for strand bamboo. Please note that some meters require the use of a substitute setting for bamboo, and thus must have the moisture content readings converted in order to get an accurate measurement (such as Delmhorst; see table; right*)) Well, gonna skip that step. Wood subfloor and the bamboo moisture should be within 3%. Don't have the fancy bamboo meter, so going to skip that step too. Then they say you need to regulate humidity in the home to between 30-50% for my locale. With my furnace humidifier running, I am as low as 20% with 10 degree outside them here in January. But I can maintain 30% during most of winter. Of course it is closer to 25% during most of my acclimation period. And summer humidity isn't too high in Michigan, and if it is I turn on the a/c.

    Rather than leave 1/2" around the perimeter for expansion, I undercut all of my drywall to 5/8" off the floor to allow the flooring to expand under it during the summer. I don't want to install quarter round, just going to reinstall my 1/2" thick oak base. So far I have the two small bedrooms done. Looks good.

    I am going to keep a 5" x 5" sample and carefully log it's dimensions using a digital caliper to see how much the wood swells as summer comes around. Just for grins.
    NOW you tell me...

  8. #8
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    How thick is that bamboo click-lock, Ole? I'm considering solutions for what's been my office as the soft pine was damaged by a throw carpet over the years. I'm more likely to do vinyl in there, but am curious about the bamboo product.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    How thick is that bamboo click-lock, Ole? I'm considering solutions for what's been my office as the soft pine was damaged by a throw carpet over the years. I'm more likely to do vinyl in there, but am curious about the bamboo product.
    The click lock I am installing from Lowes (Cali brand) is 9/16", about as thick as it comes. And, unlike some click lock products, it goes together very easily. Very seldom am I pounding on the edge to seat. I do, however, whack it with a rubber mallet every foot or so once it is down to insure it is fully seated. The Cali website has much more info than does the Lowe's website.
    NOW you tell me...

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Ole. Appreciate the information.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    We replaced a bunch of flooring (carpet and old laminate) with Audacity by Armstrong last fall. It's been great - solid, waterproof, scratch-resistant from our two dachshunds that love to run and jump around the house. I think it retails for around $3.80 a square foot. It is a click-lock floor that is 12mm thick, and has the pad integrated on the back. We laid it directly onto subfloor.


    Derek
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 02-19-2021 at 3:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    One thing I am finding is that with bamboo, or any rigid click lock flooring not nailed down, you need to be aware of uneven floors. I ended up laying down several layers of the 1.5 mm padding in some areas to fill gaps due to uneven floor joists. Sure wishing that the I-joists were available when I built in 1975. Another reason to go with nail down. BTW, the cost was $4.50 per sf including the padding. And when cutting any flooring that has the aluminum oxide (ceramic) coating, stand it up against the fence to cut, it is so much easier on the sawblade. And scraps of stranded bamboo, being three times harder than oak, makes great zero clearance inserts or fences.
    NOW you tell me...

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