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Thread: Durable and cheap flooring advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Orwell, NY
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    Durable and cheap flooring advice

    I have been trying to figure out flooring for the house I am going to be repairing and moving into in the spring/summer. It's about 100 years old with two layers of softwood T&G boards in most of the house. The kitchen is in a single story area where the floor rotted away due to the roof leaking while the house was abandoned for several years, so I will have a 3/4" plywood subfloor in there. It's a small house, with about 850 square feet of floor area.

    I'm trying to find something that I can use on the floors that will be (1) durable enough so I don't have to take off my shoes every time I come in, (2) reasonably cheap, but that is flexible, and (3) not entirely hideous. For the last 20 years I have lived in a converted barn with plain concrete on the first floor and painted plywood above, except for commercial vinyl tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, so my standards for hideous are very low. I am passionately anti-carpet, but am open to any other ideas. I've thought about LVP or cabin grade hardwood, but am not sure about the durability, and I am doubtful about tile since the subfloor is not entirely smooth, being old softwood boards.

    I'll be very grateful for any advice on what to get. I won't be ready to put it in till June but I want to make my plans ahead of time, as I will be too busy doing the other house repair jobs to think about it, once spring comes.

  2. #2
    We bought a mobile home in 2007, and in 2009 I remodeled the kitchen--
    b4-1.jpgb4-2.jpgb4-3.jpgb4-4.jpg
    Had a guy do the cabinets, I did everything else. For the flooring, we got the cheapest flooring Ikea sold back then, "Tundra"- We liked it's look, price was right, and 'our' Ikea has several 'test' versions of their flooring in the store that everyone walks on. The cheap stuff looked like new even after lord knows how much traffic it got. Don't know if 'tongue and groove' is the right name, but it does lock together, and it 'floats' on an 1/8" foam underlayment. We lived in it for 2 years, our son lived in it for 5 years, and since then we've rented it to some friends. Last time we were there the floor still looks like new, it's near bulletproof as far as traffic goes.

    It's one Achilles Heel is, it doesn't like water, UNDERNEATH-- The top side can handle spills and such as long as the water doesn't have time so soak into the seams... but about a week after I put this down, the washing machine in the vestibule blew a hose and flooded the floor! I immediately started removing the planks (which is easy with a floating floor thankfully) near the washer up to about the kitchen sink which was as far as the water got. I only ended up scrapping about 4 planks, those started soaking water and swelling. All the other planks were fine after drying out. And it does still look great after almost 13 years.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    There are very nice looking vinyl products available that are easy to install (no gluing) and a lot of choice relative to the look. Easy to clean, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Prairie, WI
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    222
    My wife and I just finished up a refresh of our house after nearly 30 years of wear and tear. We put down a Pergo floor we picked up at Home Depot throughout the house. It was quite reasonably priced (in our opinion) and looks great. It was pretty easy to install. We put down nearly 1,800 square feet in total between the three living levels of our tri-level home. They have a number of color options available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Longmont, CO
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    781
    we really like the vinyl plank products. even the cheap stuff from home depot held up to a single guy that rented from us for 3 years and his close to 100 lb dog, and then a puppy. we have also used some more expensive version in our own home that was fantiastic. metroflor was the manufacture and it was solid plastic core and did not wear at all even with our 4 large dogs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    I put the Pergo water-resistant stuff in when I did the kitchen in 2017, still looks like new despite my strict "benign neglect" cleaning regimen. This is the new(er) "click-and-lock" stuff, which I found was more of a "pound-and-curse" install, but i guess the tight seal between the planks is a feature, not a bug. That replaced a much older glued-seam Pergo from 1999, which was still in pretty good shape except in front of the dishwasher where the old unit had blown a pump seal in a highly entertaining fashion.

    That said, if I had it to do over, I'd probably use some of the higher-end vinyl planking. I helped a friend with his kitchen and family room, and the install is much easier, like maybe 2X-3X as fast. I think my Pergo looks better, but that has more to do with the pattern he picked...it's so smooth the seams disappear and it looks more like a solid sheet. Some of the others I've seen have more texture to them.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    4,261
    I put down some water poof flooring from Home depot on me enclosed porch don't worry about mud or water or snow.

  8. #8
    There are good methods that are not much used now. Cuz people ďainít never heard of that beforeĒ. Glue down canvas ,thick or thin and
    paint it . Widely use for a long time ,going back to 19th century. Use good acrylic paint ,then coat with polyurethane varnish.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    DIY hardwood can be done in the $2-3/sqft range if you scrounge a bit. My shop floor is "mixed domestic hardwoods" that I got for a buck a foot. Finished with Bona Traffic HD it's been very tough, and looks good. The finish cost nearly as much as the wood! If you have nearby mills it's worth asking what they have that's cheap.

  10. #10
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    May 2005
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    Highland MI
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    Whatever you get, look for a "ceramic" coating, usually aluminum oxide. Luxury vinyl planking seems to be the standard these days. Not the cheapest, but I put down a ton of stranded bamboo in my home. Hard as nails and almost scratchproof.
    NOW you tell me...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    Thank you all for your advice. It sounds like LVP is probably the way to go, and it's good to hear from people who have found it durable. I'd like to do actual wood someday, but I hope to only live in this house for maybe 2-10 years and eventually build a house that works better for me, so wood might be too labor intensive to be practical for the short term.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    The good LVP doesn't fit in the cheap category, but it's great stuff for abuse. After seeing some stand up to every day use in our bank for two years, and still look like it did when they first put it down, we put the same thing in a lake rental house. It was 5.25 a square foot though, so that put it out of the cheap category for me. Coretec Plus was the name, I think. I know it was some sort of Coretec.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    There is one gotcha with the LVP if you're installing it in a kitchen or bathroom: you can't use rugs/mats with a non-skid rubber backing because they will stain the flooring.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    1,087
    I'm very grateful to you all for your advice. I was looking at the Materials page on Craigslist this morning, as I do every day, and came across a listing for a pallet (or 748 square feet) of Coretec Plus Premium LV planks, 7"x6', in the Noble Oak color, for $1500. I emailed right away and was lucky enough to be the first, though it had been posted last night. They had ordered much too much when building their house, so they had a whole pallet to sell. I may need another box or two, I'll have to do some math, but this is enough to do most of my house.

    I went this afternoon and picked it up, about 90 minutes away. I have stacked it in the workshop and there it will stay till May, anyway, but I think it will be well worth the space it takes. Once I get the storage/shop building built up there in the spring I'll move the flooring up there, another 120 miles. I don't know why they called it Noble Oak, I think Cracked Oak From Too Close To The Pith would be more descriptive of the look they are emulating, but it probably wouldn't sell as well under that name. It looks fine, and much more important to me is that it should wear well, from what I can find out, and was quite cheap for what it is. The seller also threw in about 130 square feet of thinner 4' long LVP in a darker color that he said was sent to him by mistake and the company didn't want it back. It is not marked with a brand name, so I don't know what it is. I feel very lucky to have found this flooring in time.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2014
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    That was a good find!

    The typical way to put it down is to go one way, which requires the use of a threshold in some doorways. In the rental house I put it in, I didn't want to use thresholds-never do.

    I was able to put it down backwards without too much trouble, so there are none of those cover strips anywhere in the house.

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