Laminate flooring experiences

We have had water damage to the parquet floor in the great room of our overnight rental property in the Smokey Mountains. This means we have to replace the entire floor. I'm not sure we want to invest in hardwood, as the property manager says water damage from renters happens more often than in a traditional single family house. The walls of the room are painted drywall but the cathedral ceiling is wooden. It actually looks like they used flooring. What has been your experience with laminate flooring? Open to any suggestions.
  5 answers
  • R.V.R. Farris R.V.R. Farris on Aug 20, 2015
    We have laminate in one of our bathrooms and a leaky wax ring caused damage to the floor. It will all have to be replaced. The flooring was here when we bought the house.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 20, 2015
    I have laminate flooringthrough my living spaces that get trampled by three dogs. I woulnt use anything else.They hold up forever with proper care.

  • Shari Shari on Aug 20, 2015
    For what it is worth I HATE my laminate! It was a big, expensive mistake that I have regretted every single day since it was installed 5 1/2 years ago. I do not understand why laminate is so popular. My husband and I have owned rental property for many years and I would never recommend laminate for rental property. We have found not all renters are careful with someone else's property. Since moisture is Enemy #1 of laminate, I predict if you chose laminate, it won't be long before a tenant spills something liquid, doesn't wipe it up and then you will be left with swollen, seams that can bubble and peel and you'll be replacing the flooring again. We have long-term renters in a home we own and they wanted to have laminate floors put in at their own expense and I said, "Absolutely NOT!" I would agree to any other type of flooring they wanted (and I would pay all or part of the cost) but I'm not interested in replacing laminate flooring if/when they decide to leave. Will you allow renters to bring pets? In my opinion, laminate is not a good option for households with pets. Urine, vomit, wet feet, sloppy water bowl drinkers etc., can leave enough moisture on the floor to make the laminate seams bubble, buckle and peel if not cleaned up immediately. Our cat, who has a very sensitive stomach, threw up in the foyer and I didn't find it right away so I have bubbled seams there. I had a leak under the threshold of the back door so before I knew it, it started to badly bubble there and the top layer has started to peel too. I also have it in my kitchen (biggest mistake ever!) and there are plenty of bubbled seams from little spills around the sink, drips from wet hands or dishes, rogue ice cubes that have dropped out of the refrigerator door dispenser after we've walked away and weren't picked up right away etc. Once the smallest amount of water gets down past that top laminated layer or between the seams, it's just like a cancer that eats away at the pressboard-like layers underneath. Laminate is also slippery and noisy to walk on. I recount this story often here on HomeTalk when people bring up the subject of laminate. We had 3 big German Shepherds (which have now all passed). The sound of those 48 toenails constantly clicking across our laminate floors was enough to about make me and my husband crazy. It was also slippery and hard for the dogs to walk on as they got older and less agile. I had to put down throw rugs in all the pathways just so they could get the traction to move from room to room. Noise might not be a factor for you if you don't live there but here's something to think about: After our laminate was first put down, I nearly fell a couple times when walking on it with slick-soled shoes. Now I only wear rubber-soled shoes or go barefooted in the house. Could a renter's slip-and-fall accident on slippery laminate flooring pose a liability issue for you? If you like the look of wood, but want something more durable, I would suggest tile or luxury vinyl planks that look like wood. In my opinion, either of those types of floors would be a much better option for a rental home. If you are still leaning heavily toward laminate, I would recommend you get at least 2 sample pieces of any laminate flooring you are considering. Connect them together like they would be on your floor. Then, let an ice cube melt on it and see if you have any bubbling or water damage 24 hours later. Drop a hammer (or a heavy pot) on it several times. Scratch it with a key or drag a chair leg over it a few times. Abuse the heck out of it and see how it holds up. (Unfortunately, I didn't know to do this before I spent a bundle of money on my laminate.) If it fails any of the tests you put it through, I urge you to spend your hard-earned money on something else besides laminate.

  • DIY Addict DIY Addict on Aug 21, 2015
    Unless water is removed quickly from laminate, it will cause damage. The face of the laminate will "swell" and separate at the edges. There is the vinyl product that also looks like wood that might be your answer.

  • Linda O'Neal Linda O'Neal on Aug 24, 2015
    Thanks for your input. I didn't realize there were so many options.