LESLIE: Chris in New York wants to talk flooring. What can we do for you?
CHRIS: I have about 600 square feet of ceramic tile that’s been down, I guess, about 15 years. I live at the beach. It’s starting to wear out and I’m not sure whether I should have more tile installed right on top of it – which the tile man said I could do – or I wanted to ask your opinion on putting down like a thin luan with maybe a floating floor right on top of it?
TOM: What kind of floating floor?
CHRIS: Well, I noticed that some of the – the stores now are carrying a stone look. It looks like stone.
LESLIE: Oh yeah, like a laminate.
TOM: Are you talking about a laminate floor?
CHRIS: (overlapping voices) Like a laminate, right.
TOM: A laminate floor?
CHRIS: Like a laminate floating floor.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Mm-hmm. Both of them are good options. The tile surface is certainly going to be more durable than the laminate surface but that being said, a good-quality laminate can really stand up well; especially in abrasive environments where there’s a lot of sand.
TOM: Both – your tile man is correct; you can put the ceramic tile on top of the old stuff. And with the laminate floor, basically, you don’t put any plywood down; you put down an underlayment. Now it’s either built into the back of the laminate panel or it comes on a roll and then the laminate locks in place, sort of snaps together, and then it floats right on top of that tile.
CHRIS: Right. We’ve done that in the bedrooms …
CHRIS: … and we know it has that thin, light blue liner?
TOM: Right. Depends on what manufacturer; they’re all a little different. But yeah, that’s the way that works.
CHRIS: That’s the way that works.
CHRIS: And that can go right on top of the ceramic tile?
TOM: Right on top of the tile and you just have to, you know, trim the edges where it gets near the wall, with a molding.
TOM: And put it some sort of saddle at any doorways …
TOM: … that go through, so it’s nice and neat there. But other than that, it just floats in place; there’s no attachment to the floor whatsoever.
CHRIS: Yeah. That was my idea because I thought, well, if that wears out, then it’s easy to replace.
TOM: Well, it’s probably easier to replace than new ceramic tile. It’ll be a bit less …
TOM: … expensive.
CHRIS: Right. Because the next time we have to pull up all that debris, we have already a mud job; which in some places is four inches thick.
TOM: Yeah. Then it gets pretty expensive.
CHRIS: Right. OK, well, that’s great. I guess I can choose either/or then.
TOM: You certainly can and there’s lots and lots of options with that laminate. Great stuff; we love it. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.