Laminate Flooring for Uneven Floors
LESLIE: Time to talk flooring with Vince in Colorado. What’s going on at your money pit?
VINCE: Well, I have a galley-style kitchen and – I guess it’s a galley-style. It’s long and kind of narrow.
LESLIE: Long and narrow.
VINCE: It’s about 200 square feet. I did measure it and – so anyway, I’m looking at flooring options and we’ve been looking at laminate flooring.
TOM: Yeah, it’s a great choice for a kitchen.
VINCE: One of my biggest things was I had a local company here that they provide installation as well and they had some material that I was interested in and they sent one of their installers out who was actually a contractor and he went through the – looked at the flooring and walked around on it and checked it out and he said it wasn’t flat enough and he suggested pulling up the existing linoleum floor and pulling up the subfloor and using a leveling compound and his bid before installation of the floor was about $1,600 and then another, I think, 400 more with the installation and then I would buy the materials.
TOM: Wow. How old is your house?
VINCE: Well, that’s what I was wondering because it’s not that old. I think it was built in ’82 if I’m not mistaken.
TOM: Man. I tell you something. I put laminate floors down in lots of houses including in my 122-year-old farmhouse …
VINCE: Oh, wow.
TOM: … and those floors got more waves in than the Atlantic Ocean. (Leslie chuckles) And it laid over it just fine. I mean I can see where it sort of bent over the saggy parts …
TOM: … or the parts that were sort of humped but it worked just fine. It was very durable; especially the lock-together kind. And so unless your floor is grossly out of level …
TOM: … then I don’t think you need to go through all that and, in fact, you can go to the website of the manufacturer; you can look at the installation instructions and they will tell you exactly what the tolerance is that they recommend. It’s usually going to be like, you know, an eighth-inch out on four feet or something of that nature and if your house was built in 1982 it’d be very unlikely that you had a seriously out-of-level floor. The worst thing that you could have is perhaps a floor joist that was crowned and maybe is a little high in one place, but it sounds to me like what this guy is recommending is total overkill and perhaps just an opportunity for him to get another job out of you.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) For more work.
VINCE: That’s kind of what I was thinking.
TOM: Yeah, you know what? If it smells like it, it probably is.