Published at Sunday, May 12th, 2019 - 05:11:00 AM. Laminate Flooring. By Maurina Guiraud.
Understanding the manufacturer warranties. Many people wonder what the manufacturers' warranties really mean. From someone who is in the flooring business and takes this topic very seriously, my answer is pretty simple: ”Not Much”. After the first 3 months, I would say the warranty becomes about as good as what your independent retail store will do for you. Normally, if there is a malfunction with a product, it will happen in the first 30 days. Many times, when there is a problem, it is due to installation. This is why it's important, in my opinion, to have the independent retailer arrange for the installation and have that store on the hook. There are occasional issues of manufacturing after the first 30 days, but it is rare. I can count on about one finger how many manufacturer claims we have had after 30 days on laminate and hardwood, and we operate 4 flooring stores. So all of these 30-, 50-, even 25-year finish or wear-through warranties just don't mean a lot in my mind. These manufacturers know that the finish may wear through, but it will be abuse that causes it. Does this mean that I do not ask what the warranty is? No, I still would want a product with a minimum 15-year warranty. Fifteen years would be my dividing line. There are some hardwoods with real low purchase prices that only carry a 1- or 5-year finish warranty. I would run from those, but at the 15-year or greater warranty mark, I would not think twice. One other point is that buying groups and box stores increase the warranties on their own. What I mean by this is that they contract the manufacturer to raise the warranty for them. I do not like the fact that a product with a normal 5-year warranty gets increased to 25 years simply because a box store is selling it. This does not make the product better and is no extra protection for you. Remember what I said about abuse. A true 15-year warranty will take a lot more abuse than a 30-year inflated box store warranty. This is why I would prefer to purchase through a strong independent retail store. Your independent retail store can give you good opinions on what is a good product and what is not. The warranty displayed is what the manufacturer truly specified for the product.
If you have a wood sub-floor then you will need a belt sander to smooth the surface. You might need to rent a jamb saw if you don't want to purchase one also. The jamb saw will be used to cut the door jamb and other trimmings so you have enough clearance for the flooring. A trowel will be used to smooth the leveling compound. The tools for preparation should cost you less than $100, including the cost for renting the saw. You will need many tools for the installation of the kitchen laminate flooring also. These tools include a backsaw and a miter box for cutting angles in the flooring. A circular saw is for straight cuts with a carbide tipped blade and a saber saw with a laminate blade will be used for cutting curves. You can rent saws from hardware stores if you do not want to purchase them for around $20 to $30 a day. The basic tools you will need for the installation of your laminate flooring in the kitchen will run you under $100.
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