A reviewer at Pro Tool Reviews bought a rental house with a large area of tile. Ceramic tile dominates the living and dining areas. The problem is, the previous owner used two different tiles, and the work was definitely sub-par. Luckily, The Home Depot just started selling their new Pergo Outlast laminate flooring (actually it's called Outlast+). When the press release hits my desk, I wonder if it's a good way to change the look of that home. Pergo laminate flooring may be just the thing.
While tile floors are durable, they also come with some downsides. First off, the family noises they make when talking or even watching TV are very harsh. Second, tile is hard on your feet, so it's no fun to walk on tile when it covers half your home. For bathrooms and kitchens, we say, move on, but for living and dining rooms, wood or engineered wood is much better.
Pergo's unique style of laminate flooring
Pergo Outlast+ laminate floors bond multiple layers of material together under extreme heat and pressure. Pergo has been doing this for over 35 years, so they know what they're doing. Pads are pre-attached to the bottom of each interlocking plank. This thin foam gives you some cushioning as you walk. It also smooths out minor floor imperfections and provides a bit of a barrier underneath the floor to keep out moisture.
On top of that there exists a "balance" layer. This layer provides stability and prevents each board from easily bending or collapsing as you walk. This is a enhancer. Next is the waterproof HDF (High Density Fiber) core, which terminates in snap joints that provide a snap fit. The fiberboard core is dense enough to resist dents from drops, so your floor will look the same 15 years from now as it did the day it was installed. The design layer produces the look and feel of a plank. Pergo Outlast laminate flooring offers you very realistic patterns and colors from the wood types represented. Finally, a waterproof clear cover and ScratchGuard Advanced and PermaMax wear layers give you the real wood feel. This keeps the surface of the Pergo laminate flooring free from wear and scratches for the expected life of the product.
Durable features of Pergo
The Pergo Outlast+ is a product you can take home in the back of your SUV or pickup. It comes in a box of about 16 square feet, bundled up for easy transport. Nearly 550 square feet can fit on one pallet.
We chose Pergo Outlast Auburn Scraped Oak flooring. The color is a nice dark brown with reddish hints. Each plank is different in detail, with many beautiful knots and cracks destroying the color and grain. Once down, you don't really see repetitions in the pattern. You'll want to visit your nearest Home Depot to see each color up close before making a decision. My local store even offers free samples, and Pergo offers $5 samples (takeaway) on their website.
Pergo Outlast is an extremely durable laminate flooring. It comes with what Pergo calls SurfaceDefense wear protection and SpillProtect24 technology. It claims it can protect floors from household spills for up to 24 hours. The idea is that Uniclic joints and the material used can actually keep water out of the joint during that time.
[amazon_link asins='B00KXZGLIC,B07QPG46B3,B00KQ1AER2,B07DFLKVVF,B00KWFRK2Y,B00KWJ7NOK' template='ProductCarousel' store='protoorev-20' marketplace='US' link_id='c43c0255-4346b-4']f
Pergo Outlast+ Laminate Floor Finish
The Outlast+ range offers 7 different Pergo laminate flooring finishes:
- antique cherry
- Russet scraped oak
- Java oak
- marigold oak
- molasses maple
- vintage tin oak
- vintage tobacco oak
Each room has its own stunning look, but you can easily compare them in-store to see which one you like. A quick visual sampling of the options follows:
Each board is 10 mm thick, 6-1/8 inches wide, and 47-1/4 inches long. Each box has just over 16 square feet of laminate flooring. This flooring is rated AC 4 (up to AC 5), indicating that it is suitable for commercial and general traffic. It's big enough for offices, boutiques or cafes. For a home, something durable should hold up to the expected traffic…unless you park your car in the living room!
When Pergo designed the Outlast+ series, they considered how many people today think the task of remodeling is as easy as they want it to be. To make things easier, Pergo Outlast boards include underlayment already attached. All you really need to do is open the box and install it.
First, it's a floating floor system designed to be placed on a flat surface – wood or concrete. We have a house full of tiles – which means some serious demos. To facilitate this, we enlisted a few friends and a Makita rotary hammer with a floor scraper attachment. There is simply no way to remove tile without some serious dirt and debris. To keep dust out of adjacent rooms, we opted to use a ZipWall ZipDoor kit. We reviewed this system in 2013 and it is still one of the easiest solutions for controlling dust from room to room. ZipWall has since added new commercial products, and the product line has expanded significantly over the past few years.
Enter Makita Floor Scrapers
After securing the area, we took to town with a 27lb Makita SDS-Max HM1214C demo hammer (visit their website for more info). This new demo hammer features Makita AVT technology which significantly reduces vibration. We plugged in a 6-inch SDS-Max floor scraper we first saw at the 2016 Concrete trade show. It has a flexible blade that gives you a more ergonomic way to remove tile, linoleum and adhesives such as thinset.
[amazon_link asins='B00SCXURNC,B01G48WU2C,B01MTLEEU6,B07DC3NNN6,B01F4I8QMQ' template='ProductCarousel' store='protoorev-20' marketplace='US' link_id='c57967f7-32e1-cc470b-b7496-0']5
It literally blew the tiles off the floor. I don't want to do this every day, but I have to admit we all had a lot of fun running this tool. Even my army vet buddy (who fired 50 machine guns) thought it was cool.
Even though this tile is on a heart pine floor, the Makita floor scraper does its job quickly without digging out the wood. It's a great system that not only pops out all the tiles, but allows us to go back and remove 97% or more of the flakes left behind. When we're done, the floor surface is smooth and ready for prep.
laying moisture barrier
The next step involves laying down some material to act as a vapor barrier. In Florida, with an older bungalow, you definitely don't want to have laminate flooring, but there's no way to stop moisture and humidity from intruding through your crawl space. For this, we used some tar paper, which can be laid easily with Milwaukee staples and a nail gun. We opted for this product over the traditional one, which would be compounded with a Pergo Outlast+ inner liner. The tar paper no longer allows bending – it just provides a barrier.
Laying Pergo Laminate Flooring
Yes, it's a lot of prep work, but once it's done, Pergo Outlast laminate floors are easy to install. The steps to install this floor are simple. Basically there are 7 steps:
- Check each board and measure/plan your initial lines.
- If possible, starting at the corners, remove the tongues on the short and long sides of the first row of planks. Draw a nice straight line in the room. A 3/8" clearance is required at both ends and along the wall. This gap will be filled with 100% silicone. Use 3/8" compressible PE foam support rods to avoid buying silicone stock.
- Pro tip: If your home has a fireplace like ours, you can backfill the planks as needed with knockout blocks and mallets. For uneven walls, you'll need to scratch the wall onto the end panels. On straight walls, you just need to remove the tongue.
- You assemble the first row with the tongue side facing the wall. Each plank follows by inserting the end tongue into the end slot and pivoting down. All joints should be tightly closed.
- On your second and subsequent rows, the first section needs to be at least 8 inches long so it stays in place. Typically, you will start the next line with the segment trimmed from the previous line. Make sure there is at least one foot between the seams of adjacent rows of Pergo Outlast laminate.
- On the second and subsequent rows, insert the tongue of the new plank into the groove of the first plank at a slight angle. Leave a 1/2" gap along the long sides – you'll get to this gap after the board is down. Rotate the plate down until the short side joints lock.
- Once the short ends are together, raise the outside long edge of the board an inch. Lift it up as you hammer it into place with a mallet and push block (never hit the laminate floor directly).
- Rotate the Pergo Laminate plank down until the long joint locks. Repeat until done.
Helpful Installation Tips
Unless your room is perfectly square with no doors (unlikely), you'll need to take care of a few things. First, be sure to tone down any doorway decorations. You need to expand the space throughout the room. The rule of thumb is that if the wood isn't covered by a quarter circle, you need to undercut something.
You also want to allow proper clearance around the fireplace and in transitions. If you don't leave the correct 1-1/8 to 1-3/8 inch gap, you will have to go back and rip your Pergo laminate flooring to make the space needed for the 4-in-1 trim molding. The Pergo Outlast 4-in-1 Forming Kit comes in matching colors to handle transitions between laminate, carpet, tile and more. This is an excellent solution for truly decorative installations.
Don't forget to coat the entire room with 100% silicone. That PE strut fills the expansion gap, so you don't have to fill all the space with silicone, but this step is important if you want to keep moisture out.
I really like the look of the Auburn Scraped Oak Pergo Outlast laminate flooring. It's a dramatic improvement over tile floors and looks natural. It feels great to walk on, significantly improves the acoustics of the space, and has the durability to last a long time. To further sweeten the deal, this laminate flooring is available for just $2.79 per square foot or $44.97 per case. For just over $1,500 (including some overages), you can get 500 square feet done—with free shipping from The Home Depot.
Buy Pergo Outlast+ Laminate Flooring at The Home Depot