A great option for a first home upgrade and a weekend project.
This is a great product for a quick, good-looking, and durable floating hardwood floor. For our first home and with limited experience installing flooring, it was fast to come together as a weekend project and fantastic upgrade from the existing low-grade linoleum. The color was a full shade darker/warmer than the free sample we'd picked up in the store, but there was little color variation between the cases and we loved the end result. We'll be continuing the project into the main
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living/dining/hallway area early next year.
There were more damaged pieces than I would have liked, and I think that could be mitigated by better packing materials. There was a lot of space within the carton for the planks to shift around and the tongue edges were the most beat up. That said, we had enough and then some to do the whole entryway floor (2 cases for about 45 sq feet), so planning for that is key.
These cases contained a number of shorter pieces, something that isn't fully described (or at least I didn't register that), so they aren't all 47-1/4" as we intended, which was perfectly okay (less waste for smaller cuts). We just didn't notice until we got through the middle of the first case and saw the shorter boards.
Plan ahead: Add 5-10% square footage to account for damage and weird lengths and round up to the nearest case, especially for smaller areas like an entryway or hallway. Make sure you order the matching transitional trim pieces since the stores only stock the most common (oak) varieties. Since we'll be continuing the floor into the living room in the future, we found a piece of oak trim that was on clearance because part of the length was damaged, but it matched close enough for a temporary solution.
1. Make sure your mitre saw is cutting squarely before you start (didn't notice mine was off until the first several rows were installed). Also, the full plank width is closer to 6 inches, and my 10-inch mitre saw only barely cut through the whole plank. If you're planning on purchasing a mitre saw to complete a project with these planks, a 12-inch saw would definitely serve you better.
2. Take care to make sure your floor is as level as possible. There are some spots where the planks give a lot more than they probably should.
3. Start on the flattest, squarest wall you can. We didn't have a very good gauge of our start wall, and the floor ended up cocked slightly. We were able to pull on it to straighten, but we had more of a gap along the back corner in a closet than we would have liked.
4. Watch those door jamb and trim corners and plan accordingly. We had to fudge one because we had removed the jamb for a prior project and didn't account for the slope of the trim pieces.
5. If you're shooting for a random install pattern, watch your lines and keep aligning cuts 3-4 rows apart.