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Laminate floors (non-floating)

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Laminate floors (non-floating)

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:32 am

Hi All, I'm looking for a bit of advice from any DIY builders/acousticians we have out there...

I have neither the room height nor the budget to put a floating floor in my garage/soon-to-be-studio. But I'm confident that the thick concrete slab (with damp proof membrane) will do just fine for the amount of isolation I require, and my drums will be up on a riser...

Now I need to decide what to put on top of the concrete. I'm not doing underfloor heating or anything fancy... I just want a nice surface to walk on and wheel gear and gobos around on.

I've chosen a laminate floor that I think I want to use (Swiss Krono Harbour Oak 12mm). (I'm assuming this will feel nicer than the cheaper 8mm stuff, but that's not based on experience...)

Having not installed any of this stuff before, I'm less sure about the best/most appropriate underlay to use on a concrete floor. I'm not sure what difference the thickness and materials really make in this context — eg. whether there are marginal gains to be made in terms of acoustics by having the mass of laminate almost floating on the thicker stuff? And I'm having difficulty identifying where the higher prices are due to better performance, and where due to brand names!

Can anyone offer recommendations? Here are some possible options from the same supplier as the laminate. I'm not saying it has to be from them, of course — I'll certainly listen to whatever informed opinions you have — but I thought it might help focus the discussion!
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Re: Laminate floors (non-floating)

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 16, 2018 7:54 am

1. We are building a new post-prod and media room and I am using real wood and not laminate. The difference in price is not that great and it is worth paying the little extra. I believe we paid c.a. £17 per sq m inc. VAT and trade-discount. Acoustically thick carpet would be better, but we are covering most of the floor with a Persian carpet that I have had for ages and looks great and the room has to be capable of being turned back to general use, should the need arise.

https://www.diy.com/departments/b-q-nat ... 767_BQ.prd

2. You will need an underlay and I would suggest a fibre underlay to insulate, deaden the sound and prevent the boards rattling. We use https://www.diy.com/departments/diall-5 ... 621_BQ.prd and similar stuff is available from Wickes and elsewhere, inc. the retailer you suggested.

3. You can also use conventional tongue and groove pinewood boards. Properly stained and varnished, they can look great. They also are better at taking the knocks and bumps of gear being dragged about and works out at about £5 sq m.

P.S. I looked at the link and the top of the listing says 'wood effect' but I have 30 sq m of it in our workshop storage room and it is real wood (as the rest of the description also states). The same stuff is sold under different names and brands elsewhere, inc. on-line, but B&Q were the cheapest and one can go there and look at the stuff.

P.P.S. Make sure the floor is 100% flat and even. The final result can only be as good as what goes on underneath it allows it to be!
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Re: Laminate floors (non-floating)

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed May 16, 2018 10:23 am

Thanks Bladders. I really appreciate the advice.

Obviously I've been looking into this further myself too, so what follows is really just to keep the thread up to date in case others stumble upon it...

My intention is to have a reflective floor and a more absorbent ceiling; I have a nice, large, gun-tuft rug to deploy when/where needed!

£17psm is good but a little too high for me... while I want it to look nice, this build is to tight budget and the £150 saving I'd make with the deal I have Swiss Krono could be usefully deployed elsewhere. We have oak-effect Krono in our living room and it has proven remarkably resilient to dings compared with real softwood, it's easy to clean, and it looks great. My Dad has pine boards... and I know they can be sanded back in the future and they look nice at first, but they also seem to scuff easily, are more susceptible to dings from dropped objects/grit on shoes, and to compression marks from points of pressure eg rack furniture, chairs, and heavy amps placed on casters. Hardwood parquet would be nice... but expensive unless I buy second hand and clean it myself, which would be a big cost in terms of my time!

So with all that in mind, I think I will stick with the Swiss Krono, and go for 12mm, which I gather should provide a stronger, more resilient click-fit than 8mm.

I've reached the same conclusion as you on the fibreboard underlay. It's already a 'flat' concrete floor; I'll be topping this with self-levelling compound and a damp/moisture membrane. The 5mm fibreboard should, I think, take care of any lingering imperfections.
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Re: Laminate floors (non-floating)

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 16, 2018 11:05 am

Well, ours will be seen by customers, so spending on real wood was a 'must' and we are VAT registered so the price, with trade rebate, comes to £13.68 sq m - but it is still money! I've just de-trousered about £1,500 on materials for that one room - floor covering, plasterboard, 22mm chipboard, rockwool, Cellotex - building materials have become depressingly expensive! And that was just to renovate and make it look a bit nicer!

If you really want a killer floor for little money, get larch wood planks from your friendly sawmill for trouser money (usually about 50p a running meter) and sand them with an industrial sander, stain and put a hard-wearing resin on them.
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Re: Laminate floors (non-floating)

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed May 16, 2018 11:41 am

Yeah, if I had more time and wasn't recovering from a slipped disc I might consider real wood. But I've sanded a few floors in my time and the words 'never' and 'again' spring to mind! You have to factor in the hire cost of the belt and edging sanders too. Happily, laminate is certainly getting better... much better than when I last looked into it; the textured samples I've had through would be good enough to fool a lot of people! Anyway, thanks again for the help and advice.
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