Which is more practical: vinyl wood-like flooring or Pergo flooring?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ December 26, 2010 ~ Comments

I need to know which is the better flooring for my money. There is a new vinyl flooring that looks like wood called "Allure". I have children and pets and would like the look of wood flooring in my home. But I've also heard good things about Pergo flooring. Any insight into these two brands?

Pam K. ~ Honolulu, Hawaii

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Pam, I have used Pergo flooring in the past and also a number of other brands of laminate flooring. I have never used Allure flooring and don't know first hand any one who has, but I have read a lot about it. Pergo flooring and Allure flooring are both designed to give homeowners the look of a hardwood floor at a fraction of the cost and they are both very DIY friendly.

The costs can vary depending on where you live and the flooring you choose, but you can purchase Pergo flooring for about $2 a square foot and Allure flooring can be bought for about $1.80 a foot. One thing about Pergo is you can purchase it at a number of different distributors and if you want to broaden your choices to other brands of laminate flooring; you can purchase something at about any flooring store. However, Allure flooring is only available at Home Depots and from what I understand, if you want a style that's not in stock, the shipping costs can be very high. I imagine you can probably triple those costs if the flooring has to be shipped to Hawaii.

Installation of both products is pretty easy. Pergo boards snap together with a tongue and groove system and you cut the boards with a table or mitre saw. Allure flooring uses an adhesive on two edges of each board to hold the boards together and can be cut by scoring it with a utility knife. From what I've read the adhesive is very strong and you need to be careful when setting the boards in place as you may have a tough time getting them apart again.

Both products are considered to be a floating floor system as they aren't really attached to the floor; the boards are attached to each other and the floor's weight and the trim at the edges keeps the floor in place. The products can be installed over concrete or wood sub-floors, but the floors need to be clean prior to installation. The boards have a padding underneath to provide some cushion when walking on them and if you're installing over concrete, there should be a moisture barrier installed to prevent moisture from the slab coming up and affecting the floor.

I have read some accounts of moisture being trapped under Allure flooring and mold resulting, but it could have been from a bad installation as it doesn't seem to be a common problem.

With both products it's important that any spilled liquids or pet accidents be cleaned up as soon as possible as you don't want moisture to get into the joints between the boards. A lot of moisture can cause the joints to separate. One item that might be of concern living in Honolulu; you should let both products acclimate to your home for a couple of days before installation or the products may buckle or separate at the joints after being installed.

I think both products should do well with the wear and tear of dogs and children and should be easy to clean up. I did read one account that roller skates can damage the Allure flooring. Laminate flooring is often used in restaurants and commercial kitchens because it's attractive and holds up to heavy traffic.

I think both products would do well for you and your family. I myself would probably choose Pergo, but that's because I've used it before and also because at this point in time there are more style options than Allure flooring has. I also don't like being limited to having to deal with one retail outlet as it's tough to get a competitive price when the store isn't competing with anyone else carrying that product.

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