View Full Version : Lake House Flooring

03-08-2009, 09:26 AM
With 81 lurkers someone will have a suggestion.

My wife hates the carpet at the lake. Muddy kids & dogs over 8 years has about destroyed it.

She wants tile throughout the house. The whole thing, including replacing the vinyl in the kitchen now. She is on a mission.

It is in reality a doublewide trailer (yea here in Ohio, we have so many lakes, we put trailers on some of them). I believe that the floor over time will shift enough to crack tile – a lot. I also think the cement base and tile would raise the floor too much for the cabinet toe gaps, etc. I also think I could have the carpet cleaned 5 times a summer for 10 years and break even.

Vinyl tears so she does not want that. I hear they make some solid vinyl that looks like wood or tile, but I am not making the sale.

A wood square surface has been nixed because they show wear and if a swimsuit is left on it for a week, the pressed wood will expand.

She also wants me to install the floor, well me and a couple other lake house regulars. Their wives are contributing to this fiasco. I am not wild about working my ass off this summer to lay a floor from one end of a POS trailer to the other.

If I get pushed into a corner I am considering SnapStone. How does the “soft grout” hold up and is the installation ease worth the price?

Has anyone used it? Does anyone have a sellable recommendation?

Eight years ago we furnished the place with a U-haul and a weekend of hitting garage sales. Now she wants new couches as well. I think she missed the whole economic collapse memo.

03-08-2009, 12:13 PM
If you really want to get rid of carpet - take a look at high pressure laminate. The make some stuff that is very tile-like looking but requires no concrete underneath, and no grout. You can find some stuff in faily large sections.

Installation is not as easy as they make it sound at Home Depot - but my wife and I did out front entry, and laundry area by ourselves in about 8 hours.

Here is part of the result - we hav actually had people believe it is tile until we tell them otherwise.


If you look at the top of the photo you can see how wide each piece is - and they are about 46 inches long. Other styles are narrower. If you do it right the seams are virtually invisible.

03-08-2009, 01:29 PM
Benson - that looks very nice!

SD2 - maybe Sled or Tazz (who are the construction czars here) will have a better experienced opinion, but I have a similar situation as you and am putting down laminate wood floors this spring. My main residence has Wilsonart laminate that has held up to EVERYTHING over the last 10 yrs. I'm not going that high end material in the lake house as it was something like $8/sq ft installed.

I am going with the laminate floor as it "floats" and therefore I think it will work better in the modular home and sort of move with it. I know that you must put down the foam underlayment or it sounds funny when you walk across it. These floors are fairly easy to install b/c you don't have to be perfect around the edges as you leave a little gap for the float and cover that with some 1/4 round molding. Good luck whatever way you go!

03-08-2009, 02:38 PM
Dave, I think your project is SD2's answer. Won't crack with movement, should stand up to moderate water exposure. Maybe not the easiest to install, but still easier than tile. Look is amazingling similar and will fool most people. I'm not sure how big the double wide is, but shouldn't take more than a couple weekends at a do it your self pace. My only complaint is the hollow sound it makes when you walk on it with shoes.

I'm personally doing a 2 x 18" tile deep boarder around the whole front part of the room and then filling the void with solid hickory flooring. I am also doing the hall and main floor bedrooms with the same hardwood, putting a dark carpet up the stairs and in the MB/Lost area only.

Trying to prevent the moldy smell that will come with a house that is closed up several months of the year and hopefully make it cleaner and hypoallergenic.

03-08-2009, 03:41 PM
BW - who made that HPL?



03-08-2009, 05:23 PM
One suggestion that hasn't come up would be Cork? It seems to wear well from the few that i know that have it.

03-08-2009, 07:34 PM
We got ours at home Depot - Dupont Tuscan Stone. Not exactly cheap at the time, but competitive with other good flooring options. It came with foam backing so no need for additional pad. I think it is much easier than tile - and it is removable with no tools depending on what you put on top of it (furniture, cabinets, etc...) .

Defintiely a two person job when working over spans of more than 8 feet, because you need to lock up an entire row before you connect to the previous row.

We had to remove old sublfloor because we had removed slate tile and it was old particle board that had been wet and had grout remnant on it.

We are real happy with the look and the wear seems pretty good so far. But it is still a photo-finish of sorts. That means that the image is just on the surface, so if you ding it you may remove image and expose inner material. Much like tile in that respect. The only way around that that I am familiar with is inlaid vinyl - very $$$ - I think.

03-08-2009, 07:58 PM
I would go with the vinyl that is setup with them over lapping on each other. It's about twice as thick. I would check out panel town, since you are in Dayton.

03-08-2009, 10:31 PM
I second the laminant installed the same as Bensonwdby

We put the tuscan stone from HD in our kitchen at the lake house. Looks and works great. takes a little patience, my wife and i did it in a weekend. about 10 by 12 ft. held up great to wet feet from the lake 3 kids and the 3 labs.

my .02

03-10-2009, 04:38 PM
Tile is a good idea, but your right it is a double wide. the snap stone is good, the pliable grout is easy to do and holds up well, but snapstone is expensive. I remodeled a 75 year old cottage with oak hardwood that had been painted gray, I am assuming that it was just porch and floor paint.

I repainted the floor after replacing a few of the bad boards, it looked great and seems to have worn very well. I liked the look so much, well my wife did, that we replaced our porch carpet with 8" wide pine plank flooring and painted it gray, it looks very cottagy my honey says.

lot of luck, if she wants tile, I think you'll spend a couple weekends on your knees. Either tiling the floor or begging her not to make you tile it.

03-10-2009, 10:26 PM
My wife has been to a wood interlock (among other things) wholesaler. There is no manufacturer ID but the stuff looks ok, photo wood on compressed particle board. Reportedly laid on a pad and interlocked, no other glue or such.
It is much cheaper than the box stores like .90 per square foot. They are bare boxed because the manufacturer does not want to compete with itself, my wife is at Lowes trying to match it tonight.

Has anyone done the interlocking fake wood? Easy? Hard? Does it hold up?

Some risk with the water but at ¼ the price of Lowes, I might risk it.



03-10-2009, 11:37 PM
Same stuff at Lowes for 1.60

The wife has decided tohave teh carpet cleaned adn then decide :)

tx all


03-11-2009, 12:13 PM
I did my entire upstairs and downstairs of my house in the 2 3/4" bruce finished hardwood floors from HD for about $1.13-1.60 a sq/ft (boxes are always on sale at the end of the isle). Yeh, well over 2000sq feet (didn't do baths). We have a Great Dane and Doberman that tear down the stairs and try to make several turns to get out. Anyways that happens a few times a day for 4 years now and they look great. Never gotten down to bare wood but there are marks if you look at the glare the right way. We went through 2 sets of carpet in 3 years so I hear ya. I have little ability and just bought a air compressor, floor nailer, and nails. I can do a 10x10 room in 2 days. As for sitting water, we have had spills and the seal is tight enough and it hasn't ever left a mark on the finish even with spills never reported to us by the kids. Upstairs I did not use a 1/4" plywood subfloor and occasionally can feel a bit of waves in the floor (compressed floors underneath). Downstairs is perfect.

Get your tools at Harbor Freight down by the Dayton Mall. Super cheap.

Or neighbor hates her tile as the grout catches all kinds of dirt. In our bathroom we have that super tile-like vinyl and we have had friends bend down to see if it was tile or not. Great stuff

03-11-2009, 01:04 PM
my whole house is Bruce also, it is about 15 years old and has held up awesome. there have been some expanding, contracting issues with humidity but not that big of a deal. I had two yorkies on it for about 10 years and they didn't hurt it a bit (ha, ha). Now I have a 50 pit bull and he doesn't scratch it up.

The pine floor I laid was special stuff sold in michigan by a local dude who ships it all over the country mostly log homes in wyoming and colorado he says.

The big dog doesn't hurt that either, but it is fairly new, time will tell. The bonus with the pine stuff is that I painted it with off the shelf porch floor paint, if it gets scratched, I'll just touch it up,

03-11-2009, 08:27 PM
I have had 2 German sheppards, and now one Springer Spaniel, but still have the 3 kids LOL. The thing I like most about hardwood floors is that they can be refinished to a like new finish relatively easily.

Hardwood floors will move. My maple floors every winter shrink a little especially near the floor registers then go back come spring time.

Grout is easier to keep clean if you seal it right away and again after a year.

03-11-2009, 10:35 PM
I'm taking a 1/2 off for parent teacher and HD - we'll take a look.



03-11-2009, 10:47 PM

Don't forget to check lumber liquidators for the laminate flooring. Don't forget the foam underlayment. Without it, imo, the floors sound funny when you walk on them. Sort of a "hollow" sound.


03-30-2009, 01:14 PM

I put in the laminate flooring this past weekend and am very happy with the results. I purchased it from Floor & Decor, but don't think they have stores in your area. I went with a 7mm product that they had on sale for $0.79/sq ft. With the foam underlayment and tax, I was out the door just over $500.

Started the job Friday around 6:00 pm and finished up Sunday before lunch. Did it all myself and it probably went faster without the wife & kiddos around. I still have to install the quarter round molding and I was 1 piece short behind the 'fridge.

the lovely, blue carpet

lovely, blue carpet GONE

new family room floor installed

kitchen linoleum

03-30-2009, 01:18 PM
linoleum gone

kitchen floor installed

furniture all back in place

I rolled up the carpet in a single roll and threw it out on the front porch. It rained all night long and the carpet and pad got soaked. It was then too heavy for me to carry to the truck and then the dumpster. I had to get it into smaller pieces to handle and this was my solution.

03-30-2009, 01:21 PM
Looks good, Drew. Now do something with that kitchen wallpaper (It probably looked nice with the blue carpet once upon a time).

03-30-2009, 01:23 PM
looks great

love the chainsaw solution

03-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Good job! The wall paper doesn't look TOO bad.

03-30-2009, 01:53 PM
Yeah, should have mentioned that after I sent the wife an email with pics of the floor, I got the "so do you think we can paint over that wallpaper?"

I asked if the "we" that was going to do the painting was the same "we" that installed the floor and if so, "HELL NO!" I'm ready to get out and play!

03-30-2009, 06:19 PM
Nice upgrade, just imagine how much you can get done without distractions:)

03-30-2009, 08:59 PM
Good job on the floor, can relate to wanting to have some fun on the lake, do you have pictures of the lake there.

03-30-2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks all,

I went looking again today, first time at HD. They have a lot more than Lowe's for floors.

The carpet is getting cleaned Friday but I know this is still in my future.

I'll post what I decide "I" is, or should be in quotes :)


03-31-2009, 07:39 AM
SD, just get ready to do it, you know your gonna have to do it:) Besides the longer you put it off the more likely your gonna end up cutting into boating time!

03-31-2009, 09:30 AM
Sled, that concern had occurred to me. And is very very real.

Wolfeman, what exactly did you use, it looks very nice. And your old blue carpet looks much better than my blue carpet (even post chainsaw - see my comment to Sled above).


03-31-2009, 11:44 AM
I'm usually the one that wants wallpaper gone, not Mrs. K. Of course I'm also the one that has to steam, scrape, spackle, sand, and paint. Whenever I get the nudge to do something like that I ask her if she stocked the fridge yet.

03-31-2009, 06:24 PM

I used an interlocking laminate flooring just like the Bruce stuff you've seen at Home Depot and Lowes. No gluing, nailing, etc. Just had to cut to length and a few complicated cuts around door frames and in hallways. I used my power miter box, circular saw for rip cuts and jigsaw. Picked up a laminate install kit at Harbor Freight for $7.99 and suggest you have one (or you can borrow mine) as it really helped to get joints tight.

BTW - I had very little wasted material. I ended up taking back 3 unopened boxes of flooring, 1 roll of underlayment and the transition pieces as I'm going to make my own with my tablesaw and router. They were too expensive! This is all I had left.


The labels said it was manufacted in Germany by Classen. Here is a link to the exact product I bought:


Interesting that the store had a big "SALE!" sign with the $0.79/sq ft, but the internet site lists the same price?!?!

Send me a PM with your cell if you want me to call you to discuss. I'd be happy to tell you the other "tricks" I figured out.

03-26-2010, 10:20 PM
I have 60 boxes of Allure vinyl flooring on order at Home Depot. Has anyone ever put a barrier layer under this stuff? A couple guys have suggested it but the guys at HD said it was not necessary and might make the floor slide around a bit.

Is anyone an expert? The whole lake house gets done in two weeks.

Yes it took awhile to pull the trigger.


03-26-2010, 11:31 PM

here is the owners maunal pdf

It has instructions on the sub floor prep in here. does not look like barrier is needed, i doubt it would slide after being link together with the grip strips.

Sled. where are you? Our resident Mike Holmes LOL;)

03-28-2010, 12:19 PM
ahhh another good use for a chain saw, i love it, why use something small when we can use something big n noisey..:)...boys n there toys

03-28-2010, 08:03 PM
I don't really think it's necessary, of course if you want to put a barrier down it won't hurt. I just did one of the kids rooms at the lake with hardwood and put down a barrier, but some old habbits die hard :)

Consider, what is under the floor. Is it a basement, a crawl space, is it open to the ground (peir footings). Bottom line is if you want to control the moisture that could work it's way up from underneath it's never a bad idea.