When it comes to interior decor, it pays to start from the flooring upwards. Whether you’re moving into a brand new home or giving your old place a new lease of life, the flooring is an extremely important consideration. After all, the flooring (perhaps more than any other aspect of your decor) needs to fulfill a functional role as well as an aesthetic role. Sure, it needs to look great within your existing interior design concept. Yes, it should reflect the architectural style of your home as well as reflecting your own personality and style. Yes, it should tie all the other aspects of your decor together to create a unified whole… but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
In an era where there are so many brands to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Especially when online user reviews vary so wildly between giddy delight and vehement outrage. Here we’ll look at one of the most established brands on the market, Pergo.
Pergo flooring has a huge variety of products to suit all kinds of budgets and needs, leveraging some impressive technologies to bring flooring that not only looks great but can handle everything your household has to throw at it.
What to look for in your flooring
Because Pergo’s range is so comprehensive, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what you need from your flooring, not just in aesthetic terms but in practical terms, too.
After all, it’s not enough for your floors to just look great. Your flooring needs to be well suited for the rigors of regular wear, especially if you share a home with playful pets and / or rambunctious kids. It needs to be able to put up with years of foot traffic back and forth and untold spills, scuffs, falls and droppings as time go by. Otherwise, it might not look as great a few years down the line.
What’s more, it needs to be suited to the intended function of the room. You’ll have very different expectations for your bathroom or kitchen flooring than your living room or bedroom flooring.
Comfort, durability, underfoot yield, soundproofing, scratch proofing, waterproofing and, of course, ease of installation. These are all things that can easily keep you up at night when planning your decor.
You need a name you can trust with decades of experience in the field. And with over 30 years in the flooring industry, Pergo may seem like as likely a candidate as any. But do their products live up to the bold claims in their marketing?
Why Choose Pergo?
Pergo is one of the most established brands in the flooring industry today. In fact, they invented laminate flooring as we know it today, helping to deliver the look and feel of hardwood to consumers for whom hardwood itself might be cost-prohibitive or impractical.
They have been in the game for over 35 years and aren’t afraid to invest in new technologies to make sure that their flooring products are hard-wearing, water and stain resistant, easy to install and comfortable underfoot.
What’s more, while your mileage may vary depending on the individual product, their prices are among the most reasonable in the industry, especially considering their quality assurances and robust warranties.
Flooring styles: Ascertaining which is right for you
Of course, even if you feel confident entrusting your flooring to the Pergo brand, the sheer diversity of their product range can be disorienting, especially if the world of flooring is new to you. While you might feel happy enough choosing a color or style of finish for yourself, you might not be so sure of which is the best flooring style or type for the needs of your home or each individual room.
Here we’ll look at Pergo’s ranges and outline some of the pros and cons to help you ascertain which is best for you.
Pergo laminate – Pergo’s laminate flooring consists of a laminate wood layer that sits atop a layer of high-quality fiberboard. Some of the laminate ranges (like the Outlast Plus range) have a soft layer of foam underlayment built into each board. Others do not and will require you to purchase underlayment separately. Laminate is designed to give you a look and feel that’s virtually indistinguishable from hardwood at a much more budget-friendly price. The brand uses a sophisticated printing process to replicate the knots, grain, and cracks of hardwood exactly. What’s more, their laminate flooring is designed to be extremely tough and water-resistant so that you can use it in bathrooms and utility rooms and other contexts where hardwood might be prone to warping or discoloration.
Pergo solid hardwood – Pergo also has a substantial range of hardwood products for those who insist on the most prestigious form of flooring. The anatomy of hardwood is pretty straightforward. A layer of finish sits atop a solid layer of wood. It offers a wonderful look and feels and is extremely long-lasting and its colors will never fade or change over time. And if you do tire of color, you can always sand down the layer of finish and apply a new one.
However, it’s worth noting that hardwood is prone to warping in damp environments.
Pergo engineered hardwood – A little more costly than laminate yet much cheaper than solid hardwood, engineered hardwood offers the best of both worlds. It has a look and feels that it is identical to hardwood yet offers the ease of installation that comes with laminate flooring. Its top layer is hardwood and sits atop a layer of high-quality plywood. This means that it’s able to go into damp environments where solid hardwood can’t.
Pergo protection- Investigating the warranties
The warranties are largely dependent on the products themselves. For some lines in their laminate range (the TimberCraft flooring range for instance) offer a lifetime limited warranty and/or a ten-year limited commercial warranty meaning that you can install it in your home or business premises with peace of mind. Most of its hardwood products also carry a lifetime warranty as long as you are the original owner and installer of the hardwood on the premises. See this pdf for more information on warranties or check the relevant product pages on the Pergo website.
By and large, however, Pergo seem confident enough in the products to offer robust warranties. By leveraging a range of water-resistant and scratch guarding technologies (like PermaMax Protection and WetProtect) they have created a degree of impermeability that they’re willing to put their name to. And this should be very reassuring to homeowners who want to enjoy their flooring for years to come.
Pergo laminate flooring installation guide
Not all of Pergo’s flooring products are ideally suited to self-installation. Its hardwood products including its prestige line “American Era” might be tough to install without expert help. He very durability that makes these products so appealing can also make them extremely frustrating for the uninitiated to fit, and enlisting an expert to fit these prestige products will save you time and money (not to mention sanity) in the long term.
Most of the brand’s laminate and engineered hardwood products, however, are designed for “floating” installation.
This means they can be laid down right out of the box on flat surfaces such as concrete or wood.
Even if you’re using a highly water-resistant product like Pergo’s Outlast Plus or TimberCraft laminates, it’s still a good idea to lay down a moisture barrier like tar paper first. If your flooring does not have a layer of underlayment attached, this should go down next before you lay the flooring proper.
With your surface prepared, you’re ready to add your laminate flooring…
- Start out in a corner of the room if possible. This will make the whole process easier.
- Measure out and plan your first line, taking care to inspect each plank before laying down.
- Remove the tongue on the short and long edges of the first row boards. Lay these down across the length of the room in a straight line. Be sure to leave a 3/8-inch gap at both ends and wall sides to be filled with 100% silicone combined with a 3/8-inch compressible PE foam backer rod. This will help with water resistance, sound, and draft-proofing.
- Add new planks by inserting the end tongue into the end groove and rotating downward. Don’t move on to the next row until you’re sure that the joints are tightly closed.
- Your first piece should be at least 8-inches long on the second and subsequent rows to guarantee that it will hold. Leave at least a foot between joins.
- Insert the tongue of each new piece at a slight angle, leaving a 1/2-inch gap along the long side. Rotate the board downwards until you feel it lock into place.
- When short ends are joined together, raise the outside long edge of the plank by about an inch and tap into place with a mallet and push block.
- Repeat this process until the entire room is finished.
With decades of experience in the business and a huge selection of flooring products, Pergo is a very trustworthy name in home flooring. However, as with any manufacturer, it’s imperative to choose the right product for your needs and ensure proper installation if you’re to get the most out of your flooring for years to come. Hopefully, this review and installation guide will give you everything you need to make the right informed choice for your home.