July 1, 2004

Costco harmonics laminate flooring - bargain laminated flooring

Update
I'm doing a survey on laminate flooring, please vote! Now, back to our regular program...

I've been thinking about getting some Harmonics flooring. Costco sells it in 17.18 sq ft cartons for $26.89 (1.565 pre sq ft). A coupon this up coming week (7/5-7/11) gives you $5 off (1.274 per sq ft). Don't forget to factor in the installation kit (padding, tapping block, spacers, etc. for $29.69 per 150 sq ft. (.198 per sq ft). Total cost, about $1.50 per sq ft (excluding tax).

My sisters actually installed this product into my dad's office with no problems and good results. I've heard others complain that laminate flooring sounds cheaper when you step on it. So what's the real story? I talked to the painters about it and one of them mentioned that you still should use some glue.

More

  • I found a discussion group at Better Homes and Gardens on the subject. I was especially concerned about the water issue...
    I bought 250 square feet of this floor, fo my bedroom. I rent an apt and I didn't want to spend a lot. I have asthma from 9/11 so I had to get the carpet out asap.

    It's very easy to install. I love the quality. I agree with the bare feet coments above. It's also easy to keep clean, just get a swiffer.

    I did not buy the install kit. I bought the foam pad stuff from home depot. I did the whole job with a cordless circular saw. Instead of the tapping block I used a small scrap it works, but a block would be better because when you hit it, it delaminates and breaks apart.

    I have a customer with laminate flooring in a hair salon. It flooded twice and the floor still looks good. It kind of curld up, but laid back down when it dried.

  • Harmonics is "Quick Step".
    Well, after reading up on this post yesterday, I stopped by Costco today to check out the Harmonics flooring again and show my wife. I got a scrap plank of Pergo from a friend and subjected it to a key scratch test (scratching my car key against the surface pretty hard to see the result). I also did this test today at Costco on a scrap piece that someone had taken out of a box. It seemed like the Pergo was a little more resistant to the scratch test. THe harmonics seemed to show damage with less pressure than the Pergo did. Anyways, I think the price is unbeatable.

    I also checked on the coupon that someone mentioned in an earlier post and found a coupon for $5 off (between Feb 16, 2004 and Feb 29, 2004). THe interesting thing is, I think this coupon settles the "who makes Harmonics?" mystery. The coupon says it is good on "Quick Step" glueless laminate flooring (item #'s 695303, 696727, 696728). The picture looks just like the Harmonics packages that are there now. Unfortunately, I did not check the item #'s of the Harmonics boxes that are currently there (didn't think to check until I had left), but I have a feeling they are the same as on the coupon.

    I also read the fine print on the warranty. It requires the "wear" spot to be at least a one square inch area! That's pretty big!! However, I'm sure all the laminate floor warranties have similar constraints.

  • Address and contact info
    Harmonics- 1000 Cal Oak Rd., Oroville, CA 95965
    Tech support number 1-888-459-9220

Posted by torque at July 1, 2004 8:02 PM | TrackBack
Comments

this is going into your SF condo? it's not worth it if you're just prepping for selling... we're not doing much to our place before putting it up next friday.

know anyone who wants a 3br 2ba 1825 sq ft townhome with PA schools ?

;)

we did put laminate in our new house, with mannington on san antonio in PA. Come over and see it, it's getting finished today.

Posted by: enoch choi at July 2, 2004 9:37 AM

Enoch, that was my conclusion as well... what's your place going to list for? Christine, I did see ifloor!

Posted by: tim at July 2, 2004 4:02 PM

I bought Harmonics laminate flooring at Costco with the coupon and it is a great price.

I have had problems getting in touch with Harmonics Customer Services number. I have called serveral times and always get an answering machine. I have had problems finding a local dealer so was unable to get the moldings unless i can get in touch with Harmonics :<( too bad they don't seem to care about their own products

Posted by: lauren at July 16, 2004 9:53 AM

Quick Step originate in Europe and entered the US under the name of Quick Step, the web site is http://quick-step.com

Posted by: Randy at July 17, 2004 7:48 PM

OOPS, that is http://www.quick-step.com

Posted by: Randy at July 17, 2004 7:50 PM

I bought 1,000 sq ft and the fine print says that the warranty is only effective if you use their underfloor which sells at Costco for $30 per install kit. I don't need 7 install kits but I do need the Harmonics moisture barrier for the warranty. The toll free number just rings and rings or it is busy. Anyone know if you can just buy the Harmonics underfloor without having to buy the whole $30 install kit?

Posted by: Sandy at July 20, 2004 2:26 PM

I also tried to contact the special order # 1-888-459-9220 as I need the transition parts but no one is answering - I contacted Costco and told them and they gave me a different number, whic apparently is Quick Step, but after talking with them, they told me, that they are not making parts for Harmonics - so I am still stuck - I guess I will have to go to Lowe's or Home Depot and check their special parts - too bad that this did not work out ..... did anyone else have success with this special order number ?

Posted by: Klaus at July 21, 2004 12:50 PM

it's really not worth the trouble. let someone put it in if you want.

we got multiple offers, over ask ($769K), and am sale pending.

thank God!

Posted by: Enoch Choi at July 22, 2004 1:34 PM

Had finally a call from Harmonics - the email is customer_service@cncnet.com

Posted by: Klaus at July 22, 2004 3:15 PM

I purchased the ROYAL CHERRY from COSTCO (in Fremont) and installed it in my kitchen, dining room and adjacent hallway (200 SQFT). It took most of the morning to do, but was very, very easy. I tried using a handsaw at first (mistake) but then made good progress with an electric jigsaw. I never used the "tapping block", I just snapped a row together - then clipped that row into the finished floor (and so on). The job looks really professional, no seams anywhere. The floor is super slick, I'm careful when only wearing socks or I'll fall on my ass. Over all, the job cost me $275 and looks fantastic. I give the product an A+

Posted by: Grady at August 18, 2004 12:59 PM

Have any of you tried to put this flooring on stairs. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Mary at August 22, 2004 1:03 PM

Are people putting this Costco flooring in all levels of homes? I had a salesman almost laugh at me when I mentioned it. Maybe an eager salesman and wanted me to buy the hardwood. But i would like to hear from you folks. I dont want to reduce the value of my new home. I would think this flooring would be a lot better than just having carpet. ?? Please advise as I am ready to get started. Thanks so much.

Posted by: Mary at August 22, 2004 1:09 PM

I installed the Costco Royal Cherry in two of my bedrooms and was in the process of doing the other two rooms. I have run into a stumbling block cause it seems that the stock in the stores are very low to having none. We have contacted many stores and apparently you can not order this item as a special order item. Customer service in the stores that we visited are poor, they don't or won't contact other stores. We did find one that is a little distant but went out of his way to make a call. Anyways, we are absolutely satisfied with the flooring, ease of installation and would highly recommend it.

Posted by: James at August 23, 2004 1:21 PM

Do any of you have pictures of your new flooring. If so, I would love to see some of the floors that have been installed. I am looking seriously at the oak flooring at Costco.

Posted by: Mary at August 23, 2004 1:33 PM

I put the Harmonics flooring on 2 out of 3 floors in my Brownstone home, including the stairs. This was last year and we are now considering the remaining 3rd floor of the house now, just waiting for another coupon. I purchased my moldings at a local carpet/floor dealer that sells Quick-step, it is an exact match and the vendor provided much better customer service than Harmonics or Quick-Step direct. The stairs need to be glued down and it turns out the stair molding (stair nose) needs to be nailed in order for it to stay on nicely. But the whole job took less than a week, preparing the floor was by far the most challenging. I did the entire thing all by myself too, not saying that females don't normally do this kind of work but having never used a saw before this project, I did damn good. I used a table saw for the most part and jig saw for the rest. I think it has dramatically improved the look of our home... Karie (Portland OR)

Posted by: Karie at August 24, 2004 8:46 AM

Karie, I was inspired by what you wrote. Thanks for the input. I too want to do all three floors. How did you learn to do the stairs? Is their info that I could get that would help me. Also did you go from room to room in one continuous flow of the laminate. Where did you get the information telling/showing you just how to do this installation? Also what time of the year do the Costco coupons come out? I called and the gal and she at local Costco store said only once a year and that was in June. She did not really seem to know that much about it. Thanks

Posted by: mary at August 24, 2004 10:07 AM

One more question. Are the stairs slippery with this flooring on them? Thanks

Posted by: Mary at August 24, 2004 10:43 AM

Today at 1:20 PM I called the 800 number for the Harmonics laminate to ask a couple of questions. Within 15 minutes I received a call back from their customer service. I asked if this was a product manufactured by Quick-Step and where can I buy accessories (base trim, etc.) and she said that while it is true that it is manufactured by another company she could not confirm nor deny it is Quick-step and to take a sample board to any flooring company to match trim pieces or I could order through them. I asked if I could pick the accessories up at their Orville, Ca. location and she said yes, but only on Fridays. She also said that the flooring it self is available in all Costco stores nation wide, including Alaska and Hawaii. Costco is the only retailer to date to sell this line and when I asked where I could go if Costco decides to discontinue it, again she said she could not answer that now.

All in all I was pleased that customer service returned the call very quickly and that the product is available at all Costco stores YEAR ROUND and not seasonal but am concerned, what good is the 25 year warranty if Costco stops retailing it and it is no longer available at any retailer?

I guess if one feels the product is as good as the warranty states than it is a safe gamble. I myself feel that if it is indeed the Quick-Step 800 series and the fact that I can find that product locally for 3.09 or better yet on-line for 2.19 a sq. ft. that the .62 cents a foot difference for Quick-Step branded on line is worth the worries over the possibilities that the harmonics warranty may not be worth anything.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Stan at August 25, 2004 2:01 PM

Hi Mary,

The actual installation on the floor is very simple, once the underlayment is down, start at one end and work your way across, do a full row before starting the next at the end of the first row, cut your last board to fit then use that board to start your next row, that way, the creases will all be in different places. I did use a continuous floor whenever possible, closets, room changes ect. except my kitchen. The kitchen already had a sealed linoleum on it and had talked with a contractor and decided to lay the laminate right over the top. it worked out great, no underlayment there, it did make the kitchen slightly higher than the dining room though so I used a molding (sorry can't remember the name) but it is put inbetween the two floors and it allows for a very smooth transition from the kitchen to the dining room. It made for challenging floor base moldings though but it was worth it. As for the stairs, I did watch a neighbors video (Shaw Laminate) that gave me the idea of how its done and I talked to a home-depot girl who told me the scoop. do not use underlayment, glue the laminate directly to the stairs they recommended glue call "Liquid Nails" it comes in a tube and you use a caulking gun to put it down. Do it the same way you do the floor except be sure to leave enough space for the stair noses to lay flat on the surface for stability. The challenging part is the get the laminate as close to the edge of the wall as possible, you do not need to leave any gaps as you are glueing, no need for expansion space. I used 14 round in the crease of each stair and a stair nose on the ends. (the stair noses are expensive) no matter where you go. I paid $26 per stair nose, each nose covered capped two stairs... the stairs seemed to be more expensive than my entire floor but it was worth it. It's not slippery to me, but my Chihuahua is a little scared of the stairs, he decided to simply stop using them, which works for us, as he's a runner and this immediately stopped the running out the door problem. My advice is to just go for it, you dont have to be perfect as long as you plan on installing molding, the molding is very forgiving, my istallation looks very professional and I truely am a beginner.

Posted by: Karie at August 26, 2004 8:49 AM

That was supposed to say quarter round in the creases. :-)

Posted by: Karie at August 26, 2004 8:51 AM

BTW - I product I am using is the Harmonics - Cherry which is the exact same product as Quik-Step U816 - Select Cherry. I've had a dealer compare the two its exactly the same, same box (different name) same underlayment, same warrantee. He was also able to give me the quik-step catalog and I was able to order from him, repair kits, cleaning kits (made especially for our floor) and all the moldings I needed. Just go to the quik-step website and look for your local dealer.

Posted by: Karie at August 26, 2004 8:55 AM

Thanks Karie,
I certainly appreciate all that you wrote and I will print it and add it to my folder. If you have a digital camera I would love to see the stairs. I am so eager to do this project, and your message the other day inspired me so very much. I will try and find a video as you mentioned and that will be very helpful also. My husband willl be helping with this project, so that will make it a bit easier. I am doing all the research however,as he sees no reason to bother changing out the almost new carpet. But... he does not clean the carpet and so... anyway he will help out when the actual project starts. I thought it might be better to wait and purchase the laminate when Costco has the coupon sale. I hope that they stock a lot of this stuff as I will need quite a bit of it. How do you like it in the bedrooms? I hope to do them all. Thanks again for all the great info.

Posted by: Mary at August 26, 2004 11:12 AM

Hi folks - if you want, feel free to move to conversation to http://laminateflooring.oncloud8.com. I will make a copy of this stuf into the Costco Harmonics folder.... one of these days.

Posted by: tim at August 27, 2004 3:19 PM

Oh, on the forum, let me know if you were on this thread and you registered. I will assign your posts back to you. Then you can edit/delete, etc. as you please.

Posted by: tim at August 27, 2004 3:23 PM

Harmonics flooring is not a good product and their customer service (if you want to call if that) is terrible. One month after installing the floor in the kitchen, there are scratches all over it === bubbles where drops of water might have not been noticed right off. We used their subflooring and did everything we were suppose to do. Gonna try Small Claims Court.... Pergot (?sp) is the absolute best laminate flooring on the market.

Posted by: sharon at August 28, 2004 10:48 AM

I just bought Harmonics flooring from Costco for my office. The last person said they had trouble with bubbles where water had been and scratches all over it. Has anyone else had this problem? Also, someone was having trouble getting royal cherry, and I know the Costco in Bend Oregon has a good supply. And last, is the underflooring required over a linoleum floor?

Posted by: Traci at August 28, 2004 9:30 PM

Report back:
Mine came out fine too with the exception of one seam in the middle of the floor where I must have tapped too hard somewhere and there is a slight buckle the length of the floor. I intend to get some extremely fine grit sandpaper and painstakingly sand it down to, but not below, the finish. I had also intended to do my kitchen and had actually bought enough laminate to do it but after considering drips from pet water bowls, rinsing hands, cooking, etc. I decied not to risk water damage and I just tiled the kitchen floor.

Posted by: Sandy at August 29, 2004 11:09 AM

Wish you post on this site some of the beautiful floors you have made. Would be so fun to see them. i would really love to see a stairs done in this, if anyone has one to post.

Posted by: Mary at August 29, 2004 5:47 PM

I did not use the underlayment over the linoleum floor. The Linoleum provided the needed cushion and that floor (the kitchen) is the quietest of all the floors, not to mention the surface was the easiest to work with, (very flat). However, because I didn't use the underlayment, i may have problems if there are ever any warrantee issues as the underlayment is required for the warantee to be valid.

Mary, i'll send you some pictures, i don't have them right now, but can easily take some. I broke down and started my 3rd floor project this weekend, I finished my bedroom/closet, the hallway, and the landing on the stairs, I still have the stairs and a small bedroom to go. But I can take pictures of the 1st floor stairs, I did them in April, earlier this year.

Posted by: Karie at August 30, 2004 1:00 PM

The pic would not come through?? Does your furniture stay put on this flooring? Boy you are making good headway on your floors! So you did not wait until the coupon came out? Ha, that sounds like me. Do you know when they are coming out. I have heard in July and again in Feb. Does that sound right.

Posted by: Mary at August 30, 2004 7:58 PM

I am considering the Harmonics flooring for my kitchen, but am concerned about water. Someone said he had a lot of bubbles and scratches. Has anyone had good luck with it in the kitchen?

Karie--have you noticed any scratches or bubbles so far?

Thanks!

Christina

Posted by: Christina at September 2, 2004 2:07 PM

What colors does this flooring come in. I put down the Costco flooring from two years ago (Alegro).

Posted by: Alan at September 13, 2004 8:01 PM

correction. I installed Allegria laminate flooring from Costco two years ago it is holding up well.I left several lengths outside in the weather these past two years. No water damage noted.
Is this Harmonics laminate as good a product?

Posted by: Alan at September 13, 2004 8:40 PM

I installed Allegria laminate flooring from Costco a few year back too, I have almost enough left over to do another room, I need two more bundles, does anyone have any left over that I could buy? E-mail me, TawniaVan@cs.com

Posted by: Tawnia at September 24, 2004 8:47 AM

HELP just installed the Harmonics/Costco product and my dog peed on it the other night, low and behold the edges are lifting, I cannot pull out the piece as it is under my installed counter, shoulda coulda woulda on that but, any suggestions on how to make the piece flat again?

Posted by: MikeM at October 4, 2004 8:58 AM

Mike, can't make it flat again, has to come out. Next time use a water based glue/sealer (available at home depot and others) in the groove side of the plank. When the sealer dries it is just about impervious (unless long time soaking is involved) to pee or any other liquid assult. I have about 5000 sq feet of Allegria installed and 6 animal that regularly upchuk, hairballs, pee, etc. Easy to clean.

Posted by: Dave Charleston at October 7, 2004 12:46 PM

Sam's Club carries Allegria flooring by special order- you can see further info on their web site, running search on laminate.

Posted by: Bob C at October 9, 2004 8:05 PM

Does anyone know how often Costco does the $5 off coupon? I'd like to get started with replacing the 30 year old carpeting in our house but don't want to buy it if its about to go on sale.

Posted by: Jason at October 13, 2004 8:52 PM

I have the "Harmonics" flooring and need a "Stair Nose", is the 1-888459-9220 still a good number for any additional pieces needed, such as a stair nose?

Posted by: Clark at October 16, 2004 9:52 AM

I installed in my kitchen ontop of linoleum. After three weeks, I lifted it up and put the subflooing in. The tapping sound without the underfloor plastic/padding was driving me nuts. It has a much more uniform sound and is really nice. For the price and with a HUGE warranty, I dont think you can go wrong with this Harmonics floor. I installed about 1200 feet throughout the house and have had many compliments. It made the house have a completely different and better feel.

Posted by: Derek at October 16, 2004 3:38 PM

I am concidering laminate floors but am concerned about chemical sensitivity(formaldehyde). Anyone have any problems?

Posted by: marilyn at October 19, 2004 2:17 PM

The best product on the market is the Kronotex! Good pricing, awesome colors, the best i've ever seen and i deal with alot of laminate. Kronotex is the largest producing company in the world in regards to laminate flooring.

JP

Posted by: JP at October 21, 2004 11:44 AM

Just recently picked up 1200 sq feet of the royal cherry lam. Did a lot of research and for the price, since it is exactly the same as quick-step, it was well worth it. The moisture warranty reeled me in, since most others only have a wear warranty. I did some scratch tests and it is very durable, dropped hammers and even direct blows with hammers of different weights. Most of damage was a small dent, but surface was still intact and unscratched, very impressed seeing as real hardwood or vinyl would not even take that kind of beating well. Since I have found a lot of these postings so helpful I decided I would post so that it may help others. I plan on laying the harmonics in every room, except bathrooms, laundry room, and thinking about excluding the kitchen also. Refridge, dishwasher makes me nervous, since yesterday, just loading the dishwasher, there were drips of water all over the tile floor, and I could see future problems of laminate failure. I would also use the harmonics install kit if it is avail. I compared price vs sq feet, and you get 150 sq feet for 30 bucks, while others at home depot or lowes will give you 90 sq ft for 20 bucks. 20 cents vs 24 cents sq foot, harmonics is cheaper, and you get extra spacers, pry bar, and tapping block. and if you are doing a large area, you do need the extra spacers, since more is better than less, with the walls not ever being perfectly straight. Also noticed that the other underlayment options avail were only 2mm where harmonics is about 3mm. I cut a sample and went to the stores and it is definitely thicker, which translates to better sound control and forgiveness in floor imperfections. I decided to do what someone suggested, and use white qtr round mldg, instead of buying the expensive stuff. after painting and painters caulk, it will just blend in with the other wall mldg. The install instructions are kind of confusing, and I've installed formica flooring before, so I thought it would be the same. Something about rotating locks, that i was able to figure out after searching pergos instructions for their flooring that have the uniclic joint. normally i would start against the wall, but not so with harmonics, start about 3 feet away from the wall, so you can put your weight on the first row with your knees ( like the picture shows)and pull in the second row as you are pushing down. after 3 rows, then you can push against the wall and keep on going, now that you will have enough space to get behind and still place your knees on the flooring. originally could only figure on putting together one whole row and then snapping together with previous row, but would have too much stress on the laminate face since there is no bevel to eliminate the friction. rotating comes in after you have the first row in and you are working on the planks that have 2 sides that you have to try to connect. forget that tapping block too, a good way to delam and cause future problems. put weight (a full box of laminates) on the already finished areas, this will keep the joint you just did intact, and not snap back out and separate. click the small end in and with your weight on the already installed row, pull the plank at a slight angle. this should twist the previously installed plank a bit, but not enough to break the joint you just made. after the long side slides into place, then you can press down and click into place. it is more of a twisting lock on the small end rather than rotating, but same same i guess. since failures are caused from improper install, one must be carefull with these locks and install properly, minimizing unncessary stress on the joints/locks. Hope this helps anyone. still have half a room to finish, it has been raining for 4 days, and I want to install the flooring with proper humidity, not above 60%.

Posted by: Phill at October 21, 2004 2:37 PM

After looking at all the wood nad laminate products out there, I have come to the conclusion
that I will never buy laminate. No matter what Pergo does (or the other manufacturers) laminate is still just a PHOTOGRAPH of wood glued on top of compressed sawdust. It sounds like plastic when you walk on it, and the pattern repititions and unifromity give it away as an imposter. It's basically just big pieces of Formica (remember that stuff?) on the floor.

Now, I realize that real wood is higher maintenance, but I would rather deal with that than knowing that I've got fake wood on my floor.

For a utility area, I suppose a laminate makes sense.

However, I did lots of research and found that 5-ply engineered wood is as dimensionally stable as any laminate. Solid wood, while nice and thick, can expand over large areas, and is not suitable for slab-on-grade applications.

I chose Pecan as one of the hardest woods, since I have kids. Also, it is nearly twice as hard as oak.

Posted by: Marc at October 27, 2004 10:57 AM

I've been reading all the comments, I've been installing the harmonics flooring. So far I love it.. I'm using the maple. When purchasing and extra few boxes the other day the sales person informed me that while the harmonics co. has a 25 warranty, Costco warranty's them for life! One of the perks of being a Costco member.. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Posted by: James Zitzer at October 27, 2004 7:09 PM

I purchased the Royal Cherry color from Costco in Feb. and have stored it in my basement while the a new family room was being built. The floor is being installed today, and the contractor is having truoble joining the seams. I called the service department and they stated the floor should be placed in the room for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation. Has anyone had similar problems. Thanks

Posted by: Kevin Trimble at October 29, 2004 5:52 AM

This is in response to Marc's comments on 10/27...there's nothing worse than a "wood snob"!! I've had wood floors and decided that between the kids and the dogs, having dreadful looking wood floors was NOT better than a great looking laminate. We put laminate down over the entire main floor of our house and have been thrilled. We even put it in the kitchen! After a small disaster with a leaky dishwasher, we easily replaced the flooring in front of it ourselves and, VOILA, looked new again. I am also not embarrassed any longer since the dogs can't scratch it up. It also helped us sell our house in 21 days at $15K more than our agent expected. Snobbery will get you nowhere! (PS I hope you asked how often your wood floors can be refinished. Some can only withstand one to two refinishes!)

Posted by: Terri at November 4, 2004 8:31 PM

I recently had 40 boxes of Harmonics installed by a contractor, using the installation kits. In less than 1 week, there are about a dozen places where the edges are showing chips and cracks of the laminate. As near as I can tell, the plank on one side of the joint was slightly (.001" or so) higher than the adjoining plank, and when a shoe slid across, it caught the edge and caused it to chip. It seems to be more of a product quality control issue rather than an installation problem. Any comments?

Posted by: chris at November 8, 2004 1:27 PM

Thanks to the comments on this page, I was able to make an informed decision and choose Harmonics. After getting quotes on Wilsonart and other floorings it became a no-brainer to go with the Harmonics. I call the customer service number on the side of the self install kit and was able to get all of my questions answered, and when I did leave a message, I received a return call within 15 minutes.

Is really that easy to install?

Posted by: Michael at November 9, 2004 3:12 PM

Any idea when they will have another coupon? I'm interested in doing this in a 38x14 room. I assume thats 532 sq. feet. A couple of questions do you have to remove the molding around the walls? If I lay it over laminate do I need the moisture pad?

Any help is appreciated

Posted by: efrain at November 10, 2004 11:58 AM

My husband and I have been calling and visiting different Costco looking for Royal Cherry. We are in need of just one box (7 planks) to finish our house. Please if anyone is intersted in selling us a box of the Royal Cherry we would REALLY appreciate it. You can contact us at unclejoe1109@sbcglobal.net
Thanks!
Joe and Marisa

Posted by: Marisa at November 13, 2004 8:57 PM

Hello,

Any idea's for trim on the laminate flooring where the carpet and flooring come together. I have a cement slab foundation and am not sure what I need to purchase. Any assistance greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Jennifer at November 15, 2004 6:20 PM

I just finished putting down 600 sqft of the harmonics cherry color in and I did it with a friend in 10hrs on Saturday. Not too bad to put down. Question about cleaning it...what should I use? I got some stuff at Lowes $9 for 1/2 gallon but wondering if it's worth it or what you guys have been using to clean your floors.

Posted by: Andrew at November 16, 2004 9:30 PM

HARMONICS FLOORING AT SLIDING DOORS, HELP PLEASE.

I'm installing Harmonics flooring in a room with sliding glass door to the outside. Directions call for running the underlayment 5/8" up the wall. How does this work in front of glass doors?

What method is used to attach quarter-round to cover the gap? At what point do I put in waterproof acrylic caulk?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Pete at November 20, 2004 10:50 PM

Hi:
Like so many of you I too am leaning toward Costco's Harmonics brand. This would be going onto a slab, kitchen and dining room, so the underlayment is absolutely necessary and would certainly be used. About 280 sq. ft. total.
There seem to be some mixed reviews here on Harmonics. Am I about to make a big mistake? Being able to do the entire job for under $500 is a very attractive proposition, but I know what "penny wise and pound foolishness" can mean. Any direction anyone out there can render would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving.
John G.

Posted by: John G. at November 25, 2004 10:23 AM

thanks for all of your comments. i just bought my first home and it comes with carpet. i have a dog that has gotten older and grumpy---he's peepeeing all over the place. I also have a 3 year old. Does anyone have this product and has also experienced "accidents" on it and it survived? Thanks. I don't like tile and its so permanent so i'm hoping the laminate is okay.

Posted by: lisa h at November 28, 2004 7:41 PM

To anyone who wants to know what to clean a laminate floor with - use "squeaky clean" - it is fabulous for hardwood floors and laminate. And for Lisa, with the dog pee pee problem - I had the same concern and was told by the Shaw laminate people that you should not let any type of liquid sit on the floor for any length of time or it will buckle.
I have a question for anyone out there who has laminate flooring - I had a really bad installer and he left a lot of sloppy detail work around door ways - I had to have another person come and fix it all - what amess. My question is - there is one 12" piece end that doesn't butt tightly up against the piece next to it - Can I seal that with something so it doesn't fill with dirt over the years? Any suggestions - is there a laminate repair kit? Where do I get it? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Ann

Posted by: Ann S. at November 30, 2004 12:20 PM

Ann S.,

As long as the laminate floor you are using is the glueless type, you can use the special crowbar tool that comes with the installation kit and a hammer to pull the 12" piece end to butt up against the piece next to it. (Just light tapping against the crowbar tool should work.) If the piece end was not cut right, a new piece end should be cut for installation.

If you are not able to do this, there is an option to fill the gap with clear silicon; not as asthetically pleasing, but will help prevent dirt in the gap.

Good luck.

Posted by: helper at November 30, 2004 3:23 PM

Pete,

Don't know if you solved your issue regarding the moulding at the patio glass door. Normally, you should use an end moulding (about a 1/2" end moulding) instead of a quarter round to cover the gap, as the end moulding will lay flat. Use an adhesive such as liquid nail to glue the end moulding against the metal frame below the door (not the door). The waterproof acrylic caulk is filled in the gap between the floor and patio door (before you install the end moulding) only if you have a potential water issue, such as installation of laminate flooring in a bathroom. Let the caulk dry completely before installing the end moulding.

Posted by: helper at November 30, 2004 3:46 PM

Ann S.,

What is "squeaky clean"? Where can I buy it? Can I buy it online (do you have the link?)

Thanks

Posted by: Andrew at December 2, 2004 6:22 PM

Amazed of the negative comments regarding customer service. I called to get info. on moulding and installation kit and Rep. picked the phone on the first ring...hum go figure?

Posted by: Larry A at December 7, 2004 3:26 PM

Folks,

I am just about finished with a basement project (aprox 1500sq ft of finished space). I decided to use the Harmonics product for 2 reasons; the first was obviously the price (about half the competition with the Costco coupon), and second, I saw this product being used in a Retail store in Vancouver Canada. The amount of traffic and moisture here was incredible, therefore I was convinced. I installed about 900 sq feet, all by myself, in about 2 days, using the installation kits (anyone need a thousand spacers :) ) I am really impressed, and it looks awesome despite looking like a laminate floor. I have installed it in the bar area with a Fridge and Dishwasher, I even butted it right up against my patio door. My next phase is to put this in the bathroom and use the acrylic caulking method to seal against water damage ( I may try the glue method for locking each piece together as well). Those of you out there worried about water damage, I was seriously considering making it the shower base (the product could stand up to the abuse for a few years, and it is easy to replace boards in small areas)I suppose the only reason why I wanted to post my 2 cents was because my home has very expensive Bruce Flooring on the main floor. I absolutely hate the Bruce flooring because it has the resiliency of Kleenex. If I look at the floor the wrong way it gets damaged. I paid easily 6 times what I did for the Harmonics, and I assure everyone I will never buy Bruce again (I bet the instructions say not reccommended for traffic areas, wet areas, or children and pets). I am so impressed with the Harmonics floors, I would consider it an option for a dream home, unless I had so much cash I could afford Pecan or something more rare, but I doubt that will hapen. Anyone ever put this in a garage / workshop? I am game, especially at $1.50 a sqaure foot... I love glued sawdust with a picture of wood on top!

Thanks everyone, I found the info I was searching for in the thread (need those pesky transition strips to but up to my carpetted areas (that are more expensive and not as nice)

-p

Posted by: Peter at December 9, 2004 12:58 PM

I have just installed 1800 sf of harmonics ( which is really quick-step. I have installed both in the last year)in maple. ( both my local costco stores have 3 colors in stock) I love it and so does my wife. Easy as heck to clean up. I bought the padding and install tools at Lowes and some at Home Depot. For the stair nosing I bought a trim pack from Home Depot that is designed for another brand. The price was right and the match was good. I also bought 2ft wide persian style rug on a roll from home depot ($2.17/ft) to go down the center of the stairs for a great finish. Its surged on the edges and comes in a variety of colors.
Also Lowes has a product similar to the laminate flooring only it has stone or tile on it. Thinking about using this in the entry and kitchen in our home.

Posted by: Jay at December 9, 2004 11:56 PM

After researching a lot, I am going to go with the Costco Harmonics flooring as well....have only about 280 square feet, and Im planning on actually putting a huge area rug over it anways...so if it ends up having problems, Ill only be out less than a grand.
I bought a box, and got some samples of Wilsonart and Alloc, and the joint system actually seems better on the Harmonics flooring...and the actual top part looks more like wood as well.
Im going tomorrow to stock up...does Costco sell the underlayment as well? I seemed to miss that!

Posted by: Eric at December 10, 2004 5:02 PM

I purchased the Mannington MLoc and just love it. I first planned to only do the den but decided to add the hall...that's where the problem (question) is. The hall has many many doorways and I don't know if I'm supposed to lay the boards along the wall and then piece them into the doorway or rip the boards all the way down the hall so that the midpoint of the doorways are the actual "starting" points...is this confusing? I thought it would be a breeze til I actually laid the boards down and realized the issue...I'm no flooring or any other kind of contractor...help!

Posted by: Sharon at December 23, 2004 9:40 AM

My hubby and I are going to install the Harmonic floor in our living room over the weekend. When we pulled the old carpet up this evening, we found that we have concrete sub-floor. What do we need to know about preparing the sub-floor prior to installation (besides underlayment)? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Jess at December 23, 2004 9:09 PM

I JUST FOUND OUT TONIGHT THAT COSTCO IS HAVING THE COUPONS FOR THE HARMONICS LAMINATE FLOORING IN THIS FEBURARY'S MAILER THAT WE AS MEMBERS RECEIVE EACH MONTH REGARDING WEEKLY SALE ITEMS. IT WILL BE FOR $5.00 OFF THE STANDARD PRICE OF $27.99 OR SO. THOUGHT THAT MAY HELP SAVE A COUPLE OF DOLLARS FOR SOMEONE.

Posted by: Jeff Thomas at December 28, 2004 7:35 PM

Sharon,

I hope I understand your question. If the den is already completed, you would continue the hallway from where you ended the den, with or without a transition moulding at the den doorway. This is done for a more integrated look.

You would use transition mouldings at each of the other doorways along the hall to cover the expansion gap necessary.

Posted by: helper at December 29, 2004 7:34 AM

Jess,
Just a thorough sweeping of the floor is all, after you remove the carpet and carpet tackstrip. Minor unevenness of the floor can just be covered with the underlayment. Otherwise, a plaster patching/leveling mix can be used for deeper areas of uneveness on the concrete floor.

Posted by: helper at December 29, 2004 6:58 PM

I am so glad to find this site, I want to lay down laminate flooring thru out my home. I thought my husband and I would start in the extra bedroom so we could "practice" and make most of our mistakes where it wouldn't be as noticable. I wanted to do the entire house including the kitchen and the bath. Is this a mistake? I noticed postings that mentioned water damage is a possiblility in these areas. A guy at Home Depot recommended gluing everything down in those rooms ( We are on a foundation with old(!) hardwood floors that are beyond repair but not too warped.(1930's home)He also recommended gluing each tab as we snap the flooring together, sounds messy and I thought we wouldn't be able to replace planks that are glued, if something happened. Any ideas or comments are appreciated. We have done just about everything is this old house from plumbing to roofing but I am a little intimidated about this job. I don't want it to look like an amateur did it.

Posted by: kathy at December 30, 2004 12:53 AM

Kathy,
Don't be intimidated by the job, since it's glueless you can adjust each piece many times before moving on to the next piece. (I recommend cutting the end pieces slightly longer, and trimming a little at a time to fit if necessary.)

Standing water should be wiped up immediately on any laminate floor. Any amount of water that won't evaporate within a few minutes should be wiped up.

It is your personal choice of glueing or not. Clean up during install with water-based glue/sealer is easy, just a lightly damp rag.

If you glue the planks it will help limit water damage but you would still have to be careful of standing water. If a few planks get scratched or damaged, you may have to replace most of the glued area, intead of just the damaged planks if you didn't glue. (So, both ways has its pros and cons.)

I've done 2 kitchens and a half bath with laminates and have not heard any problems for several years already. (Albeit the kitchens and bath with laminates other than Harmonics.) I did install Harmonics in a family room and was please with the ease of install.

For the bathroom, whether you glue the planks or not, you should still apply silicone chaulking at the expansion gaps near the wall, cabinets, and under the toilet. Let the caulking dry completely before covering them with moulding, etc.

I recommend researching a little more on the internet, visiting Home Depot, Lowes, etc., to get more comfortable with the installations process, e.g., sawing part of the bottom doorjamb trim so the planks go underneath, use of the different types of mouldings (transition, end, etc.).

Posted by: helper at December 30, 2004 7:48 PM

I am getting ready to install the Harmonics oak laminate flooring over a concrete slab (about 200 square feet). I bought the flooring at Costco, but the store did not carry the harmonics installation kit, which, according to the installation instructions, is required for the warranty to be valid. Any ideas where I might find the installation kit? Also, this laminate floor is going to be right next to a real red oak floor. Any ideas how to make the transition between the two types of flooring less visible or obvious? Thanks

Posted by: Kevin at December 31, 2004 10:37 AM

Kevin,
Did you try another Costco, or their customer service number on their website? They are available at most Costco that carry the laminate. The kit is complete with the moisture barrier/underlayment, shims, tapping block, and crowbar; highly recommended to get it from Costco.

There is a pretty significant difference between the appearance of the Harmonics oak laminate and real red oak. I would suggest at least to have the laminate installed in the same lengthwise direction as your existing oak flooring.

Posted by: helper at December 31, 2004 12:40 PM

Thanks for the info about researching , now we know what we are getting ourselves into --my husband and I spent almost 2 hours in Lowes today! That was after an hour in Costco checking out their floor. I am so glad that you suggested to Kevin to contact Costco for the underlayment etc. If I purchase the underlayment Lowes carries(Armstrong Brand) it comes to $2.49 sq/ft. which is more than the flooring. We want to do about 1000sq/ft in our home so thats alot of money.It was too busy (New Years Eve) to find anyone in Costco to help us but I will go back next week after the holiday season and get a price for their underlayment. I suppose there is a difference in the quality for that too, but you say that Harmonics brand is acceptable to use. By the way, Armstrong has a great site showing the installation process Thanks for suggesting checking out the internet, hopefully in the next few weeks I will know everything I need (and More) about laminates!Happy New Year, Kathy

Posted by: kathy at December 31, 2004 11:41 PM

Kathy,
Most of the Costco in my area (Northern California) has the Harmonics installation kits, which I actually found somewhat better quality than even Pergo and a few other brands (probably improvements learned over time from the other brands' initial releases).

The Harmonics underlayment has its own adhesive attached to it to close the seams; however, I would still recommend using duct tape over the seams on the underlayment. One roll of duct tape should be enough.

There is a slight difference in the quality of the planks. As with any laminates, you should examine each plank for chips in the top surface of the laminate prior to installation, and don't force anything during the install of the planks, usually the alignment is not right if it doesn't go in easily. Happy New Year.

Posted by: helper at January 1, 2005 9:04 AM

I bought some Royal Cherry from Costco for our dining room and kitchen. When assembling a few planks for practice, I noticed there is a light strip between the planks. The particle material on the sides made the lines...as if the laminate material did not go far enough down on the edges. I was thinking about using a frniture pen to color the edges, but that seems tedious and risky...could make another type of line?

Have you guys seen this?
Also, how do you hink the Harmonics underlayment compares to other types (Armstrong Quiet Comfort at Lowes, etc)?
Thanks,
Tom

Posted by: Tom at January 1, 2005 5:24 PM

Tom,
The planks are probably not being assembled correctly if it has a gap (or light strip). While holding down the first plank (you could knell on it), attach the next lengthwise plank at an angle (the instructions state the angle degrees) and flip it down, while using a firm but gentle push inward; you may have to repeat this several times. The tounge of the subsequent plank has to slip completely into the groove of the initial plank.

If using Harmonics laminate, it is recommended to use the Harmonics underlayment to validate the warranty. The Harmonics underlayment is a combination of moisture barrier and foam pad.

Posted by: helper at January 2, 2005 10:10 AM

Should there be problems with the harmonics laminate flooring after its installation does anyone know how the warranty works? 25 year warranty sounds to general. Warranty on what specific defect is being covered? Assuming every installation requirement was followed, i.e: using the prescribed underlayment foam, maintaining proper gaps at wall edges, etc. Then you notice some planks( around 3 to 4 pcs)start to rub on each other. If the defect shows up 5 months after installation, whom should we run after?

Posted by: Armand at January 2, 2005 10:19 AM

The harmonics flooring goes on sale at costco starting feb 14, 2005 for a week. $5.oo off per package. Did anyone have any luck buying the harmonics underlayment directly from harmonics(by the foot) after buying the initial install kit from costco?

Posted by: Bart at January 4, 2005 11:36 PM

How does the laminate wood flooring hold up in humid enviroments, ie. in Florida?

The upcoming Costco deal has me re-conisdering installing masonry tiles.

Posted by: Rasi at January 5, 2005 11:17 AM

i guess i am still confused -- is it recommended to lay the laminated flooring over linoleum or would it be wiser to remove the linoleum and place down the Harmonics underlayment?
Also i was thinking of putting this in a kitchen of a rental - this is a good idea or could damages be too great if it had standing water on it for prolong times?

Posted by: De at January 9, 2005 11:32 AM

You can install the laminate over the linoleum if you like, it may or may not make it higher than the floor of another room where it transitions (e.g., other room is tile, etc.)

For a rental, the renters may not be aware or take care of the laminate as instructed.

Posted by: toy at January 9, 2005 4:56 PM

My Husband and I installed Harmonics in a spare bedroom a few months ago and are very happy with it. Once we got the hang of it, was easy to install. We purchased enough from Costco to also do our bedroom which we are about to start. We have a King size waterbed in a wood frame and wonder if the weight of the waterbed is too much for the laminate floor. The flooring would be going over concrete and the Harmonics underlayment. I realize if the bed ever leaked (without us being aware) we'd be in big trouble, but I'm not really concerned about that, I just wonder about the weight.

Posted by: Linda at January 10, 2005 7:23 PM

We are considering putting the Harmonics in our basement. My husband doesn't think it is wise to use it in a basement because of moisture--any comments? We have had Pergo in our kitchen, laundry room, and hallway for 10 years---has held up well but water left for a period of time will cause damage. (We have 4 kids and a dog, and they haven't hurt or scratched the floor at all) Flooding the laundry room, however, did some damage on the laminate molding because it was not wiped dry soon enough. Make sure your floor is level---I remember the Pergo was very unforgiving.

Posted by: Kellie at January 11, 2005 6:23 AM

Hi I went to Costco today and noticed they have the underlayment instock next to the flooring. I live near the Signal Hill Costco in California, so they be stocking it for the Big Sale in FEb. Afterwards I had my hair done at the salon where they have recently remodeled and guess what kind of foor the have in-yes it was Harmonics. I asked the owner and he said he had installed the same floor last year in his other salon and was so happy that he used it again. He has tile in the area where they wash your hair but they use alot of chemicals and the hairdressers are on their feet all day and he said it has really stood up to alot of abuse in the other salon.So he is using it again. The only thing I noticed was that it did have a certain noise that sounded plastic and whoever installed the molding around the area where the tile joins the flooring wasn't matched. But overall it looked nice. I am thinking if the floor holds up to the problems that arise in a commercial setting it must be durable for my family. Kathy

Posted by: kathy at January 11, 2005 3:42 PM

I read that when installing laminate, it looks better to have the planks running towards the main light source instead of at right angles to the light.

If I follow this advice, when I get to a hallway adjoining the living room, the planks will have to be placed in short pieces across the hallway. It would surely look better to have them running the length of the hallway. Does anyone have advice about this?

Posted by: Richard at January 12, 2005 8:13 PM

We installed about 1000 square feet of the Harmonics Cherry in our house about 6 months ago. We love the look and feel of it but lately I've been noticing places in the kitchen where it looks like the edges are buckling (like by the dog's water dish (which is on a rug but we have a 2 year old that likes to spill it alot). I never heard of sealing laminate - does anyone know about this and if it's too late to do to the rest of the flooring? It sounds like the boards that have the damage need to be replaced (we did not use glue so I'm hoping they can be lifted out). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by: Jo at January 13, 2005 5:05 PM

lots of reading done on my part.....I am convinced. I am going to install laminate flooring from Costco! Thanks

Posted by: dawn at January 14, 2005 10:32 PM

Sorry but the flooring is highly overrated, My wife and I installed the harmonics (approx. 1000 sw ft) about a year ago and have been unhappy ever since, lots of warping, seperating and chipping and even scratching. We currently have filed a claim but have not heard back, and have called back 3 seperate times. I would NOT reccomend this to anyone, we will tear up and do something else as soon as we can afford to.
Mike

Posted by: mike at January 18, 2005 12:46 PM

My husband and I had Costco's laminate flooring installed in our living room. According to our installer, Pergo is easier to install because it has bigger slots but the Harmonics brand really isn't too hard to do since I watched him do it with ease as well. The hardest part is starting it and ending it. He advised buying a higher quality foam from Home Depot (it's color green). The thicker the foam the less creaking he says. Also, since the floor is glueless, spills should be wiped right away or it will seep through. I believe regardless of brand, any glueless laminate flooring will warp if spills are allowed to seep through. Also, if not properly installed it will warp though time since wood expands according to the changes in weather. The problem with glued laminate flooring is that it's hard to replace pieces if anything happens to it but it will be more resistant to spills. Real hardwood floors need a coat of wax or varnish and scratches easier than laminate flooring. Laminate flooring already has a protective coat.
As for Richard's question about the direction of the planks, yes, generally it is prefered that it runs towards the source of light. The only thing you might be able to do is put a reducer at the end of the hallway to "separate" the hallway from the living room.

Posted by: Perry at January 19, 2005 10:37 PM

I looked in the Costco Coupon book. The $5 off sale for each package of harmonics laminate(no limit on packages) last 3 weeks. Feb 14- March 6, 2005

Posted by: Rich at January 21, 2005 10:27 AM

Need a custom tool to trace difficult corners and obstacles for laminate floor installations?

I’ve been working on a design to sell in the 25-40 dollar range that will help trace obstacles as you approach them. I made one prototype and am ready for revision 2, but have kind of lost interest until I read this thread. If anybody is interested in this kind of tool I’d really like to know so I can get a feel for the demand. The way it works is pretty simple: As you lay the rows of flooring down you eventually come to a corner, obstacle, or weird angle that is difficult to trace and cut correctly. If you have installed laminate flooring before you quickly realize that you can lay the next slat that will interfere with a wall on the previous row, but at the same location in the “column” it will reside in. By tracing the obstruction profile on the flooring with the exact offset of the flooring width, you create a perfect line to cut and the piece falls right into place in its intended “column” (sorry if that didn’t make sense….. I can send drawing examples of how it works if need be). Anyway if I get enough interest I might make another prototype and sell it to those individuals at cost for evaluation purposes. Would love to hear from you if this sounds interesting to you….. Matt_abq-laminatetool@yahoo.com

I installed the Armstrong brand from Lowes 1 year ago in a bedroom and am very happy. The kitchen already had Pergo brand and a recent dishwasher failure caused nearly half the kitchen to swell up at the joints. I think just about any brand is going to look bad if it gets soaked. The water literally came up from under the floor, not down thru the cracks because the dishwasher leaked under it from behind the cabinets.

That being said I really like laminate because it’s clean, not as cold as tile, and very tough for the most part. I'm going to do the rest of the house with the Costco brand flooring when it goes on sale, but am considering doing water risk areas in tile (kitchen and bathrooms).

I guess the only thing that is really a con in my opinion is the acoustics. It can be loud and “echoe”, but overall it’s a do it yourselfer’s dream, looks good, is clean, and tough. Sure if you get a hammer and nail you can scratch it (it doesn’t have the same surface coating as Kit from Knight Rider) but if you put 10 pea size chips in it over the years is it that big of a deal?

Another interesting point is that it’s amazing how good a job a do it yourselfer can achieve because it’s THEIR HOUSE. A professional comes in and could care less next week. The installation I did last year is perfect…. No gaps sticking out past the molding and a good clean installation. The reason I started working on the tool design was due to most of my installation stress coming from cuts that had to be measure over and over again so I didn’t cut too much off (for example I had a wall that want’ square or straight, so I can to cut a profile several times. I probably walked back and forth 1000 times between the room and the garage. That’s when I said “if I could quickly draw a perfectly offset ¼ inch line from the wall It would have taken ½ the time.”

One other piece of advice…… I bet a few of you are wanting new base board molding. I learned the hard way that you can just miter cut to 45 deg angles and put the molding in. The way it’s actually done is the first piece you install has two square ends. The second piece has to be cut with a coping saw to fit of the end of the first piece, then the third has to be cut to fit on the square end of the second piece and so and so forth.

Good luck everybody….. it’s good stuff.

Posted by: Matt at January 22, 2005 12:34 AM

correction.... that last paragraph should read:

"I learned that hard way that you CAN'T just miter..."

Posted by: Matt at January 22, 2005 12:39 AM

What finsh accessories are available and from where? I am preparing to install 1000 sq ft myself of Harmonics but have yet to find the proper transition and finish parts. Can anyone help??

Posted by: jan at January 22, 2005 1:58 PM

After reading all the pros and cons at this site, I am bit confused. I want to install laminate flooring in my downstairs floor, the area is about 1450sq.ft. This will include the entire ground floor area including the kitchen + laundry...etc..
After seeing all the discussions here, as many of you have said that eventually one will see water damage in those areas such as kitchen & laundry & dinnette, what if I coat these 3 areas with "Mop Glow" coating. This that liquid that is used on linoleum flooring for protection and giving a high-gloss look. I have been using Mop-Glow for many years (7years) and my kitchen floor looks line new, with some exception where some damage has been done by falling pots & pans and kids droping heavy items. So if I coat it with this
Mop-Glow, will safegaurd the flooring? Do comment give me your views. An advance thanks to your suggestions and comments.

Jawaid...

Posted by: Jawaid at January 24, 2005 12:03 AM

I was all set to install Harmonics from Costco but am now a little worried. I need flooring that will withstand pet accidents. I thought laminate would be an inexpensive option for easy clean-up, but if my cat or dog pees on it will it warp and start to smell? Can I use glue on Harmonics and would this prevent problems? Help!

Posted by: Amy at January 25, 2005 3:55 PM

Amy..... just like carpet, if your pet pees on it I suspect it will get in the cracks. When my floor warped it was complete floating on water, so I don't think your floor is going to come apart if your cat / dog pees on it a few times. It may warp a slight bit. The slat interfaces eventually have small gaps anyway, but not too too bad. Laminate flooring is a synthetic that is very tough and sealed, so it's not junk. If you are going to get a magnifying glass out you will be disappointed over time at the connection joints. I have a floor that is 1 year old with pets on it and I still love it. I do recommend that you keep it out of bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. I’m going to do my house all laminate except those areas.

Posted by: matt at January 26, 2005 4:54 PM

How do you clean the Harmonics flooring? Squeeky Clean was mentioned but no source to buy provided.

Thank you,
Barbara

Posted by: barbara at January 30, 2005 9:23 AM

You can use a laminate floor cleaner, such as Pergo's brand, Wilsonart's brand, etc. I've been using Armstrong's Once and Done (No Wax) cleaner for over 7 years on Wilsonart laminate flooring. Or you can use a mixture of water and vinegar.

Squeaky Clean is actually a window blind cleaner.

Posted by: toy at January 30, 2005 3:18 PM

Just curious if anyone had a wavey appearance after almost a year of being down. We had no problem laying it and followed the directions and did our whole house but the kitchen and baths. I am worried that this is going to start happening everywhere else. After all that work I would hate to replace it all again.

Posted by: Anne at January 31, 2005 6:55 PM

Hello to all who have posted regarding Costo Harmonics Laminate Flooring! I read this posting and helped me make the decision to put Harmonics on my house. I did livingroom, hallway and 2 bedrooms and it looks great! I can post pictures if anyone is interested so you can see how it turn out. Thank you to everyone who helped me make this tough decision easier. I still have one question is there someone who has had Harmonics for over a year? how does it look?

Thanks

Posted by: sandra at February 1, 2005 4:04 PM

What is the true life expectancy of any laminate that is exposed to kids, pets, and the tracking in of the enviromenatal elements, i.e. rain, snow, mud, dirt etc, Costco is having the coupon thing again from Feb 14 to Mar 6, 2005. I am interested in doing the living, dining, and kitchen. The living and dining have concrete slab sub-floors. The kitchen has wood sub floor, that had the concrete wonder board installed on top of it so tile could be placed on top. What a huge mistake. I woul dlike to just install the Harmonics laminate over the tile. Any problems, suggestions etc.

Posted by: charlie at February 1, 2005 4:07 PM

Jan,

QUICK-STEP FLOORING AS I READ IN AN EARLIER POSTING IS THE SAME AS HARMONICS FLOORING SO I ORDERED SEVERAL THINGS FROM AND IT MATCHED! THEY HAD EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANING KIT AND REPARI KIT THEY HAVE IT ALL! ONE PROBLEM YOU HAVE TO ORDER IT AND IT TAKES A FEW DAYS! CALL AROUND AND ASK ANY FLOORING CO. THAT SELLS LAMINATE IF THEY CARRY THE QUICK STEP BRAND. SHOP AROUND THOUGH BECAUSE SOME PLACES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE OF COURSE! HOPE THIS HELPS YOU!

Posted by: sandra at February 1, 2005 4:13 PM

Did anyone buy the moldings or end pieces from harmonics. If you did please let me know what you think about them or whether i should just buy regular wood moldings

Posted by: nando at February 3, 2005 8:59 AM

nando,

Don't buy regular wood mouldings, it looks quite different. I would suggest bringing a scrap piece of Harmonics plank to Home Depot, and matching up to a moulding such as Pergo; it comes quite close. Or you can order from Harmonics, but there are several advantages from just going to Home Depot, e.g., get it quick, buy quantity as necessary, and being able to return unused moulding, etc.

Posted by: toy at February 3, 2005 2:22 PM

We just finished 1000 sq ft of Harmonics - royal cherry. I got the moldings from Home Depot - Walnut color label, after I brought in a sample to match. It goes long with the royal and cost half as much.

Posted by: boyet at February 3, 2005 4:43 PM

Just went to our local Costco and lo and behold no more flooring there. As I have done one room already Im a little concerned that they may not be getting any more..............

Posted by: Barry B at February 6, 2005 10:45 AM

just wondering if the Harmonics laminate is laminated on both top and bottom surfaces?

Posted by: yvette at February 6, 2005 8:13 PM

I like the person who wants to install the system in a shower and shop or garage. You know it is cheep enought to do it and if you follow the wet installation you are under the life Costco warrantee.
This is for my 3 cents only,
We built an all glass room onto our home in the mountains,Really it is in the rockies in north western Montana. We installed or tried to, in the new ADDITION, BUT.. We did the math and even bought 3 extra boxes from Costco and guess what?? They did not allow for the Min. 8" between seams offset in the so called SQ FT needed. We got almost done and OH SHIT!!! we ran
out. Let this be a lesson, it takes more than you think when you have to allow for the min. 8inche seam to seam. Get extra you can always take it back but if you, like us stored this for the room finish, will feel the rock fall into the pit of your tummy wondering if you can get more of the SAME COLOR, DESIGN, OH GOD, DO i HAVE TO START ALL OVER WITH ANOTHER COLOR!!
Have no fear, I read this site and I have the coupon for the Feb.2005 sale so .
Off to costco we go with our fingers crossed, we need 4 boxes to finish our glass room.
Also to the people who wonder about the underlay, we are 4 feet short of finishing. We have to buy another kit from Costco to finish. This is not our error, we got the kit and did not notice it had been RE-TAPED.AHHHHH!!!!
Yes someone had used 4 feet or so and returned it to Costco and we were the unlucky ones to get it. Well rest asured we won't do it to you. We will go to Costco and make them give us a free kit due to the problem. (They will too, they are great in our store in Western Montana).
Now to you who think this is a pain to drive to the store again, well Ye of Little Faith,
We lilve 3 hours round trip from our Costco thru Rain, Sleet, Snow. Get the picture.
The price is right, and like I said at first I agree with the other reader who said "I like cheep sawdust with a photo of wood on it".
Seeley Lake, Montana.

Posted by: Sam at February 6, 2005 8:42 PM

I am not sure I understand the Harmonics underlayment installation. The directions say to run the underlayment up the wall about 1". Is this all walls? Do you cut the edge off afterwards? Do you take the thickness of the underlayment into consideration when you gap the planks from the walls?

I have seen other underlayment methods discussing running the underlayment up the walls, but when you watch their videos, they run it flat.

Posted by: David at February 7, 2005 10:33 AM

Like David, I have an underlay question. I guess they want you to attach the underlay between the wall & the quarter round so it stays in place which is fine, but when you're using it in the kitchen & you have to put silicon down in the expansion joints near the sink, dishwasher & refrigerator, do you cut the underlay back to floor level so the silicon fills the gap right to the wall? I'm guessing this is logical, but logic doesn't always come into it, right?

Posted by: Linda at February 7, 2005 5:12 PM

Harmonics Laminate wood floors at COSTCO COUPON IS NOW!!! Its starts next week Valentines Day Feb. 14, 2005!!!!! Also, Harmonics has a 25 warranty, Costco warranty's them for life!

Posted by: Lindsay` at February 7, 2005 5:16 PM


If I use a thicker underlayment\moisture barrier would it help avoid the "hollow" noise when walked on?

Posted by: CAT at February 8, 2005 7:52 AM

David,
When you run the moisture barrier up the wall, you do not cut off the edge afterward, this will be covered by the base moulding. I wouldn't worry too much about taking into consideration the thickness of the underlayment, as this get somewhat compressed when you have the plastic shims and the planks pressed up during installation. (But watch out for the expansion gaps on all walls while you are laying the planks, as the floor has a tendency to actually float and move while you install planks.

Lindsay,
You are correct with your logic.

CAT,
I don't know if a thicker underlayment would help avoid the hollow noise, but it will create a slightly higher floor, and is a different sound. I believe at Home Depot, the Pergo brand has the 2 different underlayment, and the thicker underlayment is different sounding, but I don't know if it will eliminate the "non-wood" sound.

Posted by: toy at February 9, 2005 9:27 PM

Has anyone tried using some sort of polyurethane floor sealer on the edges/seams to protect from water damage. I was thinking of using a small foam brush dipped in the sealer & "painting" the edges & seams. What do you think?

Posted by: Greg at February 11, 2005 9:45 AM

I just called the 1-888 customer service number, and it was picked up first ring. I asked them about the silicon sealing issue (see my previous question about 4 comments up) and their advise is that the order is wall, underlayment, silicon seal, floor. The underlayment protects from water underneath or coming down the wall, so the silicon needs to go between the flooring & the underlayment. Awesome customer service, btw.

Posted by: Linda at February 11, 2005 1:55 PM

Does anyone know if you infact need the coupon to by the flooring at costco. I knew that it was comming on sale as of the 14th of Feb. but I did not get the coupon. Thanks

Posted by: Jeff at February 12, 2005 4:53 PM

My husband and I just bought harmonics laminate from Costco and planning to install it in the living/dining rm area. We have a concrete subfloor and according to a video installation instructions we need to check the moisture content of the floor. Is this necessary, or does the underfloor layer that comes with the installation kit enough to "seal" the floor?

Posted by: Susan at February 13, 2005 5:11 PM

Jeff, Costco nevers asks for my coupon when buying coupon items. They automatically just run their copy of the coupon through the scanner and you are good to go! I am going tomorrow morning when the store opens to buy all the maple flooring they have. Coupon starts tomorrow. $5.00 off a box. Last week they had 51 boxes, I hope they will still be there!

Posted by: Shell L at February 13, 2005 9:25 PM

Hi everyone, I wanted to direct your attention to a laminate flooring forum I setup ( http://laminateflooring.oncloud8.com ). Having different threads might make all this a little more readable. Also, I'm not sure how many more comments this thing can handle! Thanks for all the great discussion. :) -Tim

Posted by: tim at February 13, 2005 10:56 PM

Hi. I am thinking of putting harmonics in my kitchen/ family room, but it is not a square or rectangle and was curious how difficult it is to cut the planks to fit the space? Also, what is the best type of saw toi use for the edges?

Posted by: shoshana at February 14, 2005 6:55 AM

I just started reading this today. I am concerned about using this product in the kitchen and bathroom. It sounds like water may be a problem. Perhaps I should install something else in these areas.

Posted by: Russ at February 14, 2005 7:05 AM

Does anyone know how much laminate floor weight?
I read someone wants to put a laminate floor over tile floor, will that be too much weight on the floor?

Posted by: henry Moe at February 14, 2005 12:46 PM

Jeff: you don't have to have the coupon to BUY the flooring at Costco (though obviously you must be a member), but the coupon gets you about 20% off the price. If you didn't get the "passport to savings" booklet in the mail, you can head to the member services desk (usually near the EXIT), and request one -- they'll gladly hand you one.

I've a suggestion for people though: use the feedback forms near member services to tell Costco that they should stock the darn transition pieces (wood-to-carpet, wood-to-wood, etc). It'd *STUPID* that you can buy the flooring and the install kit, but no transition hardware...

Posted by: Sean at February 14, 2005 5:37 PM

LAMINATE WEIGHT:

One box (7 planks totalling 17.8 sq feet) weighs about 26 lbs. That's with the cardboard, but that's negligible, and should about offset the underlayment (plastic+foam) from the install kit, which itself is pretty insignificant in weight.

That works to about 146 lbs per 100 sq feet (10x10). Not light, but I'm sure the tile is much heavier, what with the tile and mortar. I'd strongly advise you chip out the tile before laying a new floor - overlaying a wood floor or subfloor, or laying a new vinyl floor on top of an older one is generally accepted practice, but a tile floor generally doesn't make for a FLAT base surface (it may be _level_, but it's not flat).

(I am reminded of the weight, because I loaded it onto the cart, then into the truck, then from the truck to my father-in-law's side yard under cover because I hadn't yet closed on the house, then back into his truck, and from his truck into my barn, then from there back into a truck, driven across the property to my house, unloaded from the truck and to my family room, then moved invividually into the rooms being worked on -- yup, about 26 lbs a box...)

Posted by: Sean at February 14, 2005 5:52 PM

My wife and I just picked up about 500 sq ft of the Birch colored Harmonics, using the coupon. We went back to the normal location of the flooring and found it had been wiped out. I was paniced at first but after inquiring I was directed to the front of the store where they had pallets of the flooring ready to go.

We're also debating on whether to install it in the bathroooms and kitchen areas, but I'm a little unsure after reading through the forum.

For the price, it's hard to justify any other out there based on our research.

I'll be sure to post more after we have it installed, along with any customer service issues.

Posted by: Andrew at February 14, 2005 9:43 PM

My wife and I just purchased 200 sqft of the "Premium Oak Harmonics" from Costco. Does anyone know from experiance which quickstep color this is? I would appreciate any help. My local quickstep dealers and on-line companies are very unhelpful and dont seem to want my business since I bought this at Costco......

Posted by: Chris at February 15, 2005 7:52 AM

Chris: I don't know from experience on the Oak equivalent in the quickstep, but it shouldn't be too difficult to determine by examining the following page (presuming that this posts properly):

The backside (or underside, however you want to consider it) of the planks have a dotmatrix production code and patent data printed on them. The beginning of this is a QSxx code (QuickStep) - the two digits are their Harmonics pattern identifier. Below that is some 2-digit sequence code (in limited spot checking, I've seen them up to about 32), but sadly it's not associated with the "pattern" on the face (that is, the specific arrangement of images). Most planks coming out of a box appear to be in numeric sequence though.

The Royal Cherry is QS11, which according to prior posts here, is the "QuickStep Cherry Select", which is product code U816 (U for Uniclik). Harmonics only carries two other patterns (yea, what you see at Costco is the whole lineup for Harmonics): Oak and Maple - (I don't have the specific names for those as marketed by them, since I myself only have the Cherry) I suspect these are QuickStep U784 and U783 respectively.

As for your local quickstep dealer. They're buttheads if they're going to turn away business - you're coming to them to BUY something. You might try it from a different tact: you bought a house and there's an existing floor which you've determined is quickstep manufacture, and you're knocking out some walls/changing the flooring in an adjacent room, and will need the appropriate transition plates for the new transitions, etc.

If that fails, write a letter to QuickStep and complain that the dealer won't do business with you because you didn't buy the rest of the flooring product from them.

Posted by: Sean at February 15, 2005 11:04 AM

I'm going to say that definatley didn't post properly. Let me try to post the URL again:

http://www.quick-step.com/productfamily.aspx?familyid=3

or, head to quick-step.com, do consumer / US, click enter, then choose classic laminate, and the three should appear among the limited results on that page.

Posted by: Sean at February 15, 2005 11:11 AM

Sean: Thanks for all your help.I have since got a hold of Harmonics and will just order from them. Its much easier at this point. Thanks again for the help!

Posted by: Chris at February 15, 2005 2:36 PM

In term of installing laminate on wet area, I just wonder if I could put a water resistant paint to seal the edge of the planks. This will protect the planks from water damage and it can be taken apart when you want to.
Anyone try this before???

Posted by: hong at February 16, 2005 8:10 AM

When you're done with the install, don't toss out the tapping block (the white high-density plastic thing) -- if you have a woodworking router, or know someone who does, this is exactly the same stuff used for zero-clearance router fences - it's easy to make a replaceable fence insert with this material, and it's not particularly cheap when you go to buy it for that purpose. Since the only local source of the underlayment foam was the Costco installation packages, I bought four of those - and all I need is the foam. All the extra tappaing blocks are keepers.


I'm preparing to do a hallway with this flooring, and given the nature of the installation process, I'm beginning to wonder whether it is even possible (or feasable) to undercut door jams so that the flooring is laid underneath. Has anyone done this?

Posted by: Sean at February 17, 2005 1:47 PM

Sean,
You would principally be cutting the door jamb "trim", and then lay the flooring underneath. This is the way done by professionals, and I done it everytime when I installed floors. I try not to cut the actual door jamb, so as not to weaken the door frame. I use one of those Japanese-type saw which cuts on the pull, but other saws would work. To get the correct height to cut the trim, lay a scrap piece of plank over some underlayment, and cut the door jamb trim.

Posted by: toy at February 17, 2005 4:04 PM

When you're done with the install, don't toss out the tapping block (the white high-density plastic thing) -- if you have a woodworking router, or know someone who does, this is exactly the same stuff used for zero-clearance router fences - it's easy to make a replaceable fence insert with this material, and it's not particularly cheap when you go to buy it for that purpose. Since the only local source of the underlayment foam was the Costco installation packages, I bought four of those - and all I need is the foam. All the extra tapping blocks are keepers.

Costco was selling the install kits at $25 apiece for 150sf of foam plus the accessories. Home Despot sells Pergo foam for $18/120sf (you'd save about $2.50 buying the same quantity). Their Shaw underlayment seems very similar to the Harmonics - except the dimensions are 4 foot wide rolls instead of 3 foot. That can easily mean less work to install on a large room, but potentially more waste if you just need a narrow strip - the converse is true as well -- I have a LONG 40" wide hallway, and the Harmonics foam would require a 6-inch strip down one side (remember you have the 7/8" lip up on either wall), whereas it'd be just one roll of the shaw stuff). The shaw foam comes in 200sf rolls, at about $25, so it's effectively 30% cheaper than the Harmonics (though you don't get the install bits - ONE Harmonics box could still be useful).

I'm preparing to do a hallway with this flooring, and given the nature of the installation process, I'm beginning to wonder whether it is even possible (or feasable) to undercut door jams so that the flooring is laid underneath. Has anyone done this?

Posted by: Sean at February 18, 2005 9:14 AM

Sorry about the double-post -- I got nothing but errors (actual server backend errors about some variable on the form) when I tried to post yesterday, and between each attempt reloaded the page to verify that it hadn't somehow appeared. Go figure that when I repost this morning, I didn't re-check

I'm full aware of the cutting the door jamb - that's "undercutting" (I've got a doozie of an undercut to perform on a stone fireplace, for which I have to rig up a grinder in a carrier box to run parallel to the floor). While I find the Japanese flush-cut saws are excellent for cutting dowels from woodwork, I'm using a standard european style trim saw - I don't have to flex the blade.

FYI - Crown Tools, brass backed reverseable saw. About US$27 at a good woodworker supply (such as WoodCraft). The kerf on the blade is piched to the topside of the blade, so there's no/minimal marring on the bottom face. The handle is offset from the plane of the blade (i.e. your hand doesn't drag on the floor as you're trying to cut, and you're not flexing the blade trying to keep your knuckes away from the floor, which can lead to an angled cut). The blade pivots on the brass backing, so that the blade can face the left of the handle, or the right.


The problem that I see is that if you're supposed to drop and click the flooring - coming down at an angle - then it'd be difficult if not impossible to get the flooring UNDER that lip. Because of the length of the hall, I cannot rely upon being able to shove the whole floor up against the opposite wall to gain some additional clearance, then pull it back after laying the wood down, though I figure that is what is expected.

I've heard mention of using construction adhesive to reduce the springyness of the floor - does one do this between the foam and the subfloor AND between the foam and the planks, or just the latter (or did the person who did this not use the foam?)

Owing to concerns that this flooring might mar easier than originally expected, I've given up on the prospect of using this flooring around the main entry to the house - our soil is "sandy loam", which means there's a good prospect of having a few flecks of sand track in with foot traffic, which has a significant potential for marring. I'm replacing the existing (ugly, dark, '70s) tile with newer tile, and dealing with a transition from that to the laminate.

Posted by: Sean at February 18, 2005 10:47 AM

Sean,
There is another 2 ways you could use to get the flooring under the door jamb lip. One way is to shave part of the tounge on the plank and then use adhesive to glue the end plank to the flooring, so that you would not have to come down at an angle.

The way I prefer is to come down at an angle and click the floor away from door jamb, then tap the side edge of the plank until it slides underneath the door jamb trim.

In regards to gluing the foam, never heard of this, but would suspect gluing only the foam and subfloor; as the laminate floor actually floats and slides on the underlayment foam.

Posted by: toy at February 18, 2005 9:59 PM

First - I want to thank the folks who set up this thread. It really helped answer a few questions about what I am planning to do. So, I would like to return the favor and answer some questions others posted...

1. Hardwood or Laminate should NEVER be cleaned with water, mop and glo or anything that leaves a water film at the end of the effort. This just leads to all the comments noted about peeling cracking, etc.

The cleaner you want is Zep's Hardwood and Laminate cleaner (or something specifically state for hardwood/laminate). Cleaners like Zep's are alcohol based - to evaporate and leave no water residual. You can buy Zep's at Home Depot. 1 Gal is about $10 and you can clean about 1500 sq ft approx 4 times.

Best method - - simply pour Zep's into a spray bottle. spray a section and wipe using one of those cheapo 'grab-it', 'swifter' or other dry push brooms they now market with the replacable sheets. Just use the sheet till it's dirty, then replace and go on. A light spray per section is all you need and about 3 sheets of 'Grab-it' to do 1500 sq ft.

2. Regarding weight on the laminate floor. If the underfloor is concrete, the floor should hold up most weight. But, if you are placing a waterbed (as someone said they are doing), I would not recommend it. Consider how much your bed weighs. The frame is carrying all the weight of your bed and eventually it will leave a crease in the laminate (think of what your carpet looks like when you move your furniture around). Why? You have laminate sitting on top of the foam. Foam does not distribute the weight across the floor like concrete. So, you will eventually have a crease where your frame is sitting. You won't notice it until you decide to move the bed.

3. Instructions say to line the foam 1" up the wall. This is so any water coming down the wall will slip under the foam and therefore not come in contact with your flooring.

4. Glueless means you don't glue it down. You want it to float because with seasonal change your flooring will expand and contract. If glued down, your floor could buckle as the seasons change. Unless your room is 24/7/365 constant temp/sunlight/humidity, your floor will expand and contract. Hence, also the reason for the spacers and why you don't butt the floor right up to the wall all around.

5. For those expecting no peeling, cracking, etc. I am not sure what you expect for $1.28 /sq ft (after Costco coupon). The laminate on the Harmonic product isn't 1/4 inch think. It's more like veneer thickness. So, manage your expectations and you'll be fine. Don't be blinded by the advertising - it doesn't matter what laminate product you choose. If you are concerned, then check the thickness of the laminate you are buying. Thicker is better. You might, after your research, end up going with solid wood.

6. You can lay this stuff over linoleum, existing wood flooring, concrete, or the 4x8 rough floor panels your carpet sits on. But, don't lay this stuff on top of carpet - yes, you'd be surprised at what some people think. Essentially, your base needs to be a firm layer, not a spongey surface. This is why the vapor barrier you need for the installation is not thick.

7. Cutting the sheets. A trick if your cuts look chewed and splintered. Put a piece of masking tape down over the cut line before you begin the cut.

8. As one of the posters mentioned. Buy more than you need - I usually shoot for 15% -20% more. Why? With this type of product, it only goes together 1 way. So, when you are cutting a piece, the left over piece may not have the 'tongue' or the 'groove' to connect elsewhere. Worse case, Costco will take back any unopened packages.

9. When buying, try to make sure and get all the same lot (or, inventory). With laminate this isn't as much of a problem. But, wood various from batch to batch. Otherwise, your wood shade could vary.

10. How to minimize waste. Noting #8, I like to sit down first with paper and pencil and figure out where my cuts will be, where I can use the leftover cut piece elsewhere in the flooring (kind of like a jigsaw puzzle). I also try to map out what layout will result in the fewest cut pieces. Fewer cuts means less waste. Less waste means you spent less on the project. If you are maniacal about this, you can probably return about 10% of what you purchased. Or, Don't take the upfront planning time. It's your choice as to what more important to you - money or your time.

11. Last note. Return any unopened packs, but save your scrap pieces (or, better yet even 1 full unopened package). Why? Someday you may need to replace a section. Better to keep some around than find out you have to rip out the entire floor because they no longer make the color, model, etc.

Hope this helps some folks. I am off to floor 400 sq ft of basement concrete so my kids can have some sleepovers.

Posted by: John at February 18, 2005 11:16 PM

John, good comments. A couple of things:

cutting pieces - a good tablesaw and mitre work wonders, though for notches and the like (say, around door jambs or into the doorway openings), a scrollsaw or bandsaw will do a better job than a handheld jigsaw. Home improvement projects are a great reason to add another good tool to the workshop, and a small bandsaw can be gotten for pretty cheap.

I agree on the planning, but there comes a point where you've just got to do the job - I found it easier to just cut according to the lengths I needed when doing the first three rows (by the book), and the remnant from the end of the first row became the starter for the second row; remnant from the second is the start for the third, and the fourth started with a new board. Where I had some outcroppings and whatnot that interfered with the original sequence, I set the longer (but not long enough) remnants to the side - I'll use them in the longer hallway or in a closet, or I'll cut them down to the next sensible interval size to make use of them (but not until I know I can't use them as-is, since it'll mean waste). Yes, for the cost per square foot, as much as you don't want to waste anything, going to extremes to avoid waste is in itself probably more of a waste of resources than just grabbing another plank when it makes sense to.

Damaged planks - in the course of installing the product to one room, I found two of the planks in one of the boxes were broken in one corner (the tongue-tongue corner), as if the box had been dropped on it's corner. My first reaction would be to set them aside and, if others came up during the course of the install, collect them all up and head back for a refund. However, this small damage is easy enough to cut off and then use the boards for a starting row (i.e. where the tongue isn't used), at a loss of perhaps seven square inches of useable flooring material.

The top step in my garage has a "bald spot" where toes nick the drywall there (it was pre-existing damage from the PO, can't say that I've had a problem using the steps myself). I took a suitable piece of the remnant and cut it to fit as a toeboard there.

Because the flooring is made of an MDF core, barring anything else, larger remnant pieces are still useful as template stock for router projects (and would also last longer than a template made from plain MDF). Even smaller remnant strips (so long as they have a straight edge) are useful for construction of router templates.

tongue vs. groove on cut pieces -- say you finish up a room with a narrow strip cut from the laminate. Now you have a bunch of boards with the groove intact, but no tongue. These pieces may still be useful in the next room as the starting row (or a major part of it), if you check the multiple of board widths necessary for coverage of that room (or closet, etc): you may need to cut down the remnant widths a bit, which will enable you to finish the next room with a full board rather than another set of cut boards, and significantly reduce your overall waste.

Posted by: Sean at February 19, 2005 9:38 AM

Thanks for all the useful info!! If anyone can send me a picture of the installed Cherry Harmonic, would be most appreciated. Also after installation can furniture be put back immediately? Thank you.

Posted by: bb at February 19, 2005 10:32 AM

I am ready to install cherry harmonic from costco. my husband wants to put it in the bathrooms and the laundry room as well as the kitchen.
Has anyone installed it in these areas?
Any problems?
What advice can you give me on these wet areas?thanks in advance.

Posted by: ann at February 19, 2005 11:37 PM

suggestion on what size base boards to use w/harmonic, where to purchase, cost? Thanks.

Posted by: bb at February 21, 2005 3:48 PM

My Husband and I just put in Harmonics Royal Cherry laminated flooring and it looks "Beatiful" Was wondering if anyone knows where you can order online or buy TMolding for this flooring!? Thanks

Posted by: Sue at February 21, 2005 9:25 PM

Karie posted this above.........

BTW - I product I am using is the Harmonics - Cherry which is the exact same product as Quik-Step U816 - Select Cherry

Posted by: Jack at February 21, 2005 11:09 PM

How many can be safely loaded in a minivan? I am surprised that each box weighs 26lbs and only covers 17.8 sqft as mentioned by somebody.

I have about 700sqft of basement to do. Would I have to make multiple trips with the Odyssey van?

Thanks,
- Vikas

Posted by: sontakke at February 22, 2005 12:28 PM

I just finished my kitchen with Harmonics, about 300 sq feet. I used the Armstrong felt padding from Lowes (39.95 sq ft). I only have 48 more boxes to install. I looked at my friends Pergo he installed over the summer. The Pergo looks good, but it was noisy in comparison to mine. The Harmonics looks pretty great for about 1/3 the price. So in my mind I can replace my floor twice in the next 15 years and still be ahead of the game. I may just do the entire house. One note make sure you get a good set of knee pads.

Posted by: Bill8Bud at February 22, 2005 4:27 PM

What tools do I need to sand the high spots on the concrete in the basement?

- Vikas

Posted by: sontakke at February 23, 2005 6:08 AM

Depends on how high the "high" spots are and over how big an area.

If they are just individual/random spots you can chip them away and level any divots with a concrete patch.

If over a larger area,then you can use a floor sander and if the sanding is too much work..it may be faster to pour a concrete leveller.

Allowance is no more than 1/8th" over a 6' span I believe.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2005 9:37 AM

If you dont want that hollow sound with laminate flooring, dont use the underlayment that comes in the kit, cheap stuff, go get some decent dense underlayment like quickstep, you will be happy you did, no hollow sound with the good stuff. The laminate is very good for the price.

Posted by: Hi at February 23, 2005 7:54 PM

Hi everyone. I laid 700 ft. of Cherry Quick-Step in my living and dining rooms. I bought it at Coker floor. Looks great. I nearly flipped when I saw 'Harmonics Royal Cherry' at Costco. I swear it's the identical shade and everything. SO- I bet you anything that the T-Molds for the regular Quick-step, which you can buy about anywhere, will be a spot-on match for the Costco stuff. There are two types of T-molds as I understand. I bought the 'floating' ones because I didn't want to mess with glue and they look & work just fine. Also- I HIGHLY recommend the upgraded underpad. Don't buy the green stuff. Buy the white stuff. The green will make your floor sound hollow and unnatural. Hope this helps ya'll.

Posted by: John at February 24, 2005 4:23 PM

I have 35 boxes of Harmonics oak laminate that I'm planning to begin laying down this weekend (2 small bedrooms, a hallway and living room. I'm pretty much a home improvement newbie (my first house) I've never done this before, but I'm giving it a shot. Based on discussions I've read here, I am not going to put laminate in Kitchen or bathroom. I am going to buy a bandsaw for cutting around door jamb trim. Good kneepads. Pry bar. Circular saw. Need to get a few more boxes of laminate for waste. I have learned alot from this site! Thank you all for the info. But I have a few questions that I hope someone can answer.

1. How do I check levelness of my flooring? How do I correct it if it's not level? I have plywood flooring underneath, not sure, but probably one layer.

2. My wife and I just finished painting practically our entire downstairs, Will I be able to keep baseboards in place? We spent a lot of time painting the trim and baseboards and I'm hoping I don't need to remove them to put down the laminate. There's approx. 1/2" space between floor and bottom of base board after I tear out the carpet.

3. I have a brick fireplace that the flooring will be going up to. How should I handle that? Do I put quarter round around the base of it? I've got a professional coming over to tile the front doorway area Saturday. Should I have him lay a row of tiles around the fireplace and avoid having to butt against the brick?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Gregg at February 24, 2005 8:04 PM

I'm glad I found this page!

I've been a member of Costco for years now, and every time I saw the Harmonics flooring I wondered if it was a good price. Well, we've decided it's time to get rid of the cheap carpet that was installed when our house was built and put in laminate floors throughout most of the house. I try to do my research when making major purchases, so have been comparison shopping around Home Depot and Lowe's as well. I kept thinking, "how can the Costco $22/case be any good when the cheapest Home Depot are $45/case?"

Reading through the comments on this page has helped me decide to get the Harmonics flooring. For the money, it seems worth it, and spend the extra money I'm saving on a better quality underpadding.

My only question: our Costco only carries 2 colors, Royal Cherry (item #696728) and Premium Oak (item #695303). On the coupon, it lists 3 item numbers, including item #696727. Does anyone know what that color is, and if I can get it transfered from another Costco? I figure I'll go ask them at the store tomorrow, but thought maybe someone here might know. I'm wanting a 'lighter' color than the oak or cherry, but may settle on the oak if need be.

Thanks again everyone!

Posted by: JaxSean at February 24, 2005 8:54 PM

The 3rd one they sell is Maple...shown here.....

http://www.quick-step.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=975

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2005 9:51 PM

We took up our old carpet only to find old hardwood floors underneath with alot of issues, so we've been checking out laminate flooring. Has anyone dealt with uneven floors, if so how did you deal with it or can you deal with it?

Posted by: Susan at February 25, 2005 6:55 AM

We purchased 46 cases of the Royal Cherry from Costco in Senter Rd - San Jose. When the installer opened 1 box to demo us the underlayment he was going to use, you can see a white line at the joints (where it interlocks).
We opened other boxes and they're all the same. Did anyone have the same problem? Is this normal? The installer said it's defective.

Posted by: Mel Bobila at February 25, 2005 8:43 AM

I just bought the Harmonics Maple to install throughout my house. The posts on this site have been really helpful. The only question I have is regarding a change in direction. The hallway runs from the entryway for about 25 feet then turns 90 degrees to the left (as your walking down the hallway) with a doorway at the end of the hallway into a bedroom. Anyone have any idea how I am going to turn 90 degrees with this stuff and not have a transition piece in the hallway?

Posted by: John at February 28, 2005 10:50 AM

This forum is very interesting. I just recently installed some Pergo in a bathroom. The stuff ain't cheap...$68/bx (17.5 sf). This product had the foam backing pre-glued to the back of it. It makes a beautiful floor. I saw the Harmonics at Costco and am seriously considering installing it in the kitchen (notice, I'm installing laminate in all of the high moisture areas...I love to live dangerously!) My question about the Harmonics deals with the underlayment. Since I didn't need it with the Pergo, I'm not familiar with it. I did notice while I was reading these postings that one person raved about the Harmonics brand of underlayment. He said he even took a sample to Home Depot or Lowe's and compared what they sell with their laminates. He claims that the Harmonics underlayment was 1mm thicker (3mm vs 2mm). However, I've noticed a couple of postings here that say the Harmonics underlayment is garbage and that they used underlayment from another company. This is confusing. If someone could shed some light on this issue, I would appreciate it. Thanks... and I'll keep all of you posted if I decide to go with the Harmonics.

Posted by: Tom at February 28, 2005 12:48 PM

I am a costco member. However, I never received any coupon book from them. Where can I find the coupon book for Harmonic laminate? On Costco's service desk?

Posted by: Qiong at March 1, 2005 3:18 PM

GO TO Costco Service Desk

Posted by: Princy at March 1, 2005 4:39 PM

I've purchased laminated flooring from Costco a couple of years ago and although all went well I later decided I needed more. The problem I have is that Costco no longer carries that brand and now if I buy Harmonics it does not match the previous brand. That is joint type and exact color. I've seen Harmonics at Costco for two years now but am concerned that they will either switch brands or not carry it later. I'm really trying to buy just what I need for now but dont want to be in a predicament later. Any thoughts about this?

Posted by: Jake Cutter at March 1, 2005 8:01 PM

Re: costco coupons.

As posted by Princy, just go to the Member Services counter. Any time you head in there and forget your coupons, just head over there and they'll provide you with a coupon book. That also means if you buy 'x' number of boxes, and realize it wasn't enough, you can head back in (and presuming the dated coupon is still valid), get another one.

Posted by: Sean at March 1, 2005 8:19 PM

Re: sanding concrete subfloor

Your best bet is a 4.5" or 7" grinder. I have both - a Dewalt and Makita (corded) respectively. The 4.5" is useful for a wide variety of tasks including automotive metalwork, while the 7" is a bit too bulky for that. Instead of the 7", if you plan to do much masonry work, you might try to get a 9", though the discs for those are likely to be harder to find - the 9" units are generally not found in Home Despot type stores.

If you don't think you'll be using the tool beyond this one time, check with your local hardware stores (or even just a regular tool rental place), and see if they've got a 7" or 9" grinder. Home Despot in my area didn't, so I ended up buying a 7". Considering what I would have paid for an installer to do the work, even buying a tool for US$150 for this one task wasn't that outrageous of an expense, and I know I'll use it again.

I used the 4.5" grinder with a sanding disc to grind away all the adhesive/thinset from a subfloor after chipping away the original tiles (though I'm installing marble in that location, not the Harmonics), while I used the 7" (and would have had an easier time with a 9") to undercut the stone fireplace so that I could slip the laminate flooring underneath the edge (look ma, no unsightly board edges!). If you use a grinder, be prepared to deal with a LOT of dust -- try to tent off the space you're working in, and of course, wear goggles and a face mask.

You can check for flatness by laying a traightedge (or the base of a level) across the area you're
checking.

If you chip it out, or grind too much, the easiest thing to do is apply self-leveling floor compound, which is like a really soupy thinset.

Posted by: Sean at March 1, 2005 8:23 PM

Gregg:

1. Levelness: use a straightedge and lay it on the floor. Shine a light on the opposite side and look for gaps between the edge of the straightedge and your subfloor. Mark a circle around problem spots with a marker pen and after you've found 'em all, paint them with a latex primer (specifically for levelling compound, which will seal the wood and provide a better bond), then let that dry (about 2 hours) and mix up some self-levelling compound and apply to the spots needing help.

2. Bummer, but the whole idea of baseboards is to cover the gap between your flooring and the wall. You need to take them out, install the flooring, and reinstall the baseboards. I believe you'll find this a lot better than trying to get the flooring under the baseboards and back together again when you don't have access to the edge to tap them together on the final row.

3. I have a natural stone fireplace. I used a 7" (but a 9" would have been easier - remember, the number is the diameter from edge to edge, but the actual cutting depth is the distance from the centre to the edge (the radius) which is half that, but actually LESS, because the spindle housing and whatnot get in the way - ultimatley, the 7" gives about 2" of useable cut depth, and that's assuming there are no outcroppings above the cut line that will interfere with the grinder housing) grinder and a masonry wheel and undercut the perimiter of the fireplace. This allowed me to slip the flooring underneath the stone. Cutting masonry produces a LOT of dust, so tent off the workarea with plastic. Wear protective goggles (as you should when using power tools), and a facemask. If you've ever done much drywall sanding, you have an idea of how the dust migrates all over the house if you don't take steps to contain it. You also need to consider the direction from which you are installing the flooring - you should want to START rows against the fireplace so that you can slip them underneath the undercut, rather than trying to end rows there. Expect to use the tapping block a bit. When done, you can apply some flexible caulking in the small gap between the flooring and the edge of the undercut (which will probably be about 1/8" or 3/16" above the wood). The protective shield on the 7" Makita grinder I used allowed me to set the face of the grinder directly against the subfloor and slide the grinder along - the disc was kept just above the subfloor surface. Follow up on the cut with an offset chisel to clear away the mortar/brick that is BELOW the grinder cut.

Posted by: Sean at March 1, 2005 8:25 PM

thanks to all who have given info about harmonics-you answered my same questions. Don't think I will go with Harmonics, too many negative comments-dog peeing created bubble etc

Posted by: tom at March 2, 2005 6:55 AM

Re: Costco carrying the same brand 2 years later.

As has been mentioned on this blog/forum, the Harmonics brand is just a rebranded QuickStep product. Harmonics carries only three (Cherry, Maple, Oak) of the variety of QuickStep patterns. So, if several years from now, you find yourself in need of more of the Harmonics and Costco isn't carrying it, either call the number on the install package (keep it in your homeowner/decorator logbook - a useful record of what paint colours, trims, etc you have used and where to get them), contact Costco Member Services (which might be able to put you in touch with the distributor), or get in touch with a QuickStep dealer (which will cost more, but if the flooring is still made, they should be able to get it, since they're the ones that MAKE it).

Also, it is common practice to get a couple boxes or so more than you actually need to complete a project and keep them stored away. This way, should you do other work that necessitates replacing some of the flooring or moving it further into another space (perhaps a closet?), you'll have some on hand. They're not so prohibitively expensive that a couple of boxes will break the bank.

Posted by: Sean at March 2, 2005 9:29 AM

Re: quality of Harmonics

Tom, if you're going to go with LAMINATE flooring, you're going to find water to be an issue in any event, whether it's Harmonics, Pergo, Shaw, or whatever. The core of the issue (pun intended) is that the laminate flooring products use MDF as the basis of the planks, and it's just a dense form of particle board - more durable, but still made up of compressed wood particles, and therefore susceptible to expansion when it gets wet.

From what I've seen, Pergo seems to be a lesser product than the Harmonics. That didn't stop me from using Pergo brand baseboards (for some contrast) when I got a really good deal on some being cleared out at a local home centre (about 20 pieces at $5 apiece instead of the more typical $20-25 -- do the math).

So bottom line is, if you don't think Harmonics is going to do it for you, then you should look to avoid laminate flooring entirely.

Posted by: Sean at March 2, 2005 10:01 AM

Re: hallway turns 90'

The harmonics product has two types of seams on it - tongue (which projects about 1/8" from the laminate face) and groove (which has a lower portion which projects about 1/4" beyond the laminate face. One long edge and one short end are tongue, and the other faces are groove. This means you can join them end to end or at a 90' angle.

However, you don't want the boards all lined up with a common end seam, because they'll loose structural rigidity - you're supposed to stagger the rows of boards so that the short seams are offset. I personally do it about 1/4 to 1/3 of a board length (i.e. from about 12" to 15" intervals), but if you're going to shoot for a 90' turn in a hall, you should do them at 7 1/2" offsets and start with the corner, building outwards from there.

Alternatley, you can continue the grain pattern down the side hall (I'd suggest doing the longer run with planks lengthwise and the shorter hall with them sideways. that is with the ends facing the side walls). Again, you need to offset the boards. This method may lead to more waste though depending upon the width of your hallway, and it'll definatley be more work because you'll have to cut nearly every plank you install, whereas going lengthwise to the hall, you only cut at the terminus, and one row of planks for width.

My installation was to a family room and connected hallway, plus another room ("Piano room), which is off the hallway, but we still have a threshold for the connection. The hallway widens at the end, and I just added an additional few courses of planks heading the same direction. Where the hallway connects to the family room, it's one continious floor (built starting with the family room which was the more complicated install since there's a fireplace that was undercut so the flooring could slip under it, and the room was also the larger single block of planks, so waste was more of an immediate concern there) and then working down the hallway.

You can experiment with clicking together some of the planks to see how well they'd work in the 90' assembly, then disassemble them.

One issue to watch out for in your hallway: the hall may not be exactly 90', and thus the flooring may appear to "drift" out of alignment with the wall. A tablesaw and a taper cutting jig would simplify cutting the planks to width if this is the case.

Posted by: Sean at March 2, 2005 10:17 AM

Some other notable bits:

* a pry bar (I prefer a flat stock type over the traditional round stock type) and a small scrap of the laminate (4" square or so is good) are useful for snugging pieces of laminate installed at the end run next to the wall - a bit easier (and quieter) than rapping on the metal comealong that is in the install kit. You'd place the scrap laminate against the wall so that the prybar doesn't mar the wall. A handcloth (or scrap of the foam liner) between the laminate scrap and the wall would further protect the wall from marring.

* when marking the planks for cuts, a pencil isn't particularly effective (except perhaps against the lighter Maple finish). A fine point "Sharpie" marker (which isn't "fine" by pen standards - they're the chubbie ones the size of a Mont-Blanc pen and are commonplace in most workshops) is useful to have on hand. So is a small cup with some baking soda, which is effective as a low-abrasion dry cleaner - you can easily wipe away the "permanent" marks using baking soda, and you don't need water.

* if you have a complex cut to make, using a piece of scrap to cut a test piece and then transferring that to the actual piece is useful. I did this for some under- door jamb pieces as well as for baseboard that needed to mate up to the edge of a stone fireplace. Better yet, a good woodworker supply would have a special tool generally used for lathe patterns, which is called a "Profile Copy Gauge", which is basically a bunch of independant bristles in a frame - you push them up against a shape and the bristles individually offset to conform to the pattern You can then transfer the pattern to your workpiece and cut it to match. A small one costs about US$9, and a larger 10" wide one is US$16. Not strictly necessary, but it's very useful.

* while you have all your flooring up, it's a great time to check for soft spots in your subfloor, and if necessary, cut out appropriate sized sections (joist-to-joist) and replace them, possibly adding additional cross support below. Check for them by applying heel pressure along points in the floor and looking for spots where the floor flexes or "sags". If it's just a poor seam between two pieces of ply (without a tongue and groove arrangement), and you have access below (crawlspace, unfinished basement, etc), you might be able to simply cut and install a cross brace underneath that ply seam that is perpendicular to the joists. You might find some cheap plywood was used in the subfloor - such as ply where there are voids in the ply sheeting, (knot holes in the ply layers you don't see on the faces), which in turn mean the face can be depressed into the void. A couple of shallow drill holes into the face where the void is (at opposite ends of the void - the second one is to provide an escape for air) and pumping in some construction cement/adhesive (using a caulking gun) may allow you to suitably fill the void.


A week or two ago, I posted about the Shaw foam underlayment available at Home Despot - I reported it as being 48" (4 feet) by 25 feet and misposted that it was 200 sf (er, because the Home Despot website gave that figure in their description). Simple math clearly shows it to be only 100 sf, which makes it more costly than the Harmonics underlayment available at Costco. It is also a lesser underlayment - it has a plastic barrier on one side (the bottom) only, rather than on both faces (this is noticeable in that the seam doesn't sandwich the foam for the next course for instance). The Shaw underlayment is a bit more delicate in that if you have your foot down on it while working on a course of the laminate, and turn your foot on the floor (the foam), you can shred it up. The Harmonics foam isn't prone to this problem because it is sandwiched between two sheets of plastic. However, the original reason I mentioned the Shaw underlayment was that since it is 48" wide instead of 36", it's _MUCH_ easier to work with in a standard hallway which is wider than one row of the Harmonics will accomodate, thus significantly reducing the amount of work to put it in. IMO, it was well worth the slight added cost to not have to deal with the narrow strip (and potentially significant waste of the narrower foam).

I don't recall if I specifically mentioned it in one of my many prior posts, but when I was in at a flooring place near me a couple of weeks ago, which is the only area retailer that caries the Quick-Step flooring (and can order the trim pieces - but at about $35 apiece instead of Harmonics' $25 - I was there checking out marble though as I'd already written them off as a source of trim hardware for the cost difference), I happened to note that the Shaw brand flooring they had on display has EXACTLY the same interlock groove - in fact, we clicked a QuickStep and Shaw plank together, and they mated perfectly, which surprised the salesperson. The Shaw planks are slightly different dimensions, but knowing that the two have compatible joinery may be of use to someone.

I have some photos of my laminate installation. Note that there's a really really hazy photo of one of the test plank insertions into the fireplace undercut - that's not bad colour correction - that's the dust still in the air about 15-20 minutes after cutting the groove with a grinder. The test plank is a cutoff that had an edge ding so I wasn't worried about scuffing it, and the edge was cut straight, to give you an idea as to how well it fits underneath the undercut. The colour in the hallway shots isn't great because the lighting isn't bright enough and the small digital camera flash doesn't output enough light to illuminate such a long space.

http://www.centrosphere.net/harmonics/

Except for installation of transitions, I'm all done with my Harmonics installation project. When I build my office space out in the workshop/barn, I may consider using the Harmonics (originally, I was thinking of using vinyl sheeting / Linoleum, which would be quicker, though a bit more expensive since I won't be finding a 14x20 "remnant" anywhere), though I can certainly wait for it to come on sale again, since at another 18 boxes or so, I'd just as soon save the US$100 the coupon gets me.

Oh and another thing - if you're doing much home improvement - carpeting, Harmonics flooring, etc - the Costco Executive Membership will more than pay for itself. Further, if you use the Costo Amex, you get a substantial chunk of change back as well.

Posted by: Sean at March 2, 2005 1:09 PM

Has anyone attempted to make their own transition pieces with a router rather than buy the expensive individual pieces. If so, was it very difficult?

Posted by: Jim at March 2, 2005 7:20 PM

I put a sample piece of laminate down on existing flooring (both vinyl and hardwood)that I would be covering with laminate and the piece was flush with the top of the metal extension of the door sill. When opening the door the rubber fins on the bottom of the door drag across the laminate. You are supposed to use a piece of moulding at door openings. The moulding would obviously be even higher amking the opening of the door a problem. How has anyone handled this issue? And thanks to all who have given their advice and counsel on laminate installations

Posted by: carl at March 3, 2005 8:04 AM

You may want to remove part of the existing flooring such as the vinyl. An end moulding would not add much more height, but it sounds like the existing flooring is the problem.

I wouldn't recommend cutting the door in this case or removing the weatherstrip. :)

Posted by: dave at March 3, 2005 9:49 AM

RE: Making your own transitions.

I ended making a transition piece from carpet to laminate because I found that the pieces I needed was going to be about $45.00 plus shipping if not in stock. I purchased a piece of oak molding then used a router to finish it to the necessary specification for about $8.00 However I still needed to stain and varnish. If you have the router and the patience you'll be money ahead. When making the transition piece, all you are worried about is securing the piece down (screws if you dont mind them being visible or having to cap them off) and having the clearance for the laminate expanding.

Posted by: Jake Cutter at March 3, 2005 12:09 PM

I really do not want to use the underlayment as I do not want the hollow sound. I live in Colorado (low humidity). Has anybody had experience glueing the laminate directly to the wood subfloor? Anyone have any advise or help??

Posted by: Rob at March 3, 2005 12:20 PM

Thank you for all the info here. I am opening my practice and have rented a big room about 600 sq ft. I am thinking of putting in Harmonics first for reasons of look (over carept), price, and health (over carpet). My question is: Should I wait and put in the drywalls first? I suppose it will be easier to just lay the flooring over the entire area, but would that pose difficulty later when putting in the drywalls? One other question, since it will be for my practice and not my home, will the warranty cover it? thanks!

Posted by: Hugo L at March 3, 2005 1:25 PM

Some have mentioned the Allegria laminate that Costco used to sell. For those of you looking for some replacements I did see a crate with various colors at the Costco in Fountain Valley, CA just yesterday. There were only about 25-30 boxes, but it may be worth a call to them.

Posted by: Joel at March 3, 2005 1:29 PM

This is all great information on this sight!! I was wondering if anyone has installed the laminate over hardwood floor. We are thinking of doing this since our floor is shot. If we do this do we need to use the barrier? Has anyone else done this?
Thanks

Posted by: Mike at March 4, 2005 7:49 AM

Is it absolutely necessary to have the Harmonics laminate acclimate for 48 hours in the room?

Posted by: Nate at March 4, 2005 5:14 PM

I would like to clarify something. Near the end of February, I posted some remarks and questions on this forum concerning Harmonics underlayment. Since that posting, another "Tom" posted that he will not be installing Harmonics because of some issues with "...dog pee, etc.). The point I'm trying to make is the "dog Pee Tom" is not me. As a matter of fact, I'm going to Costco today and buy 13 cartons of their oak. I won't be installing it any time soon, but because of the discussions on this forum, I feel comfortable with installing Harmonics in our kitchen area. BTW, Sean, I really appreciate your comments, suggestions, and pictures. Being a long time DIYer myself, none of your comments or suggestions seem off base. They certainly reflect the experience you have had installing this product.

Posted by: TomK at March 5, 2005 6:50 AM

Further clarification. I forgot to mention that I will now be posting as "TomK". Sorry for the multiple posts... but I'm a librarian by trade and tend to be a little anal-retentive... at times (everything has a place... and everything in it's place).

Posted by: TomK at March 5, 2005 6:58 AM

Is everyone removing the baseboards prior to installation of Harmonics. I'd rather not since the baseboards were recently installed but I'm wondering how it would look without removing them.

Posted by: stanB at March 5, 2005 2:10 PM

I have a long hall way which curves with a "dog ear" corner that leads to the kitchen at the end. I'm nervous about installing laminate here because I'm not sure how it will transition between straight to the curve area.

Also- has everyone been happy with their Harmonics on the stairs experiences? I'm afraid there will be some nasty falls...

Posted by: BJ at March 5, 2005 3:15 PM

Hey guys,
As a Costco employee here's a few tips. Make sure you buy more than enough, you can always return full packages of what you dont use. Once your location runs out it may be awhile before more comes in.
The coupon runs about once a year. And yes I've used the harmonics too.

Posted by: Ernie at March 6, 2005 3:23 AM

I just purchased the Harmonics from Costco but
couldn't find the installation kit. Does anyone know where to buy?

Posted by: Richard at March 7, 2005 12:15 PM

Ok...so the Costco stores are mostly sold out of this stuff and the coupon has expired. You may want to try to get a rain check. Although I went yesterday to do this (and the coupon was still valid then) the Costco manager may be inclined to give you a rain check. I have one so we'll see how long I have to wait.

Posted by: Joel at March 7, 2005 3:02 PM

Does anyone have problem to install a transition piece, I brought a T shape transition piece from homedepot which have a plastic U channel on the bottom, I screw down the U channel and try to push down the T shape transition piece. By some reason, I can not push it all way down. So I try to pull it up and I can not do it, by the time I use a flat screw driver to pry it up, the bottom part of the T molding have detached. I end up use a double sides glass tape to hold it down.
Does anyone have the same experience. Does those T molding make for one time use only. By the way, the bottom part of the T molding is made of paper like product. What a product.

Posted by: hong at March 8, 2005 8:02 AM

I just purchased approx. 800 ft of the Oak Harmonics floor. We are wanting to lay it over an existing lineoluem floor in the laundry room/pantry, kitchen/ dining room and continue into the great room/family room and then the hallway.
We have never done anything like this and I am wondering do most of you square the room and then start laying the floor or do you just start on one wall and work your way through the house??
Also we have an older ranch style house so our kitchen dining area is a long rectangle. Is it better to lay the floor so that it is parallel to the light falling through the window, or to go lenthwise along the longest wall??
Putting it in parrallel to the window will involve more cutting.
The installation kit does have the white roll of plastic. If that is not a good underlayment, where do I buy the best one at?
Finally where is the best place to find the new moldings, Lowes or Home Depot?? I have called Harmonics at least 10 times and I cannot get through.
Thanks. Angela

Posted by: Angela at March 8, 2005 8:28 AM

Angela:

1)Re:Harmonics warranty .. I don't think Harmonics is warrantied for kitchens and bathrooms(high moisture).I believe it is also voided unless you use their own underlayment.

2)My personal preference is too lay the planks longways for esthetics(sp)but they can be layed any way you prefer.If going lengthwise thru a door opening I would suggest an expansion joint to aid if any movement occurs.Breadthwise thru the door openings ,you can probably get away with no expansion moulding.

3)As for mouldings and trim pieces..find your closet quickstep supllier/dealer and get the pieces there.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2005 10:36 AM

Jack-
I finally got through to Harmonics. It costs about $19 a molding piece, plus shipping.
We have vinyl coving in the kitchen, do we just glue the molding over the top of the coving or do we need to remove the coving first??
The warranty does apply to the kitchen if you use the appropriate underlay and seal the perimeter edges with the correct calking/sealer.
Once you cut the pieces for the respective rows, is the left over cut piece able to be used or is it discarded since it will no longer have the locking edge after being cut? Or do you just use those left over pieces on the edges of the floor??
I was thinking that we will need to do the floor along the long side of the wall in order to have a lot less waste. However, the guy at Lowes said that the floors look better if they are laid down in the direction of the way the light falls.
Any insight would be most appreciated.
Thanks. Angela

Posted by: Angela at March 8, 2005 12:45 PM

I was offered some help a few weeks ago on this great site so I thought I would leave some feedback on Harmonics based on my experience over the last month.I installed 200sqft of Oak in a bedroom and it was GREAT. First time I ever installed laminate and it went without a hitch. I also ordered the transitions from Harmonics without any problem. Since the experience was so great I went back to Costco to buy more before the coupon ran out and will do the other two bedrooms. I used their underlayment also and it was fine. I had Pergo installed in a prior house by Home Depot and wasnt nearly as happy with that.
Only time will tell if I have any wear issues but so far its great. I read various installation tip sites such as Lowes and some others that did help prior to the job. Good Luck to all!
Chris

Posted by: Chris at March 8, 2005 1:58 PM

I need help....We laid our floor, but did not take up the trim that was already there. What can we get to go from the kitchen and bathroom laminate floor to the wood floor.....I have look at lowe's, but am not for sure what to get.

Posted by: april at March 8, 2005 2:05 PM

Wondering how long it might take to install 1,000 sq ft of the flooring and underfloor w/ two people? I would appreciate any info. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Tera at March 8, 2005 3:01 PM

I recently ordered some trim pieces from Harmonics for the Oak. Their cust. service was pretty quick. When I recieved the pieces, they had Quick Step labels on them with the product code U843. I went to a local dealer and bought additional pieces without having to pay shipping costs.

I also installed the flooring on some stairs. I was concerned about the raised bull nose edging, but after a week of getting use to them, my family hardly notices. As for the trip hazzard, we found that the bull nosing acts like a nonskid tread.

Posted by: SteveM at March 8, 2005 8:33 PM

I just finished installing about 350 sq ft of Harmonics flooring this week with my best friend. I love it! The job looks very professional, even if two chicks did all the work. We used a circular saw and a jig saw for cutting and it went really fast. I chose the royal cherry and wow, my home looks great. The flooring is super easy to put down, not one seam or chipped board. The worst part was pulling up my carpet because they glued the pad down and nailed the tack rails into the concrete. I have the old glue kind in my dining room and there is just no comparison, the Harmonics looks so much better! I'll be replacing that next because I bought 8 extra boxes while it was on sale.

Posted by: Tara at March 11, 2005 10:02 AM

We are in the process of installing the Harmonics flooring from Costco and are not finding it easy to rotate and snap into place. It's requiring me standing on the previous pieces while Bill pushes and manipulates very hard to get it in place and locked. We really like the appearance but wonder is anyone else is having the same difficulties. Directions on the package aren't very helpful. We started out by tapping it into place with the tapping block but are finding what someone else said, it can cause chips on the edges of the adjacent board. In that regard, we're wondering if anyone has tried to repair a tiny chip without taking out the damaged board. We have one that we can see is going to chip and didn't realize it until we were three planks further along. Would clear nailpolish be any good to dab on in hopes of preventing that little raised area from breaking away or are we going to have to unassemble and do it all over? Or...any other suggestions for repairing or sealing potential chips? Thanks!

Posted by: Carol at March 11, 2005 12:25 PM

My husband and I installed Royal Cherry in our living and dining room. We were very satisfied with the look. We ordered all the trim pieces from Harmonics. (Their pricing for these pieces are just as expensive as buying an equivalent but different brand at Home Depot or Lowes. The only trim that even was remotely close in color was Pergo's Cherry but was a bit more expensive.) The Harmonics end profile piece for the front door entry went in perfectly. However, we are having a terrible time installing the Transition pieces (carpet to laminate flooring). Since the strips that the trim piece mount into are plastic and weren't perfectly straight, we thought it would be best to put a tiny amount of the trim piece in it to keep the plastic straight while the adhesive dried. (Without doing this the plastic trim piece was not a straight line and we knew we would have an even more difficult time snapping the transition piece in later.) The main problem we are having is that the trim piece goes in with (excessive force) most of the way except about the last 8 inches. We had hired a carpet installer to come out and stretch the carpet and then tack it down before we even tried putting in the trim piece. The padding sits behind the carpet tack strip and the carpet tack strip is about 3" back from where the plastic trim piece is tacked down. We had to use a rubber mallet to get it in the previous 35" or so. Because of the problem we had with our first transition piece, on our second one (temporary transition piece that we will pull up later to finish our hallways with laminate) we didn't use a carpet tack strip to see if that helped at all. That area is even worse. We couldn't get it to stick in the plastic moulding at all. So after we used a rubber mallet, the trim piece is in about 3/4 of the way, but is now ruined because the mallet ended up destroying the trim piece. We are frustrated. I have placed two calls to Harmonics customer service
1-888-459-9220 and left messages two days in a row and have not received a call back. Previous posters on this board indicated they had received call backs right away. Has anyone had a problem with the transition pieces and can offer any advice?

Posted by: Cheryl at March 12, 2005 10:15 AM

Re: using a router to create your own transition pieces

Yes, you can do this, but the tradeoff is your time, both in doing the cutting and also in prepping for it (planning out the cuts, etc), and then doing finish work (stain and possibly a poly sealer). I'm planning on a self-made transition between some marble and carpet (which could just as easily be a transition between the laminate flooring and something else) for various reasons (not the least of which is because it's a wide transition). For the laminate transitions, some of the pieces I'm getting are the dual-level type (Harmonics type 'C' on their order form), which I plan to either route or run across the tablesaw (probably the latter) to cut the longer face down to the actual height I need, which isn't a lot more meatier than the uncut side (basically, they'll end up looking VERY similar to the type "E" t-transitions).

If you're making your own, the Oak flooring will be the cheapest to do, because Oak is readily available (though by no means as "cheap" as it once was). It is also a common baseboard and trim wood, meaning you shouldn't have trouble locating it in lengths. Maple and Cherry though will end up costing you more, and you'll have trouble getting it in the longer lengths unless you're fine with paying through the nose (which probably isn't the goal if you're looking to save money over using the Harmonics transitions).

IIRC, the plastic tracks are available at Home Despot for a few bucks apiece (sold SEPARATE from their transition pieces), and should be about the same as the Harmonics one, so you could purchase that and mimic the moulding mounting if you make your own, though countersunk screws with flush wood dowels would make for a secure and attractive method of mounting. Again, OAK is going to be easy to get materials for with this approach, though you'll probably want to consider a Danish Oil finish rather than poly or a lacquer. If you ever have to pull up the trim, you'd drill a small hole into each of the flush wood caps over the screw holes, then insert a small screw into them and pull them up. Just replace them with a new cap when you re-install the trim. Even if the caps end up soaking up the stain differently (different piece of wood, different grain porosity, etc), they'll look sort of intentional, like contrasting dovetails and other joinery work.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 8:52 AM

Re: Difficult snap-and-click

You need to ensure that the WHOLE length of the joint is well seated before trying to snap it into place. Snap the LONG joint first, with the end joint very close to the next plank, then tap it over into the next plank (3 or so smacks should do it).

You might take a couple of planks and snap them together in hand, to see that they fit together well - you can unsnap them easily enough.

One possible cause for poor snapping is planks which have been exposed to excessive humidity (translation: they got wet). I would strongly advise that anyone picking up this flooring NOT leave it in their truck bed overnight when they get home, figuring on just unloading it in the morning. Dew and other sources of moisture could create problems. Exposing a sheet of construction grade ply isn't a big deal, but I wouldn't expose good wood to the elements either, so don't take it as some indication of frailty on the part of the flooring: that joint is pretty precise, so buggering up the material with moisture won't do it any good.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:48 AM

Re: getting through to Harmonics

Curiously, the first time I called them, I had no trouble - promptly answered the phone, and provided me with the ordering document via email (in Word format, but apparently if you ask, they DO have a PDF). Then, when I was ready to order the transition pieces, I called them several times over a three day period and finally received a return phone call on a Saturay (after I'd ceased calling them), and of course, I was out on the road and didn't have the order specifics on hand, which further delayed placing the order (which I wanted to get done because it was holding up completing a marble install which I needed to have the transitions in hand to verify actual spacing - the last thing I wanted to to was chop up the marble and find the gap was too large, or set the marble and find the gap was too small). There was no explanation for why it took so long for them to finally return my calls, but the published 888-459-9220 number IS valid.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:50 AM

Re: Pre-existing baseboard/trim.

Ideally, you should remove the existing trim and reinstall it afterwards. Unless somebody used construction adhesive to install it (not a good idea, but some odd techniques have been known to be used by people), they should come off with a little coaxing from a prybar (I much prefer the wide flat type instead of the circular/hex traditional type). You can take a scrap of the laminate with a piece of foam or a rag between that and the wall to provide a protection against marring the wall with the prybar. Draw a simple diagram of the room and number off the trim pieces as you remove them - on both the diagram and the backside of the piece, which provides you with a ready reference for where to return them, which will save you confusion later.

If removing the baseboard isn't an option for some reason, the quarter roundover is the trim piece you'd use to make a transition adjacent to the existing trim. Of course, this brings the trim another 1/2" or so out into your room (and is yet more stuff to deal with at door jambs and interferes with some against-the-wall furniture), and if the trim is painted, you'll want to paint the quarter round as well, so you're not likely to be saving yourself a lot of work over pulling the trim. You can pick up a length of quarter round at the hardware store and lay it down against the base of the baseboard, and near door jambs, etc, to see how it'd look in general. If you could taper it off near door jambs, it wouldn't be too bad, but IMO, you should just use the existing trim.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:53 AM

Re: laminate on stairs

Caveat: I didn't install laminate on the stairs in my home - there's a few exterior steps (inappropriate for this flooring), plus three heavy timber treads in the garage, which I don't plan to mess with. As such, you may find my observations without merit. It's your call.

The laminate is slick if you're on it in socks or something else prone to sliding on a smooth surface. However, a stair tread doesn't afford a lot of space to get a good slide going -- to effectively slide on the flooring (my 21 month old son drops onto a large smooth sheen pillow and crosses his arms in front of him and holds his legs up so I can speed him down the hallway on it), you've got to get a bit of a clip going, and the slide doesn't continue far (unlike say Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in "Risky Business"). As someone else has already commented, the step transition piece would act as a sort of friction point, keeping your foot from being able to easily slide off the front of the step.

If you find that the stair installation isn't to your liking, you could install a retained carpet runner down the middle over the flooring - you'd still have laminate flooring appearance on either side of the carpet, which would tie the stairs in with the flooring which I presume you'd have at the top and bottom of the stairs, and the carpet itself could be coordinated with your wall colouring, or some other theme in your home.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:54 AM

Re: install over shot hardwood flooring

Installing over any flooring should really have the underlayment foam - it'll help to quiet the floor, which since it isn't nailed or glued down, might actually "tap" against the subfloor when you walk across it if the existing floor isn't perfectly flat (and humidity changes can affect how flat the laminate flooring seems too).

As has already been mentioned in several posts, the warranty is invalid without the foam underlayment anyway (thought the warranty is of nominal use unless a big portion of your floor goes bad somehow).

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:56 AM

Re: remodel - walls or floor first?

You definatley want to deal with walls (and ceiling) BEFORE doing the flooring. Drywall is notoriously messy stuff. There's also the matter of paint. Sure, you can manage with the flooring in place, but effectively covering it with painters plastic and dealing with that isn't fun, and you need to worry about any demolition work you're doing (pulling any drywall out?) and what the screws and nails, etc might do if you drop a few and they get trounced on.

I knocked some walls out in my place and dropped a new ceiling in the living room, and I opted to do all of that BEFORE doing the flooring (certainly the laminate, but owing to schedule stuff, some carpet was installed before one of the rooms was complete, so I had to contend with painters plastic which wasn't wide enough in both dimensions to cover all the floor in one piece). I can say it is MUCH easier to deal with things when you don't have to fret over hosing the floor.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:58 AM

Re: ranch style home install.

My house is also a ranch style (long, with a hallway down the middle). I ran the family room and the hallway as one joined install. I did precise measurements coming off the exterior wall and up to the hallway to figure out what sort of offcuts I was going to be dealing with for the length of the hallway, so that if I needed to offset, I could do that on the first course (in the family room against the exterior wall). Additionally, I planned out the install based on getting the underlayment UNDER the lip of the fireplace, and thus needed to start at that room, heading away from the fireplace. I'd suggest you do a walkthrough of your install areas and note any spots you have to deal with doorways or other transitions, or anything else that isn't just "drop and click" installation, and determine you best place to start from there.

As for direction in relationship to the light, according to the QuickStep (the OEM for Harmonics) installation instructions "The floor should preferably be installed parallel to the way the light falls." The logical reasoning for this is that the end seams are shorter and offset to one another, and thus will be less likely to catch the eye, wheras the side edge will be a long continuious seam, which will be somewhat more noticeable with the light crossing it perpendicular. Now, take this install advice with a grain of salt -- if you have a long hallway, you're going to be much better off having the planks running WITH the length of the hallway, and as a result in a ranch style home, that's very likely to mean you're running the planks 90' out from the recommended orientation. I laid all the planks in the same orientation - I didn't want the planks in a side room to intersect the hallway at 90' since in my own mind, that would have looked more like someone goofed up (and who is going to believe you when you say "yea, I did that intentionally").

You can click a few pieces together (say, two lengthwise by three or four widthwise, remembering to offset the seams) and set them out in a room near the window and see how the light falls on the seams. You can pop them apart easily enough. sor such a small assembly, you should be able to pop them together as pairs end-to-end, then pop them together on edge - no use of the tapping block should be necessary to put them together. Disassemble in reverse of assembly.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 11:03 AM

Re: install time for 1,000 sq ft with two people.

I couldn't quote you a reliable time on this both because I did my install by myself, and also because installation conditions and retentiveness vary - I was big on making precise cuts for door insets, etc, and I had a few complex issues with my own installation (which included undercutting a fireplace). I also had various other tasks to attend to concurrent with the installation. Oh, and I wasn't timing it - either just to know, or to try to "race the clock".

That said, you'll find that a simple rectangular room with minimal projections (doorways, etc) will go faster than will a hallway of similar square footage (with multiple door projections, and possibly curves), a stairway, or any room where you have complex cuts to attend to. Laying down the foam underlayment will be somewhat easier with two people, though one person and some small weighted objects to hold the underlayment from curling up is fine. Having one person kneeling and placing the planks while another gets more and cuts per measurements could be a timesaver, but besides that, the second person could just as easily be an elementary school age child handing you the next plank, etc.

Excepting working on separate rooms, because you put the flooring in by offset courses, the helper can't really be installing "over there", unless your timing is just right such that you're a couple planks ahead on an alternate course, and s/he's following on a course or two over. I just don't see a significant same-room time savings from a second person, except by division of tasks (measure/cutting vs. installing), and even that isn't equally weighted, but at least allows you each to focus on one type of operation.

BTW, a twice folded (so three layer) bath towel makes a good tool holder - the metal comealong, tapping block, your hammer, tape measure, and a marking implement (A "sharpie" pen worked well for me - see comments about erasing with baking soda) can all be set on this and dragged along the floor without worrying about scuffing the floor (particularly with the metal comealong), and the edge of the towel can be reached to pull ALL the tools along to the next course as you move across the floor. I've got a proper tool belt, but I wasn't keen on going down my hallway with a long hammer handle down the one side, and the metal comealong posed a bit of a dropping concern, since I could see it easily putting a divot into the floor with the pointed corners.

If you're dealing with a single room, this is easily a sub-one day task. If the square footage you're quoting is multiple rooms, it's perhaps a two day task (depending upon how many hours you put into it per day - one example of my own time constraints was having a child to care for and not wanting to distrupt his sleep time, when I could go off and do something else in the shop anyway).

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 11:12 AM

re: difficulty installing transition pieces.

I finally got through to someone at Harmonics and was told that no portion of the carpet should be underneath the transition piece. The carpet should just but up against the transition piece. I also confirmed that they don't give you any instructions on installing trim pieces when you order them. We will give it a try and see what happens.

Posted by: Cheryl at March 14, 2005 3:01 PM

re: difficulty installing transition pieces.

Cheryl, you want the Type "C" transitions, which on cross-section look similar to the Type "E" transition (which looks like a "T" of sorts), but with one side coming down much farther than the other (so almost like an F rotated 90' clockwise) - that is the side which would face the carpeting. You want the carpet cut long enough that it would be sort of just underneath the transition, but you tuck that edge of the carpet down against the face of the transition. It's really supposed to be quite close to the carpet tack strip.

For the rough cut of carpet to the flooring when I installed my flooring in a hallway, some of the carpets look like they could have managed without a transition piece, though I know that the cut edge of the laminate wouldn't be the right thing for a transition, it didn't look too bad while waiting for the actual transition pieces.

Posted by: Sean at March 14, 2005 10:57 PM

Hey........Can the Harmonica Flooring be laid right over vinyl or linoleum? Also....the old flooring has some of the vinyl tiles missing or pulled up...........how do I deal with that?

Posted by: Jane at March 17, 2005 8:00 AM

Jane,
Yes, the laminate can be laid right over the vinyl as long as it is relatively level.

If the old flooring has some vinyl tiles missing, get some cheap vinyl tiles about the same thickness, and use a silicone adhesive to glue it down to get it level. (You can even cut larger tile pieces to fit a smaller tile area.) If they are pulled up, glue it back down.

Posted by: leprechaun at March 17, 2005 3:29 PM

I found this forum when we were considering putting the Harmonics flooring on most of our downstairs. I have found the information here very helpful. We did one 10 x 12 room in the cherry so far, and we love it. We did notice that you could see the seams on the floor (with sort of a light line like the very edge of the sealant wants to lift). I finally got in touch with Harmonics yesterday and was told that we probably didn't get the seams tight enough somewhere in the beginning of the room layout. I'm not sure if that is the case or not, but we're happy with the floor so I'm not going to worry about it. She also said that you CAN lay the laminate over sheet vinyl but you still have to use the underlayment, which I was disappointed with because that meant that our joining rooms would be two different levels if we don't take up the vinyl. We have been going back and forth about putting the laminate in the kitchen. I was worried about the spills and drips so I took a small scrap piece and soaked half of it in water for three to five hours and didn't really notice any difference in the size of the two halves. I was very impressed with how watertight it was. Overall, I think that this is an excellent flooring for the price.

Posted by: Laura at March 17, 2005 8:59 PM

Anyone in phoenix area with harmonics experience? Especially with temperature and humidity for installation and/or extended use?
Under flooring? Remodeling? Desert wear?

Thanks

mike

Posted by: mike at March 18, 2005 7:12 AM

I installed Maple in my Dining room and Kitchen. I had to rip out 1/2" thick chip board that was laid in the kitchen to make up a height difference for carpet to linoleum, but other than that it went VERY well. A couple of notes:
1 Best to have your transition pieces or good dimensions prior to starting. I left too much space from carpet to laminate, so I had to make some adjustments.
2 Found that most installers DO NOT use the plastic tracks! They use Liquid Nails for the very reasons some have expressed here.
Doing entry stairs next!

Posted by: Tim at March 20, 2005 9:34 AM

Am finishing up 680 sq ft of harmonics-cherry-looks great. I pulled the old baseboards and purchased 3-1/2" pine base boards from Home Depot-they were primed and I have it 2 coats-not expensive and really nice finish.

Posted by: bb at March 21, 2005 3:55 PM

Hello,
Anybody using the liquid nails to glue the plastic track (for T-molding) to concrete floor? If so, which type of liquid nail did you use? I read the info from quick step web site, they just said use the adhesive which is polystyrene compatible. But no liquid nail stuff said that on label.
Thanks in advance!
Lee

Posted by: lee at March 23, 2005 1:48 PM

My wife and I just installed Harmonics in 2 rooms for a total of about 500 sq. ft. It turned out looking great. Here are some of my observations that might be helpful for other first-timers.

- First, I'd give yourself twice as much time as expected. I know some on this board mentioned installing 600 sq. ft. in 10 hours (they ought to be pros if this is true). Be sure to add in time to move the furniture, scrape up any roughness, rip up the carpet/pad (we had to cut it into 2ft wide strips for our garbage men to pick up), rip out the carpet tack boards, drive to store for miscellaneous parts, tools, etc, etc. We spent about 2 days on each room (note: a lot of that time was spent each working alone though). We're still haven't yet quite finished all of the moldings, caulking, and painting. Note that we're not totally lame either when it comes to DIY home projects either. My wife once even installed a marble floor in our master bath *by herself* when I was away on a business trip (and did a very professional job, I might add).

- I recommend doing your easiest, smaller room first. At the last minute we decided to do this and I was very glad we did because we were just learning. Our much-larger, trickier-shaped room (fireplace mantle and hearth, weird angles, tile landing, etc.) would have taken much longer had we done it first.

- As others have mentioned, try to avoid using the tapping block whenever possible. You really shouldn't need it in most cases. Snap the floors into place and pat them on top to settle the seams. I used the tapping block too much on the first room and regretted it later because some of the seams buckled a tad. It's tempting to use the block because the joints can be hard to snap at times, even once you get the hang of it. I recommend going to Pergo site for much better installation instructions on clicking the planks together. In tricky corners or areas, it might make sense to snap smaller pieces togther first before snapping them into the floor (instead of using the pull bar). If you must tap, tap lightly, and only until the seam is *almost* joined, then use your hands to pull them together.

- If you carefully plan each cut, it might take more time, but you'll have a lot less waste in the end. We laid out the boards in advance so we knew exactly where the last boards would be cut in order to ensure that the cut end would be usable a few rows down. We ended up with less than 8% total waste. Most instructions tell you to expect at least 10% and up to 20%. Now I get to return 5 boxes to Costco (and put $115 back in my wallet).

- We used original formula Liquid Nails when installing the plastic track for molding. It seems to be working fine. It can be messy, but it's easier than drilling. NOTE: Use mineral spirits (paint thinner) to clean up any that gets on your floor (it's safe for laminates).

- ONE LAST IMPORTANT POINT - I found it hard to believe, but the Oak planks had only about 5 planks worth of different grain patterns, which sometimes repeat a lot (we ended up with names for all of them). One particular grain pattern (which we called "the eyeball") once appeared in 5 out of 7 in a box! Some suggest pulling planks from several different boxes at a time to avoid repeats, but in our case, it really didn't help much (we tried!). If you're picky and want the floor to look as real as possible, plan to spend some time sifting through different boxes and planning each board placement in advance; otherwise, you'll see some obviously-repeated patterns. At some point, there may not much you can do about it though. We tried to keep the repeats to a minimum in the areas that will never have furniture or rugs to hide them. I simply can't believe that the laminate mfrs can't have more grain patterns (from what I hear, all seem to have this problem, not just Harmonics/Quick-step). I mean, how much more would it cost to use more pictures of wood? Since the "wood-snobs" often voice this complaint about laminates, it seems like it would be an easy issue to address (I'm not a expert in the mfg processes though, maybe there's something I'm not aware of. Anyone?).

Posted by: Shralper at March 23, 2005 6:01 PM

Thanks Shralper for the liquid nails part. If you don't mind, could you please give me the product number of the liquid nails you used? I stopped by the home depot today, most of their liquid nails are not recommanded for plastic or polystyrene or concrete. even the store employee could not find one for me....
and by the way, did you have to hold the track down to the concrete for like 15 to 20 minutes for it to set?
Thanks again!
Lee

Posted by: Lee at March 23, 2005 10:25 PM

I am installing harmonics in the kitchen, over existing vinyl. Any comment on whether Harmonics Flooring can withstand the weight of 26 cu ft refrigerator. Or should I avoid putting harmonics under the frz and just isntall around it.

Posted by: hiren at March 24, 2005 4:15 PM

Lee-- We first used a different brand of Liquid Nail type glue we bought at Lowes. Unfortunately, we threw the empty tube away. We still have a little molding left to do, and this time I bought Liquid Nails Original Formula for interior Projects and Construction, LN-601. I've read the label and I don't see anything about "not recommended for plastic or concrete." I don't think it will be a problem.

I'm certainly no expert on the topic though. The only reason we used Liquid Nails was because the Home Depot training guy said it would work fine. He made no mention of using a special product line (and there are a bunch). I don't know how much of a "expert" he really was though.

As far as holding it down, we pushed it down and held it in place briefly. Then I revisited it a couple times as it was drying and pushed it down again. As the glue sets, it becomes sticky enough within 10-15 minutes to hold it down on its own. Even after we placed the molding in it, it started rising again at the ends. I simply stepped on it and held my weight for a few seconds. It's set now and isn't coming up at all.

You can always drill into the concrete if you would rather. Good luck.

Posted by: Shralper at March 24, 2005 6:07 PM

Shralper, thanks again for the detailed info. I am going to buy the LN601 tomorrow. I am not comfortable to drill into the concrete.
Have good easter weekend!
Lee

Posted by: Lee at March 24, 2005 8:57 PM

Help! Has anyone used the Harmonics Flooring for their stairs? Costco doesn't carry the Stair Nose strips and then I got concerned as to whether using the flooring on stairs would create a dangerous situation due to the slickness of the flooring.

Posted by: Dan at March 26, 2005 11:27 PM

We're installing the laminate in our upstairs where our two dogs spend most of their days. One is entirely housebroken and not a problem, the pug puppy well... she's making progress. Most of the time we're not home she's crated but she has her occasional accidents.

I've heard you can seal up the laminate with some sort of glue in the space between the joints but I don't know what kind to use that will be okay since the floor floats/expands/etc. Any recommendations?

Thanks bunches!

Jemma

Posted by: Jemma at March 27, 2005 6:32 AM

Hi, Boy am I glad we found this !! Has been a big help in making our decision on getting the Costco stuff.

Well, we are about to start laying it on a concrete floor. From our entryway there is a stepdown into the living room. And this edge of the concrete is not very smooth. This also leaves the problem of covering the step down itself, also concrete. We have about a four inch space from where tile is to the step down. We figure we will use a one-by along the whole edge going down to try and give us an extended relatively flat area to work with. Has anyone dealt with this before?

We figure we would put the underlayment below the board which will be then attached to the concrete. That will leave a little more than four inches between the tile from the front door to the step down itself. I figure we will have to just glue the laminate to the concrete in that small space because I am concerned it will shift otherwise.
Anyone have any advice on this?

Posted by: elf at March 27, 2005 10:09 AM

Carpet tack strip question: After pulling up the nailed down tack strip on my concrete floor small chunks of concrete came up leaving shallow, narrow holes. Do I need to fill them before laying the laminate? The holes arent deep (less than 1/8 in and not very long (less than 2"). Thanks.

Posted by: stanB at March 27, 2005 2:11 PM

I wish I would have found this site earlier. We have already laid down our oak laminate flooring. We are at the point where we need to put in the T mouldings. Any suggestions on the easiest way to get that done? We went to Lowe's and Home Depot trying to find a color match. They pieces only come in packs now and are not sold separately. We need to do the transistion pieces where the carpet meets the laminate and at the front door and sliding glass door. HELP! Also, before finding this site, I was very happy with the end product. But, having read other's concerns and problems, I feel a bit worried now. We have a new puppy and two kids. I was thinking when we put the Harmonics down, it would be the best flooring choice. Other than cleaning up wet messes quickly, any other suggestions?

Posted by: Evelyn at March 28, 2005 3:27 PM

stanB,
I had the same problem as you, I just fill the holes with concrete patch, some of my friends didn't patch it at all, so I guess it is your decision.

Posted by: Lee at March 29, 2005 11:00 PM

Answer to Jenna-- As far as the seams in the laminates go, they should withstand any spills or pet accidents without any glue/sealant in the seams. If you read the Harmonics installation notes, you'll see that you can even install it in bathroom areas, as long as you caulk the outer perimeter of the room (where the floor meets the wall). This is because if any water ever spilled near the wall, you want to prevent any water from getting underneath the flooring.

As far as spills/accidents in the seams, I would not worry about it. You should not need any glue or sealant in the spaces between the joints. It will be more work (and mess) than necessary, plus if you ever have to pull the floor up to replace a board or two, you will destroy all the joints by pulling them up.

I was skeptical myself at first, so I did a test myself with some scrap pieces by pouring water on a seam. I left it overnight. The next day, I opened the joint and found no wetness whatsoever in the seam and no damage. Some else on this site actually left half a scrap piece submerged in water, and said there was no noticeable difference between the halves days later.

As far as pet messes go, we have a puppy as well that has already done its share of accidents. And I talked to the install training guy at Home Depot and he said that his Great Dane got left in the house by his step-son for 3 days. He walked into a huge puddle of pee, with no telling how long it had been there. He wiped it up and never noticed a thing-- no warping, nothing.

Harmonics/Quick-Step has the most moisture-resistant boards in the business. As long as you're careful with installation and inspect the edges for any major damage before installing them, I wouldn't worry about it. While all the manufacturers tell you not to leave water standing on the floor, I believe they're simply being extra cautious.

Posted by: Shralper at April 5, 2005 6:51 PM

I purchased 32 boxes of the Costco Harmonics laminate maple flooring during the $5 off sale about a month ago.Yesterday, I read in another laminate flooring forum, regarding the installation process, some disturbing information. Seems there have been a few instances of quality issues between the "Made in the USA" and "Made in Belgium" planks. The Belgium made planks have fitment and quality problems. Whereas the USA planks seem to fit smoothly and are more resistant to chipping. I'm planning to install the flooring in a couple weeks, but I am strongly considering exchanging (oh, the joy of loading, unloading, loading and unloading the truck again!) the flooring for the USA product. Anybody here have any of these issues?

Thanks, Dave

Posted by: Dave at April 7, 2005 10:57 AM

I do not have any idea about stuff made in Belgium, but, I installed Oak which was made in USA and it installed w/o any problem.

Posted by: Qwerty at April 8, 2005 11:01 AM

I just installed 42 boxes of Maple, Made in Belguim planks. They fit together perfectly and were all cosmetically perfect as well, so from my experience that info is dead wrong...

Posted by: Bill at April 8, 2005 8:56 PM

We made a 950 sq ft addition to our house. The existing slab was 3.5 inches higher on one end of the slab to the other end (48 ft long). We had to pour the new slab level, leaving a raised spot between the two slabs. How can this be made level so the harmonics flooring can transition from the old slab to the new slab? Can it be ground down to make it level enough or do we have to make a step at this spot on the floor? Any ideas?

Posted by: carolyn at April 10, 2005 12:49 PM

Anyone knows how to transit the laminate floor to ceramic tiles and where to buy the material for the transition? Please help, thank you!

Posted by: Shirly at April 11, 2005 8:07 AM

Sorry, forgot about one thing: the transition from laminate floor to ceramic tiles is on the top of the basement concrete floor. I don't know if it makes the difference in handling the transition. I need to make sure that can be done before I buy 1000sf from Costco. Your help is very much appreciated!

Posted by: Shirly at April 11, 2005 8:31 AM

I recently installed about 150sf of Harmonics with Harmonics underlayment. Floor sounds pretty hollow. Has anyone compared the sound with the harmonics vs. quickstep or other underlayment? Is the higher price for quickstep or other underlayment worth it? Seems like the non-Harmonics is about 3 times the price per sf.
Thanks.

Posted by: Johnw at April 12, 2005 9:18 AM

Finished reading through this whole thread -- took me awhile, but picked up some great tips! I still have two questions/concerns though:

1. When coming to a "end cap" transitioning between a hallway (will be laminate) and a bathroom (tile), how exactly to I cut the Harmonics underfloor? Does the plastic waterproof barrier fold up and under the end cap? I'll also be coming up to a sliding door in the living room...how/where does the plastic waterproof barrier go here? In both cases, we also plan to use a silicone sealant in addition to the Harmonics underfloor.

2. Can someone explain to me or show me a picture of how to make the cuts under door jambs? I have a pull saw, so actually cutting doesn't seem to be a problem. Do I just cut the jamb all the way to the wall and make 1 rectangular cut into the laminate and just slip it under? Or do I have to cut the laminate to contour the ridges of the door jamb?

Thanks for the help! Hopefully we'll start installing this weekend.

Posted by: Tee at April 12, 2005 9:01 PM

Answer to Johnw: Use the white quickstep Unisound COMBI FLOOR with poly instead of the underlayment that you buy at Costco. The cost of the Unisound is $0.65 at a dealer or you can order it online for cheaper (even after shipping costs are added in). The Unisound will give it a more natural sound.

Answer to Tee: The easiest way is to cut the jamb all the way to the wall and slip the laminate under the jamb. It's easier than trying to contour the laminate to the jamb and it will look better.

Answer to stanb: You can buy concrete/mortar "caulk" at hardware stores and fill in the holes from the carpet tack strip. Just squeeze the material into the hole and use a putty knife to level it with the slab.


Posted by: John at April 13, 2005 9:08 AM

When will the Costco's $5 coupon on the laminate floor be available again? anybody knows?

Posted by: Shirly at April 14, 2005 7:01 AM

Thanks for the response. When reinstalling baseboards or shoe molding can the molding be nailed to the wall after downward pressure is applied to the floor? The floor seems to move up and down slightly against the walls (rubbing against the underlayment) and it seems like this installation would prevent it. I know the molding cant be nailed to the floor.

Posted by: Johnw at April 14, 2005 9:02 AM

We are putting the royal cherry harmonics on most of our downstairs. We bought 75 boxes the first week of March. We did one bedroom and it turned out great. We are in the process of laying down the flooring in the living areas and everything was going great until we got to the twentyth box or so. We started noticing stripes of residue on the planks and some of the planks were scratched. The last two days have been spent going through box after box with six out of seven usually being unusable. I was so upset yesterday that I called the Harmonics at least ten times until I actually got hold of a person and vented my frustration about the quality of the flooring. After apologizing, she said that I would have to exchange the scratched planks at Costco. As of yesterday we had at least 25 boxes to go back. The lot that we bought are made in Belgium. What really gets me fuming is that the first plank of each box looks fine and then the rest of the box has scratches of varying degrees (like they were covering up a bad box). I am so disappointed because although I'm not a real fan of the wood flooring look, the floor that we have installed so far is really growing on me. I love how easy it is to clean. I'm just not looking forward to lugging all these boxes back and hoping not to find the same problem in the next load. While I had Harmonics on the phone, I asked them about transition peices and she e-mailed me a price list. The photos didn't come through so unless you know exactly what it is that you want, you may want to ask them to snail mail a price list. Their prices seem to be much better than the quick-step dealer in my area.

Posted by: Laura at April 16, 2005 5:28 AM

Thanks for the tip on the door jambs, John.

Still have the same question about what to do with the underlayment/waterproof barrier at an end profile between a hallway and a bathroom (which is tiled).

Also, we pulled up the carpet, scraped all the glue (a LOT of dust), and removed all the tack strips, nails, and baseboards last night. What we found were 3 hairline-width cracks in the cement (1, 2.5, and 4.5 feet in length). I am going to apply a cement patch to the holes/divots I generated by pulling the tack strip nails out of the cement -- but what about the hairline cracks?

Also, in the area of the cracks, the cement seems to be raised a bit...putting a straightedge there and pushing on either end results in a rocking motion. Does this need to be sanded?

Posted by: Tee at April 16, 2005 9:49 AM

Has any one done a gym floor approx 40ft by 75ft?
What about expansion joints?
Will it stay together with basketball or like activity?

Posted by: Skip at May 4, 2005 10:32 PM

!! I FLOODED MY NEW HARMONICS FLOOR !!

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO SEE HAPPENING TO OUR BEAUTIFUL FLOOR.

My Cherry Harmonics floor has been installed in my kitchen for 2 weeks, and it's beautiful.

I was having some plumbing work done this evening and unscrewed the sprayer from the faucet to clear the water line after turning the main back on /and off, I then forgot to replace the sprayer, and turn of the faucet. I went outside to observe the plumber, he turned the main back on. We noticed water flowing from the wall in the garage, to make a long story short (sorry), the sprayer hose in the kitchen just flodded our new floor for about 5 minutes on full blast.

I spent the last 5 hours sopping it up. The water did go between the foam pad and the planks. I feel like such a fool.

Posted by: Michael at May 5, 2005 3:35 AM

I am planning to finish the basement floor with this laminate flooring from costco. My question is regarding expansion joints transitioning from one room to another in L-Shape. Will the transistion/expansion joint work with planks meeting at 90 degrees and how is it installed on a concrete surface, nailed, screwed or glued?

Posted by: A Jindia at May 19, 2005 10:07 AM

I'm installing into an "L" shaped hallway and an "L" shaped dining area/living room. I'm almost done with the hallway, and I installed the planks all in the same direction...so that the "grain" runs all in the same direction.

You can install the planks at 90 degrees with a straight cut or 45 degree cut, but I believe you would have to use a "T-molding" to connect them and allow for expaansion. I personally didn't want this sticking up in the middle of the hallway, so I chose to have them all in the same direction.

For the transition pieces being attached to a concrete surface, I'm planning on using liquid nails to glue down the plastic rail, as mentioned in one of the previous posts by another user here.

Posted by: Tee at May 19, 2005 4:23 PM

I was sifting through the reviews on Harmonics flooring and came across this site, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents. :)

We had purchased a middle-of-the-line linoleum less than a year ago for our dining room. Well, so much for that idea! I have learned that having a house full of young adults (5 of my own from 17 to 25) and a couple who THINK they live here, doesn't bode well for linoleum!

This past weekend at Costco, hubby happened across the Harmonics flooring. (Hmm...I remember telling him about this stuff a year ago!!! grin) We bought enough to cover the 12x12 dining area since it was cheaper than the linoleum. I was absolutely THRILLED with the ease of laying this floor! We had it finished in a day (well, almost --we have to purchase the molding this week --- at Home Depot thanks to the messages posted here!) I cannot begin to tell you how easy this floor was to install -- nor how great it looks!

I was very unhappy with the 20 year old who slid his tool box across the floor last night -- temporarily! --- I thought he had already scuffed the finish, but when I took a damp towel and wiped the area, the "scuff" mark came off! WOW!

My 23, 20 and 18 year olds have already decided we are getting rid of the carpet in Parlor and replacing it with the Cherry Harmonics, as well as covering the old hardwood in the hallway. When kids are impressed, you know somethings good! :)

Thanks to all who have posted threads to this message. I found this a very informative site!

Maria

Posted by: Maria at May 24, 2005 1:48 PM

Great site - we used the advice here when installing Harmonics in our downstairs bedroom and hallway.

Just wanted everyone to know that Costco just issued another Coupon in their Summer Savings, good starting July 4th! That's 2 in one year!!

Posted by: Lisa at May 25, 2005 3:24 PM

Costco coupon book delivered this week (5/25/05) has coupons for $5 off box of Harmonics from July 5 to July 17, 2005

Posted by: B at May 26, 2005 3:30 PM

Wow, what a great site.

I'm considering Harmonics for my downstairs: living, dining room, kitchen and powder room. The area is now covered with vinyl strip flooring. Looks like oak and fools just about everyone. It is very well adhered to the concrete slab.

But it's old and oriented the wrong way, long wise. So my long and narrow downstairs looks like a bowling alley.

Question: is there any good reason to pull up the old vinyl (the extra 1/8 inch in height does not qualify) and if I leave it down do I still need the underlayment?

Posted by: Jeff at May 29, 2005 1:22 PM

I have Allegria light oak in my kitchen living room and hallway. I am happy with it due to the price. But i am now remodeling and need to place more in the kitchen and my living room grew. Where can i find some more. I have 4 boxes but want to buy 7 more. Is harmonic the exact same kind. the box looks the same and the floor looks the same?

Posted by: TONY at June 6, 2005 12:24 PM

I am considering putting Harmonics Cherry flooring in my house I just bought. I was considering the Pergo flooring. I am a concerned if the Harmonics will stay in good shape with a two year old and a six year old. First time home owner HELP :)

Posted by: Mel at June 12, 2005 7:21 PM

Someone had asked the question before as to whether to put the flooring under a refrigerator but I didnt see an answer. Any ideas? Is it just too heavy? But I think it might look odd if it is not put under it. I did read though that not going under the dishwasher is ok but you need to make sure you seal the edge very well!

Posted by: Lee Van Doren at June 13, 2005 7:16 AM

Any place where you can order Harmonics accessories? I am looking for the carpet to old kitchen floorig adapters. Thanks

Posted by: Mary at June 14, 2005 10:04 AM

Can this flooring be laid over vinyl tile that is over concrete at grade level? The tile is very sound and tight.

Thanks for any info

Joyce

Posted by: Joyce at June 16, 2005 1:31 PM

I have hardwood floor but it is very old and I am planning to replace it. I don't know anything about florring. So please help me out

1. Do I need to take out hardwood floor to put Costco Harmonic Flooring

2. Is it good idea?

3. How hard is to take out hardwood floor and put harmonics.

Please help me out and I want to use $5 coupon to save some money.

Thanks

Posted by: arvind at June 17, 2005 7:03 AM

We just did a bedroom with the harmonics oak laminate. It's beautiful and was easy to do. We put in white baseboards, not wood color, and they look clean, crisp and attractive. My six-year-old is happy as he can now run his cars on his bedroom floor, an impossibility on his old, stained, dog-peed-upon carpet. Now I wonder if I want to get more for another bedroom. It's on sale in July.
Marilyn

Posted by: Marilyn Burt at June 19, 2005 11:01 PM

Great Site! I'm considering laying about 150 sq ft of Harmonics flooring over 12 inch ceramic tiles with 1/4 inch grout lines. Does anybody know if the harmonics underlayment be adequate to make up the height difference caused by the grout lines?

Posted by: Mike at June 20, 2005 9:19 AM

hello all, I am so happy as well to find this site as I am planning to purchase my boxes in the July sale. One question is I am a little confused by the molding questions here. I currently have natural wood stained moldings that aren't painted throughout my entire house. Can I just re-use those? Or is there a special molding that must be used with this floor? Is it that some people just don't have moldings already or that they are painted? thanks

Posted by: EVA at June 21, 2005 7:42 PM

Great site! I am planning to install harmonic laminate on my stair this summer. Now, I am looking to find the stair nosing to match my downstair floor which is a maple color. Does anyone know the number with quickstep.

Posted by: Tyler at June 22, 2005 4:15 PM

does anyone know what to use when a pergot floor starts looking dull and streaky no matter what you clean it with???

thanks

Posted by: jackie at June 23, 2005 2:28 PM

2 years I install Allegra Maple from Costco. I had a big leak and it caaused about 1/2 of the total floor in 3 room to curl up on the edges. Next month Costco will get Harmonics. Does anyone know if the 2 maple colors match good enough to meet at a door way. I can salvage enough from the living room to repair the bedroom so The new Harmonics will but up to the old Allegra. The Allegra is holding up pretty good except for under the wheels of my rolling desk chair. Sand from the beach gets ground into the surface. Would anyone be willing to send me a scrap of their Harmonics Maple so I could check the color. My Costco won't get their shipment till the end of July and I would like to put the bedroom bank together. Thanks.

Posted by: Richard at June 26, 2005 5:20 AM

How did you find information about the Costco coupon? I am looking at buying this floor and would certainly save quite a bit using a $5 coupon. I installed both Hardwood and Pergo in a previous house and, while I agree the Pergo may be higher quality, the price is hard to beat.

Posted by: Kevin at July 2, 2005 3:27 PM

Has anyone installed Harmonics over a tile floor? We have a concrete slab foundation with tile on it. We'd like to install the Harmonics on top of the tile rather than removing it.

Appreciate any instights or advise. I've found these posts very helpful. Thankms fo everyone.

Posted by: wondering at July 3, 2005 11:29 AM

I am going to put down the Harmonics laminate flooring in my basement. I have already laid down a product called Subflor, which provides a moisture barrier and OSB underlayment. Therefore I do not think that I need the underlayment provided in the installation kit. I expect it to sound like walking on a wooden floor.

A note on the quality of products at Costco: I know of one example where Costco has sold low quality items; Gargoyles sunglasses. These sunglasses were hot items at one time, and were sold through a major chain of stores. But quality went south at the Gargoyles mfrg plant, and the major chain rejected an entire lot of sunglasses because of a large number of returns. This lot of sunglasses ended up at Costco. Sure, Costco has a generous return policy, but they are playing a numbers game. Predicting returns and pricing to cover the returns is a science, and they are very good at it. So sometimes the items at Costco are not the highest quality, regardless of the brand name, warranty, etc.

Posted by: David at July 6, 2005 6:15 PM

i just purchased 20 boxes of costco's cherry laminate, they are all made in belgium. i have read bad things on this site about the "made in belgium" stuff. anybody out there have good luck with the "made in belgium" harmonics cherry laminate. thanks for any feed back.

Posted by: tim hoevel;kamp at July 8, 2005 12:09 PM

Absolutely LOVE it! Just installed 23 boxes of Costco laminate throughout the living room, hall and dining area. We decided to remove the original vinyl tile to the bare cement. Used the harmonics underlay. Absolutely thrilled! Easy to install, but labor intensive. Full weekend. Never installed laminate before and I must say, it's beautiful! Used the $5.00 off coupon so saved us quite a bit. You can usually get a coupon from one of the cashiers. Just ask...:)FAB

Posted by: F. Beebe at July 12, 2005 12:35 PM

Have bought about 80 cases of the Oak flooring. It's all "Made in Belgium", but the quality is fine.
If you're confused by the weak harmonics instructions you can use another manufacturers. I was clueless until I read a Shaw flooring manual. Also found some Pergo transition pieces that match my flooring. These are easy to install but ridiculously expensive (c'mon, $30 for a laminated strip that will do 2 doors). One last word of advice, GET SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. I've been doing all the work by myself and it will beat you up. Would be nice to have a helper run and do the cutting for you. The up and down action will leave you nearly crippled by the end of the day. I don't have anyone, but you need to find someone.

Posted by: K.burnett at July 12, 2005 7:26 PM

Just found this forum via Google and spent 3 hrs reading and exerpting pertinent information. Great information but hard to read font. I will be putting the Harmonics laminate to it's ultimate test next week when I replace torn up linoleum in a rustic mountain cabin at 9000 feet elevation with no heat and winter temps near zero. Have contacted many flooring contractors and found that none of them were willing to replace my floors once they found that they had to haul the flooring across a lake on a boat and install where there is no electricity. Wimps all!! I will be installing all alone with only moral support from my wife. This forum has provided me answers to just about any question I can think of, although I am sure some will come up once into the job. Thank you everyone for this information.
Bob

Posted by: Bob Mc at July 13, 2005 9:43 PM

I live on third floor, want to be thoughtful of my neighbor who lives below and wondering what type of installation kit to use. I know my warranty will go out the window if I go with something other than the HARMONICS KIT. I already bought the harmonics kit, but the board of directors of my condo association feel this particular kit may not do the job. I'm not sure what to do so I felt this forum would be my best source of advice. HELP! Hi, Sean, Phill, John . . . someone out there is very knowledgeable and I'd love to hear from you. THANKS.

Posted by: Frances at July 14, 2005 7:56 PM

I just picked up about 88 boxes of this from costco and boy, just loading and unloading is serious work. I also bought 10 boxes of the install kit and now I have 9 more tools than I need. Anyone need one, let me know! I did save $5 on each boxes, as they are now running the special.

Now to my question! Has anyone installed it in an angle? Can they be done? What problem will I run into if I start installing it this way? I really appreciate the comments.

Thanks

Randall

Posted by: IslandStyle at July 16, 2005 1:13 AM

I'd use the Harmonics kit. It's actually cheaper than the underlayment you can get at lowes or Home depot and pretty good quality. As for consideration of lower neighbors, I don't know what to say (are you worried about sound during install or after???). I had to use the tapping block most of the time (couldn't find a way to snap long rows together no matter what I did) which would make for a noise fest below. Post install sounds might be alleviated by using a thicker underlayment. I saw this stuff called Quiet Walk (or something like that) at Lowes. It's pretty beefy with a think felt lining. I think it was like $40 for a 100 sq foot roll. That would probably solve any noise prob's after installation. Sorry that you have to deal with an association. When we lived in a condo I frequently wanted to strangle those people (they once wanted me to pay to have ivy removed from my side of the building. this was something planted and maintained by the complex). Good luck.

Posted by: K.burnett at July 16, 2005 2:59 AM

I'm doing my stairs in Select Maple and other than buying Pergo Stair Mldgs ($30ea) I'm not having any luck. Does anyone have a location for Stair Mldgs from Harmonics/QuickStep in San Diego?
How bout a URL for a website? Thanks

Posted by: Chip at July 16, 2005 10:05 AM

I just bought twenty cases of harmonics laminate flooring at cosco in tucson, was cheap, my neighbor put it in all his bedrooms and it looks like a pro. did it so I decided to try, I need moldings to butt carpet up against it, does anyone know where I can get them?

Posted by: Frank at July 16, 2005 9:59 PM

I will be installing the Harmonic's over approximately. 1400 sq/f and wanted to do a continues installation throughout. I would like to avoid having to use dilatation joints. Is this a good or bad idea? What problems will I run into during installation and/or in the future. I appreciate the help.

Posted by: IslandStyle at July 17, 2005 11:55 PM

Just found this site and man what great info. I am now looking to buy the flooring and just found out that I missed the sale. Does anyone know when that sale will happen again? What a deal.

Thanks,
Mike

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2005 8:28 AM

I would like to thank everyone for all their valuable inputs. I took advantage of Costco coupons and bought 30 cases to do my living & Family room. However, one concern is that Harmonics will not honor warrantee if other branded underlining is used. I like to place denser underling as it always give more comfort and insulation. I also have a three year old girl who loves to jump off from the sofa.
Since I want to keep my warrantee, I'm thinking about doubling up the underlining by placing two layers of harmonic sheets that comes with installation kit which is available from costco. Would this cause any problems after the install? Is there any other cost effective way to do this and also keep the warrantee with Harmonics?

TIA,
Jun

Posted by: Jun Kim at July 20, 2005 1:13 AM

The following URL discusses underlayment in detail and says that the standard underlayment of the type sold in the Harmonics kits is only slightly less effective on drum noise than the denser, upgraded underlayment. If you are worried about sound in a room underneath the laminate floor then that is a different story.

http://floorone.com/informative/laminate/underlayment.asp

I am preparing to put Harmonics in my kitchen and family room. In the kitchen, I am thinking of using the following sealant for the actual joints themselves:

www.cal-flor.com/html/products/clickseal1.htm

It's $12/tube but if it works, its worth it.

Anybody ever use this before?

Posted by: bill at July 22, 2005 2:00 PM

Thanks Bill. The site link you listed was very informative. It more than answered my question about the underlayment.

I have another question regarding doing the install in the summer (hotest day of the year). It's been very hot here in southern california and most likely, I will be doing the install in the middle or late August. I know that 1/4" space between wall to edge planks are counting for this heat expansion, but if you're doing the install in the summer, would you still space the planks 1/4" to the wall? I don't want the floors to shrink in the winter time (about 65F from 90F in sumer, inside temperature) and end up with a gap coming out of the molding.

Any idea or advice for doing the summer time install vs. winter time install?

TIA,
Jun

Posted by: Jun at July 23, 2005 1:43 PM

I am an engineer and understand about thermal expansion. My recommendations are:

Install anytime, but turn the AC down very very low....get the room between 60 and 70 degrees and then let the boxes soak in that temp in the middle of the room for 2 days before you install. After installing, put furniture in place and go back to normal temp. Then when you allow it to get warmer, it will snug up the seams instead of pull them apart. Use the recommended spacing since you installed cold anyway. Also, if you have a narrow (less than 4 feet) seperation between the two rooms, you should either put a T-molding expansion joint in the doorway, or you should orient the planks so that the planks run perpendicular to the doorway. Your floor is strongest in the long direction of the planks. Dont put end joints on adjacent rows closer than 12 inches to each other...16 inches to be even stronger. Thats the stuff I have learned from lots of research, plus what I know from being a design engineer.

Posted by: Bill at July 27, 2005 10:52 AM

Wow, what a post!! Just bought 13 boxes of cherry Harmonics (Made in America) from Costco and am looking forward to installing it. A couple of people have asked the same questions I have, but didn't see a reply. Here we go:

1. I plan on using a sealer inbetween the planks as it is going in the kitchen. What type or brand should I use that will hold up and not be so permanent that I can still replace a plank if need be? How about clear RTV? p.s. Looked at the Click Seal brand in the link above by Jun, but they don't offer online ordering. What good is a website if you can't buy any of their product?

2. The lenolium that I plan on installing over is peeling up at the seams and around the edges (hence the needed replacement). Should I completely tear it up or can I just staple the edges down?

3. Anyone ever try raw molding and stain it to match the flooring themselves? e.g. 1/4 round.

Posted by: Mark at July 27, 2005 1:35 PM

I would install the laminate after cooling it and the room to 65F for 2 days.

I would not use double underlayment. The floor may become too flexible and wear the joints out by overflexing. Also I am sure the warranty would be voided if they found you were using 2 layers of padding.

Posted by: Bill at July 28, 2005 8:10 AM

Great post folks, lots of info. I have 2 questions though on the Harmonics laminate...

1) Has anyone ever used clear RTV, instead of the click-seal brand sealant, in the kitchen or bathroom to seal the planks together? That stuff is stupid expensive.($11.99+$5.00SH for a little 2 1/2 oz tube).

2) Is a frigerator on wheels too heavy for the flooring?

Posted by: Mark at July 28, 2005 11:45 AM

Smart Floors. This may be off the subject but we priced Costco brand floors and another brand. I have searched for days on the Brand SmartFloors by Excel. We are looking at one that has a 20 year warranty color is Rococo Oak.Double Snap glueless connection 8.3 mm thick. I can find NOT a single maker worldwide of any brand called Smart Floors or Smartfloors or Excel?? If anyone has a Gabes or Gabriel Brothers they carry brand names for less. They have Smart Floors in 5 colors.19.99 per box.8 pieces per box covers 20.3 square feet for 19.99 BUT WHO MAKES IT???

Posted by: Patty at July 31, 2005 6:34 AM

this is for Mark who asked about staining raw wood to match..we used the Cherry from Costco in our living, dining room and the hallway..I stained quarter round with two coats of Minwax Water Based wood stain in the Vermont Maple..then used two coats of Polyurethane in a Satin finish ..It matches just great.

Posted by: elf at July 31, 2005 3:43 PM

Thanks Patty for the reply, I'll give it a try.

I was thinking about the sealant used between the planks again and thought I would try maybe bees wax or soft paraffin. I went down to Home depot and asked the guy if they had any of that type of wax and he said, "No, all we have are those wax toilet seal ring.". OMG, isn't that brilliant!! That wax is a soft malleable, and can be zipped on the tongue pretty easy. It should seal wonderfully while still letting the planks move if needed. I bought one and put it on the grain side of the plank, just to see if it can be wiped off readily. Comes off completely with a towel, no residue. Anyways, just thought I would pass it on. I'll let you know how it works. Starting to lay planks today.

Posted by: Mark at August 1, 2005 9:05 AM

Ooops, that wasn't Patty that replied to my post, it was Elf. Sorry Elf, and thanks for the reply.

Posted by: Mark at August 1, 2005 9:09 AM

Hi all! I loved finding this! I spent yesterday reading the whole thing! We also put in the Harmonics in our front room in Premier Oak. I believe that was made in the USA. We love it!!! We have a yellow lab that runs races on it and it is still beautiful!!! Also, our 5 & 1 1/2 yr old give it a run for the money! The hardest part was where we have an angle in the wall from the stairs. I made a cardboard template first and then cut the wood. I agree that two people is helpful. My hubby hurt himself right before we started the project, so he was the cutter/hander. It is a farely large room, so the most time consuming thing was simply placing the planks. I also used both pieces when cutting one plank. It really is more cost effective, but we did not map out the room. We just went for it and it is beautiful!!

We have since decided to do our upstairs hallway/office---which we finished yesterday. We went back to the same Costco, 4 months later and the boxes we got were made in Belgium this time. We will be doing the stairs to connect the two floors. However, after reading everyone's posts, I am a little unsure on how to do the stairs. I have looked up instructions on laminate websites, but I am really hoping someone could send me some pictures of what THEY have done. I know how the pros say to do things aren't always the easiest thing to do. PLEASE send me pics as I am a visual learner!! :o)

Regarding furniture, we put the easy-sliding pads under everything in that room. The pads have two functions: doesn't scratch the wood and VERY easy to move!!

Posted by: Marcy at August 8, 2005 8:08 AM

Hey all, just bought Harmonics flooring at costco... but they were out of installation kits... is there another location where I can buy these at?

Thanks so much!

Posted by: Megan at August 10, 2005 1:49 PM

Just layed harmonics cherry in living room, dining room, kitchen and office. One question what type of a cleaning product can you use on these floors? Most laminate floor makers do not advise cleaning with water. Anyone have some suggestions?
Karyn

Posted by: Karyn at August 12, 2005 6:04 PM

Karyn,
I saw some cleaning solution at Home Depot made specifically for Laminated Wood flooring.

Well I promised I'd write again and let everyone know how things went. Everything went spectacular. I used the toilet wax ring to seal around the windows and in the kitchen. It worked like a champ. Just make sure you scrape up the excess with a putty knife after snapping it in or you'll get it all over your knees and shoes. The floor looks great, and the price is even better. Seems to hold up to the dog with no problems and cleans up easily.

Some folks had some questions about the fridge earlier. What we did is layed half of the kitchen floor down, then rolled the fridge up to the edge. then using a dolly, we lifted the forward edge apushed the fridge onto it. Did the same with the aft edge. I was worried about the weight of a full fridge on the floor but it didn't even crackle. I can roll the fridge on the finished floor without any problems and no damage to the floor.

I also used 1/2 round in the kitchen under the cabinets. I just used raw wood 1/4 round from HD, and stained it with Cherry stain. Looks great with a little putty to fill the holes. We also used Brass carpet transistion strips at the carpet points, looks very sharp. Anyways, thanks for all the great advice, and good luck!!

Posted by: Mark at August 13, 2005 6:00 AM

This is Frances with a "Thanks K. Burnett" for your comments regarding my question regarding the underlayment posted back in July. Wish I could say I am done with my project. Know any great installers in San Diego?

Posted by: Frances at August 13, 2005 10:20 PM

Hello:
I have started working on my second floor. However, the stairs do a 90 degree turn. So therein is the problem.

The light enters my house from the East-West so my ground floor laminate runs east west. The bottom six stairs run east west and by the time they reach top floor they have turned a full ninety degrees to north south.

So I have two choices with my second floor.

Either I lay the laminate going north south to follow the top stair. A family friend thinks it will look professional but I don't like it because it is perpendicular to light entry in my house.

Or I lay it as I did the ground floor going east west. But it would be perpendicular to the top stair.

How would advice that I do it?

First time laminater.

Posted by: chron999x at August 14, 2005 8:59 AM

Hey there! On to the stairs. We have a double staircase, so lot's of work!! We figured that we would lay the wood horizontally on the stairs. The two staircases meet at a landing, but they stairs below the landing are an odd shape. After talking to an insurance adjuster (who is in a TON of houses) he said to start with the stair edge, where the stairnose goes. Do not start with the edge against the riser!!! You would have to make a ton of awful cuts on the stairnose edge. We are about to dive into them. I don't think we are going to go with Harmonics for the stairnose. They told me that it is $29.50 for a 94" section, plus $18.40 shipping and a $5.00 handling fee. After your order hits $250, shipping is higher. Since we do have that double staircase, MORE WOOD!!! We went to Home Depot and talked to a guy there. We are going to go with a corner round and stain it to match the oak. We will probably start this week and be done by Sunday---last day before company comes so that is an incentive!! Marcy

Posted by: Marcy at August 15, 2005 10:17 AM

Hi! We purchased the Cherry Harmonics from Costco and installed our floor two months ago. It looks great. We chose to leave the tile in the kitchen and bathrooms but the laminate everywhere else. We also have two big labradors (dogs) and it is holding up great. The only thing is that it is a bit slippery for the dogs. We chose to purchase
1/4 round from home depot and paint it white to match the baseboards. It looks really good. We did order the transition pieces for the tile and end profiles for our 2 sliding glass doors from harmonics though.

Has anyone used any sealer caulking from any other places and got it to match the royal cherry? Please let me know where you got it and the color. We got some from Home depot but it doesn't match very good so we are looking for another option without having to order from harmonics again and pay more shipping charges.

Good luck with your installations! What I wish we would have known before is....1) If you remove your baseboards first before installation, you won't need 1/4 round and you will have a really perfect finished look by going directly to the wall and then putting the baseboards back on. It takes a little more time but it would have saved us some money on not buying the 1/4 round....2) Use a saw and cut under all of the door frames and slide the laminate underneath. It is too hard to try and make cuts around difficult molding. Hope this helps!!! We didn't do this in the beginning and now we are trying to find a caulk that matches to fill up the little gap around that bedroom door. Please offer any advice if you can help us fix this with any ideas and make it look better. Thanks in advance!!!!

Posted by: Brittany at August 19, 2005 6:46 AM

reply to Frances.
Don't know of any installers in San Diego (I'm way up in Ventura), but I'd try to give it a go yourself. Finished off the second to last room in my house yesterday. Only took 6 hours for 140 sq feet with precision cuts around the fireplace and tile floors. Start in the least travelled part of your home (I did our bedroom closet) to build experience. Yes you will make mistakes. Who cares??? You'll have some waste, small imperfections, and minor frustrations. If you can get someone to "cut and run" for you the job is actually very fun. Good luck.

Posted by: k.burnett at August 19, 2005 9:31 AM

Hello everyone,I am a pergo endorsed professional istaller, all I do is laminate.I would like to give you a few tips.First, moisture is the #1 enemy of laminate,no amount of sealant or glue will protect your floor from major water damage.I recently replaced a glued together floor that was sealed around the perimeter,the cause was a dishwasher that leaked .The water still got into the boards, homeowners ins. covers things like this, if yyou are going to lose sleep over a laminate floor, dont use it.Second, warrenties are only as good as the manufacturer who gives them.when you have a claim they will send a company rep.to look at your floor,they check for any mistakes in the install,even the smallest infraction will void the warranty.If they find one piece of furniture without felt pads underneath,they can void the warranty.Third, product quality,I have installed every different manufactures floors,including harmonics and quick step they are ok but not the quality of Pergo,Wilsonart,Mannington etc.The difference is in the thickness of the clear protective layer and the way it is applied.The cheaper floors chip easier during installation so alot of care has to be taken,Dont be in a hurry.The more expensive brands are almost impossible to damage during install.The thickness of the plank itself is secondary to the thickness of the protective laminate or clear coat.Its the amount of aluminum oxide on top that matters,hence the more ao the better the warranty.My saw blades dull much faster cutting Pergo and Wilson art than the bargain brands.The average homeowner who installs one or two floors never sees things like that.I recently installed a quick step floor for a homeowner that I had installed a pergo floor for previosly.When it was finished she commented that the quick step looked cheaper, and I had to agree.The quick step is in a bedroom, where guest wont see it.She wants to finish the rest of the downstairs in pergo.She saved alot of money in the bedroom,but the savings arent worth the look in the rest of the house to her.So,if saving a few dollars a square foot is a big deal for you,use the cheaper laminates it looks ok,take it from one who does this every week,the more expensive brands look better and last longer.When it comes to floor coverings and the installation of them,you really do get what you pay for.

Posted by: Rob at August 21, 2005 10:19 AM

OK so What exactly are you going to do instead of using stair nose? I have only three steps to do, but also refuse to pay that much for shipping. For me it's actually worse. I am in Alaska. So chuck out another $10.00 for shipping.

I actually bought my laminate at Sam's Club. Loving it and have placed it into the two bedrooms. It went in with more difficulty then the costco brand but the seams fit together much tighter. I also glued in the dining room and near ANY area where liquid may show up.

A friend of mine recently had the costco brand installed. I helped with that one as well. ANY WHO.....well, she had a spill happen under her couch in the living room. A 5x5 area was ruined with swelling and bubbleing. YUCK. Likewise she had a dog pea in one area about 4inches x 4 inches. that set of boards will also have to be replaced. When we do we will glue the whole darn thing.

In an earlier questions someone asked about allergies to the "chemical sensitivity(formaldehyde)". I have the same allergy and have recently installed the flooring into three rooms. I have had repeated contact with no problems. The underlayments are latex free and do not contain rubber.

IF you decide to buy and install the Sams club brand it come with the underlayment attached. NICE. However with the tighter seams it is MUCh better to install a full row at a time. Click together the entire run and then have a friend help you click the full row in at one time. It save you using a tap block to tighten the seams in the single boards.

Posted by: Johanna Noble at August 22, 2005 2:47 PM

Wanted to follow up on installing laminate.I see alot of people using glue.Two things, you may be voiding your warranty and if you ever need to replace a few boards you cant unless you know how to do a cut out replacement.Pros charge around $150.00 a board and with some brands you might not have that option.Here is another secret not all locking devices are created equal. that is why some floors end up gapping. If you decide to use an installer, go to www.pergo.com ,click consumer,america then find and installer.You wont get pergos garantee unless its a pergo floor, but you will get a factory trained and endorsed installer.

Posted by: Rob at August 25, 2005 8:24 AM

Thanks to everyone's input, my install went very smoothly over the labor day weekend. I had a friend helping me to lay the flooring, but I'm still trying to finish up on the new base boards. Quick-step transitional pieces were bought online, but found out little too late that it costs less to order directly from Harmonics. In anyrate, my install over 500 sq/ft of maple flooring looks fantastic. Once my body recovers from this install, I may consider doing the upstairs and all the bed rooms.
By the way, for the transitional pices, I've tried using liquid nail and didn't really work out. It wasted half day of my install time. It wasn't strong enough to hold the molding down firmly. I ended up drilling my concrete sub flooring which wasn't easy to do. Must've went through 4 masonry bits for about 40 feet of moldings. I did make several additional drilling to make sure the end pieces of the moldings mounted firmly to the rail.

Posted by: Jun at September 8, 2005 2:09 AM

My 1/2" drywall ends 1 inch above my wood subfloor. Do I use the spacers against the drywall and have about a 3/4 inch expansion space or do I nail a piece of wood underneath the drywall to bring the bottom inch of wall out even with the drywall. If I need to use the wood, do I just need to do it at ends of the room or must I also use it on the sides. Thanks

Posted by: Glenn at September 10, 2005 5:14 PM

All: Take a look at the following link. It is much cheaper than the click-seal product that I mentioned in an earlier post above. The web site includes test results. I purchased this German-made product for less than $7 per tube plus shipping and each tube covers 100 sq ft. Found it via extensive web searching from a lumberyard in Canada. The lumberyard did me a favor in shipping to the states but I do not know if they would want to bother with this again. I tried an e-mail to Germany but got no response. I bought 5 tubes and am preparing to install the Harmonics oak in my kitchen and adjoining family room. Doing it in October. Will report when finished.
http://www.clickguard.de/northamerica/english/index2.php

Posted by: Bill at September 17, 2005 4:58 AM

I have a 22 feet long hallway with bedrooms on both sides, and I'm getting ready to install the Harmonics laminates to this area. The total area for the bedrooms and hallway is less than 1040 square feet, does anyone know if I need to use T moldings in the door areas or can I run the laminates continuosly out?


Posted by: Michael at October 9, 2005 1:11 PM

Any idea when costco will have the coupon again?

Posted by: Wilson at October 18, 2005 7:51 AM

Maple Transitions - looking for a Pergo or other Home Depot/Lowes matching color for the Harmonics Maple. I just picked up the Pergo Maple Transition from HD, but it's way too dark to me. Any other local options? Not interested in Quick-step or Harmonics ordering. Thanks!

Posted by: Skip at November 5, 2005 2:34 PM

I am putting laminate flooring in my family room. I pulled up the old carpet which was glued to the cement. Do I have to get the glue off before I put the floating floor in? Or could I put plastic down instead?

Thanks!
Andy

Posted by: Andy at November 19, 2005 3:19 PM

2006 Costco coupon is out! Good from Feb 13 to March 6, 2006. $5 off $24.99. $19.99/box seems like a pretty good deal. Cottage oak, brazilian cherry and cabin maple.

Luke

Posted by: Luke at January 2, 2006 6:35 AM

I have oak flooring all through my house, and am probably going with either laminate or porcelain in the basement. Someone WAY above said they would never use laminate and would instead go with Pecan, then someone else came back and called them a "wood snob." Listen, from someone here who has 55 year old oak floors, calling someone a "wood snob" is nuts. I just read how pet urine can cause a laminate floor to buckle or bubble. Well, let me tell you about my sick pets (2 cats, 1 dog)... if my wood floor buckled because of a little water, then I'd have real problems. Pet gook is not a problem in any way for a good wood floor. I will probably go laminate because of the price and ease of installation, but I'm not getting excited about its durability.

Posted by: Brian at January 5, 2006 10:41 AM

Does anyone know if the Brazilian Cherry is the same as the Royal Cherry? I went to Costco today and they are out of stock til Feb. 13.

Posted by: Sarah at January 26, 2006 3:08 PM

FYI: Harmonics Flooring is made by Unilin Decor. The Harmoncics and the Quick-Step trademarks are held by Unilin Decor. Since Harmonics is offered at Costco for such low prices, I wanted to know who manufactures them. That was not easy.
- Jean

Posted by: EJ Edwards at January 27, 2006 9:28 PM

I am extremely disappointed in this product. We just moved into our new home, after installing 47 boxes of the Cherry color. The surface scratches are terrible! This product shows white scratches very clearly. I just saw another 2 foot scratch at the base of my stairs. When the sun shines into my kitchen/dining area, hundreds of fine lines appear. I purchased the Quick Step repair/fill product, thinking that would help, but it is only for filling in areas where the laminate has chipped. There is nothing I can find that can help hide the scratches on the clear surface.
I purchased a new Kenmore canister vacuum that had the #1 rating in Consumer Reports and is bare floor friendly, and when I tried to use it, the wheels caused scratches! That is unacceptable.

At our last house, we had Armstrong Impact glued laminate. It was obviously a superior product.
I am actually afraid to walk on this floor as well as dragging anything across it. That's crazy - laminate is supposed to be durable enough to handle a box being slid across it, isn't it?

I would like to issue a strong warning to others who are thinking of installing this product.
Hopefully, we can get this stuff refunded at Costco this summer and we can get a better product installed. What a waste of time and money!

Posted by: Laura at January 28, 2006 9:50 AM

I am getting ready to put down around 400 sq ft of the Costco Harmonics laminate flooring in my basement. I would greatly appreciate hearing about anyone else's experiences or tips for putting this stuff in a basement.

Posted by: Mark at February 15, 2006 10:43 PM

I just installed 250 sq ft. of Kronotex laminated "oak" floor. It's their cheapest one at about .98 a sq ft at Lowes. It is simply awesome and was so easy to click together. Everyone didnt think it would look as good as it does. It looks exactly like real oak. I should know because a few months ago I had to install 400 sq of real oak.

Posted by: Joe at February 20, 2006 9:51 PM

Help!? I purchased the Brazilian Cherry recently. Install is in 2 weeks and I'm confused about which trim pieces I need. Is quarter round necessary with the laminate? We will be having new baseboards installed - are these sufficient for covering the gap, or do we need quarter round in addition to the baseboards?

If someone knows the Quick-Step match for the new cherry color, I'd appreciate knowing.

Also, we're painting our living/dining area where the laminate is being installed. If anyone has found a wall color that they love with their cherry, I could really use some suggestions!

Posted by: Pat at February 22, 2006 1:01 PM

Try U1005 for the brazilian cherry

Posted by: John at February 24, 2006 7:45 PM

Hello all!! I work at our local Costco and I have installed the brazillian cherry flooring inmy office. It looks GREAT!! I am however also searching for the best trim/quarter round to install around the edges. This install was fairly easy. I very satisfied. Remember guys if costco does discontinue it, your still covered by costco on the satisfaction of product also.

Posted by: Brandon at February 28, 2006 9:22 PM

Just bought 310 sq ft.. I will let you know after installation/
what i think...


Posted by: ernie at March 9, 2006 8:57 PM

RENTALS? Any experience out there if laminate in a Kitchen is foolish because renters will be using it?

Posted by: Peter at March 10, 2006 10:13 AM

where can I find transition strips for harmonics laminate floors

Posted by: Robbie Rivera at March 11, 2006 5:18 PM

Can anyone tell me how the Harmonics flooring has held up after a couple of years

Posted by: Raul at March 13, 2006 11:23 AM

Hi -

We just installed Harmonics medium oak throughout a townhouse we own (except the bathrooms) it looks great, but we had trouble in some spots around the stairs and door jams. So we've got little gaps we want to fill in. Has anyone else had this trouble, and if so, what did you use to deal with any bad spots, we've had trouble trying to match the flooring with off the shelf wood puttys and caulks.

We would really appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Posted by: Debbie at March 17, 2006 12:22 PM

Hi, I have been researching on how to lay laminate flooring and I googled Harmonic Laminate Flooring and I am so glad that I found this site. I am in conflict on whether or not to use the underlayment. I am going to put laminate in the kitchen over the vinyl. Do I really need this underlayment? I know that the warranty is valid only if I use this underlayment, but will it be okay if I don't use it? Thanks, Michele

Posted by: Michele at April 7, 2006 9:56 PM

Help! How much space do i need to leave for the transition piece between the laminate floor and vinyl? There is no mention of how big the gap needs to be mentioned on the directions. Yes, they mention a gap between the floor and the walls but not between the floor and the transition pieces. I don't have actual measurements for the transition pieces yet.

Ry

Posted by: Ryan at April 13, 2006 1:45 PM

Does anyone know where to find the PUTTY to match the BRAZILIAN CHERRY Harmonics Glueless Laminate Flooring? Thanks.

Posted by: CourtneyK at April 13, 2006 4:41 PM

Hi, I am a flooring dealer and specialize in quickstep laminate flooring . I also beleave that the harmonics product is the same as quick step laminate. If there is anyone who needs accessories for there harmonics or quickstep products I would be happy to help. I can be reached at designflooring@verizon.net and will ship to the entire U.S.

Posted by: Chris at May 10, 2006 3:34 PM

If anyone needs transition or just some helpful ideas on installing laminate flooring I would be glad to help.

Posted by: Chris at May 10, 2006 4:00 PM

Does anyone know what the floor rating is for Harmonics? I've read that laminate flooring should be at least AC3.

Posted by: Hans at May 24, 2006 9:44 PM

does anyone know when the five dollar coupon for the costco harmonics flooring will be out?

Posted by: rhonda at June 14, 2006 5:55 PM

I am looking for harmonics royal cherry flooring to continue it into my kitchen. Any idea where i can find some since Costco does not seem to have it anymore?????????????

maria

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Posted by: cams at November 30, 2006 6:15 PM

I have 4 unopened boxes of the harmonics royal cherry flooring available for purchase. I am located in the bay area. Please contact me at naveim96@yahoo.com if interested. $22 per box.
I also have matching transition pieces for sale as well.

Posted by: Van at December 7, 2006 3:54 PM

I need one or two boxes (open box is ok as long as the pieces are intact) of Harmonics premium oak color, in Philadelphia, PA area. Will pay premium price.

Posted by: Jennie at December 8, 2006 3:58 PM

I need a box of the Harmonics beech laminate flooring. Costco doesn't have it, the lightest they have is maple and I need to replace some boards. My dh thinks it's okay to replace the beech with maple but I TOTALLY disagree!! That would mean the floor would be beech except the last two feet would be maple. Ghetto!!

Posted by: Melanie at December 9, 2006 7:24 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 11, 2006 7:34 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 11, 2006 8:22 AM

I posted asking for beech flooring, my mistake, it's actually called select maple. Anyone have a spare box lying around? Thanks

Posted by: Melanie at December 11, 2006 9:25 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 11, 2006 9:43 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 11, 2006 10:51 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 11, 2006 11:40 AM

I am interested in your 4 boxes of Royal Cherry flooring. Where in the Bay Area are you located? The email address you provided does not work.

Thanks,
Tri

Posted by: Tri at December 11, 2006 11:52 AM

My email is traydeezy@gmail.com.

Thanks

Posted by: Tri at December 11, 2006 1:11 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 5:26 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 5:48 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 6:44 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 7:46 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 8:37 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 9:19 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 10:44 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 12, 2006 11:45 PM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 13, 2006 12:45 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 13, 2006 1:50 AM

Harmonics sucks. If you have any water damage, it is a mess. Actually, a lot of laminates are that way unless you buy high-end stuff. Plus, Costco discontues their products, leaving customers in a pinch. I am taking mine out because I don't like it, and I can't tell you how many people want even what I am taking out because they can't get Premium Oak anymore. Laminate is cost-effective, but I don't buy that it is high quality. Buy something that will hold up under high-moisture conditions.

Posted by: Cheryl at December 16, 2006 10:19 PM

I bought 14 boxes of Harmonics laminate Cottage Oak from Costco. Where can I purchase the stair nosing????

Posted by: boogieman at December 17, 2006 3:21 PM

You can Harmonics at 1-888-459-9220 and order extra trim pieces. They UPS them and it took about 7 business days. Ask them what they have since they have all sorts of items including floor cleaner, etc. For 1/4 round I would use pre-primed from Home Depot at $.34 per linear foot. Paint it to match the existing moulding.

Posted by: Herm at December 19, 2006 4:32 PM
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