AquaGuard quality? New poster flooring project.

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by glider90, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. glider90

    glider90 Member

    Hello, first time poster. I am looking to do about 650 square feet of floor on our first floor. The area will be an entry way, dining room, hallway, and family room. I have installed some of the angle lock floating floor before and have been pleased with it overall. In this case I want to do some research and make sure it is a quality product and that I choose wisely since it is a big area, with a bigger investment in my time and dollars.

    Basics of the install from the "before you ask" guide
    ~Subfloor is 3/4" plywood, joists are 2x8's on 16" centers.
    ~Install will be first floor (ground floor) of a two story home. There is a full finished basement below the floor.
    ~House is in Ohio, forced air and heat.
    ~Installation will be by me, slowly.

    The reason I am looking at laminate is I have two kids. We actually play floor hockey and race cars on our current laminate. The scuff marks from the slap shots clean off, and there are no dents in the floor or scratches in the finish after six years of abuse. The only blemish is from an accident when we were steam cleaning the couch and the tank leaked a good amount of hot water onto the floor. We have some minor lifting from that.

    Since the new floor will be in the dining room, and I have kids I am drawn to something more water resistant. Spills are life, and I do not want to worry about them. Here is the product I am looking at, I am drawn to it for the high wear rating of AC5 and the claim of water tolerance. Is anyone familiar with it? It is an angle lock style floating floor. I know floating is not in favor among the pros. I am more than happy to put down anything that will work well. I am not opposed to glueing or nailing if that is what I should be considering.

    I know LL is to be avoided. I am unsure if the franchise 'Floor and Decor' is in the same family? I have been happy with my tile I purchased and installed from them in a bathroom remodel did years back.

    I will try to attach an image of the layout.

    Attached Files:

  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know who makes it either. We are doing USfloors coretec in several places here. Same type of flooring. With the way you live I would pay attention to the surface protection. Some or tougher than others.

    USFloors: Cork, Bamboo, Hardwood, and LVT Flooring
  3. I have to say I like laminate. I've had it in my own home for years and have found it, much like you have, to perform very well. I have had a couple of accidental floods over the years and have yet to even have a board edge peak. So many people fear the potential problems with getting laminate wet, and there are certainly lower end products out there that do have issues when exposed to water, I've just not had that problem.

    I don't really know anything about Floor & Decor other than what I just pulled up doing a google search. We don't have any of these stores in my area. It looks like they are a multi-branch retailer based out of Atlanta, GA and they have an internet sales presence online. Not sure if you are dealing with a local branch or if you are considering purchasing online. It appears that they private label this particular product, very likely they are importing it. You may want to do some searching online with regards to who makes the product for them, where it's made, and if you're considering purchasing from them online, make sure you understand their shipping, and damage policies thoroughly. Most folks are a bit surprised to find out they have to unload their flooring off the back of a semi or box truck and that they have to pretty much have someone stationed at their house ready to do that whenever the carrier shows up.

    I like the choice of laminate and hope your project goes well!
  4. All I know is what I hear on the 'net. The homeowners who install this themselves have complained about a HUGE amount of "black dust". The core of the Aquaguard is not your standard HDF. It is a composite material that is black(ish) in colour. This core is what makes it water resistant...and what throws up all the dust. And the core is also quite tough on saw blades. You have to work with the "better" quality carbide blades to get any longevity out of the blade. I am pretty sure it has to do with the composite core. A regular HDF core is pretty nice to cut.

    The other DIY people have complained about how rigid/fragile the lock system is. Fragile more in the sense that if you really whack it together the edges get out of shape. The core is not as forgiving as the HDF.

    Once installed, this product appears to do what it says it does. I've yet to hear back from a professional installer on any of the concerns mentioned above.

    I hope someone else will come in and offer an installer's opinion on how the job works with Aquaguard.
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I kinda like floor n decor, I've only been there twice,(due to distance)small purchase of stone, but their selection is vast.

    For that price, laminate should be good quality. I don't put F&D in same category as LL, I would slap LL in face if I were F&D and made a comparison of similarity.
  6. glider90

    glider90 Member

    THANKS for the replies. I was impressed with F&D when I did my tile work, and wanted to make sure they did not have a bad rep on laminate. I will be picking up in person, they have a store about 5 minutes from my house.

    I have a sample board, it seems pretty stout. It seems much less fragile in the tongue and groove than the cheap stuff I got for my daughters bedroom. That was only 7mm and .49 cents a square foot, but went down without issue.

    I plan to setup my miter and table saw outside to cut this stuff, as I heard about the black dust. I may do some test cuts on the sample board. I wish the printed directions (I got a set from an open box at the store) suggested a blade material and tooth count for cutting, but they do not.

    I think my next step will be to visit the store for their Saturday 'demo with a pro' session and try to ask some specific questions about the material. I would say I am very close to pulling the trigger and buying it.

    My biggest lingering question is where to start the layout. My joists run vertically in the image I attached. Based on that and the hall I would want to run my planks horizontal in the image. All of the angle tap plank instructions say start in the top left corner. I have a U shape going, so I am not sure how to approach it. I want to do it without transition strips, and the material will allow it.

    How would you do it? Can I start in the hall and work down and to the right and then work backwards from there into the two separate rooms? If this is confusing I can do some more images explaining. If I can get some help here I am confident I will take on this project and willingly share my experince with the material.
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know about your layout from the phone, I'd have to look at from iPad, not available right now. Best blade without doubt is the PCD blade, though it's pricey but mine is lasting a long time buzzing hardwood floor installed for demolition.

    I've bought a 12" PCD blade on eBay that Lowe's carried temporarily, they clearances them before I came up with the idea of cutting small trees down under the dirt line to avoid stumps with a concrete saw I bought, just may need to have a friend enlarge/machine the arbor to fit. I do not condone the safety of this, not sure it will work. 10" PCD blade is cheaper if you have smaller miter saw.

    Attached Files:

  8. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    I'd probably start down in that room in the lower right hand corner of your diagram. That gives you the smallest area to install backwards, over on the lower left of the diagram. Once you get through the hall, it will be easy.

    You can layout your hall, and get the flooring laid out to your liking, then snap lines off that to get your start point row parallel.

    As far as blades go, I run 7 1/4" circular saw blades in my table saw. The Thin kerf DeWalt blades, either the 24t or 40t cut great and are cheap. I use 24t for laminate, and the 40t when I'm installing a wood floor. I don't drag out my slide compound for anything except base, and trim.
  9. glider90

    glider90 Member

    Thanks Steve, that layout scheme makes allot of sense. It is as if you guys have done this before:)
    I will look into the blades and do some test cuts this week. Appreciate the suggestions Mike.
  10. glider90

    glider90 Member

    OK, so as I have ben thinking about this I questioned why not floor the adjoining closet, laundry room, and bathroom without having to do transitions. This sounds good, but I am not sure how I will accomplish getting the planks that need tilted to go in around the door jambs. Attached are updated drawings and pictures.
    ~Two views down the hall from either room.
    ~The three doors for the closet, laundry, bathroom.
    ~Updated floor plan showing the three small rooms

    Would you still start my rough draft in the hall to set board widths might be able to measure and cut the starting board to lay each of the small rooms individually and then bring them in place to hook into the hall boards once that row goes down.

    Still not sure how to deal with the door jambs. Is the method in this video considered acceptable or is there a more accepted way?

    [ame=""]Laminate and door jambs - YouTube[/ame]

    Attached Files:

  11. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Well some of the tricks to use for that is shaving off the locking, click part of the plank and glue it together which looks like that is what he is doing in the photo. I try to have an edge hit the doorway so its easier to do than cutting a piece into an H to go around. Also ending a plank in the doorway helps sometimes.
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    He brought the trimmed tongue one board in to a full width, I think it's a good idea, though they say small widths should be glued. Not sure what blue tape is for, hopefully not to tape the moisture barrier. The carpet looks cut too short.
  13. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I like to round my inside corners as well. Helps to prevent any peek-a-boos.
  14. Z-Carpet

    Z-Carpet Pro Member

    hey OP would you care to mention the prices of theses products, that you have seen while shopping around (talking about the aquaGuard) thanks
  15. glider90

    glider90 Member

    Thanks again for all the help. The price for this particular pattern of Aquagard is 2.99 a square foot. It is a new pattern I guess, and is priced a little higher than the other products which are 2.66-2.69 a Square foot.

    I have hit a slight snag in my job. First off as much as I really want to do both rooms and the hallway, the logistics of it have me nervous. The doorways, the complete first floor chaos of a the potential jobsite, the time it will take (I have limited free time to work) and the overall complexity of the scheme have me concerned.

    Saturday we decided to simplify. Do the carpeted family room and dining room first, which is a basic 285 square foot rectangle. After that is complete I will do the 258 square foot living room and leave the vinyl tan one piece flooring in the hallway, laundry, bathroom, and closet. That was always the plan when I first put the laminate down in the living room years ago. We wanted to see if we liked it and then do the family/dining room later. I bought the stuff from Lowes, and it was Dupont. I liked that it had the underlayment attached to each plank. When I tried to purchase more I was informed that Dupont quit making it. I do not want two different woods in the first floor, so I am going to replace the Dupont with Aquagard.

    That sounded simple, and I was ready to buy 35 boxes of flooring this weekend to do the two rooms and let the hall as is. Sadly Floor & Décor only has 10 boxes in stock. Next shipment is due in mid December! This project is to be done for Christmas, and that is cutting it way too close for my wife. She now wants to scrap the whole project and buy carpet. I know that is not what she *wants* but I also know she thinks carpet would make my life easier since I do not need to install it.

    As of now F&D says they found 35 boxes, but I need to pay the freight to get them here, about $200. In flooring and underlayment and T-strips I am already at $2500 in materials for 543 square feet of floor. Somehow paying to get it to the store because they are low in stock is not sitting well with me.
  16. Shipping adds $0.37/sf onto your order. It may or may not be worth it for you. If it is the colour you want in the product you want with the type of installation that you want and you want it before X-mas, it may be the only way.

    It means they have to "buy" it off of someone else and have it shipped to them. What you might want to find out is how far away it is. If you pick it up, can you do it for less than $200 (time off work, gas/diesel there and back again, etc).

    This is about as good as it will get I'm afraid. If you don't like the extra $0.37/sf extra, then I guess carpet is the way to go...except you still need a floor for the laundry and the bathroom.

    I would ask myself if giving up on this product is worth it for $0.37/sf extra for shipping the product I want inside the time line that I need/want.
  17. glider90

    glider90 Member

    All good and valid points. I am in Ohio, the product is in Georgia. I got them to drop the shipping to $70, as I am going to go ahead with the purchase.
    I will not need to put any flooring down the hall or the laundry and bath as the vinyl in those areas is fairly new and we like it (Tarkett Fiberfloor). We really are just looking to eradicate carpet.
    So with any luck in a couple weeks I will be able to start on the dining room and family room.
    Thanks all, I will keep this updated in case someone else does a search on Aquagard and wants to know about the actual product installation in the future.
  18. glider90

    glider90 Member

    OK, I am back and getting ready to start this project after a few other things jumped ahead of it. Product has been in my house for a couple weeks acclimating due to that:)

    Since simplifying the job to two separate rooms am I wondering what my better installation option would be for the room in the image. In essence it is a 12' x 23' rectangle with the joists spanning the long direction and a window on each small wall.

    This is a floating floor, so I can ignore joist direction. Ideally the floor lays parallel to incoming light, and along the longest wall right? So should I lay the boards parallel to the joists to minimize work, waste, and for overall better looks?

    Attached Files:

  19. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I agree, take it up the chain and get it waived. F&D wants business? They're doing well enough, keep us posted. Home Depot and Lowes use to transfer stuff in large quantities, not so much anymore, they say you can pick it up in so and so.

    Sorry, didn't see page two.

    You see movement between the joists when stepped on? If so laminate will not strengthen it.
  20. glider90

    glider90 Member

    No movement, floor is solid. I was looking at going perpendicular to joists before due to the "whole house" layout. Now that it is a single room I guess going with the longest wall works best. Just looing to see if the pro's agree with that.
    Floor and Décor has been good to me. Same guy I first talked to offered me a discount to get to the bulk price on underlayment because he said the 100 square foot rolls are easier to deal with than the 450's. This is what he recommends using, any opinions?

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