I've been shopping for laminates, since (a) I can't really afford to do real wood, and (b) you really shouldn't do real wood on a slab anyway. As you know from previous posts, I found some laminates at Lumber Liquidators that was $.69/square foot, which would enable me to do *all* of the areas I want to do, so I went to visit those products yesterday. I also visited products from Floors to Your Home. Here are some pictures and thoughts on what I found.
1. Dream Home Utopia 6mm Sugar Maple from Lumber Liquidators:
However, I noticed a dark joint line in the sample where the boards came together--that would drive me crazy. It happens in all laminates, but you notice it more with the really light colors.
2. Dream Home Utopia 6mm Swedish Maple from Lumber Liquidators: This is listed on the LL website for $.69, but they didn't have a sample in the store. I'm guessing I'd have to purchase it online and have it shipped to the store for pick-up. I like it better than the Sugar Maple, at least online. But again, it's a light laminate. I really like the lighter colors, and I think they work better with my personal style, but I really don't like the idea of dark lines everywhere...
Dream Home Utopia 6 mm American Cherry: I hadn't marked this on the website, but I really liked it in-store. It looked a lot nicer than I would expect something this inexpensive to look. However, it's $.89/square foot, which would add $300ish to my cost, and it's still only 6 mm. The online reviews have a lot of pictures, though, and they're all pretty.
The color is much more red-orange, though, and doesn't go as well with the colors I was thinking of for the kitchen.
7 mm Wild Pear: This is listed as being $.99 online, but it's $.79 in the store. The sample is very similar in color to the LL American Cherry one, but it's $.10/square foot cheaper ($150ish total), and I realllllly liked the large sample in store. Again, though, the color is more red, and I'm not sure whether it'd work with the colors I like for the kitchen. But I really like it... And it's darker, so it wouldn't show the dark lines as badly... And it's a smidgen thicker than the LL stuff...
6. 7 mm Original Pine: This stuff is ok. Not wild about it. The salesguy called it a "plank style" and said the dark lines would look even worse with it. The price is right ($.69), but meh.
7. Kronoswiss 7 mm Havanna Beach: I like this all right. Looks ok with the kitchen colors. It doesn't thrill me but it's not bad.
The website lists this at $1.19, but in-store it's $.89. It'd still be more expensive than some of the others, but it's a little thicker than some, at 7 mm, and color-wise, it'd be easier to work with.
8. Classic ?? mm Spanish Maple: This is $1.39, but it comes with an attached pad, so I'd save some money there. However, I don't know if the pad includes a moisture barrier--if it doesn't, I'd still have to get that, so it wouldn't save me any money, and this would be out of my price range.
I like the look of it, though--the pattern is neat and the color isn't too flat. And it has a 50-year warranty (versus 10 or 15 for any of the other products here)! The website says there's 847 feet in stock, which means I'd have to order more. I don't know for sure that that's possible.
Ok! So there are my major options at this point. I'd love to hear your thoughts!