dream home laminate flooring review

Dream Home Laminate Flooring Review

The name alone evokes thoughts of a luxurious place: Dream Home laminate flooring. You imagine being able to find a product that exactly suits what you have envisioned since you were a child and considered where you would want to live.

It’s time to hit your computer and figure out whether or not you want to invest. The wrong flooring could take your envisioned home from a dream to a nightmare.

Will Dream Home laminate really be able to meet your expectations?

What is it?

Dream Home laminate is a product produced by Lumber Liquidators and sold at retail outlets throughout the United States. The boards mimic the appearance of more expensive materials such as rare wood while costing much less in comparison.

Laminate flooring is a versatile material made from a synthetic resin designed to prevent staining, water damage, and other common problems. It was invented in 1977 and eventually came to the United States in 1994. It has been a popular flooring material ever since, especially in restaurants and affordable homes.

In the past, people voiced concerns about installing laminate because of its relation to formaldehyde, but the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has released numerous reports stating that the material is safe for homes and businesses.

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How durable is it?

Many people purchase laminate flooring because they hear it is more durable than other varieties. Unfortunately, Dream Home laminate is a mixed bag of durability.

Despite possessing certification from the North American Laminate Flooring Association, Dream Home laminate is fraught with problems.

Like many other products, Dream Home claims to be able to stand up to pets, heavy foot traffic, and the other rigors of everyday life at home. Some owners discover that this is the case and are able to keep their floors for years. Others claim that the material frequently scratches, loses varnish and paint, and will even bubble within a few months of installation.

The main problem you’re going to encounter is that the laminate is cheap and mass-produced. The boards are easy to buy, but use inexpensive materials which are more susceptible to wearing down.

If you need a new floor and don’t want to invest too much, then Dream Home could work for you. If you need something durable and live in a home with high foot traffic, then it’s not for you.

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What styles are available?

Imagine having a genie that could summon any pattern you wanted. Shopping from the Dream Home line is a little like that scenario, where you can find styles to suit most living situations and preferences.

Lumber Liquidators and other retailers sell Dream Home laminate flooring in multiple series. The most popular styles mimic fashionable woods such as cherry, walnut, oak, and acacia. It’s also possible to find patterns that resemble hickory, beech, rosewood, and more exotic trees.

Several of the other characteristics of Dream Home are its high varnish and irregular designs. The varnish helps protect the materials underneath and ensures the floor maintains a new look. The irregular designs, although the term sounds odd, aren’t a bad thing.

Each of the boards in the Dream Home line strives to avoid having the same exact streaks, gradient, and patterns so homeowners can achieve a more natural and realistic look from their laminate flooring. This means you can get creative with how your sections are placed throughout a room.

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Is it easy to install?

Very few people want to spend days slaving away over their floors, even if it does mean you get a brand new surface to enjoy. Dream Home laminate flooring is relatively easy to install, but does require several significant steps.

First, you need to let laminate flooring acclimatize to a new environment. This means leaving the flooring inside the area where you want to lay it so that it doesn’t swell or shrink once it is installed.

You also want to have a clean, dry, flat surface. The majority of the boards within the Dream Home line use an easily installed V-click system.

This means that you can click the boards together so they lock in place. The only downside to the V system is that it leaves behind a small indent in between each section of the laminate. This indent is a great place for dust to collect, which can eventually create trenches full of debris.

For the average homeowner, the V system is simultaneously simple to install but also a cleaning nightmare.

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How much does it cost?

If you’re on a budget, then Dream Home laminate would be great for you.

The product ranges in price from $0.86 to $1.59 per sq. ft. and requires very few installation tools. A problem users might run across is that the laminate cannot be expected to last as long as stronger, more expensive materials.

Thankfully, each collection does come with a different warranty. Below is a list of each of the Dream Home lines and the attached warranty that you can sign up for:

  • Nirvana – 25 years
  • Nirvana V Groove – 25 years
  • Charisma – 20 years
  • Utopia – 10 years
  • Kensington Manor – 30 years
  • James Collection – 30 years
  • Kensington Manor – 10 years

If you want a new floor but aren’t willing to invest much, then the laminate flooring from a series like Dream Home will give you some flexibility and creativity without taxing your pocketbook.

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The Verdict

All in all, Dream Home laminate flooring is a mixed bag. Imagine that you are standing in front of two doors. Behind one is a mountain of your favorite food, while the other conceals a tiger which hasn’t been fed in weeks. This is the experience that many potential buyers will have if they consider Dream Home laminate.

The cons of this product are actually quite a few: A good percentage of the users discover that it isn’t durable, that it scratches easily, that the wooden design comes away, and that it’s a nightmare to clean with special equipment.

On the other hand, it comes with quite a few pros, especially related to price, how many users receive durable boards, and the easiness of installation.

So, should you invest in it?

Dream Home laminate is great for people on a budget, but people willing to spend more money should look elsewhere.

Do you have any experiences that could help others make a decision about this controversial product? If so, share them through comments, pictures, and videos on this website or through social media. Every bit can help someone else either avoid the horror of low-quality flooring or experience the bliss of a well-made surface.

12 thoughts on “Dream Home Laminate Flooring Review”

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    Bought the 8mm pewter oak. Beautiful once installed, but then separation, bubbling. They actually drink water! Don’t drop anything on them, don’t drag anything across them, don’t try cleaning them they don’t come clean or shine. Put them in and don’t walk on them! You get what you pay for.

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    We purchased Dream Home in Brazilian Pecan for our entire 1400 sqft house. First off, I usually research before making such large purchases until I’m cross-eyed but Lumber Liquidators had it listed online as a special price with the brand hidden. At $0.79/sqft I knew it wouldn’t be great quality but also knew it had to be 100x better than our stained original blue carpet from 1977. The fact that it was supposedly “easy to DIY install” sealed the deal.

    Fast forward 3 weeks since we originally prepped the subfloor and started laying boards – our front room is still only half done because every time we try to go back to it we end up getting so aggravated that we throw our hands up and quit. You get so many rows out and then you just can’t get them to click anymore and there are gaps which will surely catch someone’s foot at some point and cause the board to scratch or warp.

    So now we’re torn between just installing best we can (& covering with a large area rug in each room to minimize damage) or cough up the extra money to have someone come install it with more experience (& patience).

    As the author pointed out, I would probably buy it again because at least it’s better than what I had before but if I had any more money to spend I definitely wouldn’t have spent it on this.

    Side note – I originally wanted to go really cheap with laminate sheet flooring in a wood look pattern but my hubs nixed it. I should’ve pulled the wife card on that one, would’ve been cheaper and probably liked better, especially long term.

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    I installed Dream Home Amber Hickory (50 year warranty, 12 mm, AC 4) on my second floor (approx 1500 sf). I found it to be well made and installed predictably. I have installed other manufacturer’s laminate products and this one was a bit better than those. The second floor bedrooms are lower traffic and low spill risk so are good spots for mid-range laminate. It looks great and is way easier to keep clean than carpet.

    It has been in 3 months or so and I have had no problems with scratching, bubbling or peeling. I put it down over the mid-grade underlayment and noise is not a problem.

    As for separation, it does not happen if the manufacturer’s installation guidelines are followed. The first course can be troublesome unless butted tight to a wall (use spacers) but a little technique resolves. Overall, my experience was once these planks were locked together, that is how they stayed.

    I have seen a lot of unflattering reviews of Dream Home laminate but this particular one does not deserve the bad press. I cannot speak for others but this one was a good choice and performer for me. Average price I paid was $1.79 per SF.

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      Hello, I’m just wondering if you still have no regrets with your purchase? Right now, Lumber Liquidators having a great deal… I’m considering the dream home old fashion hickory to replace the carpet in my bedrooms. House is about 5 years old and had decent carpet put in but the master bedroom and room used as an office is looking worse and worst as each day passes (very high traffic as I work from home), so I need to replace at minimum these two rooms.

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    I absolutely hate this floor. We’ve had it in our house about 10 years, and six months after it was put in the scratches & chips in the corner boards look uneven and so on and so on. I just hate the fact that it’s dull, it doesn’t shine and I don’t know the best way to clean it. I’ve tried everything.

    I wish I could afford to rip it out and get something else. I heard about the lawsuit because it was made in China and the formaldehyde and yada yada yada. Don’t waste your money on this especially the Utopia dream home in French oak.

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    We have installed this product countless times without issues. Usually DIY customers have less experience with the nuances of laminate flooring installation. The common problem is not starting the first course off true, which results in planks “popping” apart later on. This is a tell-tale sign the first installed course is not straight. There are lots of instructional videos on youtube.com for those who need a couple of pointers. After your first 3-4 hours, you should start to move down the learning curve quite fast!

    Also, to avoid chips and dings on the edges use a piece of a cut plank as your tapping block for hard to reach or tight areas. Typically we do not use any additional tools other than the ones God provided 🙂

    Good Luck

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    We are very disappointed with our Dream Home flooring. My husband has installed laminate flooring in the past. He found this floor to be very difficult to install. The boards did not fit together well. Once he got them together, they would pop apart as the next row went in. He ended up pulling out a whole section and starting over. Some of the boards had chips in the corners. The floor is pretty, but, we are not confident it will last.

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    James M Strain

    I installed (DIY person) 12 mm Dream Home throughout the house. Going on 8 years, no scratches with large 110 pound dog and finish still looks good. Only problem occurred with a water leak in one bedroom and needing to replace that entire bedroom. But that is laminate’s true enemy: H2O.

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    The flooring clicks together easily but also comes apart easily as well, leaving larger spaces. I had to take apart our dining room floor during installation and reposition the boards that would “work” together. Some even came apart after I did our hallway when all of the molding was up and finished. Lousy product!

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    Mark Ruszczycky

    Found the dream home skyline oak 14mm very difficult to install as some of the boards were not milled straight at the beads.

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    I priced the flooring at LL. The salesman started with a markdown price of $2.19 and within 15 minutes the price was $1.79 a square foot. Is there a business that may have the floor priced at $1.49 or less?

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