There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, and as an interior decorator, it’s one that I’m still plagued by every project I start. Though this question is a doozy, the bigger question of where to purchase flooring causes an even larger headache.
To help others with this same problem, I set out to see if Pergo would live up to the scrutiny of a design professional. Pergo claims on their website to have an “array of styles that suit any space, time-saving installation and outstanding warranties,” which is a pretty bold statement.
Will Pergo live up to their hype and be all that and a bag of chips?
Let’s dig a little deeper to see what Pergo really has to offer:
The age old question of laminate or hardwood is eliminated by Pergo’s set of offerings. There’s a wide variety of each option for your flooring needs.
Which one is right for you? Here’s what Pergo says:
Who would you think that would do laminate flooring the best? How about the people that literally invented laminate?
Pergo invented the laminate floor over 35 years ago and still leads the industry in laminate flooring. They’re dedicated to creating quality products without the use of any toxic chemicals that pass a set of third party tests to ensure quality.
Laminate isn’t water-proof, but it comes pretty close. Pergo says that their laminate is water resistant, giving you a 30 minute window to clean up spills.
The price point for Pergo’s laminate lands in the $2.50 to $3.00 per square foot range. This puts their prices at right about the industry average, which is $2.40 to $4.00 per square foot.
If wood floors aren’t your thing, Pergo offers laminate flooring in stone and ceramic styles as well. Essentially, Pergo offers everything except for the kitchen sink; they’re a flooring company, after all.
Offering styles catering to the DIY handyman and professional installer, Pergo has you covered no matter what kind of hardwood you need.
If you’re an engineered hardwood lover or you’re a sucker for solid, there are 3 styles you’ll be able to choose from:
In case you’ve never heard of engineered hardwood: don’t fret, you’re not alone. Despite semi-popular belief, engineered hardwood isn’t the mutant cousin of the solid hardwood floor.
Engineered hardwood is a layered hardwood floor that has a separate backing layer from the layer that is used to lock the flooring into place. Engineered hardwood is typically easier to install and has the same feel that solid hardwood does on the feet.
If you can’t fathom hiring someone else to do the job for you, Pergo Max should be your floor of choice. This engineered hardwood should click right together to ensure an easy installation process.
If you’re confident in your abilities to install flooring that requires more elbow grease than clicking into place, your ideal flooring is Pergo Lifestyles. This is also an engineered hardwood, but requires the help of staples or glue to install.
If you’re looking for the ultimate classic hardwood, this is it. One layer of wood is topped with one layer of finish for the die-hard(wood) enthusiast.
Pergo American Era
Do not try this at home, kids. Pergo’s American Era collection is the top of their hardwood line and its solid construction should not be installed by someone without prior flooring experience. Go ahead and hire someone- your wallet will thank you later.
Pergo’s hardwood and engineered hardwood is on the lower end of the price spectrum, ranging from about $2.80 to $5.00 per square foot. You’re getting a bargain considering that the average engineered hardwood is from about $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot and the average solid hardwood is from about $4.00 to $10.00 per square foot.
The styles for hardwood aren’t as varied as they are for laminate, however, there are dozens of finishes for each style to choose from.
Pergo’s warranties aren’t as clear cut as they claimed they were. Depending on which product you buy and where you buy it from, your warranty will be different.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Pergo product, you’ll need to order from a big-box retailer rather than directly from their website. They’re found in most Lowe’s stores and Home Depots across the country, but some smaller retailers will carry their lines, too.
Home Depot and Lowe’s have different warranty levels for each of the different products described above. Before buying any product from this company, I’d suggest doing your warranty research to make sure that you’re getting the coverage you and your lifestyle will need.
If buying from another retailer, you’ll need to talk specifically with that retailer about their Pergo warranty. There’s no info on the website for any other companies’ warranty besides Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Be acutely aware of what you’re buying and make sure that you’re not making an investment this large without protecting yourself. You wouldn’t ride a motorcycle without a helmet, so don’t purchase flooring without a warranty.
With a company with as long of a history as Pergo, you’re bound to find reviews that are both “print out and put on your fridge” worthy and “report the user as spam to make the review disappear” worthy.
Here’s what some Pergo customers had to say about the products they purchased:
Some of Pergo’s customers are over the moon with their purchases, such as this customer from Elk Grove, California.
“Bullet Proof Flooring. Okay, I didn’t actually shoot at my floor. We installed some Pergo American Cottage from Lowe’s 10 years ago. This floor looks exactly the same as the day it was finished.”
Unfortunately, there are overwhelmingly more unsettling reviews than there are positive ones. Here’s what Jane of the Woodlands said:
“I purchased $6000 worth of Pergo Max hardwood flooring from Lowe’s. It was professionally installed. After 1 month, the floor is so scratched that the installer recommends replacing the entire floor – the scratches cannot be fixed. No help from Pergo on this matter.”
Here’s what Marilynn of Lincoln said:
“Our Pergo Max flooring is less than 4 months old and looks like it’s years old. It has fine scratches apparently from sweeping it with a broom. When I mop it with a damp cloth and water only, it leaves streaks and smears and dulls.”
And here’s what a flooring installer from Ohio eloquently said:
“Garbage in a box.”
Pergo’s flooring does not seem to be of best quality, whether it be laminate or hardwood. The reviews online were divisive, with an average rating of about 2.5 on each of the websites I examined.
People either loved the brand or absolutely hated it. People who professionally installed their product seemed to be more likely to give a positive review than those that went the DIY route of installation.
Would I personally recommend Pergo for a client? Most likely not.
Does that mean you shouldn’t purchase Pergo? Not necessarily.
If you’re looking for a product that’s on the cheaper side and you’re redoing flooring for a small space in your home, Pergo can be a great choice. If you’re doing a full remodel in hopes to maximize the price of your home when you sell it in 10 years, Pergo probably isn’t the brand for you.
Have you purchased and installed a Pergo product in the past? Comment below and let us know what you think about Pergo.