You may have come across Select Surfaces Laminate flooring at your nearest warehouse club grocery store. While some folks find it odd to purchase flooring from the same place as a fifteen-pack of mayonnaise, others swear by the value.
Select Surfaces laminate flooring has some great looks all wrapped up in an easy DIY format with an attached pad. Let’s look at a few more features of this bulk-buy favorite and then decide if it’s worth the membership or if you should save room in your shopping cart for all those discount socks.
Select Surfaces Laminate Flooring offers a single collection of trendy and classic styles designed for wide appeal. You will find species patterns such as Oak, Hickory, Maple, and Walnut. These patterns come in standard wood tones as well as a handful of fashion-forward grays and beiges.
While the color range is somewhat lacking, the quality of the finish textures does not disappoint. Most of the finish textures are hand-scraped with a few that are wire-brushed and antiqued. The depth and grain-like accuracy of the texture creates a true-to-wood-look on this otherwise humble laminate.
This flooring is also HD printed with a fifteen-pattern repeat, so you will see less of the same pattern in a large open area.
In addition, each plank features a four-sided painted micro bevel which takes this laminate to the next level in the hardwood floor look-alike contest.
Perhaps a couple downsides here are the lack of multi-width plank options and the limited color range. Also, there is no sampling program available. This can make deciding on a color somewhat difficult.
Construction and Durability
On their website, Select Surfaces Laminate boasts an “Extra Thick 14mm Plank.” This is half true. The plank itself is 12mm and the attached laminate underlayment is 2mm thick.
While this type of advertising is kind of gimmicky and misleading for the average consumer, it’s not uncommon. This is an example of why it pays to do your due diligence and always read the specifications before purchasing.
Even so, a 12mm laminate with an attached 2mm pad is exceptional for durability and acoustics. This laminate won’t sound hollow underfoot and will have reduced noise in larger rooms.
Select Surfaces finishes their laminates with an AC4 abrasion-rated aluminum oxide. This enhanced wear layer gets you a limited lifetime warranty as well as a ten-year commercial warranty. Therefore, this product is very scratch-resistant and will not show wear and tear in high-traffic areas for many years.
Perhaps one drawback is that this laminate is not water-resistant. At this price point, there are many water-resistant laminates on the market. So, if you have kids or pets, you may want to keep shopping.
Update from Select Surfaces: A new ‘Spillproof’ line is launching in June 2019.
Ease of Installation
Laminate floors are a favorite of DIYers and flooring professionals alike. The installation itself is simple and there are no special tools needed. However, you will need a power saw large enough to make cuts on both the width and the length of the plank.
Select Surfaces Laminate features a drop-and-lock installation system. You will hear a satisfying “click” when the plank locks into place. This is a great feature for a DIYer and is the most straightforward installation system for a laminate product.
Additionally, the attached foam underlayment makes for one less step. This feature saves the time it would otherwise take to measure, cut, and fit rolls of underlayment.
The coordinating trims and transitions are equally simple to install. You have the option of using the provided trim tracks to snap them into place or your hired pro can use their favorite construction adhesive.
This is a “floating” type floor, so it can be installed over a variety of subfloor conditions including particle board. You still want to conduct a moisture test based on the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid future issues. Remember that a moisture test is always cheaper than a floor replacement.
Should you choose to have a professional install your new laminate floor, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2.50-$4 per square foot which doesn’t include things like removal of your old floor, baseboards, furniture moving, or additional subfloor prep.
In general, laminate is not the eco-friendliest flooring out there. Steps have been taken in recent years to minimize the impact flooring manufacturing has on the environment. For example, many companies use recycled materials and wood fibers from sustainably harvested trees or plant-based pigments for printing.
In this case, Select Surfaces offers no information on the eco-friendliness of their products. They only mention that their products are made in Germany. While some consumers might argue that manufacturing in Europe is about equal to manufacturing in the USA, the lack of information here is a bit of a red flag.
Correction from Select Surfaces: “All of our laminates are GreenGuard Gold certified for low VOCs, TSCA VI and CARB phase 2 compliant, and made from responsibly sourced wood from certified forests (either FSC or PEFC). The HDF used in production is manufactured at the factory as well, further reducing the environmental impact of production.”
If you have concerns over whether or not your flooring comes from sustainable sources or have chemical sensitivities, you may want to continue shopping for products that highlight these features.
Select Surfaces Laminate Flooring can be purchased exclusively through Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club has a couple colors in stock in store with the rest online. You can also find Select Surfaces on Walmart.com’s website, but the 3rd party merchant is apparently buying their stock from Sam’s Club & re-selling on Walmart.
If you already have a Sam’s Club membership, you will save about fifty cents per square foot. While this can add up to a significant savings for a large project, it may not otherwise be worth it to buy a membership for a few boxes of flooring if you never plan to use the membership again.
That said, you can expect to pay:
- $1.79 per square foot in store, or $2.49 – $2.60 online (with free or discounted shipping) for their 12mm flooring.
- $1.49 per square foot in store for their 8mm flooring.
This laminate square foot pricing also includes attached 2mm underlayment.
You will also need trims and transitions to finish your project. These are sold in a kit from Sam’s Club that contains one of each type. Alternatively, you can buy them by the piece directly from the manufacturer’s website.
This coordinating molding kit costs $14.98 in store, or $34.98 plus shipping if bought online. It’s important to note that no matching quarter round is available. For some folks, this is a major deal breaker.
Select Surfaces Laminate has a lot of things going for it. The on-trend color selection, high abrasive wear rating, easy DIY format, and attached pad all make this a very desirable laminate floor.
However, there are several other products with similar prices on the market that have all of the above, plus water-resistance, full matching trim set, and eco-friendliness.
Overall, at this price point, this flooring is not the best value despite what the merchandising and purchasing outlets might have you think. You might be better off purchasing your flooring at, you know — a flooring store.