The Pergo story

Start to finish — 73 days

I want...
Provence Iron Shale

Day 6

Go to Home Depot to order the carpet and laminate. Alas and alack, the Pergo I want has been "discontinued." However, the woman says she's not sure if Pergo has discontinued it or if Home Depot has just stopped carrying that type. I look around at other brands of laminate that they have, but by now I have my heart set on the particular Pergo I picked out, and none of the alternatives are that appealing. Oops.

Day 8

Great! The Pergo I want is still available at the Home Depot "Expo Design Centers," and I order the materials and measurement.

Day 15

Measurement is done. Feeling a little uneasy about this, since the measurer claimed to also be the installer, and all my questions were answered with "whatever you want." What I want, damnit, is some discussion of the alternatives and the pros and cons thereof.

Day 23

Finally get the final quote. Yikes! Instead of being about $12 per square foot, it turns out to be $15 per square foot. The Pergo itself isn't all that expensive, it's all the other stuff that runs up the cost: matching carpet reducers, matching end moldings, matching quarter round, moisture-block film, silent-step padding, glue, sealant, installation cleaner, floor cleaner — and installation, of course.

Day 39

Expo calling, "I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. Your Pergo is on backorder and won't be here until April 5th or even April 14th." Day 39, of course, being when it should have arrived, and this "news" could not have been news at all. Expo would have known this as soon as they put in the order. ~swear~

Day 67

Hello, Expo? I'm calling about my Pergo. It's now been two months since I ordered it, and the only thing I've heard so far has been a message saying it was on backorder. And, it is at least a week past the latest date given in the message."

Day 68

So, where's my floor? "It's here." That of course, was the one answer I didn't expect, and my high dudgeon dissolved into stupid happy anticipation. So when can you deliver it – tomorrow? "That might be hard, but I'll try. If it will be delivered tomorrow you'll get a confirmation call tonight, otherwise it will be next Tuesday."

No confirmation call. OK, it must be next Tuesday.

Day 69

It's here! — Sure doesn't look like much

"I'm out in front of the complex and I have a delivery for you." Uh, I wasn't expecting you today; I didn't get a call last night. "You're the second person who's told me that."

Now all I have to do is get through the installation!

Day 79

The Pergo installers show up on time and begin to rip out the carpeting in the dining area and prepare to install Pergo. First, a layer of moisture-barrier. Next, a layer of "silent step" foam to reduce the hollow sound of Pergo. Finally, the Pergo itself.

To my surprise, they start at one end of the room and work toward the other end. I had always believed, with tile, that one begins with a center line and works out toward the edges of the room.

It's actually quite an interesting process. The floor is done in small sections, with all the tiles glued to each other. After a couple of rows are in place, the whole section is clamped together while the glue sets.

The Pergo floor "floats" — another way to say it's not fastened down! There's also a gap around the edges of the room to allow for expansion and contraction, and the gap is covered by quarter round.

There's the sore point: the quarter round. When the measurements were taken, all my questions were answered with "Whatever you want." In fact, I was so delighted to see Pergo tiles going down that I completely forgot about the baseboards. The original conversation revolved around removing the existing baseboards and just having the quarter-round. However, these guys just left the original baseboards in place and put the quarter-round along side it. This looks stupid, like something I would do, not what a professional installer would do. By the time this was noticed, it was too late; the tile were already cut and glued together.

Nevertheless, the Pergo is placed!