During the renovations of Hawk Hill Cottage, we installed “Portfolio + WetProtect Waterproof Brentwood Pine” Pergo brand laminate plank flooring throughout the first and second floors of the South St. Louis urban cottage.
In this article, I share before and after photos of our Brentwood Pine Pergo flooring install, pros and cons I’ve noticed after living with this particular laminate flooring, and some thoughts on the flooring, the finish, and the process. At the end, you’ll find my 1-year update.
[This review of Pergo laminate flooring is entirely my opinion and not paid for by any manufacturer or vendor.]
Picking Brentwood pine Pergo flooring
When I purchased Hawk Hill Cottage, there was a grand total of four different types of flooring just on the first floor alone! (and in a small urban cottage, you can imagine how four different types of flooring disrupted the flow of the small entry, living room, dining room, and kitchen).
How I picked Brentwood pine for my cottage renovation
I’ll confess, this rustic and multi-hued laminate flooring was not my first pick. This flooring, designed to replicate the look of aged barn wood while offering a modern pallet of cream, gray, and greige, has a rather modern look despite the faux weathered look. Initially, I planned and budgeted for the original pine plank floors at the cottage to be professionally sanded and refinished.
I anticipated some expense as floorers worked with the 110-year-old pine floor but it turns out, refinishing and restoring 100-year-old floors in St. Louis is particularly difficult due to the fact that at that time, in this area, pine floors were not tongue and groove- allowing boards to warp and lift away from the joints without being locked into place by their neighboring planks.
The most severe complications in refinishing the existing floors became clear when, after the final walk-through in the hours before closing on the cottage, the full scope and condition of the existing hardwood were revealed. With the previous owner’s rugs and furniture removed, it became clear that any attempt to restore these floors would low my budget out of the water. Instead, I needed to find a plan B.
Choosing the flooring right under my nose:
Since I bought Hawk Hill Cottage in the late stages of a slow, 15-year rehab (a total gut renovation following an arson-related house fire in the mid-1990s!), some projects were left half done- including flooring. Pergo laminate had already been installed in the small dining room. A quick search of the basement revealed a box marked with the exact name, item number, and model number (Portfolio + WetProtect Waterproof Brentwood Pine, Item #1209523, Model #LF000962) for the flooring that was partially installed on the ground level. I decided to go with the Brentwood Pine Pergo Waterproof Embossed Wood Plank Laminate Flooring because it was already partially installed and the look was fresh and modern.
Having the opportunity to check out the flooring already installed in that single room helped me get a feel for how this weathered pine style laminate flooring might look throughout the house. Pleased with the look of the existing wide Brentwood pine planks (7.48 inches wide and 47.24 inches long) installed in the dining room, I called an audible and made a phone call to the flooring company to let them know that I’d be switching from a refinishing job to a whole-house laminate install project.
Installing Brentwood Pine Laminate flooring
Lots of people take on laminate install is a DIY project – it’s approachable and not particularly technical, making it DIY friendly. In my case, I was on the tail end of a 3000-mile move and 90 days in an Airbnb. More than anything, I just wanted floors installed ASAP so I could finally move into the cottage and start making a home in St Louis. Given the rush, I decided to skip DIY on this project and hired a professional flooring installer to install Brentwood pine Pergo laminate throughout the cottage.
After the flooring company initially promised the project would take no more than two days, seven days came and went with a crew still working daily in my home (though that is another story entirely and largely a result of the warped pine hardwood floors they were covering).
I did go ahead and DIY the installation of baseboards on top of the Brentwood pine flooring in the living room, since the previous owner had neglected to install baseboards in that room, pending the flooring installation. Installing my own baseboards was much easier than anticipated, though it did require purchasing a few specialized tools such as a nail setter in a miter box (since I lost my miter saw in the great Hawk Hill purge of 2015)
Pros and cons of installing Brentwood Pine Pergo laminate flooring:
As an unsponsored reviewer, I can offer an unbiased assessment of the pros and cons of this flooring- the things that I really like about it and the things that frustrate me. Here are a few thoughts on this flooring based on my experience purchasing, installing, and living with this flooring:
- Easy to clean. It’s every bit as easy maintenance as people told me it would be
- The gloss level is ideal. In front of a sunny window, it has a matte shine without looking slick- as some refinished wood floors can.
- Timeless. Brentwood Pine finish looks fresh and modern while still accommodating a traditional or even rustic interior decor- I’m confident that it will appeal to potential buyers (regardless of their personal style) when it’s time to sell the cottage.
- The faux splits can look too real. The faux weathered look includes some fake splits in the wood- in some cases these can look like actual splits, causing the flooring to look damaged when it’s actually in perfect condition!
- The pattern draws the eye. The Brentwood Pine mottled coloring- that integrates beige, gray, and brown- can look pretty busy. I’ve found that when placed on Brentwood Pine laminate, my ornate rugs look chaotic. While solid flooring allows ornate rugs to “pop,” with Brentwood Pine through the house I’ve had to switch to very plain rugs.
Before-and-after pictures of installing Brentwood Pine Pergo flooring in my cottage
Below, you can see some images of hawk hill cottage before and after the installation of Brentwood Pine Pergo flooring. As you can see, the existing flooring was the original Pine hardwood floor – which had a few layers of paint and more than a few areas of worked or buckled boards. By working with professional installers, I was able to have the original floors stabilized and this faux weathered laminate installed. Brentwood Pine Pergo Waterproof Embossed Wood Plank Laminate Flooring made it possible to have an entire house of easy to clean, low maintenance, and modern flooring for a fraction of the cost of repairing, refinishing, and restoring the original hardwood floors.
1 Year Update: Thoughts on Pergo Wetprotect Laminate After 14 Months
I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I moved into the cottage! Pergo flooring was installed right as I was moving in – literally! (I moved in room-by-room as installers finished their work!) This year has included many changes to the house, including a complete kitchen renovation.
After one year, I have no significant complaints about this flooring. Here are some things I’ve noticed:
- The sheen/texture of the wood makes it very obvious where I missed spots mopping the kitchen floor. However, it only jumps our from a certain angle in morning light, thanks to the mottled coloring.
- A few boards on the upstairs landing have slightly lifted edges. Time will tell whether this is new and progressive or damage during the original installation.
- This flooring is holding up very well. Even under my desk chair as I work from home, the boards show zero wear.
- After installing Brentwood Pine Pergo Laminate flooring throughout the house, and investing 11% of the original purchase price in a kitchen remodel, the cottage appraised in summer 2022 at a 60% increase in home value compared to the 2021 purchase price. (Some of that is related to housing market changes, of course, but redfin’s algorithm estimated a <10% value increase!)
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