It has been almost two years since the weekend long marathon of installing our Engineered Bamboo flooring. If you remember, Brooks and Linda came up one weekend in August, 2010 and helped us lay new flooring on the entire main floor. Brooks and I laid the floor while Linda operated the two power saws outside and carried new boxes of flooring in. Norma handed us boards and supervised. (And mopped up blood) ;)
A critical look at the floors today shows they are wearing very well. High traffic areas like doorways show no wear at all. The area around my computer desk probably gets the most use of any area. It has remained wear and scratch free.
The kitchen was installed as a separate floor with a transition in the doorway. This was because we did not really know how it would wear and wanted the option of changing it for tile. Some people and websites warned against laminate in kitchens because of the danger of dropping sharp things and unnoticed water spills. Indeed, the kitchen does show the most wear. I guess this is to be expected. There are a couple of small cuts where knives have been dropped and there are a couple of scratches under the table where a chair leg with an embedded rock chip put down a 3 - 4 inch scratch. This happened the first night we had the floor and encouraged us to immediately pad all chair legs! Spilled water has not been a problem at all, even around the sink and dishwasher door. We used to be terrified of water and raced to wipe it up as soon as it landed. Now we are a little more lackadaisical about it and the odd splash sits on the floor for a while before it gets wiped up. There has been absolutely no water damage. The scratches and cuts in the kitchen are not noticeable unless you look for them and just add to the patina of the floor.
It is important to put nylon or felt pads under all chair and table legs. We settled on the nylon pads that nail (drill first) or screw on as they stay put much better. We put those "disks" under all the heavy furniture legs and so far, there has been no damage. We also had a major red wine spill with no damage. We kept a couple of boxes of flooring in case we have to replace a board or two sometime in the future.
We are very happy with the bamboo floor. The amount of dust in the house has been greatly reduced. Dirt is easy to see and easy to clean up. General cleaning is done once a week with a pad type mop sprayed with a cleaner intended for wood floors. I would choose laminate over carpet every time.
My favorite saw operator and soon to be DIL. She never made a bad cut!