Looking to revitalise your home and give those dull, drab rooms a facelift? You may have heard of laminate flooring before but never really given much thought to it. Many homeowners miss out on the immense benefits of wood laminates because they opt for hardwood flooring, which is ultimately much more expensive and difficult to maintain.
With new manufacturing advancements, however, laminate flooring mimics hardwood better than ever, and it comes with several benefits that far surpass the advantages of solid wood floors.If you are curious about learning more, we answer 12 of the most common questions below.
1. What is It and How is It Made?
Wood laminates may emulate real hardwood but they contain no actual solid wood. Using pressure, several layers are bonded together, including a core layer of high-density fibreboard. This is topped off with a high-resolution photographic print that gives each plank that realistic, natural wood look. A special wear layer coats this print and offers superior resistance against scratches, scuffs, stains and moisture.
The benefits of this type of flooring include:
- It is extremely durable.
- Cleaning wood laminates is simple and it is a naturally allergy-free product.
- Installation is quick and easy.
- It is much more cost-friendly than solid hardwood floors.
2. How Do Laminates Differ from Hardwood Floors?
Hardwood flooring is thought of as a more luxurious choice because it is made from solid wood planks and is rather expensive. Wood laminates are a far more functional option, though, as they are not as prone to water damage or changes in temperature and humidity. It does not scratch as easily as hardwood and installing it is so easy and affordable, you can opt for new shades and designs when you grow tired of your current installation.
3. What Does an AC Rating Mean?
An AC (Abrasion Criteria) rating is how laminate flooring is categorised according to its resistance to abrasion, impacts, stains and other kinds of damage. Laminates are classed according to AC ratings of between 1 to 5. AC 1 represents residential products created for moderate traffic areas, for example, while AC 5, the highest rating, consists of high-performing products that fare well in commercial settings. These ratings enable consumers to purchase the product that best suits their specific needs.
4. Do Laminates Require an Underlay?
The underlay is essential when it comes to installation as it impacts the bow and flex of the installation. It ensures the subfloor beneath each plank is even, which means the installation is level. This improves the look and lifespan of the product.
5. Can You Install This Flooring Over Heated Floors?
Radiant heating beneath floors should not negatively impact your installation but each product will be different. Speak to your supplier about your selected product and how to acclimate your new floors to the average temperature in your home.
6. Can it be Installed Over Your Old Carpet?
Because it is a floating floor system it can technically be installed over your old carpeting but this doesn’t mean that one should do it. Laminate flooring relies on proper subfloor preparation and installing it over old carpeting will not give you that even, seamless look you are seeking. The carpet might also be too soft and give the planks too much flexibility which can break or damage the locking system.
7. Is it Possible to Do a DIY Installation?
DIY installation is easier for wood laminates than other types of floors, but it can get complicated without the right tools or techniques. Measuring and cutting planks for corners and stairs are particularly difficult, and the substrate preparation required is not easy either. Getting a professional installer is always encouraged.
8. How Much Will Installation Cost?
Various factors will influence the cost of installation, such as the size of the room, the kind of subfloor preparation required and the type of underlay you’ll need. If you would like a realistic quote on an installation of a specific product, feel free to get in touch with us.
9. What Kind of Subfloor Preparation is Required?
Subfloor preparation means conditioning the floor beneath the installation. This includes removing existing flooring, adding moisture barriers and levelling out the subfloor.
10. Is Cleaning and Maintenance Easy?
The great news is that this flooring is low maintenance and clean-up takes no effort at all. One can sweep or vacuum it regularly while removing stains or spills with a semi-damp cloth. While it isn’t completely waterproof, it does resist water damage and a barely-damp microfibre mop can be used to keep it looking its best.
11. How Do I Repair Damaged Planks?
If small scratches or scuffs do appear, there are plenty of repair kits available on the market. Larger grooves, dents or gashes may mean that you will need to remove the entire plank. Fortunately, replacing planks is rather easy and won’t take up too much time.
12. How Do I Choose the Best Option for My Home?
Your choice will come down to your specific tastes and where in the home you wish to install your laminate flooring. At Top Carpets and Floors, we can assist you in your choice, as well as with a custom quote to get you started. Our vast product range is stylish, affordable and will have a design that best fits your home.
For more information or to get a quote, contact us today.