The Top 10 Questions Everyone Asks About Laminate Wooden Flooring – Answered by Experts
Our industry-leading experts have compiled a list of the top 10 frequently asked questions about laminate wooden flooring to help you make an informed decision. Are you considering installing laminate wooden flooring in your home but still have many questions about this popular and cost-effective option? We’ve got you covered! From durability and maintenance to cost and environmental impacts, we explore all your concerns. Below, we help you discover the benefits of laminate flooring, allowing you to determine if it’s the right choice for your home.
1. Laminate Wooden Flooring? What’s That?
Laminate flooring is a type of product made up of multiple layers which are fused together using high pressure and heat. It typically consists of a decorative layer emulating wood, a fibreboard core layer, and a protective wear layer.
2. Why is It Such a Popular Option?
Laminate flooring is known as an excellent and cost-effective alternative to hardwood flooring. Its durability, low maintenance and affordable cost make it an appealing option for homeowners who want the look of hardwood without the high price tag.
3. How Durable Are Laminate Floors?
Laminate wooden flooring is ultra-durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, scuffs, impacts and scratches. It is also less susceptible to fading and staining than hardwood flooring. For these reasons, it’s known as one of the toughest flooring options available on the market.
4. Is Maintenance a Headache?
Wood laminates are relatively easy to maintain. They can be cleaned using a slightly damp mop or vacuumed often to remove any dirt and debris. They are also resistant to stains, which makes them a great choice for households with children and pets. While there are special cleaning products for laminate wooden flooring on the market, these are optional, and most homeowners can get by using water alone for spot cleaning.
5. Do I Need to Remove My Existing Floors?
Because this product is considered a floating floor, it can be installed over existing flooring as long as it is level and in good condition. It is important to note that laminate wooden flooring is thicker than many other flooring types, so it may be necessary to trim doors or adjust baseboards to accommodate the new flooring. It is always our recommendation, however, to consult with professional installers like the Top Carpets and Floors team to ensure a seamless installation that lasts for years to come.
6. Are Laminate Floors Resistant to Water?
Some products feature exceptional water resistance and can withstand some wetness. That said, it is essential to remember that wood laminates are made with a fibreboard core which may swell or warp out of shape in the event of getting wet. This can cause issues with the boards, like buckling and delaminating, or overall structural instability.
7. How Long Will My Laminate Wooden Flooring Last?
How long your floors last depend entirely upon the type of product you choose. The European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF) has created the Abrasion Criteria (AC) rating system, which allows us to gauge a product’s durability and recommended usage. The AC rating reflects a laminate’s ability to resist damage in the form of abrasion, impacts and more. This rating system also represents the thorough testing that each product undergoes. Ratings range between AC 1 – products ideal for moderate residential traffic (think of guest bedrooms) and AC 6 – for heavier foot traffic in commercial settings. However, Top Carpets and Floors do not recommend anything less than AC 3 to accommodate South Africa’s climatic conditions. Designs created for the home will fall somewhere on this AC rating, influencing their price and durability.
8. Can I Refinish My Floors as Needed?
While laminate flooring may not be able to be refinished like its hardwood counterpart, it still boasts impressive durability and longevity. If a portion of the flooring becomes damaged or worn, one need not panic because individual planks or sections can easily be replaced. When purchasing your laminates, investing in extra planks is advisable to ensure that replacement planks or sections match the existing flooring seamlessly. By being proactive and anticipating potential wear and tear, you’ll be well-prepared to maintain the impeccable appearance of your floors, giving them a longer lifespan.
9. Are These Products Environmentally Friendly?
Laminate wooden flooring is made from by-product materials such as recycled wood fibres and does not require tree harvesting. This means it is generally considered more environmentally friendly than hardwood flooring. Another environmental benefit of laminate flooring is that it is recyclable. When the flooring reaches the end of its useful life, it can be upcycled and repurposed for other uses, such as DIY crafts. This reduces the amount of waste that often ends up in landfills and helps to conserve natural resources.
10. What Will It Cost?
There is a clear quality difference between cheaper laminates and products on the higher end. Some key factors that may influence the cost of your product include the quality of the materials used, the laminate’s thickness, the brand’s popularity, and the design’s complexity. Other factors affecting the cost include the installation method, the type of underlay used and the amount you purchase. The layout of your home can also play a role in the final price due to accessibility and labour needed.
Could wood laminates be the right floor for your home? Our team of professionals can help you decide. If you would like to receive our expert advice, contact us here.