Laminate flooring is a great solution for many homes, it is easy to install and offers a real wood or stone look finish without the massive expensive of solid wood flooring and major upheaval for stone flooring. It is practical and easy to clean making it perfect for high traffic areas of the home such as hallways and living spaces and can make a difference for pet owners who may struggle with muddy paws tracking through the house in wet weather.
Here are some of the most common questions about laminate flooring so you can make an informed decision about whether this is the flooring solution you have been looking for.
What is Laminate Flooring?
A man-made product, laminate flooring has been designed to be durable and hard-wearing making it the perfect choice for modern living. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, some designed to look like wood, others like stone, some like tiles. It has been specially designed to be versatile and therefore it comes in a range of different lengths, widths and thicknesses to ensure you can get the finished floor that best suits your needs.
Laminate is a solid flooring that will not absorb smells and dirt in the way that carpet does and has a warmer feel underfoot when compared to floor tiles. It can be wiped clean with ease and does not stain easily, it provides a slightly softer landing should something be dropped, unlike tile which is unforgiving for dropped phones, glasses and other items of crockery.
There are three main types of laminate flooring, these are the click and lock type that requires no glue to install, a pre-glued version that will require you to activate the glue, usually by moistening it before sticking, and the fully glued version which creates the strongest possible floor but does require more time and effort to install. Within these three types, you also have a range of finishes on offer, and this is more of an aesthetic choice, but nevertheless a very important one.
This is always evolving but currently, you will find smooth, textured or distressed finishes on offer. Finally, laminate has an AC rating which is the Abrasion Class and determines how tough a finish the flooring has. There are five classes:
AC1 – Moderate Residential (low-traffic, bedrooms etc)
AC2 – General Residential (living rooms, hallways)
AC3 – Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial (hotel rooms)
AC4 – General Commercial (cafes etc)
AC5 – Heavy Commercial (large shops and offices)
The AC rating will impact the cost per meter.
The quick answer to this one is no. A lot of people get confused about this as they mix up laminate and vinyl flooring. Laminate is made of a hardwood topped with a wear layer. The wear layer is adequate protection against quick spills and day-to-day wet hazards. However, the flooring will not cope with standing water. So whether this is a spill from above, or water seeping in from below due to a leak, you will need to deal with it quickly to avoid permanent damage to your flooring.
Construction of laminate flooring is relatively simple. It consists of three main parts. The core of the flooring is made from high-density fiberboard (HDF). This is similar to MDF that a lot of people will be familiar with, but stronger. On top of the HDF, a photographic layer is placed. This is designed to simulate the wood or stone that the flooring is to look like. This allows a wide variety of styles and patterns to be used as there is no limit to how the photograph can look.
On the top of the photograph then a resin wear layer is added which is what seals everything together. It protects the photo layer from damage in the sunlight as well as protecting the flooring from scratches and other damage.
Installation is relatively simple and can be handled by an experienced DIYer. The flooring comes in planks that have tongue and groove features on them that allow them to be clicked together. The flooring is such that it can sit over the top of many other types of flooring though typically a foam or film under layer is used to provide water-resistance and soundproofing. If you are located in London and you are looking to find the right company for your flooring installation, our company can help you with the installation process.
Where can laminate flooring be used?
Laminate flooring is designed as an ‘install anywhere’ product. It is versatile and will work above ground, or below ground. Over wood or concrete. It is best suited to areas that are regularly used by children and pets, as it will provide a low noise level in high traffic areas. Many experts will tell you to avoid any areas that see excessive moisture. So places like bathrooms, saunas or laundry rooms. Any area that will require regular wet mopping. This is because the moisture can cause the laminate to warp. This is particularly true at the edges.
Yes, laminate flooring can be used on walls and stairs. Installing in on walls has become one of the more popular trends recently. You can also install laminate on stairs. However, this requires special stair installation instructions and the use of laminate wood floor moldings.
When it comes to finding the best laminate flooring and fitting then we at Wood-flooring Fitting recommend only using a quality professional service such as ourselves. We are able to assess your flooring needs and provide you will a fantastic quote tailed to your exact specifications. We will recommend you the highest quality laminate flooring for your needs and make sure that you get a fantastic deal on what it is you need. Our professional fitters will then make sure that you the work is carried out efficiently and to a high standard of finish, so you won’t be disappointed with our work.