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Wood Flooring Fitting > Blog > Laminate Flooring > Laminate Flooring – A-Z Guide on Laminate Flooring.

Laminate Flooring – A-Z Guide on Laminate Flooring.

Posted by: Brian Smith
Category: Laminate Flooring

One of the most popular home improvement products in recent years has been laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is one of the most used flooring material in residential properties in London.  But what exactly is laminate flooring? Is it really so different from solid or engineered wood flooring? Where can you find the best laminate floors in London?  And should you choose laminate flooring over a real wood floor? Read our guide and find out!

First, laminate flooring is a man-made product, and is designed to replicate wooden floors and other floor coverings such as stone tiles. Thanks to the production process laminate floors are very durable. Layers of the board are manufactured to be strong and as dense as possible. it can perform like any other hard-wearing floor.

Structure of laminate floors:

Top layer that creates the surface of your floor is in fact a photo, high quality photographic image of wood which is placed onto an HD F core and are then coated with a tough melamine wear layer which makes laminate flooring extremely hard wearing. Laminate flooring are getting more and more realistic every year, and even for the experts it’s becoming hard to tell the difference between this amazing product and a real wood flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Installation:

New simple click into place systems make installation of it really easy, even for the average DIY-er. The planks just click together with no need for a decent nails or sticky plastics. Laminate should be installed using the floating method, this means that the planks are locked together but not attached to the wall or to the floor. Before you begin with your installation, make sure to read all of your manufactures instructions carefully.  Some of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful installation take place before even starting to install your first plank.

Installing Laminate Flooring London

When your laminate floors arrive at your home, you should place them in the room where you will install them, which means it will adjust to the ambient temperature of the room, which should be between 18°C and 29°C from the time laminate arrives, through installation, and afterwards. The humility level should be kept between 35%-65%.

Another important part of your prep-work is moisture testing. Moisture and laminate don’t mix. There are few ways to test it, you can either buy an expensive tool to test it, or you can easily test your concrete sub-floor for moisture by taping a trash-bag to the floor along all four sides, creating a seal.

After 48 hours, you can check to see if any moisture was captured by the trash-bag. If you do think that moisture might be the problem, it would be necessary to do a more advanced test.

Tools and materials that you will need to install laminate floors are as follow:

  1. Underlayment / Vapor Retarder
  2. Electric Saw
  3. Safety Glasses
  4. Dust Mask
  5. Glue
  6. Hammer
  7. Painter’s Tape
  8. Pull-Bar
  9. Tape Measure
  10. Utility Knife
  11. ¼ inch wall-spacers
  12. Wood Chisel
  13. Transitions and mountings

You can install laminate floors over any existing flooring, except carpet. As long as it’s clean, dry, and flat.

If you are doing the installation by yourself, we suggest to watch this Youtube video, which gives you step by step instruction in how to do it.  Or, if you are located somewhere in London, our company can do both the installation and supplying for you.

Engineered Hardwood vs Laminate Flooring

Many people think that these two distinct categories of flooring, are in fact the same, but that’s not true. We want to help you know the difference between the two, so you can make the best choice for your home and your family.

Engineered wood flooring is real wood, while laminate is made to look-like wood. Because of the name “Engineered” many people find it surprising that engineered wood is real wood, but that’s true. It is made of multiple layers of wood stacked together. The top layer, the part you see, is every bit as beautiful and natural as a piece of solid wood. The layers are joined together in a cross-grain construction. That means that each layer of hardwood is facing a different direction.
Check our Engineered Wood Flooring Installation guide and learn more about Engineered Wood Floors.

Engineered vs Laminate Flooring

Laminate is also made of layers, but the appearance of wood or other designs comes from an image. It’s

Like a beautifully printed photo of hardwood for your floor. The top layer of your laminate floor is a very strong, clear melamine wear layer. It protects the photo-realistic image that you see through the melamine. The third layer is a high density fiber core, often made with wood fibers. And the fourth bottom layer is another balancing layer of melamine. The high-density fiber core, generally called the HDF core, is made of tightly condensed recycled wood fiber. This dense core gives the flooring its strength.

Differences of Laminate & Engineered Hardwood

What do Engineered Hardwood and Laminate have in common?

  • Both, engineered hardwood and laminate are durable and able to withstand the traffic of busy families.
  • Both Laminate & Engineered Wood are DIY-Friendly.
  • Easy to clean and look like new with sweeping and dry mopping.

Weather you choose engineered hardwood or laminate, woodflooringfitting has a wide range of options to fit any style.

Laminate vs LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile)

Two terms you’ll encounter a lot when you shop for flooring are laminate and luxury. We want to help you know the difference between the two, so you can make the best choice for your home.
Some people may get Laminate & Luxury Vinyl Tile confused, because they both look like Hardwood, or ceramic tile. But they aren’t neither wood nor tile.  Both laminate and vinyl flooring provide the look of wood, tile, or stone, but at more affordable prices.

LVT (luxury vinyl tile) Flooring:

Vinyl flooring is made of vinyl, which gives the material a firm but elastic construction. You may hear it called as LVT for luxury vinyl tile, or LVP for luxury vinyl plank.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

It is composed of five layers. On top is a protective coating, then a wear layer to make it extremely durable. Next, there is a printed photorealistic image of wood grain, tile, or stone. And then, a base layer and backing layer.

Laminate Flooring:

Laminate is also made of layers, but, in compression with LVT, Laminate has 4 layers.  In the top layer of a laminate floor is a very strong, clear, melamine wear layer. It protects the photorealistic image that you see through the melamine. The third layer is a high-density fiber core, which gives the floor its strength, and the fourth bottom layer, is another balancing layer of melamine. 

Laminate Flooring Layers

Differences between laminate & LVT :

  • You can buy laminate flooring in planks
  • Vinyl flooring comes in tiles or planks.
  • Laminate is designed to always be installed using the floating method.
  • Vinyl can be installed using the float, glue or loose lay methods.

Explanation: Floating installation means that the planks are locked together, but they are not attached to the wall or the subfloor.

What do Laminate & LVT flooring have in common?

  • They can both be installed over wood subfloors or concrete subfloors.
  • Both laminate and vinyl are easy to clean.
  • Both products can be installed in any level of the house.
  • Both are great DIY-friendly.

Weather you choose engineered hardwood or laminate, woodflooringfitting has a wide range of options to fit any style.

Author: Brian Smith

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