If you’re looking to increase your knowledge of laminate flooring, you’ve
come to the smart place.
To begin, understand that laminate is a manufactured product simulating the look
of hardwood, ceramic tile, stone and other types of flooring.
In the past, laminate floors have been easy to spot, but today’s styles consist
of extremely authentic wood or natural stone visuals.
Laminate is ideal for those who want the look and feel of real hardwood or stone
but without the cost or maintenance associated with natural products.
Laminate functions well in any space, and if yours is an active household, a durable,
low maintenance product like laminate flooring is a great choice.
It’s stain resistant, doesn’t need to be varnished or waxed and is less
likely to fade in direct sunlight, unlike aging hardwood floors.
Laminate floors come in many designs, patterns and textures, yet all consist of
four main components that are bonded together, like layers of a “cake”.
The bottom layer, or backing, is a melamine plastic layer that lends stability to
the planks and helps guard against moisture from the sub-floor.
The next layer is a core board that may also contain melamine plastic resins to
help improve the moisture resistance of the core.
Then a decorative layer or print film is adhered on top of the core board.
This is a printed, high-resolution photo-reproduction of wood grain, natural stone
or a ceramic tile pattern.
On the top of our “cake” is a durable wear layer, providing protection
and stain resistance.
The most basic laminate designs have a wood grain appearance. Some of the newer
and most popular laminates offer rustic or historic wood grain patterns.
The visual quality of the laminate has to do with the photography and the number
of photographs per style, which is known as "screens".
The more screens a product has, the more variation it can offer. And the more “authentic”
the laminate looks.
Like any floor, select a laminate that will compliment your style, the function
of the room and the size of your room.
Remember that lighter colors will make a smaller room appear larger, while darker
colors will absorb the light and create a more intimate setting.
Choose a color that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinets and other
Laminate floors are installed using a “floating floor system” in which
a padded underlayment sits between the subfloor and the laminate planks.
The planks sit directly on the underlayment and are not anchored to the sublfoor
on the bottom but rather anchored by the edges.
This type of installation when walked upon can produce a hollow sound and have a
Slight ridging or peaking where planks are joined together may also occur. This
is considered normal and is not a defect of the floor.
Glueless laminate floors have planks that simply interlock together. These
floors make for easy installation and repair if that is ever necessary.
Moldings are important because they cover the space that is allowed for the flooring
to expand and move naturally on top of the subfloor, and they help with the transition
to an adjacent floor.
When considering laminates, you will notice that there is not much price variation
within styles. This is due to the relatively uniform manufacturing process for all
The more expensive laminates include those with a textured and more natural looking
surface with a greater number of screens.
Laminate floors that simulate the more exotic varieties of hardwood flooring quickly
rise in price.
Finally, be calculating! The laminate “cost per square foot” is just
one component of the entire project cost.
Please consult with us to calculate the total cost, including furniture removal,
demolition and disposal of the old floor covering, subfloor preparation, product
delivery, installation and materials required to complete the installation.
There’s a lot to keep in mind before buying your laminate floor, but it’s
well worth the effort.