Laminate flooring has been around for some time; however, today’s laminate is much different than that of yesteryear. Despite this, you may be aware of some of the issues of the past, such as a lack of durability and susceptibility to water damage.
Thankfully, these issues are no longer associated with laminate flooring, but you may still have some concerns about going with this option. If you find yourself attracted to laminate, but remain unsure if you are ready to commit, read on to have some of your most frequently asked questions answered. That way you can determine if this type of flooring could be the best option for your needs!
What is Laminate Flooring and What is Involved in the Manufacturing Process?
Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that is comprised of several layers. Laminate can be made to mimic other materials, such as hardwood, tile, or even stone; although, it is most commonly associated with a wood like appearance. While laminate is able to provide the same look as hardwood, it is vastly different in materials and construction. As a matter of fact, laminate lacks solid wood entirely. Rather laminate flooring is layered using important components to create a realistic and durable flooring.
Laminate flooring begins with a layer of water-resistant material, covered by either high density or medium density fiberboard. An image (made to look like real wood, stone, or tile) is then secured in place over top of the other components. Lastly, the flooring is finished on top with a layer of hardy, translucent coating to preserve the integrity of the flooring over its lifespan. These various layers remain stuck together due to fusing under high pressure. When installed correctly, laminate can last for many years.
What Are the Benefits of Laminate Flooring?
There are so many benefits to choosing laminate flooring for your home! Consider them below:
1.) Affordability – Laminate flooring is a great choice for those who want the look of hardwood or tile without the price tag.
2.) Durability – Laminate is a very durable material that is easy to maintain and clean. It also has a built-in resistance to fading, scratches, and stains helping it to stand up for many years, even in high traffic areas.
3.) Eco-friendly – Laminate provides the appearance of real hardwood, without the need for solid wood in its construction. As a matter of fact, it only requires very minimal amounts of wood fiber to make the final product, unlike traditional hardwood flooring that is responsible for the cutting down of many trees.
4.) Versatility – One of the main advantages of laminate flooring is its ability to mimic a number of different surfaces. Whether you’re seeking the appearance of hardwood, stone, or tile, there’s likely a laminate option that will fit your needs and budget. Plus, with so many colors and textures available, it can be easily customized to match any home décor style.
5.) Appearance – Laminate flooring can transform any room with its beauty and functionality. It has the power to completely change the atmosphere of any space with its real-wood appearance. As the appearance of laminate has continued to become more realistic, it is now nearly impossible to identify it as such when compared to real hardwood. Thus, if you choose laminate flooring, you need not worry about sacrificing appearance.
Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
The most honest answer is it depends. Over the years, new technology has allowed laminate floors to be completely waterproof; however, there are still options available on the market that are rated as being merely water-resistant. So, what does all this mean? Basically, waterproof laminate completely blocks water from penetrating beneath the surface, even if a spill has remained undiscovered for an extended period of time.
Water-resistant laminate, on the other hand, also offers protection from water damage, although not to the same level as its counterpart. Rather the flooring will resist spills, but if they are left for an extended period of time, eventually they may soak in and cause warping or other damage. The good news is that modern laminates are not generally associated with the vulnerability to water damage of years past, regardless of the option you choose.
What is an Ac Rating and How Does It Relate to the Quality of the Laminate Flooring?
An AC rating is the industry standard for grading laminate flooring on a scale of 1-5, based on its ability to withstand wear and tear over time. The higher the number, the more durable the flooring will be. A rating of 1 indicates that it is suitable only for light traffic areas such as bedrooms or studies; whereas a rating of 5 indicates that it is suitable for the most heavily trafficked areas such as kitchens and living rooms.
If you want flooring that will withstand the test of time, choosing laminate flooring with an AC rating of 5 is your best option. Not to mention, higher rated laminates can last for up to 30 years, making your investment well-worth it due to quality alone.
How is Laminate Flooring Installed?
There are three primary ways that laminate flooring is installed, these include click and lock, glued down, and pre-glued.
Click and lock installation is the most popular method due to its ease of use. This type of flooring requires no glue or nails, but rather planks are clicked together like puzzle pieces to form a secure bond.
Glued down laminate flooring has waned in popularity in recent years, yet it offers increased stability when compared to other methods. However, this stability comes at a price, a bigger mess, increased installation time, and the potential for unevenness to develop near the seams.
Pre-glued laminate has an adhesive layer pre-applied to each panel. While this eliminates the need for additional adhesive and can be a great time saver, it does come at the expense of quality.
Regardless of which method is used, it is important to remember that for the best results, laminate flooring should be installed by a professional on a level surface.
What Maintenance is Required for Laminate Flooring?
Maintaining laminate flooring is relatively simple and straightforward. To keep the floor looking its best, it should be swept and mopped regularly to remove dirt and debris that may cause scratches if left undisturbed. To further prevent damage, felt protectors should be placed on the bottom of furniture legs, as well as any heavy objects that are moved across the surface. This will help prevent dents and scratches from forming.
In conclusion, laminate flooring can be a wonderful option for those looking for the appearance of hardwood or tile without the price tag. After learning more about this amazing flooring option, consider if it could be the right choice for your home!