Many homeowners go for laminate flooring because of the relative ease in installation compared to hardwood floors. You can avoid warped lumber, glue and nails, sanding and finishing which are involved extensively in hardwood flooring. Whether it is for a do-it-yourself project or for installation instructions to those working on laminate wood flooring, there are certain tips that will help you. In fact, you can do it as a weekend project installing laminates yourself, which is pre-finished and comes in set pieces that fit in nicely.
The Laminates and the Area
Try practicing sawing with a small left over piece of laminate so that you know how well you could do it. It is also important to take precise tape measurements of the amount of laminate you need. Generally, you need a 10% buffer. Keep the laminate floor panels in the same room where they are going to be used to make sure they are able to adapt to the humidity of the area. The place should be neat and dry. Also, you should do some research about the AC ratings which tell you more about the durability of the flooring you are going to install. You will have to consider the possible traffic and wear and tear before choosing the right thickness of panels too. For example, while installing laminate, you need to avoid AC1 for a heavy traffic room.
Use a Good Underlayment
It is advisable to go for the premium grade, slightly expensive underlayment if required. This offers multiple benefits. Firstly, the low and high spots are avoided this way. Secondly, the acoustics of the laminate floor installation are taken cared of and the sound control is achieved. The underlayment fits in nicely beneath the laminate planks and above the subfloor as a good support.
Putting the Planks Together
While putting the planks together, make sure that you stick to the right orientation of the planks. Although it is not required in most cases, you can add glue to the click-together planks’ grooves to ensure additional stability. This will be useful especially because humidity can cause the core of the plank to swell. The lock and groove system works as a jigsaw puzzle in a way that fits in nicely.
Lamination Floor Installation Guide
If you are planning it as a DIY, you can take the help of a lamination guide to understand better how the lamination process works. There are several sites which will give you useful tips for every little process involved. For example, you need a good level of expertise to ascertain the ideal thickness and the way to avoid scratches and dents on the surface. The durability and the beauty of the laminate floor depends a lot on the way it is installed, which is why taking a one-day course wouldn’t hurt either. Laminate floor installation has several benefits such as economic feasibility, attractive smooth finish, easy maintenance, and above all, variety of choices for surface patterns and textures.
You’ve probably heard all the arguments that laminate flooring is outstanding in regard to price and durability. Your opinion and preferences on the style and appearance of the flooring might vary from your neighbor’s, but it is hard to dispute that high-quality laminate floors are an attractive means to cover a floor, especially one that receives a lot of foot traffic. But if you’ve been hesitating on installing laminate, now might be the perfect time – and here’s why.
It’s Greener Than You Think
In the modern world of green thinking, laminate floors likely don’t inspire you with thoughts of organic materials and saving the Earth. But if you’re in the process of selecting a floor material, laminate might be a bit greener around the edges than you originally thought. While laminate can’t compare with bamboo, the most well-known green flooring material, it is a bit easier on the earth than hardwood flooring or carpet.
Hardwoods require mature trees to be cut and then processed in chemical laden factories. Granted, the end result is beautiful, but the process doesn’t inspire much in the way of global awareness. Carpets must be replaced often leading to large amounts of trash in the landfills. Laminate is man-made so no trees are harmed. The flooring lasts for decades keeping that much more carpet out of landfills.
Laminate is Easy
We’re busier now than we’ve ever been and there just isn’t much time for vacuuming, scrubbing or polishing. Laminate floors are simple to maintain and don’t take more than five minutes to sweep and possibly damp mop to keep looking great. Cleaning your home is never high on a To Do list, but taking hours to vacuum and mop just isn’t what you need to be doing on your precious time off.
Laminate is also easy to install and because of this, installation isn’t very expensive in the grand scheme of things. If you’re handy around the house, you can even install it yourself saving even more money, if not time.
A Modern Classic
If you’ve held off on laminate flooring waiting to see how long the trend lasts, your waiting hasn’t been in vain. Laminate has proved it isn’t a trend, and it’s not going the way of household linoleum any time soon. Considered an attractive and easier alternative than traditional hardwoods, laminate has developed major staying power.
In fact, as the flooring becomes even more widely accepted, manufacturers are finding ways to develop more advanced versions of the material to ensure there is an attractive flooring solution for every potential buyer, whether it be maple laminate, oak, beech or any other style.
If you’ve been considering laminate floors, but haven’t yet been willing to invest in the decision, now is the perfect time. Installing laminate today means your floors will look beautiful now and be durable enough to look great twenty years from now – with almost no work on your part.
Laminate flooring is becoming more and more popular today in North America and all over the world, although it started as a European innovation. For households and offices which require a low maintenance flooring solution, laminate flooring has been known to be an effective choice for its attractiveness, durability, ease of installation, as well as for its reasonable price when compared to many other flooring options. However, despite the fact that laminate flooring is popular, there are a great many misconceptions and mysteries surrounding it in terms of how laminate flooring is made and how it differs from solid hardwood. This guide is meant to clear up these misconceptions and reveal some of these mysteries, as well as outline some of the major benefits of laminate flooring. Armed with this knowledge, it is hoped that eBayers can go forward and buy their choice of laminate flooring with confidence!
What is laminate flooring?
One of the first mistakes people make is to confuse laminate flooring with solid hardwood flooring. The two should never be thought of as similar, despite the obvious visual similarities that makes quality laminate flooring such an attractive choice. Laminate flooring is not comprised of any real hardwood species at all. In fact, the surface of a laminate floor is actually a highly rendered photograph, often of a hardwood species. This top layer, or decorative layer, is sealed by a resin-based coating which gives the laminate flooring board its resistance to many forms of abrasion. The two remaining layers of laminate flooring are the core layer and the backing layer. The core layer is most often made of high-density or medium density fiber board, which serves as a means to absorb the stress of footfalls and other forms of impact. The backing layer, otherwise known as the stabilizing layer, is the layer of the laminate flooring which binds all of the others together. All in all, each layer of the laminate flooring board is designed for maximum structural strength, although not all laminate flooring lines are created equal. For a more detailed breakdown of just how much stress each type of laminate flooring is meant for, you need to find out what the AC rating of the laminate flooring is.
What is an AC rating?
An AC rating is applied to every line of laminate flooring by an independent body known as EPLF, or European Producers of Laminate Flooring. A series of tests are designed and carried out in order to test each line of laminate flooring for stress resistance. The tests range from resistance to burning, to scratching, to impact, and even tests for resistance against abrasion caused by castors and other furniture legs. When the tests are concluded, those lines of laminate flooring are assigned an AC rating, which is the measurement of stress as applied to where the laminate flooring is to be installed. Here is a general guide to the AC rating:
All reputable manufacturers of laminate flooring adhere to these standards which are outlined by the industry for the benefit of consumers. It is important for consumers to note the AC rating on the laminate flooring they are considering, particularly with the idea of foot traffic, moisture, and other stresses that the laminate flooring will need to endure firmly in mind.
Tongue and Groove and Locking Systems
One of the key characteristics of laminate flooring, and one that is kept in mind when it is manufactured, is how easy it is to install when compared to other types of flooring. Of the many designs, some of the more efficient and mess-free laminate flooring lines are the “glueless” variety. With this variety, the laminate flooring is generally fitted together by means of what is called a “tongue and groove” design, with interlocking elements that slide into place and are made secure as each row is laid down. Unlike hardwood, no nails are required. Some types of laminate feature more sophisticated locking systems, designed to be put down and taken up again where necessary. With some fairly limited skills in carpentry, laminate flooring can be installed by do-it-yourselfers in most cases. Choosing to install laminate flooring commonly cuts down on expenses, as it is rarely necessary to hire an installer, although many homeowners do for the sake of convenience. For contractors, offering the option of laminate flooring to clients is often a time-saving option, as laminate flooring is more quickly installed than hardwood flooring, allowing them to take on more contracts.
Laminate flooring dos and don’ts
Generally speaking, laminate flooring is a low maintenance option that is easily installed, but there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing laminate flooring as well as once they’ve been installed. Here are a few pointers when looking to maintain a laminate floor.
Do:Consider the area in which you intend to install your choice of flooring. Judge it for foot traffic and moisture levels in particular to be sure that your choice of flooring is appropriate. This is where it is handy to check the AC rating of your chosen laminate floor
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but is certain comprised of some of the key points in making sure that your choice of laminate flooring is one that is wisely considered. In all areas, it is always best to consult the experts directly when thinking about your flooring options. Contact your local flooring contractors who maybe able to point you in the right direction in terms of installation and usage.
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