Laminate flooring is a growing part of the flooring market. Its multiple purposes, durability, quality finish and its economical cost has made in the most popular choice for flooring among do-it-yourselfers and contractors as an excellent option for attractive and inexpensive new flooring. Today, laminate flooring comes in many different types of finishes resembling natural wood or stained hardwood floors.
Is It Always The Right Choice?
While laminate is an excellent choice for flooring in your home, there are still a few things to keep in mind before you decide on it. A laminate floor is durable, very resistant to damage and scratches as well as easy and inexpensive to install but there are a few minor things you should know before you start removing your old floor and installing laminate. First to give you an idea of the durability and almost destruction proof quality of laminate flooring, think of it like this. It is essentially made of the same material used on kitchen counter tops that survive daily use and able to be cleaned with a simple wipe. Laminate flooring is installed as a floating floor and while most people find it easy to walk on because of its ‘give’ factor, some may find it to sound a bit hollow. Like real wood, laminate flooring can still be scratched and dented although not as easily as real wood.
Too much moisture will also damage your laminate floors as would too much moisture on your real wood floors. To accommodate shrinkage and expansion in laminate floors, installation for laminate is the same as hardwood. Your need to consider the width of the baseboard used in order not too have any spaces on the floor. The larger the area, the wider the baseboard needed as larger areas will expand and contract more than smaller areas. A good rule of thumb when considering laminate for your home is to keep the humidity level in your home between 40% and 50% so the floor doesn’t expand and contract much.
Proper Installation Of Laminate?
Laminate can be installed over existing ceramic tiles, vinyl or hardwood. Although laminate flooring has been marketed as the ultimate do-it-yourself project requiring minimal expertise, like all things it is not entirely a no-brainer. In order to get the job done properly and have the floor be long lasting and problem free essentially, some things need to be considered before installing the floor. First of all, laminate is based on the “click” system, but for the click system to work the floor upon which the laminate will be installed must generally be level overall or the click system will fail over time. Hiring an expert flooring installer may be worthwhile in the long term to avoid any such problems. In certain installations, a vapor barrier is required or a premium foam underlayment can be purchased. while proper measurement and cutting equates to minimal waste and lower costs. Proper tools and planning are also required to map out floor vents and how much to leave for undercut door jams.
“You Get What You Pay For”
Like most things in life, “you get what you pay for”. Generally, the cheaper the laminate floor, the cheaper the product itself and the cheaper the locking system is. As a result, a cheaper laminate may not withstand the wear and tear of everyday traffic. With laminate, not only is it better to buy domestic product but follow up with warranties and manufacturers is easier too. This is not always the case with imported, inferior foreign laminate flooring.