Laminate floors have many qualities and advantages that make them ideal for installation in homes. However, in order not to make a mistake in choosing it, we have to pay attention to a series of questions.
Beyond the aesthetic aspect, we will focus on the quality of the product to choose.
Below we give you five of the most important tips so that your laminate flooring only gives you satisfaction. But before going into material we’ll see what laminate floors are.
Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for any type of flat floor. Here at ASC Building Supplies you will find an unmatched option.
What are laminate floors?
They are pavements composed by wood and laminated, linked together by resins of high consistency. The pavement core is made of HDF board also called High Density, or MDF or Medium Density, depending on the quality of the floor. This body has a sheet of melamine that imitates the texture and pattern of natural wood. It also incorporates a film called overlay that covers the visible part of the pavement, protecting it from wear. And finally, on the back side has the stabilizing layer.
Unlike parquet, laminate floors do not allow stabbing. Therefore, once the protection layer is lost, there is no possibility of repair.
Although there are different thicknesses, the standard thickness of laminate floors ranges between 8 and 10mm.
Diagram of the different layers that make up a laminate floor.
We can find them normal or also water-resistant. This aspect is visible to the naked eye, since the soul of the latter is green.
The installation of this type of flooring becomes “floating”, that is, it is not fixed to the base, but is dropped on it, and the different pieces of laminate flooring (slats) are fitted in a tongue-and-groove manner. But this union is particularly unique and effective.
The floors of floating flooring have the great advantage that they do not require removing the previous floor, but it goes on the latter, interposing between both a polyurethane foam blanket of 3mm thickness.
How to choose a laminate floor
When purchasing a laminate floor, there are a number of issues to consider so that the choice is correct.
Although there may be, and in fact there are, more aspects that could influence the choice of a pavement, we will focus on the 5 that, in our opinion, are the most important.
Main tips for choosing a quality laminate floor.
1.- Resistance to wear
As we have indicated previously, the upper layer of the laminate floors, which is made with very resistant resins, is what protects the lower layers from the wear produced by the traffic.
This feature has become very popular with end users. The standard classification has six levels. The nomenclature of the aforementioned classification is the following: two letters, which are specifically “AC”, followed by a numerical digit between 1 and 6.
This classification is carried out in the laboratory performing tests with samples. A sample of laminate flooring is introduced into a machine that rotates it. The machine has an abrasive zone installed, which, when turning, will wear the protective layer of the sample.
The machine counts the necessary turns to completely eliminate the protective layer. Therefore, according to the number of laps, the classification is established, which is the following.
2.- Assembly system
On the other hand, we have the assembly system. This aspect must be taken into account, since not all systems are the same.
The manufacturer Unilin, better known by Quick Step its trademark, invented and patented in 1997 the “uniclic closure”. Here there was a point of inflection, since after this invention, the assembly with glue disappeared, almost in its entirety.
3.- Sealing in edges and joints
Optimal sealing of the edges of the slats increases the resistance to penetration of moisture and water between the joints, for example as a result of scrubbing or accidental falls of water.
Therefore, it is important to choose a laminate floor that incorporates a good sealing system, either based on waxes, oils, paraffins, or any other product to that effect.
On the other hand, these treatments make the assembly process of the different pieces smoother, facilitating their assembly.
4.- Resistance to impacts
As is the classification of wear resistance that we have seen before and that went from AC1 to AC6, there is also another classification based on the resistance of laminated floors against impacts.
The nomenclature of this other classification is “IC” followed by a number contained within a range between 1 and 3. The higher the number, the greater the degree of resistance to impacts.
Recommended to choose the laminated floors with classification IC3 or, at least, IC2.
5.- Solvency of the manufacturer
Although the issue of “brands” has sometimes been and still is overrated, in this case it would be convenient to take it into account.
Choosing laminate flooring from consolidated manufacturers and that can provide us with a certain guarantee in this regard, we guarantee two aspects:
Over the years, manufacturers are replacing previous models with new ones. This happens in tiles, toilets, wallpaper, and of course, in laminate floors.
However, this could happen, but from one day to the next if the manufacturer disappears. And we find that we cannot locate even one square meter that we need to cover the repair of a pipe, for example.
It does not mean that this has to happen, but better to prevent than to cure.
It would also be prudent to take this advice into account for the installer. It would be good to choose a serious and professional company. There are, and many, such as Madegar, to name a few.
And on the other hand, we make sure we have within our reach the guarantee given by the manufacturer, if necessary.
Therefore, it is important that laminate floors have the CE seal.
Remember that here at ASC Building Supplies you will find an unmatched option for premium quality floors that are easy to keep clean.