- How is Laminate Flooring Made?
- Understanding the Laminate Lingo
- Benefits of Laminate Flooring
- Installing Laminate Flooring
How is Laminate Flooring Made?
Laminate flooring is manufactured by placing a picture of wood (décor layer) onto a high density fiberboard (HDF) core, which is then covered with an extremely durable film (wear layer). These layers are laminated together under great pressure to form a plank or tile. These planks or tiles are then milled to create tongue and groove edges that allow for a click together installation. The core of laminate flooring is made out of fibreboard and the difference in the density of the core is important as it gives the flooring its strength and durability. The density (not thickness) of the core will determine how well it stands up to seasonal changes in humidity and less dense floors will expand and contract more than denser products, thereby creating more potential for gapping and buckling. Some manufacturer’s even apply a wax spray to the edges of the laminate to enhance the product’s resistance to moisture and spills.
Understanding the Laminate Lingo
The High Density Fibreboard (HDF) core of laminate is a crucial component for the longevity of the product and the denser the core, the better. The top wear layer coatings are made out of very tough materials and rated for their resistance to wearing, fading and staining. These Abrasion Class (AC) ratings will range from AC1 – AC5, with AC5 being the most durable. For most residential applications any laminate with an AC3 wear layer or higher will stand up to normal household use. It is important to note that even an AC5 wear layer is not scratch proof. E1 Certification ensures the product meets the European standard for formaldehyde emissions and CARB 2 Compliant indicates the product meets the off-gassing standard for the California Air Resource Board. Waxed edges enhance the product’s resistance to moisture and spills. Visit a Laminate Warehouse showroom for more information.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
Laminate offers tremendous overall value when it comes to selection, durability and cost. The initial lower cost of the flooring can provide substantial savings on sizable renovations. Easy to install click designs allow consumers to install most products themselves saving on the cost of installations. Laminate has gained a solid reputation as one of the most durable flooring choices for any residential or commercial application. Laminate floors are not prone to fading so they can be easily repaired without any difference in visual appearance once the repair is done. It is wise to purchase an extra box or two for future repairs.
Installing Laminate Flooring
Prior to installation laminate flooring needs to acclimate on site for 48 hours by placing the unopened boxes in the same room they are to be installed. While waiting, remove the old flooring and check to ensure that the sub-floor is solid, level and dry. Prepare the area by undercutting any door jambs and closet doors to allow the planks to slide under the jamb for a custom fit. To begin the installation, place temporary spacers along the starting wall to allow for the proper expansion gap. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for laying the flooring and be sure to check each plank for its suitability for installation. There are several different techniques for installing the flooring around fireplaces, inside closets and even on stairs and valuable video resources can be found online. It is wise to plan ahead to avoid mistakes. For further installation assistance contact a Laminate Warehouse representative.