Laminate Flooring

ALL ABOUT LAMINATE FLOORS

 

Wood laminate flooring is often confused with engineered wood floors, however laminate wood flooring has an image of wood on the surface instead of a thin veneer of timber.

Laminate flooring offers natural wood look, cost-efficient and is an alternative to wood flooring.

Laminate is a type of synthetic flooring that is made by fusing several layers of different material together using heat, pressure, and adhesive, in a process known as lamination.

Laminate flooring is available in a wide range of colours and grains. Laminate flooring will not fade and extremely stain resistant. They are also moisture resistant and can install in most living areas. Laminate flooring is the perfect choice for family with young children and pets.

 

BEWARE OF CHEAP LAMINATES! 

When it comes to laminate, you pay for what you get. Cheaper laminates are available; however tend to have low AC ratings, no resistance to moisture and very high pattern repeats in the décor.

The result is a floor that looks cheap when installed, does not look real and does not last long.

HOW FLOORS ARE MADE

Laminate flooring is actually constructed of 4 layers and each layer serves a distinct purpose and are fused together using high heat and intense pressure.

 

Top Wear Layer – The top layer of a laminate floor is known as the wear layer, an invisible surface that rests over the material, protecting it from scratches and other damage. This is generally made from an aluminium oxide chemical treatment.

Photograph Layer or Decorative Layer – This is the surface that gives the laminate its actual appearance. It is created when an image or pattern is printed on paper like materials that are embedded in resin. The actual image can be almost anything, but typically laminate floors are manufactured to simulate the look of wood. 

Fibreboard Core – This is the heart of the material and it provides the depth, structure, and stability of the actual surface covering. It is generally comprised of wood chips or sawdust ground into a very fine powder, then coated with resin, and pressed into flat sheets.

Back Layer -Many laminates will have a moisture barrier back layer. This works with the water resistant wear layer on top to sandwich the fibreboard and picture layers of the laminate, creating a water tight seal around the core material. The back layer also provides additional stability for the installation.

 

ABRASIVE RESISTANCE (AC)

 

AC is a rating system that measures Abrasive Resistance (in layman terms – wear and tear) and determines if a floor can cope with high traffic such as retail or is limited to residential purposes. Most floors tend to be AC3 or AC4; however the high end floors which can be utilised for commercial purposes are AC5.

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WHY MUST THERE BE UNDERLAYMENT FOR LAMINATE FLOORING

Laminate flooring must be installed over underlayment. An appropriate underlayment can also reduce the hollow noise that occurs when walking on some laminate floors.

 

The underlayment is the thin, flexible sheet of resilient material that is installed on top of a sub-floor in order to act as a base for the laminate sheets or tiles you’re installing.

While the sub-floor provides the foundational support for the room, the underlayment is the foundation for the floor and is intended to enhance and protect the flooring.

It has several functions: it slightly levels the flooring; it cushions the laminate planks; it reduces sound transmission; it slightly improves the R-value (heat conductivity) of the floor.

 

Proper selection and installation of underlayment are important because it can affect how your laminate flooring feels and how it wears over time.

The type of underlayment chosen should be based on the environment it’s being installed into, the type of floor chosen, and your own personal needs for space.

LAMINATE STYLES

 

Classic Look – The traditional look of wood flooring to create the natural look for the living areas.

Exotic Look – You can choose a finish that resembles a beautiful exotic wood without worrying about spills and stains. Laminates are easy to take care of.

Rustic Look – Are you looking for a vintage look? There are laminates with the timeless appearance of reclaimed wood floors without the problems of ageing.

Hand-scraped Look – the unique hand-scraped finished which adds character and creates the look of a sophisticated, real-wood floor.

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