Sunday, June 23, 2024

All about laminate flooring: Understanding your choices


Laminate flooring has come a great distance lately. Relatively than only a cheaper different to pure wooden or stone flooring, laminate flooring is obtainable in a spectrum of kinds to supply a lovely and sturdy complement to any decor.

When buying laminate, there are quite a lot of variables to bear in mind, just like the floor on which the ground shall be laid, in what room it’s going, price and the look of the area. Learn on for the final word information to laminate flooring, together with what to contemplate when shopping for and laying the ground in your newly designed area.

What’s laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is typically known as a “floating ground” or “floating tiles” as a result of it may be laid proper on prime of current linoleum, subfloor or on any exhausting floor, together with concrete, with out gluing it or fastening it to the ground. It’s made by bonding 4 layers of supplies collectively, coated by resin on the highest and backside. 

Laminate flooring consists of:

  • Put on layer: The damage layer is the prime layer of flooring that offers the entire ground a shiny, completed look. It additionally provides the ground a lot of its energy and sturdiness. It protects the flooring from pet’s claws, chair legs, youngsters’ toys and all different each day put on. It additionally protects the printed layer from the solar’s rays, which may in any other case discolor it over time. 
  • Printed layer (or decor layer): The printed layer is the look of the flooring — the sample or markings you see. It could appear like pure wooden flooring, stone or marble, and is available in a number of colours and patterns.
  • Fiberboard layer (or core layer): Excessive-density fiberboard (HDF) is made up of processed softwood, which is blended with resin and wax. This layer is fashioned with each warmth and strain, creating panels. The panels are then minimize in order that they “click on” collectively, eliminating the necessity to connect every board with the ground or one other board.
  • Backing layer: This layer helps to maintain the flooring straight and even, and is sealed to maintain out moisture, so your flooring form and stability received’t be compromised from beneath. Some higher-end laminates additionally embrace foam padding, eliminating the necessity for a separate underlay for the flooring.

The place to put in laminate flooring

Laminate is manufactured to be powerful and sound no matter the place it’s put in. Nonetheless, additional steps could also be mandatory when it’s put in in basements, bogs and kitchens. When putting in under grade (under floor stage like in a basement), a moisture barrier needs to be put in between concrete and laminate to maintain pure humidity away from the flooring. In bogs, laminate can outperform hardwood for ease of cleansing. However significantly in full baths the place moisture is frequent, glue needs to be used between laminate planks to verify any drips or leaks within the toilet don’t make their approach in between floorboards. For kitchens and baths, silicone sealer can also be really useful the place the ground butts up in opposition to partitions, tubs and bogs.

Tips on how to purchase the very best laminate flooring

Now you realize the place you’ll be able to set up laminate flooring, however how do you select the very best laminate flooring to purchase? There are a number of elements to contemplate:

Forms of laminate flooring

Laminate flooring can resemble something, but it surely mostly mimics the look of stone, tile or wooden. Although the patterns could be comparatively convincing, their repeating nature typically provides away their manufactured origins. Laminate flooring additionally is available in glueless “click on” format, whereas different sorts want glue utilized throughout set up. Others nonetheless come “pre-glued,” however might have the glue to be moistened when the flooring are laid. 

Laminate flooring thickness

Accessible in thicknesses of 6 to 12mm, a laminate plank’s thickness will decide its sound insulation, its resistance to warping over time and the way properly it masks imperfections on the ground beneath. A easy subfloor will permit for a thinner plank, whereas a thicker plank shall be mandatory for extra uneven flooring. Usually talking, thicker planks are costlier to purchase.

Laminate flooring width

Similar to many different flooring sorts, laminate is available in planks of varied widths, starting from 3 inches extensive to 7 inches or extra. Which you select will rely on value, the dimensions of the room and private desire. Smaller areas typically do properly with narrower planks, each for appears and for ease of set up, whereas a giant, extensive room might look higher with wider planks.

Texture of laminate flooring

Whereas many laminate flooring provide a easy, even floor, others are textured or embossed to extra realistically imitate pure supplies. Some have wooden grain-embossed textures or are bumpy like pure stone. Laminate flooring are additionally out there in a distressed-look to imitate vintage flooring. Patterns and textures might cover put on and tear on the ground, and testing reveals deeply textured flooring don’t endure harm as shortly as easy ones. Private desire and ease of cleansing shall be deciding elements during which texture you select.

Learn laminate flooring opinions

Any new flooring is a giant funding in a house, so get as a lot info as doable earlier than making any agency decisions. Evaluations and rankings are an effective way to find out the best flooring for you. Particularly, hunt down AC (Abrasion Standards) rankings which decide the sturdiness of the flooring. It’s particularly essential to contemplate AC rankings when flooring a kitchen, a well-used hallway or an entryway of a house. AC rankings vary from AC1 to AC6. Decrease-range AC rankings are manufactured utilizing direct strain laminate, whereas AC5 and better are created utilizing high-pressure laminate. Usually talking, higher-traffic areas of a house ought to do properly with an AC3 or AC4, whereas lower-traffic areas like bedrooms can use a decrease AC score.

Putting in laminate flooring

One of many causes laminate flooring are so well-liked is due to their ease of set up. Panels are manufactured to suit tightly collectively, so DIY installers can simply put the ground down themselves, generally finishing a complete room in a day. To put in a laminate ground, you have to the next instruments:

  • Round Noticed
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Tapping block

Relying on the area, a mitre noticed may additionally be helpful for slicing the wooden panels into form.Professionals also can set up the flooring at minimal expense as a result of the panels go in in a short time. Usually talking, set up can price about $2 to $3 per sq. foot.

Man laying laminate flooring planks. Oak effect planks being placed over insulating foam underlay.
esp_imaging/ Getty Pictures

Examine laminate flooring price

Laminate flooring ranges from $3 per sq. foot to round $7 put in, whereas flooring alone can vary from $1 to $5 per sq. foot. Elements that go into pricing are thickness and the AC score of planks, whether or not the flooring has pre-attached underlayment or no underlayment and by model identify. Pergo and Mannington flooring, as an example, will typically set you again greater than laminate flooring from Shaw.  

High laminate flooring manufacturers


Pergo manufactures laminate, inflexible vinyl and hardwood flooring which are extensively out there. Pergo’s flooring are recognized for being additional powerful, with superior put on, scratch and water resistance. The corporate has been making laminate for over 4 a long time, and their prime traces are:

  • TimberCraft
  • Outlast
  • Portfolio

TimberCraft is a practical wood-look panel that’s utterly waterproof, making it properly suited to the areas of the house vulnerable to getting moist. 


Mohawk is a flooring model that’s been round since 1878. Their RevWood Plus collection of flooring is coated in Hydroseal, a water-resistant and scratch-resistant coating. You may go for the All Pet Plus safety (an additional out there guarantee) to cowl pet accidents and harm. Mohawk’s best-known laminate traces are:


Mannington takes a step into extra environmentally-aware flooring manufacturing. I laminates are created from 70% recycled supplies, and the corporate additionally provides its flooring FloorScore® certification for higher air high quality inside the house. Its laminate traces are:

  • Restoration
  • Revolutions Plank

Mannington’s Restoration assortment is available in an enormous choice of colours and options SpillShield®Plus waterproof expertise. 


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