Laminate flooring (also called floating wood tile in the United States) is a multilayer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic application layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Laminate flooring is fairly new originally developed in 1977 under the brand Pergo.
Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring. It may also have the advantages of costing less and requiring less skill to install than alternative flooring materials. It is reasonably durable, hygienic (several brands contain an antimicrobial resin), and relatively easy to maintain.
There are many benefits to choosing a laminate floor over other types of flooring. Installation is a large benefit of choosing laminate flooring. A generally handy person is well equipped to install laminate flooring as the locking and floating aspects of laminate floor are mostly self explanatory. Also, due to the ease of installation, having professional flooring contractors install this type of floor is less expensive than other types of flooring such as tile or hardwood.
Laminate flooring is quite versatile and durable. Due to laminate flooring being a printed strip of vinyl over a composite board many textures and styles of flooring can be replicated. Recently laminate floors have seen success in simulating stone and tile patterns as well as wood.
Cleaning laminate floors is easy and comparable to cleaning other hard surfaces such as hardwood floors. It is generally not recommended to mop laminate floors as this has been shown to cause damage by soaking into the composite portion which allows warping over time. Most manufacturers suggest using dry methods such as brooms to clean with occasional wet cleaning with more specialized mop-type products that do not leave excessive water on the flooring.
Laminate floors are reasonably easy for a DIY homeowner to install. Laminate flooring is packaged as a number of tongue and groove planks – these can be clicked into one another. Sometimes a glue backing is provided for ease of installation. Installed laminate floors typically “float” over the sub-floor on top of a foam/film underlayment, which provides moisture and sound reducing properties. A small (1–10 millimetres or 0.039–0.394 in) gap is required between the flooring and any immovable object such as walls, this allows the flooring to expand without being obstructed. Baseboards (skirting boards) can be removed and then reinstalled after laying of the flooring is complete for a neater finish, or small beading trims can be fitted to the baseboards. Saw cuts on the planks are usually required at edges and around cupboard and door entrances.
Laminate Flooring Care
It is important to keep laminate clean, as dust, dirt, and sand particles may scratch the surface over time in high-traffic areas. It is also important to keep laminate relatively dry, since sitting water/moisture can cause the planks to swell, warp, etc., though some brands are equipped with water-resistant coatings. Water spills aren’t a problem if they’re wiped up quickly, and not allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time.
Although the top surface is very durable and mostly scratch resistant, Adhesive felt pads are often placed on the feet of furniture on laminate floors to prevent scratching.
Inferior glue-less laminate floors may gradually become separated, creating visible gaps between planks. It is important to “tap” the planks back together using the appropriate tool as gaps are noticed in order to prevent dirt filling the gaps, thus making it more difficult to put into place.
Quality glue-less laminate floors use joining mechanisms which hold the planks together under constant tension which prevent dirt entering the joints and do not need “tapping” back together periodically.
Our In-Stock Floor Prices are simple:
Solid 3/4″ Hardwood Floor – $2.99 a square foot and up.
Engineered 3/8″ (10mm) Wood Floor – $1.89 a square foot and up.
Laminate 1/2″ (12mm) Floor – $1.89 a square foot and up.
Call us to check on the availability! 614-853-4448