Laminate floors continue to be an inexpensive flooring solution for domestic and commercial spaces. Noted for its functional value and aesthetic appeal, laminate floors have found their way to high-end homes that previously used hardwood flooring or engineered floors. In terms of performance and visual appeal, laminate floor fares are better than many of its counterparts. Most importantly, these floors give a better underfoot feeling.
Before you visit the carpet store, let’s check out what laminate flooring exactly us. You can reach out to established stores like Palmetto Floor Coverings and get the right design customized for your home.
What’s special about laminate floors?
Laminate floors involve a hybrid flooring solution. They consist of a wooden base made of particleboard. On the top, these floors have an image layer, along with a transparent wear layer. In domestic spaces like kitchens, living rooms, hallways, bedrooms that are not exposed to moisture, laminate floors form an economical solution. The concept of laminate floors stems from the idea of using up waste wooden materials for making floors. When these materials are subjected to high heat, pressure, and binding chemicals, they serve as valuable flooring materials. Reputed flooring companies offer laminate floors in various designs and patterns.
What are the pros and cons of laminate flooring?
- Resistant to scratches
- Easy to clean
- Inexpensive solution
- Ideal for homes with children and pets
- These floors chip easily
- The base can absorb moisture and swell up
- Not suitable for laundry rooms and bathrooms
Are our laminate and vinyl flooring the same?
Laminate floors closely resemble luxury vinyl flooring. These two types of floorings come with a similar look. However, vinyl floors are easier to install and are on the higher end. On the other hand, vinyl floors contain purely vinyl, and these are completely waterproof. This type of floor is more flexible, and you need not acclimate them to your room before installing them.
How is laminate floor different from other types of floors?
Have a look at the comparison between laminate floors and other popular types of flooring.
Laminate floors vs. solid hardwood floors
Laminate floors may look somewhat similar to solid hardwood floors, particularly from a distance. Since the former comes with elegant looks, households often install them to imitate hardwood floors. However, laminate flooring does not contain solid wood. On the other hand, hardwood floors contain solid 100% wood. Therefore, solid hardwood floors are thicker, and you can sand and re-sand them several times. Since laminate is thinner, you cannot sand it.
Laminate floors vs. engineered wooden floors
Manufactured wood is used to make the base of both laminate and engineered wooden floors. When you purchase premium laminate floors, they will look similar to engineered wooden floors. In engineered wood, you have a plywood base. The upper layer consists of real wood, and it has a veneer layer. However, there is no real wood or plywood on laminate floors.
Laminate floors vs. natural stone floors
You must be knowing that laminate floors can be built to resemble stone floors. You may visit a tile store if you are interested in purchasing natural stone flooring. While ceramic tiles are popular for flooring, you also have other natural stones. However, laminate floors do not contain any stone product. Stone is thick, solid, and hard. However, laminate is thin and flexible and easily breaks.
What materials are used for making laminate floors?
Often, laminate floors are termed laminate wood floors. The wooden element comes in laminate only from two perspectives. In the first place, wooden particles are pressed and chipped into the floor base. Secondly, laminate floors superficially resemble wooden floors. The appearance at the top is that of wood. While manufacturing laminate floors, wooden particles are used to make sheets under high pressure. A wear layer is also installed in the product. This is a thin layer of plastic that adds to its durability. It serves as a barrier against scratching, UV rays, and moisture.
Have a look at the different layers present in laminate floors.
Laminate flooring consists of a surface layer that includes two thin paper sheets. Melamine is impregnated into these sheets. The uppermost layer consists of a hard and transparent sheet of plastic. This makes the floor resistant to high heels, scratches from dogs, and other elements that might damage it.
This is the layer that provides a realistic wooden finish to the laminate floor. Under the wear layer, the floor contains a high-quality image of real wood. You might visit the reputed rug stores for matching solutions with laminate floors.
The base layer lies below the wood-grain photograph. This layer is made of wood-chip composite and is around half-inch thick. You should know that any sort of wooden chip is prone to water damage. Dimensionally, the base of the laminate floor is stable to a certain degree. Although it can resist water damage to a certain extent, it would be wise not to expose it to water.
Do you need underlayment and subfloors?
Just like any floor coverings, you need a solid subfloor for laminate floors. Felt and floors underlayment goes well in these cases, fitting between laminate and the subfloor. A softer footfall detaches the two surfaces. In some cases, the subfloor would be inadequate, and you would need a thin layer of underlayment below the underlayment and above the subfloor.
How to install laminate floors?
Professional installers integrate laminate floors as floating floors into the interiors. Here, the boards of the floors remain connected to one another. However, they are not connected to the subfloor. The installation of laminate floors is similar to solid hardwood flooring, as they come with a tongue-and-groove style for the boards to join. You can install these floors with the basic tools, and it does not require any sophisticated mechanism.
To purchase suitable carpet for laminate floors, reach out to one of the reputed carpet stores online. For more flooring questions and answers, reach out to us at Palmetto Floor Coverings at (843) 881-6868 or fill up this contact form. We will get back to you with the most cost-effective solution.