Laminate Flooring Guide
Laminate flooring is a man made product, designed to replicate mainly wooden floors but also other floorcoverings such as stone tiles. Laminate floors are very durable due to the layers of the board being made to be as strong and as dense as possible, so it can perform as a very hardwearing floor.
How is laminate flooring made? We are asked this question every day and the answer is one that has remained the same for years. Laminate flooring is a photo! Yes that’s correct these boards with their wonderful grain and colour variations are photos. The photo is a high quality photographic image of wood. This is placed onto a HDF core board and is coated with a tough melamine wear layer. It is this wear layer which makes laminate flooring extremely hardwearing and much less liable to scratch than a real wood finish and makes laminate ideal for those with a busy homes and lifestyles.
Laminate flooring is getting more and more realistic every year and sometimes it’s hard to tell it apart from realwood flooring even for us so called professionals!
Installation is also easy thanks to the click systems available, the planks just click together with no need for glue, nails etc. Laminate flooring is ideal for use in all rooms of the home or office.
When you choose a laminate floor you need to be aware of the different grades and construction methods available. Laminate is graded from AC1 - AC6 with the latter being ideal for use in very heavy commercial installations.
Simple laminate frequently asked questions
Is laminate water resistant?
- Laminate floor surfaces are resistant to spillages however water may seep between the boards, and if left for a long period of time could swell and warp. We recommend the Quick-Step Lagune or Quick-Step Impressive ranges for bathrooms as they both have a 10 year water warranty.
Is laminate scratch resistant?
- Laminate floors are resistant to scratches due to the tough melamine top layer applied. This means that everyday wear and tear should not be apparent on your new floor. Some damage like deep scratches from heavy furniture may occur, these can be repaired using a repair kit. Take a look at our laminate aftercare section for suitable products.
Do you offer samples of laminate flooring?
- Yes, you can order samples and brochures online, visit our range of Kronospan laminate flooring, Kaindl laminate flooring or Quickstep laminate flooring to choose which samples you require.
Is my laminate floor guaranteed?
- All our laminate floors come with a warranty, for more information on these please take a look at the product specifications on the floor you like.
Is laminate cold underfoot?
- Laminate flooring is warm to the touch unlike ceramic or natural stone floors which can also become really cold in winter months. Laminate floors will take on the ambient heat within the room.
Is laminate noisy underfoot?
- Laminate floors will be slightly noisier than a carpet, however you can keep any noise to a minimum by puchasing sound-proofing underlay to go underneath. They do not produce a noise that is untolerable at all.
Where can I install laminate flooring?
- Laminate flooring can be installed in almost any situation. It is ok to use in kitchens as they are moisture resistant, although we recommend any spillages are wiped up immediately in case somebody slips. We also have a specific range warranted for use in bathrooms as mentioned above.
Can I install laminate over underfloor heating?
- Yes, laminate flooring is suitable for use on under floor heating. The manufacturers advise an underlay that is compatible, usually the thinner underlays on offer, as they will not reduce the performance of the heating system. It is worth checking with the underfloor heating supplier that laminate flooring can be laid over it.
Can I install laminate in a commercial area?
- Yes, several of our laminates are suitable for installation in both residential and commercial areas and offer warranties to suit each situation.
Can I lay laminate flooring outside?
- No, it is not recommended for outdoor use.
Can I lay the floor myself?
- Yes, these floors are designed for the DIY market. Full information on how to install your laminate floor can be found in our advice section. If you prefer to have a professional install your floor, take a look at our installation service.
Is there anything I need to do before my floor is laid?
- You need to ensure your goods are acclimatised before installation. Keep the materials within the property for a minimum of 24 hours before installation. You need a constant temperature between 18C-26C which will need to be maintained throughout the installation and for at least 24hrs after installation.
Do you need to leave an expansion gap when fitting Laminate?
- Yes, a 10mm expansion gap will be required. This is to allow for seasonal movement that will occur with your floor, as the temperature changes. By having an expansion gap around the edge of the room, the floor will not leave gaps between boards, it will utilise the gap instead.
Is laminate flooring suitable for people with allergies?
- Due to the closed joints between the boards, there is nowhere for dust to accumulate. Dust mites and other allergy-causing organisms cannot survive on clean laminate floors and this will help you protect your home from allergens. This is extremely important for people suffering from as asthma or dust allergies.
Is Laminate flooring environmentally friendly?
- Laminate flooring is produced using recycled paper pulp, making it environmentally friendly. Manufacturers are aware of the obligations of being sustainable, and recycling waste products to protect the environment.