More and more, laminate flooring is becoming a popular choice in today’s homes. This can be an excellent option, but before making this decision, it is important to understand what it is.
Laminate floors are a cost-effective way to get the look of hardwood, stone, ceramic tile, and many other styles of flooring, without the hassle. These floors are manufactured to create the appearance without the maintenance level as the natural products.
In the more recent years of laminate, the technology has been greatly improved so that you get the most authentic look of flooring. In the past, this was not always the case, as it could be easily spotted. Today, the styles of laminate consist of realistic visuals and textures to bring and elegant and premium look to your home. Not only that, but the many different styles and colors make it possible to bring the right finish to any room in your home.
If you are looking for attractive, resilient, and inexpensive flooring for your home, then laminate may be the right choice for you.
Choices can range from natural colors, dark wood grains, and even warm or cool tones that will compliment any home styles that need to be matched. There is even the option for the “plank” look in the home with the choice of natural plank designs that even come in rare exotic wood species. If you prefer the stone or tile appearance of flooring, laminate can do that as well. The simplicity of laminate makes a good replacement for stone because you do not have to worry about grout cleaners or cracking tiles.
Laminate flooring is becoming commonly used and familiarized with families because laminate countertops have been used for years. A comparable technology is used in the flooring, but with added resin to the wear layer, it becomes much stronger than the countertops. Some laminate companies have made their flooring 10 to 20 times harder than their countertops. Not only that, but with the added resin, it makes it very difficult to stain or scratch.
The low maintenance of laminate flooring is another reason why it has become so popular. The laminate is tough so it does not need to be waxed or varnished. With this, there is a resistance to sunlight, so it is less likely to fade than standard hardwood flooring.
Finally, laminate floors are never secured directly to the subfloor which makes it easy to place and replace. Laminate flooring is floated over the surface which also makes it easy to use over a wide variety of subfloors. This includes wooden subflooring, existing flooring, and even concrete.
Overall, laminate flooring offers many benefits to your home including:
- Easy to clean
- Stain and fade resistant
- Installation on all grade levels and over all types of subflooring
- Dent and impression resistant
- Flawless look and designs to match any style home
- Reasonable costs
- Easy to interchange if needed
If you are looking into laminate flooring options, come check us out at Flynn’s Carpet Cents. We would be happy to assist you in your transition to a new flooring solution for your home and by answering any other questions you may have about laminate flooring.
Types of Laminate
The artificial look of laminate flooring is in the past. If you did not like the artificial look of laminates, then it is definitely time to check again.
The look of the modern day laminates need close examination to be identified. Laminate flooring has come a long way from when it was first established. This is due to the growing popularity of these floors. All the manufacturers are creating beautiful floors ranging from traditional to rustic or even exotic looks of grains. They are to the point where these floors have the capability to have impressive designs such as distressed wood or natural stones. As they become more and more popular, the designs of the flooring is simply becoming better and better.
Today and Laminates
As with sheet vinyl, laminates have also adopted the look of real, natural materials. This is especially seen in textured products that give a level of dimension to the new flooring.
Of these designs, the most popular are the wood grains. The rustic effect of old-fashioned wood flooring is by far some of the best-selling laminate products. After seeing the tremendous improvements made in laminate floors, you will see why.
Modern Screens Make Quality Possible
Screens are the photographs associated with a specific style of flooring. If the style has a more pictures or screens associated with it, the quality of that style will improve and look more authentic.
Each manufacturer does its best job to recreate the match of a natural look by varying the colors, patterns, and texture of the product. This greatly improves the authentic look of the flooring as the more screens they have to offer, the more authentic the look will be.
Like all floors, laminates can be matched to any home décor, size, and activities that take place in order to best compliment your needs.
When choosing colors, it is important to remember what darker and lighter colors will do to your home. For rooms with tight compact spacing, using a lighter color of laminate will expand the look and feel of the room. On the other hand, using a darker floor with bring a more intimate feel to the room.
It is also important to choose something that either harmonizes or contrasts with your current furniture. Keep in mind; it’s a good idea to avoid matching everything to the same color. Use contrasts to make things more interesting and allow your creativity to craft a beautiful new room.
Of all the flooring that is offered in laminates, glueless is the most popular. Obviously without a mess, it is extremely convenient and easy to work with. These designs come in a variant of wood and ceramic styles. Instead of a printed sheet, some manufacturers even have a real hardwood veneer they can use. With this, it really gives the look of true hardwood flooring.
When getting the floors installed, laminates need a thin plastic layer to be installed under the floors, in order to seal out any moisture. Moisture with any flooring is harmful. Most laminates require a 4 mil poly to be used. This helps the laminates to float freely over the subflooring. The other method to be used is a vapor barrier or noise reducer. These can be put underneath the laminates as well. After the underlay, the flooring can be installed using either planks or tiles.
Another option is using laminates that have an attached under lay. These laminates have an attached underlayment that helps reduce noise.
If you are looking to really give your room that finished look, using laminate moldings can do the trick. Naturally your laminates will move and expand on top of the subfloor, and these moldings cover that space. It gives a seamless finished look to your new floors and can help transition into neighboring flooring.
The manufacturers who produce your flooring often produce a molding that matches well with your floors. Although they were designed to coordinate, often these are not a perfect match for everyone and their home style.
When considering Laminate
As you look at the different styles and designs that they have to offer, you will see that there is not much of a price difference between the styles.
This is why choosing the best laminates has to do with knowing the right characteristics to fit your lifestyle including aesthetics, use, and price. By shopping smart you can not only get the right look of the floors, but you can get their strength, attractiveness, and value all in one.
Since laminates are durable, they offer some of the least maintenance. These floors are stain resistant and do not need to be waxed or varnished. This is another reason why these floors are so popular, especially those with high traffic or with children.
Not to mention, the visual styles are so new and modern they can fit any home style with the beautiful look of hardwood and stone that will match any home look.
Like anything in life, you get what you pay for, even with laminates. The high quality laminate floors will give you better design and performance. When looking at the price variations, the exotic varieties and species, the unique textures, and high pressure manufacturing are all factors that can alter the cost of the flooring.
Along with the price, it is important to check on the warranty information carefully before making a selection.
The “floating floor system” is the technique that is used when installing laminate floors. This system uses a padded underlayment that lies between the subfloor and the new laminate flooring.
The planks or tiles of laminate are not tied down to the subflooring. Instead, they sit directly on top of the underlayment and allow for all pieces to be connected together to form a floating single piece of flooring. By doing this is causes a hollow sound when walked on, but that can be reduced with quality underlayment. Also, this creates a slight give that is much more comfortable to walk on compared to a harder surface such as ceramic tile or natural stone.
Another often occurrence is a slight peaking or ridging that can happen between the planks or tiles. This is very normal and you have nothing to be concerned about if this happens.
Most laminate floors lock together without the need of adhesives on the sides of the planks and tiles. This is known as our glueless installations. These types of laminates are great because they interlock together on the sides. It makes it very easy to replace or repair if that is ever necessary down the line.
The price of the laminates per square foot is only part of the total calculated cost. It is very important to look at all of the following when keeping your budget in mind, to ensure that there are no surprises at the end. Ask any of us to calculate a total cost for new floors to ensure that you are choosing the correct floor style.
- Furniture removal and replacement
- Demolition and Disposal of old flooring
- Sub-floor preparation
- Laminate installation
- Material cost (flooring, moldings, etc)