Laminate is a very popular choice of flooring, with an iron-clad reputation. This material resists most stains, discoloration caused by UV-rays and even damage caused by burning cigarette butts. Not all laminate offers the same level of durability. Laminate is classified into several categories, pertaining its appropriate use. It goes without saying that intensive traffic areas will require laminate with a higher degree of wear resistance.
Laminate consists of a hard core, clad in a synthetic layer.
A final top layer, on which a desired pattern is printed, finishes off the product. Although the broad public mainly knows it by its wood simulating designs, it does come in a vast array of colours and finishes. It can perfectly imitate natural stone or tile floors, with or without enhancing texture. Due to ever-evolving manufacturing processes, their designs can be very true to form and barely be distinguishable from the original.
Laminate is usually installed, floating, on a level and smooth surface. The planks are easily assembled using a convenient tongue-in-groove system. Some brands are glued together, others feature systems allowing them to be swiftly taken apart again. These systems also allow for quick and hassle-free replacement of damaged planks. A laminate floating floor is always installed on top of appropriate underlay material. Some underlays will level your floor, others ensure optimal sound dampening. Specialised underlay material is available for installing laminate on top of radiant floor heating.
Maintaining a laminate floor couldn’t be easier. Daily maintenance consists of vacuuming and mopping. Repair kits are freely available to retouch minor nicks and dents. The resulting repair will be virtually undetectable to the naked eye. In order to prevent scratching, it’s always a good idea to use an area rug, or to put felt patches underneath your furniture and chairs. Even though a laminate floor may very well be resistant to wear and tear, it remains susceptible to scratching.
Laminate in the bathroom?
Until recently, laminate was used in every room of the house, except for the bathroom. While the top layer of the product is waterproof, the underlying core is anything but. Moisture penetration would cause a host of problems. Not only can the material bubble, but excessive moisture can cause the floor to buckle, and promotes the growth of mould. Manufactures have been diligently experimenting to waterproof grooves for quite a while now. We are pleased to report that laminate flooring, appropriate for bathroom use, is now available.