Find Out The Best Laminate Flooring For Your Floor

What Information You Need To Know About Laminate Flooring

WHAT IS: LAMINATE FLOORING

With the look and texture of wood or stone, laminate flooring is a tough and durable man-made product that is easy to clean, pet-proof and easy to install. Laminate makes a great choice for anyone looking for a floor they can fit and forget, even in the busiest parts of the home. With different thickness, widths and lengths, laminate is great for homes that want the look of wood or tile, but with a floor that delivers great value. Packed to the brim with easy living advantages, modern generation laminates are ideal for homes that want a good looking floor on a budget.

Where to use Laminate Flooring

Hard wearing, laminate flooring can be used in most areas of the home including dining and living rooms, hallways, kitchens and bedrooms. However, it is important to remember that it’s still a natural product, so we do not recommend laminate flooring in bathrooms or any other high moisture environment.

If your home has underfloor heating, then laminate is also completely safe for use as it is stable enough to withstand direct heat. However, when turning on the underfloor heating for the first time, or after a prolonged period of being turned off, increase the temperature gradually over a period of days so that the floor can acclimatise to the change.

3 Things To Consider When Choosing Laminate Flooring

Now that you’ve gone through a crash course on the types of laminate flooring that are available in the market, let’s fine-tune the selection process.

Here are 3 things that you should consider when choosing the type of laminate flooring for your home or office:

1. Foot Traffic

The volume of foot traffic will determine the level of wear and tear that your laminate flooring will go through. High foot traffic areas will result in more nicks and damage to your flooring. In the home, high foot traffic areas include the living room, the kitchen, and the dining room.

For high foot traffic areas, light coloured laminate flooring planks would be a better option because they can hide scratches, dust, and dirt better than dark coloured laminate flooring planks.

You won’t have to clean and maintain them as much as dark coloured laminate flooring planks where even footprints are visible. Another good option for high foot traffic areas is Embossed Laminate Flooring. Its grainy texture that is similar to wood will hide scratches really well. The same can be said for laminate flooring with stone design printed on it.

2. Location

If the room is located in an area where there is an abundance of natural light coming inside, darker coloured laminate flooring can help subdue the level of brightness. On the other hand, if the room does not get enough natural light coming in, opt for lighter or brighter coloured laminate flooring.

In areas where you normally receive guests such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, using laminate flooring with wider planks will give the space the impression of greater size. For the kitchen, a good choice would be laminate flooring with an underlay as it has been proven to be highly-resistant to mould.

3. Cost

Even though laminate flooring is one of the more inexpensive flooring materials you can choose for your home and office, you should still be mindful of its cost. It has been designed to be a no-frills option for your home or office renovation. As you have read, there are types of laminate flooring planks that do not need glue for installation.

Still, flooring is just one component in a home building or home renovation project. Choose laminate flooring tiles that fit your budget. You want to make sure your funds can cover the other refurbishing needs of your home or office.

What kind of wear and tear will my floor be exposed to?

Laminates sure are tough and durable—but you need to pick the right laminate for the job. If you’re laying a floor in an office exposed to lots of foot traffic, office chairs on castors and high heel shoes, you’ll need to pick a laminate with a higher AC (Abrasion Class) rating. Matching the AC rating to your needs is easy.

AC1 Moderate Residential. Built to withstand only light residential use. Suitable for closets or bedrooms.

AC2 General Residential. Built for moderate foot traffic. Suitable in residential spaces that don’t see a tremendous amount of wear and tear like dining rooms or living rooms.

AC3 Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial. Built for all kinds of residential use including high–traffic rooms and even commercial spaces that have light traffic like offices without off-street traffic and hotel rooms.

AC4 General Commercial. Built to withstand every kind of residential use as well as more heavily trafficked commercial spaces that have off-street traffic like offices, cafes, and boutiques.

AC5 Heavy Commercial. Built for the busiest commercial uses and high–traffic spaces like department stores and government buildings.

Maintenance

Laminate floors do not exist in a vacuum, although a vacuum can be a great way to clean a floor. The main thing to remember is that the material you choose will have to be cared for overtime. Some of the cleaning procedures for different products can be involved, rigorous, and require the purchase of a number of specialty items. Luckily laminate has a protective-wear layer which actually keeps most of the dirt and debris off of its surface, making it easy to sanitize whenever you think it is proper.

Cleaning laminate floors should generally only require you to sweep, vacuum, or dry mop regularly. For more intensive cleaning regimens a very mild soap and water solution can be used to gently scrub or mop specific areas. However, you mustn’t allow water to form in puddles, or stand on the surface of the floor for prolonged periods of time, as it can cause damage in insidious ways.

Laminate floors are a great, low-cost, low-maintenance option for a variety of spaces. However, they do wear over time, and they are susceptible to water damage, so be sure that you only install them in locations designed for them.

What You Need to Know Before Installing Laminate Flooring

To make the job go smoothly and quickly, here’s what else you need to know to gear up for installing laminate flooring.

Get the room ready by removing the base shoe and baseboards. Makes sure the floor is clean and level — installing over an non-level floor can lead to soft, spongy areas and may contribute to seams opening up. Tolerances are usually 1/4 to 3/8 inch measured over 10 horizontal feet. High spots on wood floors can be sanded down. Alternately, you can “fill” low spots with pieces of 30-lb. felt. Low spots on concrete slabs should be filled with leveling compound.

Measure the room to determine the total square footage of flooring you’ll need, then add 5 percent for waste and mistakes. Remember you’ll want to leave a gap of about 3/8 inch around the perimeter of the room to allow for the flooring to expand and contract with changes in humidity. That gap will be covered up when you reinstall the baseboards and base shoe.

Acclimate the flooring by bringing all the packages of flooring into the room. Open the packages and distribute the loose planks around the room in short piles. This helps the flooring stabilize to the ambient humidity in your room, a process that takes about 48 hours. Use the opportunity to inspect any planks for damage.

Prep door frame so that the flooring will slide underneath the trim and jamb (it’s much easier than trying to cut an irregular shape to fit the molding). Use a piece of flooring and underlayment as a guide, and mark the door trim and jamb for trimming. Cut the pieces using a jamb saw — a specialty handsaw with an offset handle that makes it easy to cut near the floor. You can rest the saw blade on top of a piece of flooring to make sure you have a straight, even cut that’s the correct height.

Tips To Make A Good Coating For Epoxy Flooring

Things You Need to Know About Epoxy Floor Coatings

What is Epoxy?

Epoxy is an adhesive, paint, plastic, or other material that is created as a polymer of epoxides. The term “epoxy” is used to describe coatings that are created from two components, meaning, a combination mix of two different chemicals, referred to as “resin.” This classifies epoxy as a copolymer. Chemically, resin is composed of short chain polymers, which at their end contain an epoxide group.

There are many benefits that come with using an epoxy floor coating, compared to using other types of resins for flooring. Most importantly, epoxy is known to be the highest strength resin in the industry. They offer the strongest bond between the resin and reinforcement and allow for the construction of the lightest part and most durable modules.

Epoxy is typically chosen for its excellent mechanical properties and its dimensional stability. When properly cured, epoxy flooring offers good chemical and heat resistance, and extremely low shrinkage. Epoxy resins are an excellent option for repairs, since they bond to dissimilar materials and previously cured materials. Most epoxy resins can be post-cured with heat to improve their strength, service temperature and dimensional stability. Parts should be cured at a temperature that matches or exceeds their maximum service temperature; otherwise the epoxy might warp or distort. The bonding of epoxy paint offers a strength that cannot be matched by other common materials, such as vinylester or polyester.

Damage resistant

The epoxy flooring is resistant to wear, cracking, peeling, and corrosion. It can resist damage from chemical like acids and other environmental degradation.

Cured epoxy is able to resist moisture. Epoxy on its own may not be UV resistant. However, adding epoxy coating will help floor last longer and make it even scratch resistant due to composition of the ingredients.

Urethane and a other variety of top coatings can make epoxy flooring more abrasive and scratch resistant. Long term curing, may even make it gasoline . Heated healed or cured floor will also make the epoxy floor more heat resistant.

Epoxy’s Strength Comes from Its Chemical Bond

An epoxy coating is made up of two parts—a polyepoxide resin and a curative. They are mixed immediately before they are applied to your floor, and the resulting reaction causes them to chemically bond to one another and to the floor itself.

This makes for a coating that is stronger than the sum of its parts. Epoxy is extremely durable and won’t peel or chip away from the flooring surface—that is, as long as it was cleaned and prepared properly beforehand.

Surface Prep Is the Most Important Part

You can read all about the surface prep process on our in-depth page, but suffice it to say that lazy or improper surface preparation means your epoxy floor could fail almost instantly.

One of the worst culprits is moisture. High humidity or vapor permeating the concrete flooring can prevent the adhesive bonds from forming while severely slowing the curing process. This is why it’s vital to get a professional moisture test done first, and have any problems dealt with before applying an epoxy.

Epoxy Primer Formulas

Depending on the product being applied, you might need to apply an epoxy primer and finisher coat. The primer is applied just like paint and is allowed to settle for several hours before the epoxy goes on. To apply the primer, cover the floor with a thin layer of water, then spread the primer with a roller pin on a pole, spreading it out in a thin layer over the entire floor. Let the primer dry, then apply a second coat. The finisher is applied in the same manner as the primer but without the water layer.

Battle of the Floor Surfaces: Which One is the Strongest?

If you’ve ever purchased a new floor for your home, you’ll always hear the salesperson talk about the strength of the floor surface. That’s because some materials are much stronger than others. Take carpet, for example. This surface withstands footfall in a bedroom or lounge, but it won’t be suitable for your garage floor. It’s just not strong enough.

Then there’s hardwood. Again, these floors make brilliant additions to other rooms in your home, but they just don’t cut it when it comes to your garage. Hardwood can break down over time and lose its strength. This is a big no-no if you want a garage floor that will last you for years and years to come.

Epoxy floor coating, on the other hand, is strong enough. You can often find this surface in industrial environments — big car plants and retail warehouses where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people work.

Epoxy flooring may not be something that you’ve heard of before but in its simplest definition, it is a flooring surface that is made up of multiple layers of epoxy that is applied to the floor to a depth of at least two millimeters