Laminate flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood or concrete. There are several locations that are not recommended for laminate flooring. Because laminate flooring is a wood flooring product it is not recommended that laminates be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause the core of your laminate flooring to warp or swell. In some instances, with special installation procedures, it is possible to install laminate floors in bathrooms where water will not stand on the floor for any length of time. For bathroom installations, it is recommended you apply a light bead of glue to the tongue on the planks to be used in the areas subject to spills. Also, ensure that all spills are mopped up and dried promptly.
Both laminate flooring and hardwood flooring can beautify a home. While hardwood is often thought to be a superior choice, there are several advantages to laminate flooring. Distinct differences between the two types of flooring often make laminate a more attractive alternative. Solid hardwood of any thickness (most is 3/8” to 3/4”) should be installed only above grade. Laminate flooring can be installed above or below grade and over virtually any other flooring surface. Some hardwood flooring is engineered, meaning that instead of solid hardwood, it is made of several wood layers with a hardwood veneer. Laminate flooring, usually 7mm to 8mm (5/16” to 3/8”), is also made of several layers. These are laminated together which makes for stability and strength. The top surface of laminate flooring is a photograph of hardwood. High-quality photographs faithfully reproduce the grain and color of natural hardwood, and the surfaces on quality laminate flooring closely resemble real wood. Although many people insist on hardwood flooring, laminates are a long-lasting, durable, affordable option that are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of flooring.
One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most do-it-yourselfers, where solid hardwood requires a specific level of expertise. Installing laminate doesn’t involve nails, and more recently has done away with glue as well in many cases. Laminate flooring can, therefore, be installed fairly quickly and inexpensively. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.
Laminate flooring is a versatile, durable, attractive flooring with the appearance of a hardwood floor. Although laminate flooring looks like wood flooring, there is actually no solid wood used in its construction. Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture-resistant layer under a layer of HDF (high-density fiberboard). This is topped with a high-resolution photographic image of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is perfect for anyone wanting a durable floor for a fraction of the price and installation time of a hardwood floor, but with the attractiveness of real hardwood. This construction also makes laminate flooring more environment-friendly as it uses less wood in its construction and makes more efficient use of the wood fiber that is used.
Laminate flooring is beautiful, low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your laminate flooring clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it. Simply dust mop or vacuum with a soft brush or wood floor accessory to keep your laminate floor clean from dust, dirt or grit.
A damp cloth or mop can be used without damage to the laminate flooring panels, but do not use excessive water. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.
Blot up spills or water from wet feet or footwear immediately with a clean, dry cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not allow excess liquid to remain on the surface of your laminate floor.
Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, or combined “clean and shine” products on your laminate floor.
Do not use steel wool or other scouring pads that may scratch laminate panels.
Do not wax or polish your laminate flooring.
Do not steam clean or use chemicals that may damage the laminate flooring surface.