WHAT THE LAMINATE FLOORING IS?
The Laminate flooring (hereafter referred to as laminate) is a multi-layer floor covering made of high-density fiberboard coated with thermally active polymer films. The Laminate is a construction material used to finish floors in residential and public spaces.LET'S RECALL THE HISTORY OF LAMINATE FLOORING
The history of laminate flooring dates back to the late 1970s. The country where the first laminate floor was produced is Sweden. The creator is the company "Perstorp Flooring AB" (company "Pergo"), which, after testing in 1979, produced the first laminate floor, consisting of two layers. At the time, this was a very expensive and energy-intensive technology. The first laminate floor gradually became popular and other companies started to produce it as well. So, 10 years later, the German company "LaminatePark GmbH Co KG" TM "Hornitex") produced a four-word laminate floor using new technology. This made it possible to reduce the price of the product and organize mass production. Since 1990, the range of decors, textures and patterns for different types of wood, stone and tiles gradually expanded. Due to its specifics, laminate flooring is still very popular among customers today.LAMINATE FLOORING STRUCTURE
Structure ( components) of laminated board;
Top layer (Overlay) - a protective layer, made of resins and alumina;
Decorative layer - paper decoration imitating wood, tiles, stone, leather;
Lock - CLICK 2G or 5G from UNILIN
Backing board - high density HDF board (min. 870 kg/m3), made of wood fibers and thermoactive resins;
Stabilizing layer - special kraft paper, impregnated with resins. Used in connection with the need to stabilize the laminated panel and protect it from moisture.WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT LAMINATE GRADES?
The higher the class of laminate flooring, the more durable it is. You will also learn from the information below which rooms can be installed with laminate grade 32 and which rooms can be installed with laminate grade 33. All of this information is shown in the table below.BENEFITS OF CHOOSING LAMINATE
Let's talk about the benefits of laminate flooring. As mentioned above, laminate is an optimal product that combines price and quality. Laminate floors are resistant to abrasion, stress, and high temperatures. They come in many different designs and surface textures. They are made from a durable material, are environmentally friendly, have an E1 rating and are easy to install.WEAKNESSES OF LAMINATE FLOORING
Despite all the advantages, laminate flooring also has a few disadvantages. Are you curious what these are? There are few of them, for example: they are not water resistant - excessive contact with water during washing or flooding leads to seepage of moisture into HDF board, which in effect causes the board to swell. Cold to the touch - yes indeed, when touching laminate we definitely feel colder than when touching parquet. Noise when walking due to the nature of laminate production. When installed, planks laid in a floating fashion on the subfloor amplify sounds. They cause the noise to become a percussion effect.IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO BEFORE INSTALLING LAMINATE FLOORING
First of all, after purchasing the floor for the house, to immediately start installing it is incorrect and contrary to the requirements of manufacturers. The panels should be acclimatized, that is, stored for 2-3 days (48 hours) at room temperature at a distance of at least 1 meter from the walls, at a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, with a maximum humidity of 60%.
The most important thing to do before installing a laminate floor is to choose a subfloor (flooring) that will determine the strength of the laminate and comfort during use.
Requirements for the subfloor:
- Check the humidity level with a CM hygrometer. Do not install the laminate floor on a subfloor if the residual moisture limit of 2.0 CM% for cementitious subfloors or 0.3 CM% for anhydrite and anhydrite-fibre subfloors is exceeded.
- Check the subfloor for evenness. When the distance from the measuring point is 100 cm, the maximum deviation is 2-3 mm, when the distance is more than 1 meter, the maximum deviation is -2 mm/meter. Surface irregularities exceeding 3 mm must be eliminated by self-leveling screed before installation.
- Check the floor base for load and durability. The subfloor must be covered with a self-supporting floor.
- Check the cleanliness of the floor. The base of the floor must be clean.
- Check the microclimatic conditions in the room. Before, during and after laying, the room temperature should be at least 18 C and the surface at least 15 C. Relative humidity between 40% and 70%.
Under these conditions, laminate flooring will enjoy many years of use.
In more detail, how to do the installation of laminate flooring with your own hands, we will describe in the following paragraphs. Do not miss it.CARE OF LAMINATE FLOORING, BASIC RULES
A few simple rules that should be followed when caring for laminate flooring:
- In areas prone to heavy soiling, such as entryways, laminate flooring should be further protected from wear with a PVC mat.
- Place felt pads on furniture legs to protect the floor from scratches.
- Office chair casters should be soft (rubber or caoutchouc).
- Make sure there is no permanent accumulation of water on the floor. Take special care with flower pots or vases.
- When cleaning, the mop or cloth should not be wet, but only slightly damp.
- When cleaning with a cleaner, make sure that no residue is left on the floor at the end of the cleaning process.
- Do not use wax or oil based cleaners. These products can penetrate the laminate and form a film on the surface that attracts surface contaminants.WHAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN CHOOSING LAMINATE FLOORING
We advise you to pay attention to the aesthetic properties (color, surface structure) as well as the performance specifics of the laminate floor.
Abrasion resistance class. This is an important indicator because it determines the lifespan of the floor purchased. It can be checked on the label of each laminate package.
Thickness of the laminate. That affects how effectively the floor can withstand the stresses imposed on it. We recommend buying laminate flooring that is at least 8mm thick.
It's worth buying a laminate floor that has extra moisture protection on the V-joints, such as a wax coating. This means that the manufacturer guarantees the quality and durability of the floor. You can ask the seller about this or look at the lock in the panels yourself.
Density of the laminate. It affects the durability of the laminate floor and its key joints. Usually it is not described on the package but it should have the EN 13329 standard. If such standard number is on the package it means that the producer guarantees that the flooring offered to you has the density of at least 870 kg/m3. To confirm this you can weigh the panels and multiply by the number in the package and you will know how much the package weighs. If the laminate is longer than 1.26 m and wider than 0.19 m, the package weight should not be less than 14.5 kg.
Environmental friendliness. It is important that the laminate flooring you buy meets E1 or E0 criteria. This means that the floor has passed the relevant tests, is in compliance with European regulations and is completely safe for the human body.
Connection type. Click 2G or 5G locks are usually used. The 5G connection is a new generation double lock, which allows easy installation of laminate flooring, even by one person.
Pay attention to the packaging. A good manufacturer should take care to protect it carefully. The panels should be neatly wrapped in plastic and have identification marks in the form of a label with detailed product information and a bulk label with the appropriate marking.
Do not be afraid to buy laminate flooring from a new manufacturer for fear that you will not get a quality product. The situation is exactly the opposite, the new manufacturer wants to enter the market and attract customers, so they try to produce laminate floors according to standards and high quality.