Laminate Flooring today is considered to be the best flooring option since it can provide the same look of a hardwood floor minus all the maintenance that is required for hardwood flooring. They are today becoming the first choice of every household. They not only make the floors look attractive, they are much more durable, long - lasting, affordable and moreover much easier to maintain.
What is Laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is usually made, using a combination of thin sheets of fibrous material mostly paper and a melamine wear layer under high pressure. They look like wood but in reality there is no solid wood used to make it.
Types of Laminate Floors:
Basically there are two categories of laminate floorings depending upon the process of attaching the material to the core.
- Direct Pressure Laminate flooring: This involves a process in which all the layers are fused directly to the ground at the same time, and then impregnated with aluminum oxide or melamine resins using heat and pressure.
- High Pressure Laminate flooring: This uses various components that are bonded together. This includes a wear resistant melamine based decorative surface (mostly high resolution photographic image of a natural wood floor) on the top. High quality photographs helps in retaining the same texture and grain of real hardwood, thereby giving it a close resemblance to hardwood flooring. Below it is a high density fiberboard (HDF) which is bonded to a moisture resistant wood based core. A balancing backing is used at the bottom of the core.
Styles of Laminate floors:
There are two basic styles of flooring made of laminate. Either there is the plank board or the parquet tiles. Both are available in a range of stains or unfinished (to be stained or painted according to your choice of colors). The thickness of the strips varies from 5/16 inch to 11/2 inch and the widths from ¾ inch to 2 3/4 inch. This can be bought in single strips in different or same lengths.
Laminate floors could be installed almost anywhere. It is not like carpet or ceramic floors and has very few drawbacks.
In areas like the kitchen where there are chances of more stains and scratches, laminate flooring would be the best option.
Even the living rooms where mostly hardwood flooring or carpet is preferred, laminate flooring would surely add a touch of warmth. In addition to this it would also be easy to maintain if the movement of people tends to be more in the living room space.
Choice of laminate flooring is also a good option for the bed rooms. This will free you from the problem of worn out and stained carpet. It is also a good choice for the bathrooms, be it the master bath or the laundry room since this type of flooring is water resistant. Remember, a laminate floor cannot be installed over a carpet or any kind of padding. It should be glued to the ground.
Cleaning and Maintaining:
Most laminated floors come with a warranty of 10 to 25 years against staining, wearing and fading depending on the brand. The common tools required to clean a laminate floor is a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop and a damp towel for hard stains. You should avoid abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool to clean the floor. It is better to use a damp cloth to clean the floor. You can add one – fourth cup of vinegar into a spray bottle filled with plain water. Then as you spray the liquid on the floor, you can mop using a dry mop. Incase you would like to remove any stains of oil, paint you should use a neutral cleaner and mop with a light colored cloth. You can also use nail polish remover in such a case. For fruit juice, blood or wine / beer stains, you can use warm water. For hard stains like wax or chewing gum, first rub some ice over the material to harden it and then scrape it off gently. Avoid using a wet mop on your laminate flooring any time to avoid water seepages in between the boards. Use doormats at the entrances and places which leads to outdoors so that you can avoid dust scratches on the flooring. Try to put easy glide buttons below your furniture to avoid dragging them on the floor.
Advantages of Laminate flooring:
The first major advantage is the price. It is almost half the cost of traditional wood flooring. It is easy to install since there are clear and specific instructions of arranging. It does not require nails and can be comfortably completed using only glue. The process of setting up the flooring is not that extensive and can be done by an individual. This obviously avoids the expert cost as is required for installing the laminate floor. Most of the laminate floorings are made to be scratch and fade resistant.
Thus, laminate flooring is perfect for anyone who wants a durable floor with the attractiveness of a real hardwood floor. Moreover, laminate floorings are considered to be environment friendly since it uses less wood in its construction and makes better use of the wood fiber. It is an ideal choice for your flooring requirements.