Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 23:06:59 PM. Laminate Flooring. By Vignetta Launay.
What to look for in a laminate floor. I believe this can be answered pretty simply. Make sure the product has the styling that you like and falls in your budget. All laminates today perform extremely well regardless of price. Retail stores do carry many laminate products and I believe each one will perform as well as any. High- or low-priced, they will perform about the same. The technology today is superior to the laminates of even 5 years ago. Most of the old chip board core laminates from 10 years ago or longer look like the day they were installed. Gone are the old glue-together products, and now with the drop and lock technologies, joint separation is pretty much nonexistent. The biggest difference I see in pricing of products is that manufacturers extend the warranties and make more realistic looks in the higher-priced products. Performance will be very similar between all the products. The number one enemy of a laminate floor is water. If the laminate is going to get wet, pick another floor. I also get concerned with some of these high shine laminate floors. My company has seen some issues in that they will (not surprisingly) show abrasions to the finish much quicker than a lower luster finish. If it were my home, I would only use a high shine product in an area that gets minimal wear. I have seen some pretty flimsy laminates at big box stores and buying clubs. These laminates are not really any less expensive and are really flimsy when holding them. I believe they are products made especially for these stores, and really are no less costly. One trick of these stores is to put a low amount of square footage in each box, which makes the cost appear less. Always do your math and compare apples to apples.
Originating as a company making lacquered boards for the shipbuilding industry, Alloc started production of high pressure laminate flooring in 1992. In 1996 it introduced a mechanical locking system that allows the laminate boards to be laid without glue. Originally, most laminate floors replicated only the most in-demand wood floors. As laminate grew in popularity however, other looks were introduced, including highly realistic stone and marble. Unlike solid wood or engineered wood flooring products which are usually nailed or glued to the sub floor, laminate flooring floats on the sub floor. The individual strips or planks of many laminate systems snap together while other systems do require the application of small amount of adhesive along the joints. Unlike traditional hardwood floors, laminate floors do not require periodic sanding and refinishing. The top protective layer is all that's needed. Unlike hardwood flooring, there is no need to polish your laminate floor. You can simply clean it with wet cloth and vacuum cleaner to dust out the dirt.
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