10 Things You Must Consider Before Laminating Your Wood Flooring
Laminate wooden flooring is highly durable, attractive and versatile.
Laminate wood flooring is beautiful, low maintenance and long lasting flooring. It imitates the look of real hardwood floors and somewhat feels like it too. Laminating your wood flooring is easy to do as a DIY project on your own. By proper planning and preparation, you can make your wooden floors shine by lamination. Laminate wooden flooring is highly durable, attractive and versatile. There’s a moisture resistant layer over the floor with a layer of a high-density fiberboard. This fiberboard is actually made from wood residue and can be sturdy enough for floors. All it requires is that you take certain care while using laminate wood flooring, especially to keep it safe from any wear and tear from scratches or abrasions.
The laminate flooring is a great choice for you when you need the look of a hardwood floor, but you either cannot afford it or there’s some health reason for avoiding hardwood floors. It’s no secret that the hardwood floor finish is beautiful to have in your home. Laminate wood flooring gives you the look of natural hardwood and comes in half the budget of hardwood flooring. The thickness of the boards isn’t that wide, but the stability and strength are highly competent.
The laminate wood flooring is becoming a sensation for houses, offices, and other commercial spaces, and that’s why It’s ideal to know about laminate wood flooring in detail before installing it. Even though it needs a certain amount of care while using, by following a few simple steps you can retain its shine and durability for many years. Most people would think they know enough from reading anything with "Laminate Wood Flooring" in the title, but there’s just too much information out there for anyone to say such things so easily.
However, we have for you the things you should definitely consider before laminating your flooring.
1. Know About the Materials Used in Laminate Wood Flooring
Laminate flooring is an attractive version of flooring and it has an appearance of hardwood flooring. There is no actual solid wood used in construction, but the material is made to look like hardwood. Moisture resistant HDF (high-density floorboard) is used in the making of laminate flooring. This material will be covered with a high-resolution photograph of wood in different shades to resemble real hardwood material. A coating of high-grade resin-coated cellulose will cover this for an extremely hard finish. The photograph is printed on a melanin-infused paper and then fused to the High-density floorboard.
2. A Vast Range of Choices to Pick From
If you want your flooring to imitate wood, then there ought to be different types of wooden looks. This is exactly what laminated wood flooring offers, you get some of the most widely used American woods like oak, Heartwood pine, Hickory and even special ones including Prado, Tigerwood, and Mahogany. You get options from antique looking wood to metal look-alikes and even that of stone. This is good enough to try laminating your floor. In addition to different looks of the floor, there are different versions available like planks and tiles to give it a real hardwood floor look.
3. The Pros of Laminate Flooring
Price is the biggest advantage here, of course, you get the look and somewhat a feel of hardwood floor in less than half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. There’s a lot of time-saving to consider too and if you are making it a DIY project then you get to save a lot more money. It’s comparatively easy to install since the planks and tiles are fixed together piece by piece.
This in comparison with real hardwood flooring which requires high expertise and price is a great deal. Installing your laminate flooring doesn’t require nails or any other carpentry tools, all you need would be rulers and a hard flat surface. Some recent models use glue to stick the tile to the surface. Read the instructions that come along with the tiles before installing it.
4. Preparing the Room Before Installation
Laminate boards should be in installed under certain temperature conditions, the room temperature should be 65F (15C) and floor surface temperature should be 59F. This temperature conditions should be maintained before, during and three days after installing it. This should be adhered to compulsorily for durability of flooring, this could be hard to achieve under certain situations and if you cannot maintain these temperatures then talk to your supplier and get a model that’s best for your room.
Prep your floor before lamination and make sure it’s flat, dry and smooth. You can use underlayment or vapor barrier for soundproofing it. The lamination can be done over concrete, wood, vinyl tile, linoleum or any hard surface. Take extra care about the heating and you need to allow the lamination to get acclimatized to the room before installation for a minimum of two days.
5. Know About the Installation Process
First, you need to measure your room and then choose the number of tiles required for the flooring. This will avoid wastages and ensure a great finish. You’ll have to leave a gap of ⅜ around the room to allow the flooring to expand and contract with changes in humidity. It’s ideal to inspect each tile before fixing it, check thoroughly for any defects. Make sure you prep the door frame to ensure it doesn't glide over the floor. The incoming light to the room should be considered before laying out the tiles. Make sure you lay out the tiles in the direction parallel to incoming light. It’s important to note that getting your first row right is the first step. The first row should be a full plank and the second row with ⅔ plank and the third with a ⅓ plank. Keep th
6. You Can Lock the Floor Panels Together
Many types of the edge joining tiles are available to connect laminate wood flooring panels. Some of these can be joined using hands by just a light tap with a mallet. Some use snaps click at the edges and bang or tap clicks at the ends of the panels. The various systems are chosen after inspecting your floor and by understanding what’s ideal for it. Locking the tiles together and the look of it’s crucial to the end result of floor lamination.
Have an idea how locked tiles look before going for it. The patterns in floors repeat after a certain number, ask your manufacturer for this information and make sure you are following this pattern. Remember that if any plank is destroyed, then you can disassemble the floor to remove the damaged plank and fix the new one. The hard fixed planks involve a complicated procedure to replace any damaged planks, this one more reason to go for planks that can be clicked together.
7. Where Can You Install Laminate Wood Flooring?
Laminated wood flooring has a moisture resistant layer also it’s durable and versatile. But it cannot be used in places where water or any moisture is always present. This is important to consider before choosing to laminate your floors. The verandas, washrooms, porches, bathrooms or saunas can be avoided for laminated wood flooring. These locations are not ideal because of their constant contact with moisture. The water is not that penetrating if it stays over the floor for a little while, but in these locations, water stays on for a long time.
This might destroy the finish and look of the tiles. Swelling, warping, and loss of shine are consequences of too much exposure with water. Bathroom installation can be done by applying a light layer of glue in between planks to avoid the water to seep in. Altogether, it’s recommended to avoid where water is always present like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and verandas.
8. Functions of Each Material Used in Laminate Wood Flooring
High-density fiberboard or HDF is a moisture resistant fiber panel made of wood residues like sawdust, wood chips and wood shavings from wood processing centers. These materials are ground into pulp and then the melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin is added to this pulp. When the pulp is dried it’s pressed to form panels. The HDF core is then infused with the lamination of a photograph of the chosen wood. The melamine paper is used for fusing it into the board by thermal fusion.
This is then topped off with an aluminum oxide layer. This makes the floorboard highly strong and durable. Moisture resistant layer over the boards makes sure water doesn't seep into this core. The green core boards and brown core boards have the same HDF core, but these cores differ in the coloring agent added to the adhesive while manufacturing High-density floorboards.
9. Understand the Cleaning Process of Laminate Wood Flooring
The laminate wood flooring boards are resistant to water spills, oil spills, and any normal floor cleaners. But they can be damaged by an improper cleaning process, make sure you choose mops and floor cleaners ideal for laminate flooring. It should not get stains and abrasions from the cleaning process. The floors should be cleaned with a soft cloth and without any harsh chemicals. Non-scratching carpets and pads should be used over the flooring to avoid abrasions. The material used in the carpets should be colorfast to avoid any staining. Contact with damaging materials like sand, water, and grit should be avoided on the floor.
The furniture legs and wide castors of appliances should be protected with safety pads. It's best to not slide the furniture over the floor. Use wheeled dollies to move furniture and place a clean sheet of plywood over the floor to minimize the damage. Try to reduce the furniture rearrangement frequency to improve the durability of flooring. Minor scratches from any abrasions can be cleaned by laminate floor repair paste available in most retail flooring stores.
10. Major Drawbacks of Laminate Flooring
Moisture damage is the most important drawback to consider, these floors aren’t ideal in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and verandas where the moisture cannot be kept away. If you are considering to install the flooring in your kitchen, be careful about cleaning up the spill from the floor. The laminate flooring could get damaged by chemical cleaners, dust, dirt, and grit if these aren't controlled over the floor. The footwear should be clean and you can use doormats for this. The stubborn spots over the laminate tiles can be removed by acetone or normal nail polish remover. Paint, tar, asphalt, and oil are stubborn stains and try to avoid contact with these over the laminate flooring.
Another drawback is that this flooring cannot be waxed or polished to give more shine. It can only be given more shine before installation when designing the wood photograph to go over the boards. Most laminating boards come with a specific set of instructions for maintenance and it can adhere to for the longevity of the boards. Make sure you know the wear rating of laminate flooring products, most of them have an AC4 rating which is recommended for residential applications and light commercial applications like hotel rooms.
Hardwood floors are nostalgic and give your home a more refined look. Most people are choosing laminate wood flooring for the love of wood and how it looks over the floor. You get a wide range of wooden looks to choose from while opting for laminate wood flooring, but the options are limited while considering real hardwood flooring often limited by budget and availability. The cons of laminate wood floors are overcome by the low budget options, a wide range of woods by appearance and the different sizes of planks and tiles.
Most manufacturers provide options to customize your own wooden look of your floor. This is a great way to make your room special and bring a freshness to it. Commercial spaces where real hardwood floors are often not even considered for flooring are now choosing laminate wood floors due to its advantages. Also, the construction and usage of laminate wood floors are environment-friendly. It doesn’t need cutting down trees to give your floors a wooden look. The wood fiber used for the construction is made from scrap materials from real wood processing factories and this ensures the recycling of natural resources. The flooring needs occasional refining and certain care while using it, but the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.