What you need to know about laminate flooring
Deciding on the right laminate flooring shouldn’t be a stress-inducer. This article provides tips on choosing the right material in line with your needs. From design choice, texture and thickness, water and scratch resistance, to warranties, and installation, the information below ensures that your decision is an informed one.
But first, what exactly is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a multi-layered floor fused together in a watertight, glued High Density Fibre (HDF) board. This kind of flooring simulates wood (or in certain cases stone), with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. High quality laminate flooring is based on four different layers: (i) a transparent, wear-resistant layer; (ii) the design layer; (iii) HDF core board; and (iv) a balancing layer.
Factors to consider when choosing the right laminate flooring for you.
Deciding on the Design
Let’s start with the aesthetics. Are you after light flooring, a darker tone, or something that sits perfectly in between? Laminate flooring comes in diverse colour options, ensuring an aesthetically pleasing design for your home. Dark floors have the potential to add drama to the overall look. A dark floor contrasted with a lighter wall creates a statement look; a dark floor complementing a dark wall creates a cozy feeling. Light floors on the other hand lighten and brighten any room. They can also make space appear larger, especially when coupled with a light wall colour.
The plank thickness of laminate flooring is measured in mm. It should be noted though that plank thickness does not strictly refer to the core of the plank; rather, it is the result of combining all the layers that make up the plank. Thickness does not necessarily reflect the product’s durability. On the other hand, though, it does affect its impact resistance. In other words, the thicker the plank, the greater its ability to handle the impact of a falling object. In terms of quality, thickness doesn’t have much to do with this, it’s the materials used that count and the production process itself. We recommend checking if the product is made following EU guidelines and standards. There are a number of pros to having a thicker plank, including in terms of ease of installation, superior acoustics, and better impact resistance as already outlined above.
Whether you’re after a classically smooth finish or prefer a detailed wood grain, laminates are available in a wide variety of textures. Basically, a smooth finish features a surface without any ridges. This lack of pronounced texture gives a classic feel and adds durability. Textured floors on the other hand feature a manufactured raised grain which, in terms of feel, cannot be easily differentiated from real wood. Another option is hand-scraped flooring, a rustic finish that heightens visual interest.
No need for panic over that spill! High quality laminate floorings feature a water-resistant, glue base plate that, together with the tensile strength and specialized click systems, provide excellent splash-proof protection against surface moisture. Ensure you choose a laminate that is water resistant, there are different degrees of water resistance and you should ensure that you select the appropriate grade of water resistance.
Fear not, pets and kids can still live in harmony with your laminate flooring. The transparent, wear-resistant overlay in high quality laminates provides protection not only against stains, impact, burns and household chemicals, but also against scratches.
The top layer of Quick step laminate flooring has a patented, ultra-protective Scratch Guard layer meaning that your laminate floor gets utmost protection against falling objects, heels and other sharp objects, as well as burning cigarettes. Apart from this, the ultra-effective Scratch Guard described above makes this laminate flooring up to ten times more scratch resistant. Click here to learn more.
Protecting the floor of your dreams is taken seriously. Laminate floors come with a long-term warranty ranging from 10 to 25 years. In Malta specifically we recommend buying from reputable companies that are backed by international brands. The market has many suppliers of laminates that vary in quality; a reputable brand ensures that your investment is a secure one.
Different brands have varying systems that make installation easy. Generally speaking most laminates are extremely easy to install especially when compared to other flooring such as stone and ceramics.
Quick-step with the aim of making life as easy – and comfortable – as possible, the patented Uniclic and Uniclic Multifit was developed with the aim of providing ease of installation of your laminate flooring. Both systems are fast to use and far more solid than other options available, ensuring the easiest of installations even in traditionally-challenging areas such as tiny corners and underneath doors. Added to this, underfloor heating is no issue at all as Quick-Step’s laminate floors may be enjoyed on this kind of surface too. Stairs present no issue either. To make it all easier, installation instructions are readily available for all collections.
As one of the top players in the flooring industry, Quickstep values its on-going research and innovation. As this article has shown, laminate flooring is easy to install and maintain, and its design possibilities makes it a first choice for many. The 25-year warranty guaranteed by Quick-step simply presents another reason why you should go for laminate!