What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a versatile and durable flooring option now available in Malta. There are a few types of laminates available; LPL – low pressure laminates and HPL – high pressure laminates are the most common and generally the best for flooring is HPL.
High pressure laminates are made up of a number of layers which are bound together using over 450 kg of pressure per square inch at temperatures over 149°C. Whilst different companies may vary slightly, high quality laminate flooring is generally made up of four layers. At the core is High Density Fibre Board (HDF), this core board is made of refined wood fibres and melamine resin. Beneath the HDF high quality laminate flooring boards also have a balancing layer that ensures that the HDF does not bend, twist or bow.
Above these layers you have a design layer, this is the layer that provides the look and comes in a multitude of styles and colors; using special printing techniques to create a real and natural look. Finally on top of it all multiple layers of melamine a transparent, wear-resistant overlay are pressed onto the HDF Core board in a press under high pressure and temperature to ensure a product that is resistant to stains, wear, impact, scratches and burns as well as household chemicals.
Types of Laminate flooring
There are many types of laminate flooring however as far as types go there are a few important things to consider. Is the laminate flooring you are buying up to the European Standard? EN 13329:2000 we recommend that regardless of which type of laminate flooring you go for, you ensure that is up to the EU standard.
LPL vs HPL – Generally LPL is not used for flooring as it is not as durable as HPL, we recommend confirming that you are not being sold LPL to use as flooring, visually the difference is minimal but once installed it would not take long for the difference to become clearly apparent.
Style & Color
As far as types of laminates when it comes to stylistic options there is a wide variety available, we hope the color guide above can help a little; ultimately however the choice is yours with well over 200 options to choose from.
Other considerations to make when choosing the right laminate type
- Installation – Adhesive or non-adhesive, Quickstep for example has a patented UNICLIC technology which is fast and solid.
- Easy maintenance – depending on a number of factors such as the quality of the overlay some brands do require more maintenance.
- Scratch Resistance
- Impact Resistance
- Solid Sound
- Color Fading – Certain brands take extra measures to ensure that no discoloration occurs from normal levels of sunlight. (Always ask)
- Warranty – The warranty a company is willing to put on their products speaks volumes about the quality of their product. Always look for upwards of ten years for normal use, some companies go above twenty.
Benefits of Laminate flooring
Better value for money is one of the top benefits of laminate flooring. TO be clear good quality laminate flooring is not necessarily a cheap option but it is one of the best value for money options. For example whilst hardwood is a very attractive option the upkeep on it and the lifespan simply cannot compete with a HPL that provides the exact same look at a lower overall ownership cost.
Low maintenance and easy to clean flooring. Especially laminate flooring that has anti-static properties which to a certain extent repels dust.
Durability, laminate floors are highly durable.
Easy to install, this doesn’t just mean you can install it yourself (which you could) but more importantly unlike tiles it is unlikely that you wind up with dis-leveled flooring.
Impact resistant, when compared to tile for example the risk of shattering a laminate board by dropping a heavy object is highly unlikely.
Easy to repair, even with an impact resistant floor there are some accidents that will damage any type of flooring, the good thing with laminate flooring (especially click types) is that the boards are easy to replace.
Versatile – Laminate flooring can be used in practically every room, this includes bathrooms, just make sure you choose a waterproof laminate board and follow the instructions correctly and you can have that hardwood look even in your bathroom, unlike real wood; laminate flooring is more resilient to exposure to water.
Style options – Laminate flooring comes in so many patterns, colours and groove style options that you will be spoiled for choice when making your flooring decisions.
We hope that this article has served as a good introduction to laminate flooring and given you a better understanding of laminate flooring.
If you are looking to learn more about laminate flooring and view a few of the collections available click the image below:
Alternatively if you are looking to get in touch with a specialist that can guide you through the available options: