Laminate Flooring Guide
Laminate Flooring started off life years ago as a cheap alternative to solid hardwood flooring and although there are still some misguided apprehensions about using this particular type of flooring, the truth is that just like any job you attempt, the end result will always depend on the amount of planning and preparation you do.
Manufacturers of laminate flooring have now realised its potential and products incorporating designs made to be durable and practical are now the norm. Just about any surface finish is available, such as stone, cork, wood, marble, bamboo and special hand crafted varieties.
Best laminate flooring can be installed over most sub-floor surfaces, the main criteria being that the surface is flat and bump free. Ease of fitting is a positive for these floors, most consisting of a ‘snap-together’ mechanism whereby no glues or other adhesives are necessary in order to give a no-gap professional looking finish.
Being ‘flat‘ does not mean being ‘level‘. Although many people refer to the floor being ‘level’, the important thing is flatness. Being level is not nearly so important.
In many unit developments these days, noise is a factor that must be considered when installing any type of flooring, but especially laminates. Using the correct type of underlay for your flooring can dramatically reduce noise transmission. Other benefits of good underlay are its properties as a moisture barrier and as an insulator.
Laminate is also a popular choice when there is a height restriction to consider. Unless your base floor needs a considerable amount of self-levelling compound (and it might!), doors may not have to be trimmed. See our article on Directions for Installing Laminate Flooring for more information.
Laminate is available with a pre-finished look, where the timber has had a high or semi-gloss finish applied at the factory before delivery. Either way, you are free to finish your laminate floor with your own lacquer finish if so desired.