All About Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring has really moved way on from the late 90’s . All our laminates use clicking systems resulting in better joints and easier fitting, with out any need for messy glue. The joints will also stand the test of time much better.
The other big change is design. There are still the cheap laminate floors like the old 3 strip beech laminates which used to be what sprung to mind. But now they have been rivalled by a huge choice of high end laminate flooring which are harder wearing with realistic designs some of which would be mistaken for real wood flooring. As well as embossed textures that realistically portray real wood , there are V grooves and colour variations available in the high end laminates of today.
There are also Laminate tiles some of which look and even feel like real tiles.
How to choose your Laminate floor
First measure your floor and work out the total area. Our room size calculator will work out the area for you if required. Lets say for example its 10m2 . Now decide on your budget. Lets say we have £150. Now you can apply a floor by dividing your budget ( £150) by your floor area . Ensure you have added 5% to your floor areas to allow for cuttings.(EG. 10m2) . So £150 divided by 10 = £15 per M2.
Remember to take into account underlay. Our underlays are from £1 per m2 up to £4.00. We can look at underlays in detail later , but for now lets assume You have a budget of £11 per square meter. Its that simple.
Installing Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a very popular choice of floor as it is easy to install and can be installed in all areas of the house (except wet rooms) and they are suitable for use over any type of subfloor.
Installation by floating on an underlay is the most common and DIY friendly method because it is easy and can be fitted over any type of subfloor. It does not require any specialist training or prior knowledge . A laminate floor just clicks together without the use for any glue.
NB : All laminate flooring installations must use the correct type of underlay. On top of a concrete subfloor you must use underlay which has a built in damp proof membrane (normally foil backed underlay) and over a wooden subfloor you can use the standard white laminate floor underlay.
Each board has a click profile on each side to lock the boards together The boards will simply then click together but each manufacturers method will vary slightly. Please make sure to read the specific installation method that comes in the boxes of floor.
To allow for any expansion of the floor you must leave a 10mm expansion gap around the outside of the room. To maintain this gap during installation spacers are provided in the laminate floor fitting kits which you can also buy from our shop separately. Once the floor has been installed you can cover the expansion gap with beading (scotia) or skirting that should be at least 12mm thick. The 10mm expansion gap also needs to be left at doorways where the floor follows through from one room to another. We stock a full range of door bars available to match your floor on our website.
We always recommend leaving any decorating work until after your floor is installed. Removing or working with skirting boards and beading often can cause disruption to paintwork around theses areas and touch ups can often be required.
Important Information before installing your laminate floor
Inspect all products prior to installation. If there are any defects in the product please contact us immediately and DO NOT FIT THE FLOOR. We will not be held responsible for fitting costs or cost implications arising from the fitting of imperfect goods.
Site conditions for Laminate flooring
It is the responsibility of the owner and fitter to determine if the site conditions such as sub-floor and humidity are acceptable for wood floor installation. Humidity levels should be between 45% and 65% . Concrete Sub floors should have a moisture content of no more than 3% and wooden subfloors no more than 12%.
Sub-floors must be level before commencing installation. We recommend no more than 3mm over a 1m distance in any direction. This should be checked and measured before commencing installation. Uneven floors should be suitably levelled using levelling boards, plywood or self levelling products.
We will accept no liability for problems with the floor caused by incorrect job site conditions. If you are not sure about any of this please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Always read the manufacturers recommended installation guides before installation.
Maintenance of Laminate flooring
Laminate floors are naturally hard wearing but they are not completely scratchproof or waterproof (unless stated). In order to get the maximum life span from them and keep them looking great, it is important to follow the manufacturers maintenance instructions. These will vary a litte depending on which brand you purchase but here are some basic guidelines that are applicable to all of our products.
- Use felt pads everywhere. Although laminate floors are hard to scratch , moving heavy furniture or repeated scratching of a chair can wear or scratch the surface much easier than normall. Using felt pads under all furniture will protect against this.
- Check your shoes , especially heels. Look out for any sharp or metal bits sticking out , especially common in high heels. This can really scratch your floor.
- Install mats at entrances. It's a good idea to have on outside mat that will remove stones and dirt and a thin rubber backed one inside to remove extra moisture.
- Never wet mop. Laminate floors dont like water as it can cause them to swell and bubble. Clean your floor with a dry mop and laminate floor spray and also using a hover with brush head attachment.
- Spillages / Leaks must be cleaned up immediately. Unless your laminate floor is a waterproof one they can become damaged by moisture so make sure that if you spill something that it is completely dried up to avoid damage.