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Resources / Tips - Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is an excellent alternative to timber when wanting to achieve a timber look in your home but without the high cost of real timber.Three principal layers which are compressed together using a high-pressure process is how Laminate floors are constructed, making it very durable and hardwearing. The base layer of laminate is an impermeable, layer underneath the base that improves its structural stability and serves as a moisture barrier. The thick, middle layer is a wooden composite base. The topmost layer of laminate flooring is the wearing surface and the decorative layer that, depending on the production process, can consist of several layers. It consists of a special resin-treated cellulose and gives the floor a tough, durable surface and makes it visually attractive.

what-is-laminate-floor

The Decorative Layer – This is the surface layer of the laminate timber floor, the look and feel that gives it the beauty and elegance of a real hardwood board. You might be surprised to find out this layer is a high-definition photograph of a particular wood species or type of tile. This layer is sealed using a resin-based coating to provide the floor with resistance to scratching, UV rays, burning ash, embers, and chemical agents.

The Core Layer – The layer that provides laminate floors with its true durability. The laminate core layer is made of a highly compressed, High Density Fiberboard (HDF). It is this that protects against high-heeled shoes and falling objects, known as localized shocks.

The Backing Layer – This is the stability layer. The layer that binds the laminate together. The backing layer is made to float over the top of the foam under layer, making the laminate a floating floor and further differing it from hardwood floors.

Attractiveness
The Decorative layer (The top layer) of laminate flooring is an imitation of real wood. Therefore, it can be said that laminate flooring is as attractive and appealing as real hardwood flooring. Comprising multiple layers, laminate flooring is the perfect combination of stability and strength. With an aluminum oxide finish it gives rugged resistance to abrasion.

Affordability
Laminate Flooring is one of the best quality yet cheap timber flooring available. The top layer is a copy of real wood flooring, giving it great looks. The middle and bottom layers give it strength and durability. You will be pleased to know that you don’t need to be a skilled trades person to install Laminate flooring. Despite there being many different types of laminate timber floors available, almost all of them can be installed by using glue instead of nails. This is an excellent option if you are budget conscious and wish to avoid paying a professional.

Consideration
Laminate flooring is very easy to clean with a dust mop or a vacuum. It is a floor choice that is low maintenance and beautiful, along with being such a long lasting solution. Extended exposure to moisture is not recommended for Laminate flooring, and therefor is best installed away wet areas such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas and verandas exposed to the elements. For these areas you can consider installing bamboo flooring.

Step 1 – Clean the Subfloor, Remove Base Molding

Clean the subfloor to make sure it’s free of any dirt and debris. If installing on top of a new concrete floor wait until the floor is fully cured. Using a pry bar and hammer, carefully remove all base molding (if necessary) and place it out of the way.

Step 2 – Install the Underlay

Start by laying out the vapor barrier one row at a time from the longest wall of the room. When joining two sheets of barrier together, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some manufacturers will have you overlap the vapor barrier and some will have you butt each row against the previous one.

Step 3 – Trim the Door Jambs

Lay a piece of flooring flat on the subfloor and up against the door jambs. Use it as a guide to mark the jambs so that the new flooring can slide underneath the jamb. Use a “flat” saw or a coping saw to cut the jambs, making sure to cut parallel to the subfloor. This will give the floor and jamb a nice finished look without having to remove the entire jamb.

Step 4 – Install the First Row

For the best appearance, lay planks parallel to the longest wall. Install the first plank with the groove toward the wall. Place 1/2″ spacers against the wall and push the first plank up against them. These spaces create an expansion gap so that the floor can “breathe” (expand and contract) and not warp or buckle. This gap will be covered later with base molding. The spacers also allow the floor to have a firm base to install against. Place the spacers about every 12 inches along the wall and at the end of each plank against adjoining walls.

Step 5 – Install the Flooring

For each plank, match tongue to groove and tap it into place using a scrap piece of flooring to protect the planks. Make sure the pieces fit snugly together and that there are no gaps along the length of the planks. While installing subsequent rows, stagger the joints of the flooring. When starting a new row, offset it six to eight inches so the joints at the ends of planks are not lined up row to row (which can weaken the floor and create a too-uniform look).

Step 6 – Install the Last Plank

The last plank will need to be trimmed to fit. To mark the plank to the correct width place a plank directly over the next to last plank and place another on top of that and slide the top plank until it sits evenly against spacers against the wall. Draw a line along the plank below the top plank along the edge of the top plank. This will mark the width of the gap between the next to the last plank and the wall. Rip cut the plank along this line and install.

Step 7 – Install Thresholds and Base Molding

Install any thresholds between the end of the flooring and any open doors where the flooring ends. Thresholds come in different styles to accommodate the kind and height of the flooring the new laminate floor butts up against. Remove the spacers and install base molding to cover the expansion gap.

General Cleaning

laminate-general-cleaning

Regularly clean the floor with a dust mop, soft bristled broom, soft bristled vacuum cleaner, or a timber floor mop kit to remove everyday dirt.

  • Even though laminate flooring is fairly scratch-resistant, excess dirt, hair, and debris can cause scratches to develop if allowed to build up over time. Regular sweeping prevents such scratches from forming.
  • Do not use a standard floor brush. The stiff, straw-like bristles on the brush could damage the surface.Sweep in the direction that the laminate floor tiles were laid. Doing so allows you to pick up any debris that falls in between the grooves of the laminate flooring pieces.

Dry-mop or Damp-mop only. Never use a wet mop as excess water can seep between the boards. Apply timber cleaner such as “Tarko Clean” quarterly (Available in Bunnings Warehouse). Spot Cleaning recommended between mopping. Do not use a steam mop to clean the floor.


laminate-clean-up-spills-immediately

Clean up spills immediately. Use a cloth or sponge to immediately clean up any liquid spills.

  • Do not allow any liquid, even water, to sit on the floor for prolonged periods. Liquid can stain or damage the protective wear layer of the laminate flooring.
  • Soak up excess liquid with a dry cloth.
  • Dampen the cloth or sponge before spot-cleaning the location of the spill to remove any remaining residue.
  • Dry the spot with a dry, soft cloth. Do not allow the area to remain wet. Adhesive felt pads are often placed on the feet of furniture on laminate floors to prevent scratching.

 

 

+ - What is Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is an excellent alternative to timber when wanting to achieve a timber look in your home but without the high cost of real timber.Three principal layers which are compressed together using a high-pressure process is how Laminate floors are constructed, making it very durable and hardwearing. The base layer of laminate is an impermeable, layer underneath the base that improves its structural stability and serves as a moisture barrier. The thick, middle layer is a wooden composite base. The topmost layer of laminate flooring is the wearing surface and the decorative layer that, depending on the production process, can consist of several layers. It consists of a special resin-treated cellulose and gives the floor a tough, durable surface and makes it visually attractive.

what-is-laminate-floor

The Decorative Layer – This is the surface layer of the laminate timber floor, the look and feel that gives it the beauty and elegance of a real hardwood board. You might be surprised to find out this layer is a high-definition photograph of a particular wood species or type of tile. This layer is sealed using a resin-based coating to provide the floor with resistance to scratching, UV rays, burning ash, embers, and chemical agents.

The Core Layer – The layer that provides laminate floors with its true durability. The laminate core layer is made of a highly compressed, High Density Fiberboard (HDF). It is this that protects against high-heeled shoes and falling objects, known as localized shocks.

The Backing Layer – This is the stability layer. The layer that binds the laminate together. The backing layer is made to float over the top of the foam under layer, making the laminate a floating floor and further differing it from hardwood floors.

+ - Why choose Laminate Floors

Attractiveness
The Decorative layer (The top layer) of laminate flooring is an imitation of real wood. Therefore, it can be said that laminate flooring is as attractive and appealing as real hardwood flooring. Comprising multiple layers, laminate flooring is the perfect combination of stability and strength. With an aluminum oxide finish it gives rugged resistance to abrasion.

Affordability
Laminate Flooring is one of the best quality yet cheap timber flooring available. The top layer is a copy of real wood flooring, giving it great looks. The middle and bottom layers give it strength and durability. You will be pleased to know that you don’t need to be a skilled trades person to install Laminate flooring. Despite there being many different types of laminate timber floors available, almost all of them can be installed by using glue instead of nails. This is an excellent option if you are budget conscious and wish to avoid paying a professional.

Consideration
Laminate flooring is very easy to clean with a dust mop or a vacuum. It is a floor choice that is low maintenance and beautiful, along with being such a long lasting solution. Extended exposure to moisture is not recommended for Laminate flooring, and therefor is best installed away wet areas such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas and verandas exposed to the elements. For these areas you can consider installing bamboo flooring.

+ - Installation

Step 1 – Clean the Subfloor, Remove Base Molding

Clean the subfloor to make sure it’s free of any dirt and debris. If installing on top of a new concrete floor wait until the floor is fully cured. Using a pry bar and hammer, carefully remove all base molding (if necessary) and place it out of the way.

Step 2 – Install the Underlay

Start by laying out the vapor barrier one row at a time from the longest wall of the room. When joining two sheets of barrier together, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some manufacturers will have you overlap the vapor barrier and some will have you butt each row against the previous one.

Step 3 – Trim the Door Jambs

Lay a piece of flooring flat on the subfloor and up against the door jambs. Use it as a guide to mark the jambs so that the new flooring can slide underneath the jamb. Use a “flat” saw or a coping saw to cut the jambs, making sure to cut parallel to the subfloor. This will give the floor and jamb a nice finished look without having to remove the entire jamb.

Step 4 – Install the First Row

For the best appearance, lay planks parallel to the longest wall. Install the first plank with the groove toward the wall. Place 1/2″ spacers against the wall and push the first plank up against them. These spaces create an expansion gap so that the floor can “breathe” (expand and contract) and not warp or buckle. This gap will be covered later with base molding. The spacers also allow the floor to have a firm base to install against. Place the spacers about every 12 inches along the wall and at the end of each plank against adjoining walls.

Step 5 – Install the Flooring

For each plank, match tongue to groove and tap it into place using a scrap piece of flooring to protect the planks. Make sure the pieces fit snugly together and that there are no gaps along the length of the planks. While installing subsequent rows, stagger the joints of the flooring. When starting a new row, offset it six to eight inches so the joints at the ends of planks are not lined up row to row (which can weaken the floor and create a too-uniform look).

Step 6 – Install the Last Plank

The last plank will need to be trimmed to fit. To mark the plank to the correct width place a plank directly over the next to last plank and place another on top of that and slide the top plank until it sits evenly against spacers against the wall. Draw a line along the plank below the top plank along the edge of the top plank. This will mark the width of the gap between the next to the last plank and the wall. Rip cut the plank along this line and install.

Step 7 – Install Thresholds and Base Molding

Install any thresholds between the end of the flooring and any open doors where the flooring ends. Thresholds come in different styles to accommodate the kind and height of the flooring the new laminate floor butts up against. Remove the spacers and install base molding to cover the expansion gap.

+ - Maintenance

General Cleaning

laminate-general-cleaning

Regularly clean the floor with a dust mop, soft bristled broom, soft bristled vacuum cleaner, or a timber floor mop kit to remove everyday dirt.

  • Even though laminate flooring is fairly scratch-resistant, excess dirt, hair, and debris can cause scratches to develop if allowed to build up over time. Regular sweeping prevents such scratches from forming.
  • Do not use a standard floor brush. The stiff, straw-like bristles on the brush could damage the surface.Sweep in the direction that the laminate floor tiles were laid. Doing so allows you to pick up any debris that falls in between the grooves of the laminate flooring pieces.

Dry-mop or Damp-mop only. Never use a wet mop as excess water can seep between the boards. Apply timber cleaner such as “Tarko Clean” quarterly (Available in Bunnings Warehouse). Spot Cleaning recommended between mopping. Do not use a steam mop to clean the floor.


laminate-clean-up-spills-immediately

Clean up spills immediately. Use a cloth or sponge to immediately clean up any liquid spills.

  • Do not allow any liquid, even water, to sit on the floor for prolonged periods. Liquid can stain or damage the protective wear layer of the laminate flooring.
  • Soak up excess liquid with a dry cloth.
  • Dampen the cloth or sponge before spot-cleaning the location of the spill to remove any remaining residue.
  • Dry the spot with a dry, soft cloth. Do not allow the area to remain wet. Adhesive felt pads are often placed on the feet of furniture on laminate floors to prevent scratching.

 

 

Laminate Flooring Quick Facts

  • Eco-friendly
  • Attractive
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance