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WHAT IS LAMINATE FLOORING

Updated: Oct 9

Laminate floors offers a timber-look or natural-style flooring finish in an affordable, durable and low-maintenance flooring material. Perfectly replicating the look of many beautiful European and Australian native woodgrains, such as natural oak, spotted gum, blue gum, jarrah and blackbutt, laminate brings the added benefits of being affordable, scratch, fade, dent and stain resistant. It is also hygienic, easy to clean and low maintenance.

Laminate flooring comprises several core layers of hardwearing, high-density fibreboard with a reproductive photographic woodgrain layer and multiple top coats of clear, durable, protective resins.

Popular with DIY-ers, it is easy to install using a click-together tongue and groove method of joining the boards, typically in a floating floor fashion. The hardwearing, cost-effective and visually appealing properties of laminate make it an all-round, versatile flooring solution which offers the look of real timber for a fraction of the price.


What are the benefits of laminate flooring? Who doesn’t love the natural beauty of authentic timber flooring? But while there is no denying the aesthetic appeal, the cost of genuine timber floorboards can be prohibitive for many. Depending on the wood, timber can also be less robust than high density laminate flooring meaning it is more susceptible to damage from daily wear and tear. Perfectly replicating the look of many beautiful European and Australian native woodgrains, laminate brings the added benefits of being affordable, scratch, fade, dent and stain resistant. It is also hygienic, easy to clean and low maintenance. The click-together installation system means you can save on installation costs in comparison to other types of flooring, and if you consider yourself a competent handy-person you can even install it yourself! Laminate flooring is the ideal flooring choice for areas of the home which attract a lot of foot traffic, such as kitchens, hallways and living areas. It is the perfect solution for an active family home. Will laminate flooring last well in my home? FLOORING EXPERT luxurious laminate flooring collections typically come with a 25 year residential wear warranty. When installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, laminate flooring lasts well beyond the average time that home owners spend in a property before moving. FLOORING EXPERT recommended a regular sweep with a microfibre mop or soft indoor broom and the occasional once-over with a damp mop is all that is needed to keep your laminate floors looking beautiful. With laminate flooring you can enjoy the luxury of not requiring professional carpet cleaners to bring your stained carpets back to life, and forget about that huge inconvenience of having your timber floorboards sanded and resealed periodically! Durable laminate offers peace of mind and no-fuss, easy-care flooring. Where should I use laminate flooring in my home? Most laminate flooring isn’t suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries, but it can be laid everywhere else. It is well suited to high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and living rooms and makes a hygienic and hypoallergenic floor covering for bedrooms, especially good for asthma and allergy sufferers.

Pop down some cosy rugs for warmth and noise insulation, and you have a stylish and elegant bedroom floor. Does FLOORING EXPERT offer many varieties of laminate flooring? Goodness, yes! While the practical properties of laminate flooring are enticing, let’s not forget about the incredibly beautiful finish which adds timeless appeal to any interior style, from ultra-modern to casually comfortable. FLOORING EXPERT have an extensive range of laminates displaying magnificent woodgrain colours and styles. FLOORING EXPERT laminate flooring offers not just a variety of woodgrain finishes, but plank sizes too. Big Country is ideal for large living spaces with its supreme 2200mm long and 193mm wide boards while Exquisite Plus has extra-wide 244mm planks. Boasting a colour palette spanning super light and fresh shades.

What is laminate used for?

FLOORING EXPERT Laminate flooring is the ideal flooring choice for areas of the home which attract a lot of foot traffic, such as kitchens, hallways and living areas. It is the perfect solution for an active family home.

Laminate is also used for benchtops and other interior design fixtures.


 What is laminate made of?

Laminate flooring comprises several core layers of hardwearing, high-density fibreboard with a reproductive photographic woodgrain layer and multiple topcoats of clear, durable, protective resins.  

What is a laminate finish?



Laminate offers a gloss finish that is durable, soft underfoot and low maintenance. The perfect type and colour of laminate finish depends on your interior style and whether the laminate floor is intended for a busy home environment or commercial space. A darker-coloured laminate finish is ideal for high-traffic, heavy use areas, while a lighter shade of laminate flooring enhances the appearance of space and invites natural light.



FLOORING EXPERT offers an extensive selection of laminate tiles and laminate flooring options in a range of looks, colours and styles to suit every budget. 

Is laminate the right choice for you?

Laminate flooring is the ideal flooring choice for areas of the home which attract a lot of foot traffic, such as kitchens, hallways and living areas.

Popular with DIY projects, it is easy to install using a click-together tongue and groove method of joining the boards, typically in a floating floor fashion.

The hardwearing, cost-effective and visually appealing properties of laminate make it an all-round, versatile flooring solution which offers the look of real timber for a fraction of the price.

What are the pros and cons of laminate wood flooring?

Laminate wood flooring is the perfect choice for busy families, commercial spaces and all homes that receive high traffic and heavy use, such as hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries.

The scratch, fade and dent resistance of laminate wood flooring is not only the ideal flooring solution for busy families and young families, which receive a lot of wear and tear, but laminate wood flooring provides an affordable flooring solution, is low maintenance.  

High-density laminate flooring offers the hard-wearing durability of a man-made flooring solution, while achieving the natural warmth and appeal of a timber-look floor.

You would be hard pressed to find a negative for using laminate timber flooring, but if there is one it is that laminate flooring types can be prone to swelling in wet areas of your home, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. 

With laminate flooring you can enjoy the luxury of not requiring professional carpet cleaners to bring your stained carpets back to life, and forget about that huge inconvenience of having your timber floorboards sanded and resealed periodically! Durable laminate offers peace of mind and no-fuss, easy-care flooring.

FLOORING EXPERT offers an extensive range of laminate wood flooring styles, looks and colours, with long warranties and expert installation. Contact FLOORING EXPERT showroom for a free measure and quote for all your laminate flooring needs. Simply look online to find FLOORING EXPERT showroom.


Laminate is a cost-effective and high-performing option for incorporating hard flooring into your home or office – but no flooring comes without important considerations. If you’re planning to lay new hard floors in your home, read on for more insights into the pros and cons of laminate flooring.



THE ADVANTAGES OF LAMINATE FLOORING

1. Affordability

Most people learn of laminate flooring due to its cost-effectiveness. Because laminate flooring is made mostly from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures, it’s considerably more affordable than natural timber, which can be quite expensive depending on how exotic the tree is.

For example, the most affordable laminate available right here from FLOORING EXPERT is $18 per square metre, compared to $50-$150 per square metre for solid hardwood floors.

2. Extreme resilience

Not only is the composite timber material of laminate flooring hard-wearing, but the uppermost layer of laminate also offers fantastic scratch resistance. The top coating of laminate floorboards will survive high traffic, rowdy kids and pet’s claws. UV resistance also means the colour of your floors is less likely to fade over time.

3. Beautiful appearance

Developments in laminate flooring technology mean the difference between natural timber and laminate is much harder to distinguish today. Many laminate floorboards feature unique embossing to accurately mimic the appearance and texture of natural wood.

4. Simple maintenance

Laminate flooring is easy to keep clean. Spills and marks can simply be wiped away with a soft microfibre cloth and it’s easy to sweep or vaccum away any dirt and dust.

5. Easy installation

As a type of floating floor, laminate flooring typically features a simple lock-together system which is very easy to use, so DIY installation is possible.


LEARN MORE ABOUT LAMINATE FLOORING


1. Cannot be refinished

One popular function of natural timber flooring is that it can be sanded back and refinished to renew its appearance over the years. Laminate flooring’s top layers are designed to protect against wear and create a convincing timber illusion. These cannot be sanded down, as doing so may bare the photographic layer and destroy the resilience of the floorboards.

2. Not moisture-proof

Being made of wood, laminate flooring is not impervious to the effects of moisture. Therefore, it’s not suitable as a hard flooring for bathrooms and should be used with caution in kitchens or laundries. Light surface water for cleaning shouldn’t cause issues, but saturation must be avoided.

Laminate flooring is a fantastic, cost-effective option for your most high-traffic areas, but no flooring is perfect for everyone. If laminate sounds right for your home, shop the range of floorboards here on the FLOORING EXPERT website or come in-store to discuss your options with our flooring experts.

LAMINATE VS VINYL FLOORING

If your budget is limited, the best options for you are laminate and vinyl floorings. These two options can both look like hardwood but at more affordable prices. Both Laminate and Vinyl flooring are made by a High-Density Fiber (HDF), with a balancing melamine backing layer underneath and a unique decor layer on the top, covered by a transparent and clear wear layer on top.

Vinyl flooring can be installed using a float, glue or loose lay methods while laminate flooring can only be installed using floating methods. Floating means planks are locked together, but they not attached to the subfloor. They are both can be installed over wood or concrete subfloors on any level of the home (including basement), Both can be cleaned easily by sweeping and dry mopping. Laminate is not suitable for areas with high levels of moisture, like bathrooms, while Vinyl is resistant to water, mold, and mildew, which makes it an especially great choice for basements and bathrooms. There are some types Vinyl planks which are waterproof. Laminate is more affordable than Vinyl, and both Laminate and Vinyl are more affordable than hardwood flooring. They also both will give you a variety of stunning styles.


Laminate and Engineered floors are two of the most popular flooring options. thanks to their beauty and versatility. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between the two types of floor to help you decide which is best for you(Laminate vs Engineered).


Laminate vs Engineered – Materials and Design

Engineered wood floors are made from a thin layer of hardwood, which is then backed with several layers of softwood or plywood. The multiple supporting layers are hidden and give the boards support and strength, whilst the surface you walk on is pure, unadulterated solid wood. This means that engineered floors look, feel and sound just like solid wood floors, but are a lot more versatile.

Laminate floors are made mostly from High Density Fibreboard (HDF). The boards are topped with an ultra-realistic photographic layer, which is then coated and sealed in with a tough, scratch resistant surface. The photographic layer is what gives the floors its particular look, so laminate boards can appear to be made from any type of wood or even stone. This is what makes laminate floors incredibly versatile when it comes to design.


Resistance 


– Water

Engineered floors have a surface of natural wood which has either been oiled or lacquered. Whilst these treatments help protect the wood against splashes, engineered floors aren’t considered water resistant. Because of this, engineered floors aren’t built for bathrooms or kitchens, where there’s a lot of splashes and steam.

Laminate floors, meanwhile, are coated in a water-resistant wear layer on top, which makes them suitable for rooms where they might get splashed, like a kitchen. However, the joints in between laminate boards aren’t waterproof, so if water is left to sit for a long time it can cause warping. There are, however, some laminate floors which are fully waterproof such as KRONOSWISS, KRONOSWISS AQUASTOP is suitable for bathroom, where steam and puddles are to be expected.


– Scratch

Wood is tough and long lasting, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be scratched. Engineered floors are just as resistant to scratches as any other piece of wood. The good news is that if scratches and dents build up over time, the surface can be sanded down and refinished, which will make the floor look as good as new.

The tough wear layer on the surface of laminate floors is designed to resist scratches and dents. Whilst FLOORING EXPERT still wouldn’t recommend dragging heavy furniture across them, the boards are certainly well equipped to deal with anything from dragging trainers to birthday party stampedes. Unlike Engineered floors, there’s no way to renew the surface of a laminate floor, so if a board gets badly damaged it will have to be taken up and replaced.


– Installation

Both engineered and laminate floors are installed with what’s called a ‘floating floor’ system. This is where the subfloor is covered by an underlay, and then the boards are laid on top, clicking together for a stable, seamless surface. Whilst different floors may have slightly different systems, they all use the same basic design, which makes installation quick and easy. If you’re looking for a DIY job, both engineered and laminate floors are the perfect tools for the job.


– Room Suitability

Engineered floors are cleverly designed to allow real wood floors to be installed in areas with dramatic temperature changes. Underfloor heating, conservatories and basements – engineered flooring is suitable for all of them. Engineered floors are still vulnerable to water though, so caution should be used in kitchens to protect them from scratches and we’d advise against using them in your bathroom, where steam and moisture are unavoidable.

Laminate floors are just as resistant to heat and slightly more water resistant. Kitchens shouldn’t be a problem for any of our laminate floors, as long as you make sure not to leave puddles sitting on the surface, which can eventually seep into the gaps between the boards. Laminate boards may be water resistant, but they’re not waterproof, so FLOORING EXPERT wouldn’t recommend using them in bathrooms. Unless, of course, you use one of KRONOSWISS’s waterproof laminate floors, such as the AQUASTOP range.


Cost of Carpet Vs. Laminate Flooring

It can be difficult to choose between laminate flooring and carpet when outfitting a room. It's important to consider the function of a room and the sort of activities — and people and pets — that will likely be in the space. The cost of carpet is a bit cheaper than the cost of laminate flooring, but laminate flooring has the advantage of being longer-lasting, easier to clean, and less likely to suffer weather damage. If the area you are considering sees a great deal of foot traffic, laminate flooring and an area rug might be a better choice than carpeting, but there are numerous other factors to consider.


Advantages of Carpet vs. Laminate

Carpeting adds a softer, warmer feel and look to a room, and it's a popular choice for bedrooms and living rooms for this reason. Lowes carpet, for example, comes in a vast variety of materials, patterns, and colors, and recent advances in technology have made it more stain-resistant than carpets of the past.

Carpets also create a warming effect in a room which is great if your space is in a cold climate. However, in the hot months, the heat of a carpet can feel needlessly oppressive and somewhat stifling. Depending on the environment you live in, carpet can help make your space seem cozier and warmer, and it can go a long way to helping to tie a room's color scheme together.


Disadvantages of Carpet

Stain-resistant does not mean stain-proof, and carpet can get destroyed more easily than laminate, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways. It also takes more effort to clean, and ground-in dirt can destroy the fibers. Better quality carpet with stain-resistant treatment will last longer, but will also cost more than a laminate floor.

Like laminate, carpet is made using adhesives and chemicals that people with chemical sensitivities may wish to avoid. Formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and acetone are chemicals that can be found in some carpets. For more information, ask your retailer or the manufacturer for the material safety data sheet (MSDS) available for the product you are installing.


Advantages of Laminate

Laminate flooring is very durable and is a good choice for hallways and entryways. It's easy to keep clean, and doesn't harbor allergens, odors and pet-borne insects like carpeting can. Regardless of your taste in decor, it is almost guaranteed that you will find a style of laminate flooring to suit your interior style.

Laminate comes in a wide variety of styles, mostly meant to simulate the look of stone or wood; the top layer is a graphic representation of whatever surface the laminate is meant to resemble. If one section of a laminate floor becomes damaged, it's possible to replace damaged sections without redoing the entire floor. Laminate flooring cost tends to be higher than the cost of carpet installation.

In general, installing laminate flooring is an easier task than installing carpet for the do-it-yourself homeowner. The savings made by installing laminate yourself may reduce the cost of laminate flooring to a comparable level with professionally installed carpet. However, if you don't have experience with laminate floor installing it might be better done by a professional so you can avoid any of the issues that could arise during a DIY project that might potentially result in additional expenditure.




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