Which laminate is better to choose is a question that worries many people who are planning repairs. After all, the correct answer to it will allow you to buy and lay a truly high-quality floor that will serve the owner for years without losing its physical and aesthetic qualities. But what is laminate flooring?
Laminate (laminated parquet) is a wood-based technological material intended for laying as a floor covering. It consists of several layers covered with a special laminating layer that protects the coating from moisture, wear and mechanical damage. Taking into account the variety of types of laminate flooring, the characteristics of the materials considered, operating conditions and personal preferences, we will give 5 tips on how to choose the right laminate for floor repair , and we will also tell you a lot of other useful information.
Tip 1. Lining under the laminate
Be sure to use a special underlay for laminate made of cork wood, expanded polystyrene or air-bubble film. The thickness of the substrate should be at least 2-3 and no more than 5 mm – this will allow you to eliminate minor defects of the base, creating a perfectly even surface for laying the board. In addition to eliminating irregularities, the lining serves as a damping layer between the floor and the board, has a waterproofing function and distributes the dynamic load over the entire area, preventing the destruction of the lamella locks.
The lining also provides additional heat insulation and sound insulation of the room – this means that after the turnkey apartment repair or self-assembly, you will hear the neighbors from below less, and you will also reduce the heat loss of the room.
Tip 2. What class to choose laminate
Modern laminate flooring comes in two main classes: household and industrial. Each class has its own characteristics and advantages, which should be considered before choosing a laminate for an apartment. Let’s consider in more detail:
Household class is an inexpensive solution intended for operation under housing conditions. It has less wear resistance than industrial analogues, the average service life is 5-7 years.
The industrial class has increased indicators of wear resistance. The average service life of such a laminate is 8-10 years. It received marking class 31, 32, 33 and 34. The main place of operation is considered to be premises with medium and heavy traffic: classrooms, conference halls, offices, etc. Due to increased wear resistance, they are often used in residential premises.
We recommend choosing a laminate with a margin of wear resistance, even when laying in a bedroom or living room.
Tip 3. Laminate manufacturing material
The production of modern laminate involves the use of a multi-component composition, the basis of which is wood fibers and paper compressed under a press. They are impregnated with special resins, which ensure a very high strength of the product, which many times exceeds even the strongest types of wood, such as oak and ash.
The multilayer structure of the laminate looks like this:
- Lower stabilizing layer;
- Bearing plate;
- Decorative paper (film);
- Upper protective layer.
The production technology and chemical composition of 2 externally identical laminated strips can differ significantly, so their price can also differ, sometimes by 1.5 and even 2 times. It is important to know how to choose laminate based on quality, not just class.
Tip 4. Laminate water resistance and water protection
Waterproof laminate is one of the most popular alternatives to tiles. As a rule, it is used in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, as well as rooms with regular or periodically increased humidity. A special feature is the improved rubberized design of the locks, as well as modern composite material that protects the plate surface from chips and moisture penetration.
The plastic base perfectly protects the internal components of the board from water penetration, preventing its damage and deformation. But even a moisture-resistant coating does not have 100% protection – dangerous places remain the joints, through which water can slowly seep to the substrate, where it will have a destructive effect on the entire slab. Therefore, be sure to use moisture-resistant laminate in the kitchen, in nodes and other rooms with high humidity, but if water gets on the floor, it must be removed as quickly as possible.
Tip 5. Correlation of the color and character of the color of the laminate with the design decision of the room
The color scheme of the laminate directly affects whether the interior of the room will be harmonious. In addition to the class of the material, its wear resistance, as well as moisture permeability, special attention should be paid to the color and nature of the color of the board. If the walls are of neutral colors, you can create an accent with a rich color of the floor covering.
We recommend choosing a color in accordance with the implemented interior design in a specific room. It is optimal to order the interior design of the apartment from professionals. After consulting with a specialist, you will always get an answer about which laminate color to choose for a specific room.
Laminate for the kitchen
There is an opinion that even moisture-resistant laminate in the kitchen is a bad decision. This position is argued by the fact that constantly increased humidity will still do its job and gradually deform the board. But life experience and extensive practice show that high-quality moisture-resistant laminate perfectly fulfills its role in the kitchen. If you do not know which class of laminate to choose – study the technical documentation of the models or consult with a sacramento kitchen remodeling specialist.
Considering the high operating load, for laying in the kitchen, it is recommended to choose a moisture-resistant laminate with a wear resistance class of at least 32-33. Pay special attention to the design of the decorative coating – glossy solutions are perfect for kitchen spaces, but you can also choose models imitating tiles. There are a lot of tips on how to choose a laminate for the kitchen, but the choice should always be made taking into account your own preferences.