How are real wood flooring and laminate different?
The main difference in these flooring types is how they are made. Real wood flooring is made from planks of wood while laminate is a photograph of a style of flooring attached to dense particle board or high density fiberboard center core. The photo layer is protected with layers of finish to keep it from being scratched. The installation process is also different. Real wood is more susceptible to seasonal changes and staining. Laminate flooring cannot be refinished like real wood flooring and has to be replaced once it is scratched or warn out. Hardwood is also known to increase the value of a home while laminate does not.
Does laminate need to acclimate?
Laminate is not like real wood and does not need a long acclimation time. Many installers like to have a 48 hour acclimation period to ensure there are no issues but it is not required.
What rooms of my home can have laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring can be installed almost anywhere. It can be installed below grade as well as above grade. Most warranties do cover moisture in rooms like the kitchen but it is not advised in a full bath because excessive water can be spilled on the flooring causing issues.
Can I use laminate flooring over radiant heat?
Yes, laminate flooring generally works above radiant flooring. You will want to check the manufactures instructions to see if you need to use and special procedures during installation. Laminate is not a true wood product so there are superior heat resistance attributes.
How is laminate flooring installed?
Most laminate flooring is installed with a click lock floating technique. This mean that no nails, adhesives or staples are required during installation. There is no drying or setting time associated with this flooring type either which is an additional benefit.
Can laminate be installed in large areas?
Each manufacture has their own specifications but generally you can install up to 50′ feet before needed to use a special technique. Transition strips or t-molding are needed after exceeding the manufactur’s size limitations.
Will laminate sound hollow when walked on?
Some laminate flooring does have this issue but with the proper underlayment it can be greatly reduced. Some people choose to use a cork underlayment to really deaden the sound.
Is laminate flooring hard to maintain?
No, laminate flooring is very easy to maintain. It needs to be swept or dusted regularly and mopped with special cleaners. It is stain resistant which assists in the maintenance.
Does laminate flooring change color or fade?
The coatings added to laminate flooring is designed to protect the color and pattern against UV rays but over time some fading may occur.
Can scratches be repaired?
Unfortunately laminate flooring cannot be sanded or repaired like hardwood flooring. There are touch up kits from some manufactures that can help repair scratches. The other option is to repair the scratched boards.
How long should my laminate flooring last?
There are different life expediencies based on the manufacture and the collection you choose. Most laminate flooring warranties range from 10-25 years and protect against fading, wear, moisture, etc. Proper maintenance is vital for a long life for your flooring.