Laminate Flooring Buying Guide
Laminate flooring is an incredibly versatile material that allows you to fit a floor that reflects your tastes and matches your budget with ease. As well as being affordable (it costs much less that real wood or stone) it is very durable and its warranties range from 7 – 30 years for your peace of mind.
If you’re considering which type of floor to use in any of your rooms then read on to find out why laminate could be exactly what you need. We’ll talk you through points including:
1. Types of laminate flooring
2. How to choose laminate flooring
3. Laminate flooring preparation
4. How to lay laminate flooring
5. How to care for laminate flooring
6. Safety advice
- What types of laminate flooring are there?
The finish of laminate can really influence the overall look it has within your home. There are a range of finishes available to suit your taste:
Smooth laminate flooring
Smooth look laminate is exactly what it says on the tin! It creates a smooth surface for easy maintenance so no grooves can collect dirt and dust.
Wood grain laminate flooring
Wood grain laminate has a visible grain and small grooves in the surface to give it a more natural-wood appearance.
Embossed laminate flooring
Embossed laminate has undergone a process where the texture is pressed into the surface, giving it an authentic real-wood look. Whether the design is a knot, or rough cut, they will all have the same feel to touch.
- What laminate flooring should I buy?
Discover everything you need to know about laminate flooring so you can choose a floor that will truly enhance your home.
What thickness laminate flooring should I get?
Laminate flooring is available in different thicknesses and lengths. In smaller spaces it’s advisable to buy shorter length boards as this will make the flooring easier to fit. Wider boards work well in large spaces but if you want your room to look bigger then choose narrower boards as they’ll create the illusion of more space. Whilst a thicker board will require more raw materials and therefore come at a higher price, there are added benefits such as increased stability and better acoustic properties.
If you’re looking to add laminate flooring to a colder room then we suggest that you fit a separate layer of underlay, which will help with insulation.
What colour laminate flooring should I get?
The colour floor you choose depends entirely on your taste. You can find laminate flooring available in many shades and textures, so there’s no end to what you can achieve.
Whether you want a modern effect with dark slate laminate or a more rustic chateaux effect – Floorcovering services have options for every interior.
Is laminate flooring suitable for pets?
Any type of floor can undergo wear and tear over time and there are plenty of durable laminate floors which will stand up to pets just as well as vinyl or hardwood.
If you are worried about pet paws scratching your laminate then use rugs and runners in the areas they spend most time in to add extra protection.
Should I use laminate flooring in the kitchen or bathroom?
There’s no reason that you can’t use laminate flooring in kitchens and bathrooms provided that you choose a product that’s been specially designed for that purpose so that it is moisture resistant.
Kitchens and bathrooms are subject to extreme changes in temperature and humidity so you’ll need a floor that’s been specially treated to make it more resistant to this type of wear and tear, and also it is important that the laminate is installed correctly by a professional.
Is laminate suitable for underfloor heating?
Laminate is suitable for underfloor heating as it is a floating floor, which means that between your heating system and the laminate there is a space, so the two aren’t in direct contact. This will stop the floor from warping.
Is laminate suitable for conservatories?
Conservatories can also be subject to lots of temperature and humidity changes as well as the wear and tear that comes from walking in and out of the garden. If you want to use laminate flooring in your conservatory then choose something that has been designed for specific use in colder spaces and consult a Carpetright staff member to discuss your best options.
- Preparation for laminate flooring
Laying a laminate floor is easy provided you are fully prepared. It’s essential that you have a smooth, clean and flat surface to start with so make sure you’ve cleaned your floor thoroughly before you start. If your floor is uneven then you’ll need to board it out to make it level or use a layer thin concrete to even out imperfections in the floor.
How do you measure a room for laminate flooring?
To find out how much flooring you need, measure the length and width of your room and multiply together to determine the room’s surface area. Don’t forget to take any areas such as alcoves into account and buy extra packs of boards in case you damage any or make a mistake when fitting your floor.
What tools do you need to install laminate flooring?
In order to fit laminate flooring the only specialist tool you’ll need is a saw. Some laminate flooring is slotted and tapped into place using a tapping block but most modern laminate flooring does not need to be tapped into place and simply clicks together. You may need to use specialist glue or nails when adding trimming or edging once the floor is in place.
How much laminate flooring do I need to buy?
Once you’ve measured your floor space you can easily find how much laminate you need to buy. Each pack of boards will clearly state the volume of floor they will cover so you know you’re buying enough. It’s advisable to buy an extra 5% to allow for any mistakes and to replace broken or damaged boards in the future.
Before you buy, you may need to measure up and get some professional advice, booking a free home consultation is a great way to get an expert’s opinion before making any changes or big purchases.
- How to lay laminate flooring
The fact that laminate flooring is easy to fit is one of the reasons why it is so popular in busy homes. Here we look at everything you need to know to fit your flooring successfully.
Is laminate flooring easy to fit?
Laminate flooring can simply be slotted together, making it incredibly easy to fit. Once your floor is prepared and ready for the laminate, it can be applied in just a few hours, providing that you have carried out the relevant preparation.
Does laminate floor need underlay?
You should always fit a laminate floor with the appropriate underlay as this will make it more insulating, more durable and more sound-proof. In addition, the right underlay will also make your laminate floor last longer.
How does laminate flooring fit together?
Laminate flooring clicks together at the edges and can easily be slotted into place. When laying the floor, leave an 8 – 10mm gap around the edge of the floor. Lay your first plank and click the second one in place and repeat. The spacers will make it easier to fit your floor edging and allow for expansion in the materials.
How to fit laminate flooring edging?
Beading or edging neatens up a laminate floor and adds the finishing touches. Measure your floor so you choose the right length beading, then use a saw to mitre the edges of your beading so they’ll fit together in the corners. Next, fix your beading in place with a small nail and cover with a small amount of wood filler to hide the hole. Alternatively, you can stick your beading down using wood glue. Only ever fix beading to a wall or a floor – never to a bath or a unit.
- How do you care for laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is very easy to care for and doesn’t require repeated treatment, polishing or waxing like solid wood. Frequent sweeping is necessary to avoid grit scratching the floor – but use a vacuum if you prefer.
How To Clean Laminate Flooring
There are two ways to look after a laminate floor; The first is using a vacuum cleaner, without the beater bar on, or using a ‘Swiffer’ mop with dust-attaching pad attached. The second is a damp clean using a moist cloth to wipe the floor, making sure that all residual surface moisture is towel dried to avoid moisture ingress. Where necessary a very diluted household cleaner may be used.
- Safety Advice
Runners and rugs can slide about on laminate floors so if you plan to add them to a room with laminate flooring then make sure you place a rug or runner grip underneath to avoid any accidents.
Clean all liquid spills on laminate flooring immediately to prevent staining or further damage.