How To Choose The Perfect Laminate: The Comprehensive Laminate Flooring Guide

Buying flooring for your house can be confusing if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Our helpful guide makes the process of understanding what you want much simpler. 

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What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a type of hybrid floor consisting of a particleboard wood base, an image layer and a transparent wear layer. 

Laminate floors are a very popular flooring choice for kitchens, hallways and living areas. 

In 1977 the Swedish company Perstop invented laminate flooring. They decided to use up waste wood by putting the products to intense heat, high pressure and binding chemicals which created usable floor coverings. 

The Benefits of Laminate Flooring

  • Practical
  • Comes in a range of finishes
  • Wide-range of wood choices 
  • Requires little upkeep 
  • Highly durable 
  • Affordable choice 
  • Quick and easy to install 

How To Choose Laminate by Room

Living Room

A brightly coloured laminate flooring such as light oak, especially with long planks creates the illusion of a bigger room. 

The living room is also a great place to have laminate flooring as it’s an easy choice to keep clean and tidy- not to mention its clean cut look. 

Laminate flooring features a hard surface, making it robust against heavier furniture found in Living rooms such as sofas, bookshelves or sideboards. 

To minimize any sound that emulates from hard wooden floors, you can fit laminate floor with thick underlay – or in some cases the floor comes with underlay already attached. 

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Hall, Stairs and Landing 

Laminate flooring for hallways has to be robust in order to meet the heavy footfall and dirt and so a high durability flooring is required.

Laminate flooring is the best flooring for halls and landings due to being very easy to clean while still coming in rich and stylish designs, such as Greige Planks and Herringbone Floorings. 

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Bedroom

Laminate Flooring a great choice for the bedroom as the design options are almost unlimited, as laminate floors come in such an array of designs. You are not restricted by choosing common natural materials to keep the cost down like you would be with wooden floor.

Additionally, because laminate flooring is machine-manufactured it gives your floor a finished look of perfection. 

One thing to consider when putting laminate in a bedroom is its noise capability – in order to reduce noise associated with this its best to choose a thicker floor or a thick underlay to go beneath it. 

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Dining Room

The laminate floor you choose for your dining room depends on the rooms use. Some people only use their dining room on special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas- whereas others use it as much as they do any other room. Choose your flooring with this in mind, and if you use your dining room often opt for a more durable flooring. 

In addition to this, its good to get a laminate flooring that is slightly water resistant as it makes it easier to clean up spills without any worry of damage to your floors.

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Laminate Flooring by Thickness

 

Laminate Flooring is measured in millimetres and is one of the key differences in laminate flooring types. 

Thicker laminate floor is best suited for uneven subfloors or for places where sound may be an effecting factor, such as homes or small offices. 

It’s important to measure the space between the subfloor and objects you may be installing around, such as doors, cabinets or appliances. 

Remember if you’re purchasing separate underlay to take its thickness into account. 

Laminate Flooring Finishes

Laminate Floors have advanced a lot since it’s creation, notably in its possible aesthetic finishes. 

  • Satin/Smooth Finish – A reflective and shiny finish that gives a subtle glossy feel.
  • Matte Finish– Creates a natural wood feel. 
  • Oiled Wood Finish– is traditional in style but very popular with today’s buyers. It mimics natural, untreated hardwood floors, giving the look that the floors were treated with natural oils.
  • High Gloss / Piano Finish – offers a shiny, elegant look. Ideal for an upscale, modern interiors
  • Oxide Surface Finish– metallic finish giving a small dose of shine and metallic finish.Used often for modern, chic interiors.
  • Slate / Stone Finish– replicates look and feel of the slate or stone.

Laminate Flooring Features

Beyond the design of the laminate flooring there are additional features to take into consideration. These features may effect the kind of underlay you need, how resistant the flooring is and its water resistance. 

  • Built in underlay: a great way to reduce echo from walking on hard floors – not all laminate flooring will have built in underlay. It is more common to buy it separately. 
  • Wax Impregnated Edges: are used to enhance the moisture resistance of the flooring. The waxed edges create a seal  once clicked together.
  • Water Resistant Core: also increases the life of your flooring. This is most commonly used in rooms where moisture is a factor, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Scratch Protection: offers an extra protective barrier against scuffs and scratches. It is ideal for people with pets and kids.
  • Spill Protection: is a feature on several brands of flooring that offer protection for water or liquid on flooring for up to 24-72 hours without damage.

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