If you have questions about laminate flooring, we have the answers! Laminate can be confusing, so here is Part One of your Frequently Asked Questions and answers.
1. What is laminate flooring? Laminates are made of wood and plastics compressed and bonded under high pressure. The result is an extremely hard plank! Laminates are made by bonding photograph paper to a fiberboard with heat and pressure, which is then covered with polyurethane to protect from fading, scratching and general wear.
2. What’s an underlayment? Any roll or sheet product designed to be installed between the sub-floor surface and laminate flooring material.
3. Why do I need an underlayment? It’s used to improve acoustical properties, smooth out minor sub-floor imperfections, improve insulation properties, reduce walking fatigue, and help to protect the material from sub-floor moisture. Sound isolation can be increased with an additional Cork underlayment. Some laminates come with pre-attached foam pads, and in this case you wouldn’t need any other underlayments.
4. How does Laminate flooring measure up? Compared to other flooring types, laminate is typically more durable, less prone to indent, has better stain resistance, resists shrinkage and swelling due to seasonal changes, and is easier to install.
5. How do I know the laminate I want is a good quality? Lumber Liquidators’ laminates are manufactured to stringent requirements and most carry an AC rating of 3.
6. I have kids and pets. How would laminate flooring perform in my house? Laminate flooring is recommended for an environment where the "challenges" of children and pets exist! It’s not significantly noisier than other hard flooring surfaces. The underlayment chosen will have the greatest effect in reducing noise from foot traffic. We offer laminates with pre-attached foam backing, or you may want to use our Bellawood Premium and Eco Silent Sound HD underlayments for additional sound deadening qualities.
7. Can I install laminate flooring on walls? Although laminates and wood flooring are primarily used on the floor, many DIY’ers have successfully applied flooring to ceiling and wall applications! When doing so it is best to first think safety and to consult with your local building codes.
8. Can I install laminate flooring in an unheated space (e.g., garage, cabin, porch)? Laminates like cork and wood flooring need to be installed in climatically stable environments, avoiding extreme temperature swings and excessive humidity. Ideal acclimation values are between (55°-85°) temperatures and (20% – 70%) humidity.
9. Can laminate floor be installed in a basement? Yes, laminate flooring may be installed in a basement in accordance with the manufacturer product specific installation recommendations. Always use a 6mm-8mm plastic moisture barrier over cement.
10. How long will a laminate floor last? It depends on the product you choose, the use it sees, and how well it is cared for.
11. Can laminate flooring be installed over a radiant heated floor? Yes. However, there are special installation procedures required for radiant heated sub-floors. The manufacturer’s installation recommendations must be followed to ensure a successful installation! Most laminate flooring can be used in combination with many types of in-floor heating. The heating system can be embedded in a concrete floor or in a thin layer of filler on the surface of a concrete subfloor. It can also be installed retro fitted under a wood subfloor or installed on the surface of a subfloor as matting, electric or hydronic. Note the instructions from the supplier of the floor heating system. Before installation, the heating system must be in operation for at least 2 weeks prior to the installation of laminate flooring, this helps to dry out any remaining hidden residual moisture. The system may be turned off or set to a suitable installation temperature (65 – 72 degrees F.) After installation, the temperature may be increased slowly at the rate of approximately 5 degrees per day, and should not exceed 85 degrees F. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the floor heating system that do not conflict with the above requirements.
12. Can laminate flooring be installed in a bathroom? Most manufacturers offer laminate products for use in ½ bathrooms. However due to high humidity, Lumber Liquidators recommends against laminates in full bathrooms.
13. Will laminate flooring fade? Not Normally. It is possible that over the years you may find a small difference under rugs and furniture due to UV light or cleaning products.
Right now, through December 17, 2012, you can get 20% off ALL Dream Home laminates!
Dream Home Nirvana PLUS Springer Mountain Oak is one of our highest customer-rated laminates. One fan wrote, "I laid about 400 sq ft of this in one day at one of my rehab homes and it came out great. Matched my standard builder grade trim very well and feels very solid with it being 10mm. Easy to cut, easy to work with and the number of ‘misfits’ in the box was very low, almost non existent. I would highly recommend this to others and I will certainly use it again."