Laminate flooring has become a favoured choice for homeowners looking for an attractive, durable, and cost-effective flooring solution. Known for its versatility and ease of maintenance, laminate can mimic the look of wood, stone, or tile, offering a range of styles to fit any décor. Here’s a detailed guide on how to select the best laminate flooring for your home and keep it looking its best for years to come.

Choosing the Right Laminate Flooring

Understand Laminate Flooring Ratings

Laminate flooring is graded with an AC rating, which indicates its suitability for various levels of traffic. For residential use, an AC1 or AC2 rating is sufficient, but for higher traffic areas like living rooms or hallways, opt for AC3 or AC4. For commercial spaces, AC5-rated laminate is advisable due to its enhanced durability.

Consider Thickness and Underlayment

Thickness in laminate flooring can range from 7mm to 12mm. Thicker laminate not only feels more solid underfoot but also tends to be more sound-resistant. Additionally, most laminate flooring requires an underlay which adds cushioning and helps with soundproofing. Some laminates come with pre-attached underlayment, simplifying installation.

Style and Aesthetics

With the wide variety of finishes available, you can choose a laminate that mimics different types of wood, from oak to Hickerson, or even opt for patterns that resemble stone or ceramic tiles. When selecting the style, consider the room’s lighting as well as the colours and patterns of your furniture and walls.

Installation Tips

Preparing for Installation

Ensure your subfloor is clean, level, and dry before installing laminate flooring. Perform any necessary repairs to avoid unevenness that could compromise the installation.

Installing Laminate Flooring

Starting in one corner of the room, begin laying your planks, allowing a small gap between the planks and the wall to accommodate expansion. Most modern laminate uses a click-lock system, making it simple to snap planks together without glue. Use a rubber mallet gently to ensure a snug fit if necessary.

Maintaining Your Laminate Flooring

Regular Cleaning

Keep your laminate flooring looking new by sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming regularly to remove dust and dirt. For more thorough cleanings, use a damp mop with a laminate-specific cleaner. Avoid excessive water and steam cleaning, as moisture can damage laminate flooring over time.

Dealing with Spills and Stains

Act quickly to clean up spills with a cloth or sponge to prevent water from seeping between planks. For tough stains like shoe polish, oil, or paint, use acetone on a clean white cloth, but always spot test in an inconspicuous area first to ensure there is no discolouration.

Preventing Scratches and Damage

Protect your laminate flooring by using furniture pads under the legs of chairs, sofas, and tables. Keep pet nails trimmed and place mats at all exterior entrances to reduce the introduction of corrosive substances like dirt and sand that can scratch floors. Avoid dragging heavy furniture across the floor when moving it.

Laminate flooring combines beauty and functionality, making it an ideal choice for any busy household. By selecting the appropriate grade and style for your needs, properly installing it, and following straightforward maintenance routines, your laminate flooring will maintain its appearance and durability for many years, offering both a practical and stylish foundation for your home’s design.

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