Laminate floors are easy to install and maintain. Like all other installations, there are times when they require a bit of attention to ensure that they reach their expected lifespan. And that you get the value for money you expect. Here we look at a few tips made available by laminate flooring professionals that will help you make the most of your investment.
Are considering on getting a laminate flooring professional to install your new floors? Then feel free to skim over this section. But if you are in the mood to apply your DIY logic and work with your hands, then it will be worth your while to familiarise yourself with the installation instructions you received. Products can vary subtly between manufacturers, which mean small differences could go unnoticed until it is too late. Especially if you follow general online instructions.
The AC, or abrasion class, is a rating that goes from 1 to 5, and represents the amount of traffic assembled planks can take. Planks with an AC 1 rating are for extremely low traffic areas, such as kids' bedrooms. Those marked with an AC 3 rating, are suitable for living rooms or moderately heavy traffic areas in the house. AC 4-rated planks are the most sold in South Africa and can withstand moderate to heavy foot traffic. AC 5 planks are installed in areas where there is a continuous, prolonged press of heavy traffic.
The choice between glue less and conventional can be a tricky one. While traditionalists will support planks that have to be glued together, our recommendation is to opt for glue less - not only because it's easier to install and less messy, but because it can be repaired and even uninstalled with the minimum amount of fuss. This will save you a lot of trouble and effort when the missus decides it is time to remodel.
Installations can at times experience what is known in the industry as 'peaking'. It happens when two or more planks push together from different directions, lifting each other off their supporting surface. Left unattended, peaking can damage planks, the walls and even cause accidents related to uneven floors.
Luckily, it is easily solved: lift the moulding using a hammer or flat tip screwdriver without damaging the underlying planks and adjust the spacers by shaving a few millimetres off. Alternatively, adjust the size of the relevant planks closest to the wall.
Since laminate floors are made from wood, they are affected by water. Professional laminate flooring installers throughout South Africa recommend following the instructions that came with the product to install a water barrier - even if you live in a dry area. The reason for this is that concrete and other materials store moisture which can later transfer to the planks, causing them to soften, rot and ultimately break.
More tips like these are freely available if you need to install, repair, or maintain a laminate floor. Simply get in touch for an expert opinion from some of South Africa's foremost industry professionals.