Laminate Flooring Installation - Laminates Lead The Way In DIY Interior Design

By: Rika Susan

Laminate flooring installations are creating a buzz among home remodeling rookies. This flooring phenomenon is building a do it yourself following that is unheard of in the industry. Overnight a tattered, carpeted home can be transformed into an elegant mansion with gleaming, stylish floors brandishing every real wood grain imaginable. If a homeowner qualifies for a home improvement loan or home equity loan, this is one sure way of spending it sensibly while adding impressive value to the property. What exactly is a laminate flooring installation and why the home improvement hype?

A laminate flooring installation is a flooring project done with tongue and groove planks that click together to form a stable, floating floor. No adhesive or nails are used to fix the planks to the sub-floor. The planks can have the appearance and texture of real wood, ceramic tiles or stone tiles and the latest technology is such that the look created is extremely authentic.

You won't necessarily need to rip out existing floors if you plan a laminate flooring installation. Laminate planks will be quite at home if installed over vinyl, tiles, or real wood. Just make sure that the sub-floor is perfectly smooth and even and follow the manufacturer's detailed guidance in every respect. Carpeting and real wood on concrete floors will have to be taken out before installing laminate flooring.

The planks used during a laminate flooring installation usually consist of four fused layers. The bottom layer is mostly reinforced with melamine. This substance provides stability and protects the upper layers from moisture. The most important layer is the inner core made of a medium density fiberboard, treated and impregnated with edge sealing substances. The third layer is the decorative part of the plank. This is nothing more than a photograph that gives the flooring plank the authentic wood or tile looks. Covering the decorative layer is the wear layer, usually consisting of cellulose paper, combined with melamine plastic resins and an aluminum oxide coating. The best wear layers resist staining, moisture, scratching, fading and other signs of wear, protecting the laminate flooring installation for years to come.

In the case of Alloc Flooring, an additional thick Kraft paper layer has been added between the design layer and the core. The Alloc Laminate Flooring core consists of a unique Aqua Resist fiber board which has been engineered to minimize the risk of fluid absorption. Alloc floors are in the company of other classy manufacturers such as Pergo Flooring, Quick Step Flooring, Wilsonart Flooring, and Trafficmaster Allure Flooring.

The budget sections of laminate flooring installation ranges are often manufactured with a direct pressure method. The four layers are assembled, heated and pressed to form the fused flooring plank. The pressure exerted is around 300 pounds per square inch at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

More expensive laminate flooring installations consist of high pressure planks. The top and bottom layers of the planks are treated separately and Phenol impregnated Kraft paper is added. This is all fused to the core layer. Extreme pressure of around 1300 pounds per square inch is used at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures a more stable, durable end product with less chipping and a higher degree of moisture resistance.

As a laminated flooring installation isn't affixed to the sub-floor, you need a good quality padded underlayment to dampen sound, add to the stability of the floor, give warmth and add a more comfortable feel underfoot. Some manufacturers pre-attach this underlayment to the planks. While this is a convenient option, some experts view attached padding as slightly less effective than a separate underlayment. The underlayment usually consists of cork, felt or foam.

In the case of an Alloc Laminate Flooring installation, the underlayment is pre-affixed to the planks. This Alloc Silent System padding claims to dampen sound to a higher degree than other comparable padding products. The Alloc Flooring system can even be ordered to include under-floor heating that is incorporated into the underlayment.

In addition to the underlayment, a plastic moisture or vapor barrier is placed between the planks and the underlayment to give additional protection against moisture. Any contact with fluids may cause the core to swell, leading to buckling or blistering of the floor. This level is usually a polyethylene material. It isn't used in a laminate flooring installation where the sub-floor is real wood.

What makes a laminate flooring installation so popular, is the fact that it is an easy, glueless operation that can be attempted by any do it yourself novice. This is a home remodeling option that gives highly gratifying results within a few hours and can be used immediately in most cases. The tongue and groove designs of the laminate flooring installation planks simply snap or click together, creating tight-fitting, almost invisible joints.

If done correctly using a high grade product, these installations will retain their immaculate appearance for many years. Most ranges are warranted for between 15 and 30 years, giving an indication of the robustness of a laminate flooring installation. It can be used in virtual any interior space, and even does well in bathrooms and kitchens, as long as the laminate flooring installation instructions are followed carefully.

To recap, here are the 10 main benefits of a laminate flooring installation:

1. A laminate flooring installation is a low-maintenance flooring solution.

2. A wise decor choice will give you long-lasting quality.

3. A laminate floor is stain resistant.

4. Laminate flooring installations are usually fade resistant to a large degree.

5. Laminate floors can be installed over most existing floors.

6. This type of flooring can be installed on all grade levels.

7. A top-rated laminate flooring installation will offer superb impact resistance.

8. Laminate floors mimic the warmth and texture of real hardwood accurately at a fraction of the cost.

9. The new, glueless laminate flooring click together designs are a terrific home improvement project for a do it yourself novice.

10. These floors can be lifted and replaced easily, partly or room-wise. This is of particular importance in case of a serious mishap. This is also why you always need to store a few planks.

Virtually every wood grain and texture is catered for in laminate flooring collections. By extending the ranges to include ceramic tile and stone tile options, there is no end to interior design ideas in the flooring realm. Any decor style and architecture can get a speedy face-lift with a laminate flooring installation.

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