Laminate – Before You Buy
Before you buy laminate, own this knowledge.
Whatever your flooring budget, you need to be assured that once you make your purchase you know all the basic facts about your flooring choice. Buying laminate flooring is no exception. It pays, today and tomorrow, to know not only the basics but also some of the specifics.
That’s why we offer you this section. It’s a summary of many of the things you should know about laminate before you buy. That way, your final decision not only creates a warm, inviting environment in your living spaces but also delivers what laminate floors are noted for: excellent durability and easy maintenance.
This flooring stands up and stands out.
Laminate flooring is a remarkably durable surface, stain resistant, and does not need to be varnished or waxed, so it’s very easy to maintain. These are floors for busy households, especially homes with kids and pets. Today’s laminate styles consist of authentic wood visuals, rich ceramic looks or natural stone designs with different surface textures to beautifully accommodate any room in your home.
Understand this about pricing.
When considering laminates, you will notice that there is a wide price variation in styles. This is due to the variety of ways laminate is manufactured, the thickness of the wear layer, and the type and length of the warranty the laminate offers. No matter what the style, color or type, it is still a photograph that provides the decorative visual. What is on top of the paper and the method of manufacturing that makes the difference. The more expensive laminates include those with a textured and more natural looking surface with a greater number of screens. So keep that in mind. Higher-end laminates are more durable, offer extended warranties, and will likely maintain their original beauty for years to come.
What you should know about “floating”.
Laminate floors are installed using a “floating floor system” in which a padded underlayment sits between the subfloor and the laminate planks. The planks sit directly on the underlayment and are not anchored to the subfloor on the bottom, but rather anchored by the edges. When walked upon, this type of installation can produce a hollow sound and have a slight give. Slight ridging or peaking where planks are joined together may also occur. This is considered normal. Most laminate floors lock together without the use of adhesive on the sides of the planks. These are glueless installations. Glueless laminate floors have planks that simply interlock together. These floors make for easy repair if that is ever necessary for you down the road.
Get on top of the bottom line. Know the entire cost of ownership.
The “cost per square foot” of your laminate floor is just one component of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no surprises, and the laminate you select fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project.
Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:
- Furniture removal/replacement.
- Demolition/disposal of old floor covering. Depending on the existing floor covering, this can be an expensive item; also, be sure to include the cost to dispose of the old floor covering.
- Subfloor preparation. Depending on the condition of the subfloor, it may require additional work.
- Laminate installation. Determine the cost per square foot to install it.
- Materials required to complete the installation. Your new laminate floor may require additional materials to install it properly.
Be sure to also consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently the floor should be cleaned.
There’s a lot to know and keep in mind before buying a laminate floor, but it’s well worth the effort. If you’re a smart and knowledgeable shopper it will show where it counts – in a beautiful, durable and easy to care for floor.