Laminate Flooring FAQ
With over 15 years of solid foundation deeply rooted in Malaysia, Inovar Floor is the pioneer and has been regarded as the market leader in laminate flooring and therefore, we are able to offer you a SOLID Direct Manufacturer’s Warranty against staining, fading and surface wear-through.
What are laminate floors and how are they made?
Laminate flooring is versatile, durable, attractive flooring with the appearance of a hardwood floor. Although laminate flooring looks like wood flooring, there is actually no solid wood used in its construction. Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture resistant layer under a layer of HDF (high density fiberboard). This is topped with a high resolution photographic image of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is perfect for anyone wanting a durable floor for a fraction of the price and installation time of a hardwood floor, but with the attractiveness of real hardwood. This construction also makes laminate flooring more environment-friendly as it uses less wood in its construction and makes more efficient use of the wood fiber that is used.
What is the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring?
Both laminate flooring and hardwood flooring can beautify a home. While hardwood is often thought to be a superior choice, there are several advantages to laminate flooring. Distinct differences between the two types of flooring often make laminate a more attractive alternative. Solid hardwood of any thickness (most is 3/8” to 3/4”) should be installed only above grade. Laminate flooring can be installed above or below grade, and over virtually any other flooring surface. Some hardwood flooring is engineered, meaning that instead of solid hardwood, it is made of several wood layers with a hardwood veneer. Laminate flooring, usually 7mm to 8mm (5/16” to 3/8”), is also made of several layers. These are laminated together which makes for stability and strength. The top surface of laminate flooring is a photograph of hardwood. High quality photographs faithfully reproduce the grain and color of natural hardwood, and the surfaces on quality laminate flooring closely resemble real wood. Although many people insist on hardwood flooring, laminates are a long-lasting, durable, affordable option that are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of flooring.
How do laminate floor panels lock together?
There are many types of edge joining systems used to connect laminate flooring panels together. Some laminate flooring connections snap together by hand while others require a light tap with a mallet and a tapping block. Still others use a combination of a “snap” click edge and a “bang” or “tap” click at the end of the panels. While most of the various systems work well to secure your laminate floor, it is important to read your laminate flooring installation instructions carefully. Familiarize yourself with how your flooring locks together before starting your installation.
Where can I install laminate wood flooring?
Laminate flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood or concrete. There are several locations that are not recommended for laminate flooring. Because laminate flooring is a wood flooring product it is not recommended that laminates be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms,saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause the core of your laminate flooring to warp or swell. In some instances, with special installation procedures, it is possible to install laminate floors in bathrooms where water will not stand on the floor for any length of time. For bathroom installations, it is recommended you apply a light bead of glue to the tongue on the planks to be used in the areas subject to spills. Also, ensure that all spills are mopped up and dried promptly.
What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid hardwood flooring ?
One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most do-it-yourselfers, where solid hardwood requires a specific level of expertise. Installing laminate doesn’t involve nails, and more recently has done away with glue as well in many cases. Laminate flooring can therefore be installed fairly quickly and inexpensively. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.
What do I need to know before I start installing my laminate floor?
There are several things to consider before you begin to install a laminate floor. Careful preparation before beginning will make installing your laminate floor a quick and easy process.
- Ensure that your sub floor is flat, dry, and smooth.
- Always use underlayment under your laminate floor for soundproofing
- Laminate flooring and underlayment/vapor barrier can be installed over concrete, wood flooring, vinyl tile, linoleum, tile, or virtually any other hard, flat surface.
- Take extra care when installing laminate flooring over radiant heating. Ensure that you read both the laminate flooring and radiant heat system instructions carefully before beginning./li>
- Read your laminate flooring manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
- Allow you laminate flooring to acclimatize to the room where it will be installed for as long as possible (min. 48 hours)
- Inspect each laminate flooring panel carefully for defects or damage before installing it.
What do I have to do before installation?
Laminate flooring boards must be acclimatized for 48 hours in the room where they will be installed. Installation should take place at room temperature of at least 65°F (15°C). A floor surface temperature of 59°F and an overall room temperature of 64°F must be ensured before, during and three days after the installation.
Do I have to keep staggering the planks in my laminate flooring installation?
The first row should be started with a full plank, the second row with a 2/3 plank and the third row with a 1/3 plank. The distance between joints from one row to the next for the remainder of the installation must be 8″ or greater
How do I determine the direction in which to install my laminate flooring?
To decide where to begin the layout of your floor, consider incoming light. It is usually best to install laminate flooring with the planks running parallel to light coming in windows or glass doors. For any installation, the starting wall should be as long and straight as possible.
Will there be any cutting waste?
In an average installation, approximately 5% to 10% of the total area to be covered will be wasted for several reasons, typically cuts, planks damaged during installation, or errors.
What is the reason for the necessary 10mm gap left around the perimeter of the interior and around other obstacles within it?
Because laminate flooring is derived from wood, it is subject to expansion caused by room temperatures and humidity levels. An expansion gap is a necessary part of any successful installation because it allows space for the expansion of the floor as it responds to these external influences of temperature and humidity. When it is exposed to warmer temperatures, or to increased humidity, laminate flooring planks expand outward. Leaving out the essential element of an outside gap can cause the buckling of the individual laminate flooring planks as the planks push outward against walls or other obstacles.
I didn't get my first row straight. Can I continue?
Do not continue. Getting the first row absolutely straight is the foundation – perhaps the most critical part- to a successful installation. If your first rows are not properly aligned, or the joints are not tightly sealed, the entire installation will be compromised. (The error will magnify as you continue installing.) Along both sides and ends, all planks must be parallel to each other or there will be wedge-shaped gaps between planks. If residue is caught in the grooves, poor alignment can also result. Remember to make sure all grooves are clean before installation.
How do I choose the right moldings?
Here is a brief guide to moldings and their best uses for a laminate flooring project: