How To Select Laminate Wood Flooring
Laminate wood flooring is a fairly new alternative in home flooring options. It is made to resemble natural hardwood floors. The quality has improved in recent years and today’s materials are very durable and beautiful. It can be difficult to tell them apart from real hardwood. Most major manufacturers make these floors including Armstrong laminate flooring, Mannington flooring, Shaw laminate flooring and Bruce flooring.
Selecting Laminate Wood Flooring
You have a wide variety of choices in both style and color for laminate floors. Styles are available that mimic natural hardwood or ceramic tile. Wood styles come in every tone from very light to darker tones. Choose darker tones for a formal environment. Keep in mind that dark colors tend to make a room look smaller, while lighter colors make the space appear larger.
Laminate flooring can be found in most flooring stores and home improvement centers. Discount flooring can be found in stores or on the internet. Once you have decided on the color and style of the floor material you want, you can start shopping around for the best price. If you are doing a very small room, look for left over materials. Sometimes these are available in smaller amounts at an affordable price.
Installing the Floor
Laminates are not attached to the floor below. These are also called floating floors. The slats have tongue and groove designs. Slats are attached by slipping the tongue inside the groove. They are held in place with special adhesives that are made for laminate flooring.
These floors can be installed right over your old wood, tile or vinyl flooring. You will need to remove carpeting and padding prior to installation. Once removed, make sure the concrete or wood subfloor is level before you start the installation.
You can hire a professional to install the floor for you, or you can do the job yourself. Installation is fairly simple and an average size room can be finished over a weekend. For larger areas, you may want to save the job for when you take some vacation time. Your floor will cost more if you opt for professional installation. However, if you aren’t handy around the house or don’t have the time, you may find this extra expense worth the money.
Read the instructions from the manufacturer before cleaning your new floor. To remove dirt and debris, use a broom or vacuum. If the floor becomes very dirty, you can clean it with a slightly damp mop. Other than this, very little care is needed. Due to the laminate finish, the floor won’t need any waxing.
Use only very little water. Excessive water can damage the laminate coating on the surface of the floor. Soaking the floor can damage the paper backing. Moisture can get trapped under the laminate and damage the floor or cause the growth of mold, which is not healthy. For this reason, these floors aren’t the best choice for use in a bathroom. Moisture tends to build up in this room and will damage the floor over the long term.