Laminate Flooring FAQ: Your Questions Answered
Laminate flooring is highly resistant to impacts and scratches thanks to its tough exterior layer and resin coating. This makes it great for high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways. But many homeowners think of it as an inferior replica of hardwood flooring and are apprehensive about its performance.
To resolve your doubts and clear up any confusion, experts at laminate flooring stores in Toronto, Ontario, answer three of the most commonly asked questions in an easy-to-understand manner. So, when you are ready to shop, you will know what you want.
Let’s get started.
Laminate Flooring FAQ
Here, we answer three of the most frequently asked questions about laminate flooring.
What is laminate flooring?
Answer: Laminate flooring is a versatile, durable, and resilient alternative to hardwood flooring. It is often referred to as a hybrid floor because of its high-density fiberboard (HDF) core topped with an image and a wear layer.
This synthetic floor covering was designed to look like natural flooring materials. It comes in ultra-realistic designs and textures that mimic expensive wood species at a much lower cost. Thanks to advanced manufacturing techniques, modern laminate flooring’s performance continues to improve.
It is constructed of four layers, each serving a distinct purpose:
- The back (or bottom) layer protects the plank against moisture and balances the floor.
- The core is placed on the back layer. This durable, high-density board protects against indentations and moisture.
- The design layer is a high-resolution photograph of the flooring’s surface.
- The top (or ‘wear’) layer is made of aluminum oxide. It protects against fading, stains, scratches, and burns. It can include rougher, more natural-looking scrapes and knots.
What do I need to do before I start installing laminate flooring?
Answer: There are a few things that you need to do before you start installing laminate flooring to make the process quicker and easier. These include:
- Inspecting each panel carefully for defects or damage.
- Making sure that the subfloor is flat, dry, and smooth. Otherwise, the surface will become uneven over time.
- Using underlayment under the laminate for soundproofing. Besides laminate flooring, underlayment can be installed over concrete, wood flooring, vinyl tile, linoleum, or virtually any other hard, flat surface.
- Installing laminate flooring above existing tiles for an old construction.
- Going through the laminate flooring manufacturer’s instructions and taking extra precautions when installing it over a radiant heating system. Some manufacturers have particular guides to the installation process.
- Acclimatizing your laminate flooring for 48 hours in the room where it will be installed. Installation should take place at a room temperature of at least 65°F (15°C). Before, during and three days after installation, a floor surface temperature of 59°F and an overall room temperature of 64°F must be maintained.
What does the AC rating for laminate flooring mean?
Answer: An AC (abrasion class) rating is the wear rating given to laminate flooring. It measures its resistance to abrasion, impact and stains, and indicates the laminate’s durability. AC ratings are broken down into several levels, ranging from AC1 (for moderate residential use) to AC6 (for intensive commercial use).
Here is a more detailed guide:
- AC1is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom.
- AC2is perfect for family rooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.
- AC3can be applied to more varied locations, like high-traffic residential spaces and light commercial locations.
- AC4 is appropriate for high-traffic commercial areas like boutiques, busy offices and restaurants.
- AC5 and 6are the best options for heavy-traffic commercial locations such as department stores and public buildings.
So, if you are looking for good AC rating laminate floors, go with AC 5–6. They can be used for demanding residential installations or commercial laminate flooring fit outs.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about laminate flooring. We hope this will help you in your decision-making process. If you are looking for the best collection of laminate flooring in Toronto, Ontario, visit AA Floors.