Laminate is a great type of flooring that can be used a number of places in the house because of its many designs and attributes.
Using local laminate floor installation contractors near you is a lot easier than learning to do all the work yourself and then doing a mediocre job at the installation. Getting a pro to do it ensures that it is done properly, the first time. However, even if you hire a pro, we recommend that you read through this article.
By reading this article, you’ll be more likely have everything go the way you want it to making it a nice and easy project to undertake, since it should cause less disruption in your every day life than a kitchen remodel will, for instance.
Preparing the different aspects prior to the installation will ensure the project runs more smoothly, and you’ll be more likely to hire the best contractor too.
When you’re ready to proceed with your laminate installation project, we encourage you to fill out the form at the top of the page, whereby we’ll be able to match you with the most relevant contractors.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flooring
No matter if you’re going for a laminate flooring or a different option, there are certain different considerations that you need to be making that will help you in choosing the option that is right for you. You probably landed on this page as a consequence of searching for something laminate related, but even if you have already set your mind up for this type of flooring, there are still different varieties to consider.
How heavy will the foot traffic be on the flooring you’re having installed, and what kind of usage will there be? Should it be a floor that can handle heavier use, then you will need to make sure that the option you go with can accommodate that.
You should think of the climate more in the sense that the option you choose should be able to work given the climatic conditions it’s being installed in, so a floor shouldn’t start warping simply because it’s installed in the bathroom. When choosing to install laminate in the bathroom, you should make sure that it’s an option that works in the high humidity climate with possible water spills.
The Under-Foot Feel
If you plan on walking barefoot on the floor, it’s important that you get an option that is in fact comfortable to walk on. If it’s installed outside, you may want to consider an option that doesn’t become too warm even when directly exposed to sun. Be sure it’s an option that provides the level of comfort that you are looking for.
The Purpose of the Flooring
Is this a flooring that will be installed in the bathroom, kitchen or some other place? Or is it an option that will be good with kids given that it’s not too hard if someone falls on it? There are also certain types that may be better if you have pets, than others are. When you have pets, you don’t want them to have accidents on carpet for example.
You may not necessarily have an unlimited budget and your choice of flooring will have to work with the budget that you have as well as all the other conditions that are important to you. The easiest way to makes sure that you don’t end up overpaying for the project is by getting quotes from different contractors for your project, which we can help you do.
The style of your desired floor is also one of the key factors that will help you determine the material to go with. One of the advantages of laminate is that it can be made to look like a lot of different types of material, meaning it is able to fit in with whatever style you wish to have.
Some types of flooring will be a lot harder to maintain than others. Laminate is fortunately relatively easy to maintain and can work in many different settings.
How Durable is it?
The durability of the floor helps in determining how soon you will need to replace the flooring again. Installing a floor is a big investment and if not done properly will end up being a very bad investment that simply need to be replaced soon. The durability will also depend on whether the right material is in fact being used for the purpose.
Molding and Trim
Creating a Consistent Look and Feel
You want to make sure that you can create a feeling of consistency in your home since it will also help in ensuring that you’re increasing the value of your home.
Types of Laminate Flooring
There are different options when it comes to laminate flooring, including how it’s installed, the different styles and more. With it, you can get a material for your flooring that has the appearance of wood without having some of the disadvantages that this flooring would have.
The Manner in Which They’re Installed
The method of installing them varies depending on how the material has been made, which comes down to the mechanism used.
- Glue-less: These types of planks lock in place with the method in which they were made and they’re easy for a contractor to install.
- Ones using glue: With this method the individual joints are glued together and the method of installation ensures you have a very sturdy floor
- Pre-glued: This type of planks have glue attached to the bottom of the plank. Some types will need damp before the glue gets activated but it depends on the manufacturer.
- Underlayment/tongue and groove: This type of material already includes underlayment and the planks are commonly locked together using tongue and groove.
Not only does the locking mechanism or method vary, but laminate can also be made to resemble a lot of different materials:
- Wood: Often consisting of a thin layer of actual wood topped by a finish, it becomes a durable option that very much so resembles solid hardwood.
- Plastic: An image being introduced to fiberboard allows different manufacturers to give this type a lot of different looks. Fiberboard based laminate is generally not recommended in areas that tend to get wet due to its ability to absorb and retain water.
- Stone: With its ability to mimic the real thing, you will be able to get something that looks almost truly identical to stone without its high price.
- Tile: Often made to look like ceramic tile although there are many different designs available in the market.
Besides just being meant to look like a different type of material, you can also get different textures that increase their authentic look. This also includes important aspects such as slip-resistance. The textures include hand-scraped, embossed and smooth.
Additional Things to Consider
Prior to signing with laminate flooring installers, we encourage you to read through the additional tips that we have gathered here below.
- Get an understanding of the pros and cons of laminate flooring.
If it’s your first time you have laminate installed in your home, familiarizing yourself with its advantages and disadvantages may be a good decision.
The material typically lasts somewhere between 20 and 30 years, although its durability has increased significantly with improved production processes. It can, however, not be resurfaced and severe damage to the floor will require replacement of that specific plank. With its low price tag, replacing a plank or two should not be a major concern.
- Find out your needs for the laminate floor, often determined by where it will be installed.
With its durability and ability to withstand the wear of a lot of foot traffic, it is often installed in kitchens and entrances, although the different options available makes it a very functional option that can be used about anywhere in the home. There are however some things you will need to be aware of since a lot of moisture will inevitably cause some challenges.
If you’re having it installed in the bathroom, you should make sure to get an option that is not prone to getting slippery. You may also get an additional rug or two to place to help in limiting the risk of someone slipping. This may also be applicable for flooring in the kitchen as water may splash from the sink on the floor.
- Should you go with the bonded or floating option?
The floating option differs by not being glued to the subfloor, while the bonded option will be. The floating option uses tongue and groove to lock together. The bonded option produces slightly more stability than does the bonded option. Some homeowners have a clear preference for one type over another, but you should talk with a pro to make sure that you make the decision that is right for you.
Different floors and different homeowners will have different needs, and the advice of a pro should help clear your mind and ensure that you get the solution that works best for you.
- Properly preparing yourself and the flooring for the new installation
Before the new floor can be installed, there’s some preparation that needs to take place, which includes moving the different things from your floor which will ensure that the whole process happens more smoothly.
Be sure that you have a space available for the things that need to be moved while the laminate flooring contractors will make the installation happen. If it is the flooring in the whole home that is being replaced, you might want to consider if there’s a place you can move temporarily while the installation takes place, although that is something you can determine with the pro to ensure the least amount of disruption in your life, which also just ensures that the installation can be done as quickly as possible.
- Understand the warranty of both the material and installation.
When installing anything in your home, it’s always a good idea that you learn about the warranty that comes with it to know how you’re protected and under which circumstances the contractor will come and repair the laminate flooring, should that be needed. The contract you sign with the installer should both include a section on the installation as well as the material, if you haven’t received a separate document for that.
The more information you have on paper, the better you’re protected. Higher quality material will inevitably also get better warranties and it may make sense for you to spend a little bit more on the material just it make sure that it is also higher quality.
The better you plan this project, the more smoothly it is also likely to go, and proper planning also ensures that you’re not paying too much. Working with the contractors and asking them how to make the process go more smoothly ensures that you will get the floor you have always wanted in no time.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
The benefits of this type of flooring are many that you can read about below:
- Hypoallergenic: Anyone suffering from allergies will find it’s extremely good as it doesn’t trap dust which could be giving you an allergic reaction, unlike carpet for example.
- Minimal maintenance: Being stain-resistant helps make it not just easier to maintain but maintenance is very limited compared to other types of flooring like hardwood, which will need staining from time to time. You can use very basic cleaning ingredients for this type of floor.
- Many design options: Laminate can be made to look like a lot of other materials while still simply being very low-maintenance. It’s often made to look like either stone or wood, although the color combinations are nearly endless. The planks also come in different styles depending on your preferences.
- The cost: It’s one of the flooring materials that has all the good attributes without having the negative things, meaning the price is also one of the reasons it’s so popular.
- Installation is not difficult: Most of the laminate flooring types now come with an interlocking system, making them extremely easy to install.
- Durability: Last but not least, this is a very durable option that will serve your home well for years.
- Flexibility: This is a truly flexible option that can be used in a range of settings, including the kitchen, that need something that is a bit more durable given the potential spills and high moisture content in the air.
Given its many advantages, it’s not hard to see why it has become so popular. Their aging will however eventually end up showing at which point it’s time to either get them repaired or replaced.
There are three major types of surfaces that can be found with laminate flooring.
The different surfaces will be better or worse when it comes to maintenance. A higher gloss texture will show imperfections more but it will also be easier to maintain, while a less glossy one is better at hiding imperfections. You can see the 3 different options below as well as their main characteristics which will help you in choosing.
High Gloss: High gloss surfaces are polished and have a highly reflective top surface. This polish gives a floor a permanently waxed look that requires little upkeep to maintain.
Textured: Textured surfaces give a more natural look and feel to a floor, and is often used for replicating tiled flooring. This gives the laminate the ability to mimic many other substances at a much cheaper price.
Natural: In natural flooring the laminate is imprinted with a grain pattern or pattern that accurately follows a print of natural wood or stone. This mimics natural substances at a lower cost and requires less maintenance.
The Need for a Repair Contractor
If you already have this material installed in your home, there may also be times that call for getting a repair contractor by the house to help fixing the floor again. There are certain situations mentioned below which could necessitate the help of a repair man.
Dealing With Small Scratches in the Material
Sand and dust will act as mild sandpaper against the flooring, the same way it would with any other type of flooring too, and over time that will leave the laminate scratched. The heels can also have the same effect and anything where a lot of pressure is being applied in a small amount of space.
It’s easy for laminate floor repair companies to deal with these using a wax solution to cover them up. There are specific solutions made for this purpose that the contractors have access to, making sure to match the given product to your floor to ensure the repair job is as seamless as possible.
Prior to adding the solution where the scratches are, the company will prepare the area which includes cleaning the surface to ensure that no debris or dust is left that would simply keep adding to the problem. As the wax is applied, the scratches will get filled out and they will become a lot less noticeable.
While you may be tempted to try and repair it yourself, having it done professionally will ensure it’s done a lot better and you can go back to truly enjoying your beautiful floor again.
Dealing With Deeper Scratches
Deeper scratches are the result of extreme pressure applied to the floor, and these could for example develop if you’re moving furniture and rather than carrying it, you drag it across the floor. You will also want to make sure that you don’t roll things with wheels on it.
The laminate contractor will use a putty in repairing these, making sure that the conditions for repairing the floor are as good as they can be. It’s a delicate job and the quality of the repair will depend on the skills of the person doing the repair.
Making the Floor Even Again
If the floor starts develop peaks, there can be different reasons for it, although at the end of the day, the reason is that the floor has been expanding slightly and can now no longer fit in the intended area. To avoid this from happening, it is common for the contractor to leave a little extra space giving the floor the opportunity to expand a little without it starting to pop up.
Expansion is not uncommon when the floor keeps getting used for a long time, and the floor needs to be installed in a way that lets it have some space in case this happens. The solution to fixing it sounds simple on paper – you need to make space for the flooring, which can mean you end up removing part of a panel that is now lying up against the drywall. It is often enough that the contractor removes somewhere between ½-1 inch of the material for it to become level again.
In order to minimize the expansion in the first place is to ensure the spills are wiped up as soon as possible.
Another issue that may be causing it is if the molding has been improperly installed. This happens when the molding is nailed to the flooring instead of the wall which means it won’t be allowed to move and expand, even if enough room has been set aside for it near the walls.
Peaking floors can be a result of excess moisture, which can be a result of different things including improper ventilation, water leaks or excessive water being used during cleaning. When it’s being installed, it’s also important to make sure that the concrete slab underneath does not have any problems, including moisture ones, before installing the material.
How to Limit the Amount of Repairs Needed
If you do choose to install it in the bathroom, you should make sure that spills are wiped to keep it from making peaks. As it does get scratched, you will need to make sure that heavy objects are carried rather than dragged over the floor.
The best recommendation is to follow the recommendations given by both the manufacturer and the contractor who is either installing or repairing this floor. They will give you the best advice to limit the amount of maintenance as well as make sure that it will look beautiful for as long as possible. Overall, it’s good to ensure that it doesn’t get exposed to more water and moisture than is needed, although you may need to use a bit of water when cleaning it. However, make sure that there are no water spills remaining after the cleaning.
The great thing is that the quality of the material has gone up significantly over the last decades and you now get a very durable material that has many purposes.
Getting Free Estimates & Quotes For Laminate Floor Installation and Repair Projects
The easiest way to make sure you’re not throwing money away on installations and repairs is by getting free estimates & quotes from competing contractors.
There’s an easy way to do this, which simply involves that you scroll to the top of this page and fill out the form with the relevant information, and we’ll match you with the 4 most relevant contractors in your area that will then reach out to you and provide you with quotes.
If you like what they’re proposing, you can sign with them, although there’s no obligation on your end, and it’s completely free for you to do also. Taking good care of your laminate floor will also make it last longer. What are you waiting for?