It may be confusing with so many laminate flooring styles and types to choose from these days. Ten years ago laminate flooring had to be glued together on the edges and straps were used to squeeze the boards together. The industry has made big changes since then and we are all very thankful those days are over.
Today when shopping for laminate you may be faced with a lot of different styles and types. There are many laminate flooring choices to choose from.
Wood laminate flooring:This includes planks that have a smooth finish, planks that have a wood texture, planks that look hand scraped, narrow planks with variations in texture and laminate tiles that look like parquet wood floor. Finishes can be dull to high gloss laminate flooring.
Laminate tile flooring:
The laminate tiles come in planks which can measure from 300 to 450mm wide by 900mm to 1200mm feet long, or individual tiles from 300 to 600mm square. They can look like ceramic tile, slate or stone.
Laminate flooring thickness
Laminate flooring comes in varying thickness’s, from the thinnest at 6mm to the better floors at 14mm. There may be a few that are thicker then 14mm. The 6mm may be advertised as a real inexpensive option, maybe at 79 or 89 cents per square foot. If you don’t care about quality this may be fine. As installers and retailers will confirm the majority of the floors sold today are 8mm and 12mm. This is considered to be the middle range, which is sufficient for most residential homes. The products thicker then 8mm can feel more like real wood floors. All laminate floors now can have a bevelled edge which resembles real wood flooring.This is a little more expensive but a great finish if your floor has a wood grain.Click Here to find a short video on the advantages of a thicker floor.
Laminate Floor Construction
High density floors (HDF)-
The planks are fused together in a one or two step process. Layers are fused together and then combined with the other materials to complete the process. This method produces a more durable plank then the MDF method.
Medium density floors (MDF)-All the materials are fused together at once to produce the plank. This method is less expensive to manufacture.
Here you will find a simple explanation of MDF verses HDF
Laminate Flooring AC Rating System
AC hardness ratings are a standardized measure adopted by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF) . The AC measure rates abrasion resistance, impact resistance, resistance to staining and cigarette burns, and thickness swelling along edges. If a laminate flooring cannot meet the requirements for each of these ratings, approval for a given AC rating will be denied.
AC ratings 4 and 5 are equally suitable for residential use as AC3 but somewhat more suitable for high traffic commercial applications. AC ratings below 3 are recommended for low traffic residential use only. Here is a more detailed guide.
- AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic.
- AC2 is suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms. Up to 5 year guarantee
- AC3/23 Also suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms and slightly better quality than AC2. Normally a 6-8 year guarantee
- AC3/31 Now we are getting there. This is great for any room in your home and can be applied to more varied locations, such as small offices and other light commercial locations.Normally a 15-20 year guarantee
- AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as retail stores, offices, and restaurants.Up to 15 year guarantee
- AC5 is more durable still and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial areas such as department stores and public buildings.Up to 20 year guarantee
Click Here to find a simple video explanation of the AC rating of laminate flooring.
We hope this has been a help to you