At Carpets and Flooring.ie you can choose from one of the largest selection of laminate flooring available in Ireland.
Laminate flooring is an ever popular floor finish in Ireland today and the benifits of quality laminate flooring are difficult to overlook. Laminate flooring is durable, hardwearing and laminate flooring can give the effect of real wood and stone. Laminate flooring is excellant value for money and very easy to install, making laminate flooring DIY friendly and laminate floors can be fitted quickly and without any fuss. Carpetsandflooring.ie also stock a wide range of laminate flooring accessories to complement all laminate floor colours and laminate floor designs.
Laminate flooring was invented over thirty years ago by a Swedish company and has steadily grown in popularity. Laminate flooring gets its name from the manufacturing process which laminates four main layers together to create the finished flooring. A wear layer extremely durable which protects the floor surface. The second decorative layer is actually an image which is what gives the floor its appearance ie. Oak,walnut etc. The third layer is a moisture resistant medium or high density fibre board. The fourth layer is a balancing backing is bonded to the underside of the core this strengthens and stabilises the board
What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid or engineered flooring
One obvious advantage is that of price laminate flooring is typically a fraction of the cost of traditional hardwood flooring sometimes the savings are even greater depending on the types of flooring in question such as walnut or oak etc additionally laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for those who do not want to hire a floor fitter where solid hardwood requires a specific level of expertise. Installing laminate doesnt involve nailing or complex installation techniques. 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 troublemsome
Laminate Flooring ratings and qualities
Laminates are graded in order of their durability and suitability of use.
There are two standard grading systems used the AC rating system and the Class rating system.
Laminate Flooring AC Rating Tests:
Laminates go through a number of tests when being assessed for an AC rating. Each line of laminate flooring is tested for resistance to burns, scratches, stains, abrasion, and impact.
Tests are also done to assess the effects of furniture legs on the flooring, swelling, etc. To be able to acquire an AC rating, all of the tests must be passed.
Should the laminate fail even one test, it wouldnt be able to get an AC rating. It is a good idea to avoid non-AC rated laminate products for use in the home.
AC2/ Class 22 is designated as residential, general traffic
AC3 / Class 23 is designated residential, heavy traffic and performs well in all areas of the home.
AC3/ Class 31 is Suitable for high traffic areas throughout the house and as far as commercial areas with moderate traffic.
AC4/ Class 32 is for commercial, general traffic areas. These floorings suited for use in boutiques, busier offices, restaurants, and cafes.
AC5 /Class 33 is best applied in commercial, heavy traffic settings such as public buildings shops etc
Do you need to leave an expansion gap when fitting a Laminate Floor
Yes, a 10mm expansion gap will be required. This is to allow for seasonal movement that will occur with any wood floor as the temperature changes.
Is laminate Flooring noisy to walk on
Laminate floors will be slightly noisier than a carpet, however you can keep any noise to a minimum by puchasing sound-proofing underlay to go underneath,whick will reduce the sound. Thicker laminate flooring ie 12mm are certainly more substancial underfoot and are quieter to walk on.
Are thicker laminates eg.12mm better quality than 8mm etc
The quality of laminates cannot be decided on thickness alone. The higher the pressure used in the manufacturing of laminates, the harder and more resistant to scuffing and scratching they are. Generally 10 & 12mm laminates available in Ireland are manufactured with less pressure than the thinner laminates 8mm and achieve an AC rating of AC3 and most 7& 8mm laminate flooring is AC4 rated. The thicker laminate floors are favoured by customers because they sound quieter under foot and have a more substantial feel.
Are Laminate Floors suitable for under floor heating
Underfloor heating systems are being installed more and more in Irish homes and we are often asked if laminate flooring is suitable to use with these heating systems. Laminates can be used over underfloor heating systems without impairing the performance. Always follow the advice from the manufacturer of the under floor heating system at all times
Can laminate flooring be installed on steps
Yes, laminate flooring can be installed on steps, the planks should be glued down ,the corners need to be covered wil a metal angle edge.
Do I have to keep staggering the planks when fitting the floor
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 1/3 the length of the plank, try to avoid creating an obvious repeat through the floor randomly space the ends of the planks to give the flooring a natural appearance.
Can we install laminate over carpet
No you will almost certainly run into trouble if you do this,all carpet and underlay should be removed completely prior to installation.A good quality floor underlay should always be used no thicker than 5mm
Installing Laminate Flooring
Acclimatisation of the laminate flooring
Before starting the installation the flooring has to be brought into the room where it will be installed or in a room with the same climate condition. The acclimatisation will be carried out as following:
(1) Leave the packs unopened for a time period of at least 24 hours laying flat with a small distance from the walls at a room temperature of at least 18C at a floor surface temperature of a minimum of 15C at a relative humidity between 40% and 65%
Installation direction; flooring looks its best when the flooring panels are installed parallel to the light coming in through the windows. The only required installation direction is if you install flooring over existing flooring boards. In this case you have to install the flooring at a 90 degree angle to the existing flooring boards or apply a hardboard or plywood sub floor.
Begining the first row
After deciding the best layout of the flooring and the starting wall, measure the width of the room and divide it by the width of the flooring panels to determine the number of rows and the width of the last row. If the last row is determined to be less than 60mm wide, it should be adjusted by cutting the first row lengthwise.
Since laminate flooring is made of natural materials, it is subject to certain movement behaviours (shrinkage/expansion) due to changes in climate conditions. It is necessary to leave gaps of 10mm for the expansion in all parts of the structure i.e. walls, doorframes, stairs, around pipes.
Expansion gaps and expected movement with laminate floors It?s imperative all floors must have an expansion gap of 10mm around the entire perimeter of the floor and all fixed points within the area of installation. Without this precaution the floor will move and have nowhere too go. This can cause extreme levels of pressure pushing upward and outwards, thus lifting the flooring. All floors will move a certain amount even under correct installation due to moisture. It is normal to expect during certain times of the year, as different levels of humidity occur, that the width joint between boards will open and close. In warm weather the relative humidity will increase thus causing the flooring expand. In the winter months relative humidity decrease thus causing the flooring to shrink consequently the joints between the boards will increase and decrease accordingly. This cycle will repeat over the years within the allow tolerances..
How care for my laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is a low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your laminate flooring clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it. Simply dust mop or vacuum with a soft brush or wood floor accessory to keep your laminate floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. A damp cloth or mop can be used without damage to the laminate flooring panels, but do not use excessive water. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth. Blot up spills or water from wet feet or footwear immediately with a clean, dry cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not allow excess liquid to remain on the surface of your laminate floor. Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, or combined clean and shine products on your laminate floor. Do not use steel wool or other scouring pads that may scratch laminate panels. Do not wax or polish your laminate flooring. Do not steam clean or use chemicals that may damage the laminate flooring surface. For stubborn spots or stains on laminate flooring use acetone or nail polish remover on stubborn substances such as tar, asphalt, paint, or oil. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth.