You already know that real wood is expensive, especially for flooring, and you are considering a cheaper option, which is laminate flooring. Laminate is excellent and will give you the aesthetic wooden look you need while offering you other benefits such as low maintenance, scratch resistance and easy cleaning. It is, however, essential to note a few critical aspects before installing laminate flooring to have it done the right way.
What Is the Physical Condition of Your Subfloor?
For proper installation of laminate floors, your subfloor should be even. If there are depressions, you need to fill them up. Look out for cracks, breaks and tears as well, and make sure they are repaired. Loose subfloors (these can be PVC or textile) may need to be removed.
After the subfloor is even, make sure to place a moisture barrier, which can be a thick polyethylene foil, to prevent moisture from reaching the backside of your laminate flooring.
Is The Room You Want to Place Laminate Flooring In Moist or Wet?
Laminate flooring and moisture do not mix! If an area is subject to frequent water splashes or standing water or it is a wet room, for example, a bathroom or sauna, laminate flooring is a bad idea. Water gets into the flooring boards and causes permanent damage.
Catering for Swelling and Shrinking
The substrate of your laminate flooring will shrink and swell depending on the weather/ climatic conditions. You need to cater for this by leaving expansion gaps towards fixed structural parts. These parts include walls and heating pipes among others. There is a common thumb rule which states that every meter of laminate flooring you install will need at least a 1.5mm expansion gap on both sides of a room.
How Will You Maintain the Floor?
Avoid high humidity; 50% to 65% is okay even for your well-being. Dirt and sand should also be avoided, as they will act as an abrasive and form scratches on your laminate floors.
In case some liquid pours on the floor, do not let it stand for a long time. Try and wipe it off as soon as possible. When cleaning the floor, you can carry out regular dry cleaning. A damp cloth is only necessary when you need to clean out severe soiling. Avoid abrasive or scouring cleaners, polishes, waxes or hot steam cleaners. They will either damage the floor or alter the aesthetic value of your floors.
For your furniture, you may need to fit them with soft felt glides to avoid wear and tear as you drag them. You can also fit some protective mats in high traffic areas.
To learn more about options such as wood laminate flooring, contact a local flooring company.