Shopping for and selecting the right flooring for your home or business can be a challenge but is important. At the Reno Superstore, we understand that challenge.
Laminate flooring is a great choice for high-traffic areas, but it is important to understand what type to buy. That’s why we have compiled the ultimate buying guide to laminate flooring to help you select the right product for your space.
Let’s get started.
Laminate Flooring: What It Is Made From
Laminate flooring is a great alternative to traditional hardwood. It is made up of four layers: a backing layer, a fibreboard core, a decorative layer, and a wear layer. All of these are joined together to form the dense surface that makes laminate flooring a popular flooring choice.
Wear Layer: This topmost layer seals the decorative layer and gives laminate its inherent resistance to scratching, UV rays, and other forms of wear & tear. Most of these laminates have a resin-based coating made of aluminum oxide, while some offer a multi-step lacquer finish.
Decorative Layer: This layer allows laminate flooring to mimic genuine hardwood floors realistically. It is made up of an HD photographic print or direct high-density fibreboard (HDF) of traditional hardwood species.
Core Layer: It is made up of durable HDF that resists damage caused by sharp or falling objects.
Backing Layer: Also known as the base layer, it helps achieve additional stability, allowing the product to function as a floating floor.
What Are AC (Abrasion Criteria) Ratings?
This is a critical indicator of where you can use a particular type of laminate flooring. AC (abrasion criteria) ratings range from 1 to 5 and enable you to understand the durability and usability of a particular laminate floor. The higher the number is, the more durable it is.
For high-traffic areas, look for laminate flooring rated 3 or 4. Here is a quick look at what those ratings mean.
- AC 1:Meant for light foot traffic, such as bedrooms
- AC 2: Suitable for moderate foot traffic, such as living rooms
- AC 3:Meant for high foot traffic, for other areas of your home
- AC 4: Suitable for residential or commercial traffic
- AC 5:Meant for heavy commercial traffic
Now that you know what laminate flooring is made of and its ratings, let’s look at the other factors that will influence your purchase.
Buyer’s Guide to Laminate Flooring in Mississauga and Toronto
At The Reno Superstore, we often have customers new to buying laminate who have questions.
The 5 W’s to Ask Your Flooring Store
Why: There are many benefits to installing laminate flooring in your space. In addition to its style, it offers easy maintenance and other qualities that make it a top flooring choice. Also, installing these floors won’t break the bank. Win-win!
Where: Where you are going to lay down this flooring is an important part of the installation process. Ask the flooring experts at The Reno Superstore about AC ratings for laminate flooring so that you can choose the right one for your space. You avoid making common laminate flooring mistakes this way.
What: With so many laminate options available, you can afford to be picky. Consider the colour, texture, style, and design of the laminate flooring you want to install.
When: Installing any flooring takes time. Make sure to consider the time of delivery, acclimatization, and installation process. Plan ahead when considering any flooring installation.
Who: Installations can be tricky, and if not done correctly can lead to flooring issues. Getting a professional to install your floors is the best idea. That’s why you should schedule your installation via The Reno Superstore today!
Other Considerations When Buying Laminate Flooring
Now that we have covered some basic questions, here are some of the things you need to know when buying laminate flooring.
1. Consider Additional Accessories
Customers typically feel that just getting laminate planks is enough to complete the installation process. You will also need underlayment, mouldings, transition pieces, trims, and glue.
If you are not sure where to start, ask our experts. They will make sure each item is ready for your project. Be sure to factor in the cost of these materials before starting your project.
2. Don’t Ignore Underlayment
Laminate floors offer water and heat resistance but are not immune to it. Underlayment is a thin foam padding that is installed underneath the laminate and above the subfloor to create a smooth subfloor surface. It also helps to create a moisture barrier.
This is especially important if you are planning to install it in your basement. An underlayment layer will act as a cushion and excellent barrier against the high moisture content of your basement.
Toronto and Mississauga’s harsh winters become slightly more bearable with this extra padding. Professional installers often suggest adding this layer to help you prolong the life of your laminate flooring and improve its performance.
3. Pay Attention to Thickness
Just like engineered hardwood flooring, laminates come in different thicknesses. Thicker laminate performs better and is more durable and resistant to dents and scuffs. Choosing thick laminate flooring should also factor in where it is to be installed.
Thicker laminate flooring also means better sound insulation and stability. Make sure to ask our experts for the best thickness for your needs.
4. Select the Right Colour
Laminates are available in different colours, so you have plenty of options. From light shades to moody greys, colours are vital design elements that require careful consideration. Fortunately, there are certain tricks and tips interior designers ask when considering floor colours.
First, consider the size of the room. Choose light-coloured flooring to create the illusion of space, especially if you have white walls. Next, match or contrast your laminate with your existing floor. If you are starting over completely, feel free to consider any colour. Also, take note of the space’s decor when choosing a colour.
5. Don’t Forget the Finish
We all want our floors to look their best. Laminate finish is often an afterthought if it’s not forgotten completely by homeowners. However, this is important and should not be ignored. Selecting the right finish has to do more with lifestyle than aesthetics.
If you have a quiet lifestyle then pick any finish you want. However, if you have an active household with kids and pets, or you have a commercial space with lots of visitors, pay attention. Pick laminate flooring with a varied grain pattern and low gloss finish. You may also opt for distressed or hand-scraped textures. This is because your floors will be exposed to a lot of activity, which means a higher chance of wear and tear. While no flooring can avoid wear and tear, picking the right finish can help your floors look cleaner and less subject to scratches and scuffs.
6. Pick the Right Brands
Every customer should pay attention to flooring brands. Reputable manufacturers make high-quality products that not only last longer but also tend to have an added warranty. So, if anything goes wrong, the customer’s investment is secure.
Make sure you follow your manufacturer’s installation instructions properly to avoid voiding your warranty. It is recommended that you hire professional installers for the best results. The Reno Superstore offers a wide range of high-quality and affordable laminate flooring brands.
7. The Bottom Line
Laminate floors are a popular choice for both residential and commercial spaces. We recommend that you understand everything related to this type of flooring before you make a choice. This not only helps you buy the right product, but it also helps to deliver the best results. The Reno Superstore offers top-quality laminate flooring in Toronto and Mississauga at the best prices. Get in touch with us and we will help you get started.