Laminate flooring (also called floating wood tile) is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. There is a European Standard No. EN 13329:2000 specifying laminate floor covering requirements and testing methods.
What’s the difference between vinyl flooring and laminate flooring?
Vinyl flooring is 100% plastic with its strong suit being super resistant to moisture which makes it best to be used in bathrooms and other high humidity rooms.
Laminate flooring is 99% wood that gives your home better resale value and looks more natural than vinyl. Laminate is more comfortable and warm so it is best used in higher traffic rooms such as hallways and the kitchen.
How to Install Laminate Flooring
Laminate floors are reasonably easy for a DIY homeowner to install. The flooring is packaged as a number of tongue and groove planks, which can be clicked into one another. Sometimes a glue backing is provided for ease of installation. Installed laminate floors typically “float” over the sub-floor on top of a foam/film underlayment, which provides moisture- and sound-reducing properties. A small (1–10 millimeters (0.039–0.394 in)) gap is required between the flooring and any immovable object such as walls, this allows the flooring to expand without being obstructed. Baseboards (skirting boards) can be removed and then reinstalled after laying of the flooring is complete for a neater finish, or the baseboard can be left in place with the flooring butted into it, then small beading trims such as shoe molding or the larger quarter-round molding can be fitted to the bottoms of the baseboards. Saw cuts on the planks are usually required at edges and around cupboard and door entrances, but professional installers typically use door jamb undercut saws to cut out space to a height that allows the flooring to go under the door jamb & casing for a cleaner look.
Improper installation can result in peaking, in which adjacent boards form a V shape projecting from the floor, or gaps, in which two adjacent boards are separated from each other.