Knowledge about laminate styles
Laminate is offered in a variety of styles and it is our goal to help you understand everything about installation types regarding this unique family of flooring products. We hope sharing this information with you makes it easier to shop smart and compare with confidence.
For several of us, when it comes to picking a style of any product, we sometimes “know it when we see it”. Perhaps this is the type of person you are too.
If laminate interests you, it is virtually guaranteed that you will find a style that is right for you and your home.
This section explains laminate types of installation, and offers you all the information you need to make smart choices.
Is it real or laminate? It is possible that laminate looked fake the last time you looked at them; however, things have changed and it’s time to look again.
Today, laminates look more realistic than ever before and often need very close examination to be identified.
Laminates have truly come a long way. Why?
Because of the growing popularity of laminates, manufacturers are creating an increasing array of, rustic, exotic, and traditional wood grain designs.
Presses have improved so much that the texture is imprinted on top of each tile or plank. The design then looks more real than ever, even with natural stone or distressed wood.
Want to know what’s new in the laminate industry? As with sheet vinyl floors, some of the new laminates honestly look like the natural material that they are replicating, especially those that are textured and give the floor dimension.
The most common, basic laminate designs have a wood grain appearance.
Some of the most popular laminates have historic or rustic wood grain patterns.
Today’s best sellers are the natural stone look-a-likes, especially tumbled tile and slate varieties.
Quality is focused on the photography. The laminate quality is partially related with the photography “screens”, which is the number of photographs per style.
An example of this is when manufacturers emulate natural stone or tile, they try to recreate the variation in pattern, texture and colour. This is a result of cutting a natural product.
The larger amount of screens a product has, the more variations it can offer. This also helps in the authenticity of how the laminate looks.
Understand this about colour. Like all floors, select the laminate colour to compliment the activities taking place and the size of your room.
Lighter colours make a smaller room appear larger, while darker colours absorb light and sometimes create an more intimate setting.
Remember to choose a colour that coordinates and slightly contrasts with all furniture and walls in the room.
Matching everything to the same colour and style should be avoided. If you let your creativity guide you and remember that contrast can make your room look more interesting, you’ll be good!
Laminate flooring types – yours will be installed in one of these 4 forms
GLUELESS LAMINATE FLOORING. No mess, glueless installation makes these floors quick and easy-to-install.
They come in a variety of wood and ceramic colours and designs. Some manufacturers offer real hardwood veneer instead of the printed layer. This makes it look amazingly like hardwood.
These floors come in squares and planks. There is a thin, plastic underlayment needed to seal out moisture from below. (Remember that moisture is the enemy to floors.)
Most laminate floors require a plastic underlay sheet (4 mil poly) to be installed directly underneath the laminate tiles or planks. This helps the floor float over the subfloor. Another option would be to add a noise reduction underlay or vapor barrier before the installation of the laminate flooring.
LAMINATE FLOORING WITH ATTACHED UNDERLAY. This type of floor comes with several different types of tongue and groove locking systems. An attached underlayment reduces noise levels.
GLUED LAMINATE FLOORING. This type is the original laminate floor that requires special formulated glue that needs to be applied to the tongue and groove area for each plank. Once the glue dries, the laminate planks or squares are basically impossible to pull apart.
PRE-GLUED LAMINATE FLOORING.No mess, because the glue is already applied to the tongue and grooves which makes these floors quick and easy-to-install.
A thin, plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture and prevent the glue from sticking to the substrate.
Moldings are the finishing touch. Moldings affect the overall style of your laminate and will give the room its finished and beautiful look.
These are mostly important because they cover the space between the flooring and the walls that allow the flooring to expand and contract naturally over time. They also help with the transition to an adjacent floor.
Coordinating moldings for most styles and colours of laminate are offered by most manufacturers.
Remember that moldings for laminates are slightly larger than their ceramic tile or wood counterparts.
Below are some styles and definitions to familiarize you with various standard moldings.
The Step Down Stairnose is a piece that coordinates the proper transition for all steps in your home.
A Reducer Strip is a transitional piece used by installers to connect laminate with another type of flooring, such as thin ceramic tile, low-pile carpeting or vinyl.
An End Molding or Carpet Reducer is used for transition from laminate floor to another type of flooring when the reducer does not allow sufficient height, such as on thick ceramic tile or high-pile carpet.
T-Molding is most commonly used in doorways. It joins two laminate floors in adjoining rooms. This is also recommended if making transitions between a laminate floor to another type of floor that is approximately the same height.
Finally, a Quarter Round can be installed where the laminate floor meets the baseboard or wall.
We recommend that you work closely with us to become familiar with the transition pieces and moldings.
So there are no surprises during installation time, ask to see samples.
With a lot of knowledge, hopefully from the above information, and a little imagination (this is up to you), you will find a laminate flooring that is just right for you and your home.