What laminate flooring is made from, what makes laminate flooring a good choice for the do-it-yourselfer
The popularity of laminate flooring began in Europe, and is becoming increasingly popular in North America as well. But what is laminate flooring exactly, and even though it appears as though it is made of real hardwood, why must it be counted as being in a class by itself?
most notably in Europe where the grading of laminate flooring is still the industry standard. Laminate flooring is made up of a core of dense fiberboard, and a top layer on which a photographed pattern is pressure sealed by a coating of plastic-like aluminum oxide. When you walk on a laminate floor that appears to be made of real wood, you are actually walking on a very realistic photograph! This sealed photographic, or décor layer, makes the laminate floor surface very durable and resistant to damage from high foot traffic, household pets, and light moisture. The core layer is thereby protected from moisture that might land on the top surface, although water spills or other moisture should be mopped up promptly and not allowed to sit on the floor.
Beyond the laminate floor’s resistance to moisture, scratching, and staining, which allows the floor to be very low maintenance, one of the main draws of laminate flooring is the ease of its installation. Many types laminate flooring provide a "glueless" alternative, allowing each board to be connected by means of a tongue-and-groove design that clicks together to form a sturdily fastened surface. With some experience in light carpentry, a laminate floor is a good option for a proficient do-it-yourselfer. In this sense, installing laminate flooring yourself could save you the cost of hiring a professional. If you happen to be a professional, a laminate floor is a great time-saving option to offer to clients, allowing you to move to the next job with minimum fuss and maximum results.
When laying the first row of laminate flooring, it is important to leave a 10mm gap between the row and the wall to allow for expansion of the laminate flooring and avoid arching. When laying subsequent rows of laminate, stagger the seams to make sure that the laminate is securely interlocked across the entire surface. Once the laminate floor is laid, you can add moldings and skirting boards to complete the job.
Advantages of laminate flooring: subfloors
Another advantage in choosing laminate flooring is the versatility it allows on nearly any type of dry, clean, and level subfloor. Laminate flooring is a great alternative for two reasons that preclude hardwood flooring as an option. First because the laminate flooring reflects the aesthetic value for which hardwood floors are well known. Laminate flooring can achieve a similar look to that of hardwood flooring. Second, in the case where a subfloor is not compatible with the installation of hardwood flooring, either because of moisture levels or because the subfloor is of a variety (e.g. concrete) that does not allow the hardwood to be directly fastened to it.
Laminate flooring is extremely versatile and can be installed on nearly every type of subfloor, ranging from concrete, to a new wood subfloor, to an existing vinyl or ceramic subfloor, as long as the subfloor is level, clean, and dry. Laminate flooring can be installed with confidence in nearly any part of a home or office, with the exception of areas prone to extreme dampness or excessive moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. To protect against moisture that might come from underneath your laminate floor, it is recommended that a vapor barrier be installed, or at least that a moisture-protecting underlayment be used under the flooring
Limitations of laminate floors
Although the core layer of most laminate flooring is somewhat moisture resistant, it is usually considered unsuitable for areas where a great deal of moisture can be expected, such as your bathroom or laundry room. The surface layer of the laminate is more likely to keep any problems to a minimum, but once moisture finds its way along the edges and underneath the surface layer, warping and swelling can result in your laminate floor. When installing on a subfloor that is likely to let in a lot of moisture, a vapor barrier underneath the underlayment is highly recommended.
Another possible limitation comes from the "floating floor" nature of your laminate flooring. Because of the space between the laminate and the subfloor, walking on a laminate floor can result in more audible footfalls. Of course, this is entirely dependent upon how sensitive you are to this kind of thing, and also how the general acoustics of the flooring space helps or hinders sound transmission. The underlayment can help to reduce the "echo" to varying degrees, depending on the kind you choose.
Cleaning your laminate floor
This moisture limitations mentioned above should also be kept in mind when cleaning your laminate floor. Never flood the floor or mop it with excessive water. A laminate floor can be cleaned simply by using a vacuum cleaner with a soft flooring attachment, or a broom, or a slightly damp cloth or mop. Avoid floor wax products or harsh, soap-based cleaners as these will affect the floor’s décor layer.
Laminate flooring can really give your living space or work space a slick and elegant appeal at a significantly low cost when compared to hardwood. Along with its durability and versatility, laminate flooring is easy to maintain, allowing you more time to get on with other things.
that is designed for use as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Bamboo flooring is often considered a wood floor, although it is made from a grass (bamboo) rather than a timber.
Solid hardwood floors come in a wide range of dimensions and styles, with each plank made of solid wood and milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building Known as bearers and joists. Modern construction techniques rarely use bearers and joists for the subfloor construction with most homes built in Australia being of a concrete slab basis with a wood building frame, solid Australian hardwood floors are used almost exclusively for their appearance.
For flooring, solid wood has natural characteristics. Australian hardwoods are hygroscopic that means they acquire and lose moisture due to the ambient conditions around them. Typically, 100mm thick boards are the largest that can be manufactured from solid wood without compromising the structure of the flooring (some manufacturers produce wider boards using proprietary milling techniques). There is, however, no standard size which will perform well in every environment. For contemporary construction techniques, the most significant characteristic of solid wood floors is that they are able to be installed over concrete slab - the battening system having the least maintenance.
Wood flooring is a popular feature in many houses.Engineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer (lamella) is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed, and is adhered to the core (or substrate) which provides the stability.
vinyl and veneer floors are often confused with engineered wood floors - laminate uses an image of wood on its surface, vinyl is plastic formed to look like wood, and veneer uses a thin layer of wood with a core that could be one of a number of different composite wood products (most commonly, high density fibreboard).
Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally. North America is the only continent that has a larger solid wood market than engineered, although engineered wood is quickly catching up in market share.
A subcategory of engineered wood flooring is acrylic impregnated wood flooring. This product utilizes a real wood veneer that is impregnated with liquid acrylic and then hardened using a special process. Non impregnated Northern Red Oak typically tests at 1,290 on the Janka hardness scale and acrylic impregnated Northern Red Oak typically tests at 2,286 and 4,786 on the Janka hardness scale (ASTM D-143). Acrylic impregnated engineered wood flooring is normally used in high traffic interior spaces that require a high level of dent and wear resistance.
It is difficult to compare in generalities solid wood floor to engineered wood floors, as there is a wide range of engineered wood floor qualities. Engineered floors typically are pre-finished more often than solid wood floors, and usually are supplied with beveled edges, affecting the appearance. There are several limitations on solid hardwood that give it a more limited scope of use: solid wood should not be installed directly over concrete, should not be installed below grade (basements) and it should not be used with radiant floor heating. Solid hardwood is also typically limited in plank width and is more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) with increased plank size.
Solid wood products, on average, have a substantially, or slightly, thicker 'sandable surface' (the wood that is above the tongue), and can be installed using nails. Lastly, solid wood tends to be less expensive than engineered wood, but this, as with the thickness of the 'sandable surface,' depends on the quality of the engineered wood (most inexpensive engineered wood products are 'veneer' wood floors, and not 'engineered'). In many installations, however, engineered flooring can only withstand a limited number of sandings, versus solid wood, which can be sanded many times.
Engineered wood flooring has several benefits over solid wood, beyond dimensional stability and universal use. Patented installation systems (such as "unilin" or "fiboloc") allow for faster installation and easy replacement of boards. Engineered wood also allows a 'floating' installation (where the planks are not fastened to the floor below or to each other), further increasing ease of repair and reducing installation time.
In general engineered wood panels are longer and wider than solid planks. The top surface of solid and engineered flooring have the same properties of hardness and durability.The development of "structural" engineered flooring now means engineered floors (often with 1/4 inch lamellas and birch ply backing) can be nailed directly over joists without the need for plywood sub-flooring.
Solid wood can be cut in three styles: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. However, because only one side of the wood is visible on flooring, "quarter-sawn" and "rift-sawn" will have the same appearance. Many solid woods come with "absorption strips" - grooves cut into the back of the wood that run the length of each plank. They are used to reduce cupping. Solid wood floors are mostly manufactured at 3/4" thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation.
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The lamella is the face layer of the wood that is visible when installed. Typically it is a sawn piece of timber.
The timber can be cut in three different styles: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. However, because only one side of the wood is visible on flooring, "quarter-sawn" and "rift-sawn" will have the same appearance.
1) Wood ply construction ("sandwich core"): Uses multiple thin plies of wood adhered together. The wood grain of each ply runs perpendicular to the ply below it. Stability is attained from using thin layers of wood that have little to no reaction to climatic change. The wood is further stabilized due to equal pressure being exerted lengthwise and widthwise from the plies running perpendicular to each other.
2) Finger core construction: Finger core engineered wood floors are made of small pieces of milled timber that run perpendicular to the top layer (lamella) of wood. They can be 2-ply or 3-ply, depending on their intended use. If it is three ply, the third ply is often plywood that runs parallel to the lamella. Stability is gained through the grains running perpendicular to each other, and the expansion and contraction of wood is reduced and relegated to the middle ply, stopping the floor from gapping or cupping.
3) Fibreboard: The core is made up of medium or high density fibreboard. Floors with a fibreboard core are hygroscpoic and must never be exposed to large amounts of water or very high humidity - the expansion caused from absorbing water combined with the density of the fibreboard, will cause it to lose its form. Fibreboard is less expensive than timber but is not VOC (volatile organic compound) free and is not environmentally friendly.
4)An engineered flooring construction which is popular in parts of Europe is the hardwood lamella, softwood core laid perpendicular to the lamella, and a final backing layer of the same noble wood used for the lamella. Other noble hardwoods are sometimes used for the back layer but must be compatible. This is thought by many to be the most stable of engineered floors.
Wood can be manufactured with a variety of different installation systems:
1) Tongue-and-groove: One side and one end of the plank have a groove, the other side and end have a tongue (protruding wood along an edge's center). The tongue and groove fit snugly together, thus joining or aligning the planks, and are not visible once joined. Tongue-and-groove flooring can be installed by glue-down (both engineered and solid), floating (mostly engineered only), or nail-down (not recommended for most engineered).
2) "Click" systems: there are a number of patented "click" systems that now exist. These click systems are either "unilin" or "fiboloc" A "click" floor is similar to tongue-and-groove, but instead of fitting directly into the groove, the board must be angled or "tapped" in to make the curved or barbed tongue fit into the modified groove. No adhesive is used when installing a "click" floor, making board replacement easier. This system not only exists for engineered wood floors but also bamboo and a small number of solid floors (such as "parador solido click") and is designed to be used for floating installations. It is beneficial for the Do-It-Yourself market.
3) Floor connection system: There are a wide range of connection systems, as most of them are mill-specific manufacturing techniques. The general principle is to have grooves on all four sides of the plank with a separate, unconnected, piece that is inserted into the grooves of two planks to join them. The piece used for the connection can be made from wood, rubber, or plastic. This installation system allows for different materials (i.e. wood and metal) to be installed together if they have the same connection system.
4) Wood flooring can also be installed utilizing the glue-down method. This is an especially popular method for solid parquet flooring installations on concrete sub-floors. Additionally, engineered wood flooring may use the glue-down method as well. A layer of mastic is placed onto the sub-floor using a trowel similar to those used in laying ceramic tile. The wood pieces are then laid on top of the glue and hammered into place using a rubber mallet and a protected 2x4 to create a level floor. Often the parquet floor will require sanding and re-finishing after the glue-down installation method due to the small size pieces.
This process involves treating the wood by boiling the log in water at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. After preparation, the wood is peeled by a blade starting from the outside of the log and working toward the center, thus creating a wood veneer. The veneer is then pressed flat with high pressure. This style of manufacturing tends to have problems with the wood cupping or curling back to its original shape. This problem is commonly known as "face checking" and is a manufacturing defect. Rotary-peeled engineered hardwoods tend to have a plywood appearance in the grain.
This process begins with the same treatment process that the rotary peel method uses. However, instead of being sliced in a rotary fashion, with this technique the wood is sliced from the end of a log, resulting in disc shaped veneers. The veneers then go through the same manufacturing process as rotary peeled veneers. Engineered hardwood produced this way tends to have fewer problems with "face checking", and also does not have the same plywood appearance in the grain. However, the planks can tend to have edge splintering and cracking due to the fact the veneers have been submersed in water and then pressed flat.
Instead of boiling the hardwood logs, in this process they are kept at a low humidity level and dried slowly to draw moisture from the inside of the wood cells. The logs are then sawed in the same manner as for solid hardwood planks. This style of engineered hardwood has the same look as solid hardwood, and does not have any of the potential problems of "face checking" that rotary-peel and slice-peel products have, because the product is not exposed to added moisture.
Finishing, refinishing, and sanding
The two most popular modern finishes for wood flooring are oil and polyurethane. Within both categories there are many variations and other names used to describe the finish. Oil and polyurethane also have very different refinishing and maintenance regimes.
1) Natural shellacs, lacquers, and varnishes were used in the past, as were waxes, often blended with oils.
2) Oil - Oiled floors have existed for several thousand years and is the most common floor finish used globally. Oil finished floors are made from naturally derived drying oils, and are not to be confused with petroleum based oils. Pre-finished oil floors can be UV cured. Most vegetable based oils are 100% natural and contain no VOCs.
2.1) Brushed and Oiled - Steel brushes are used in the direction of the grain which opens up the surface of the wood and removes splinters. The wood is then oiled.
3) Polyurethane - Polyurethane floor finishes were first introduced around 1940. There are several types of polyurethane finishes that exist, but the two most common are straight polyurethane and oil-modified polyurethane. Both products are sold under various names including: urethane, lacquer, and varnish. Many finish manufacturers and wood flooring manufacturers create brand names for their finish.
Sanding provides a method for smoothing an installed floor, compensating for unevenness of the subfloor. Additionally, sanding is used to renew the appearance of older floors. Sanding using successively finer grades of sandpaper is required to ensure even stain penetration when stains are used, as well as to eliminate visible scratches from coarser sandpaper grades used initially. Prior to modern polyurethanes, oils and waxes were used in addition to stains to provide finishes. Beeswax and linseed oil, for example, are both natural crosslinking polymers are hardened over time.
Care of wood floors
Proper use of vacuuming, sweeping, and damp mopping is usually all that is required to maintain the cleanliness and appearance of a wood floor. Oil soaps should not be used to clean the floors. The best suggestion is to use the manufacturers recommended cleaning products. Like tile floors, excessive grit and foot traffic will affect appearance. Unlike carpet or rugs, a properly finished wood floor, like tile, does not accumulate hidden soil or odorous compounds.
Anaheim is a city we install any kind of flooring and do work as a general contractor. We have hardwood flooring, engineered, laminate, solid wood, Stone and Tile. We offer our clients of top-quality service combined with industry-leading resources and materials. We know when it comes to flooring there are a lot of choices for you but before you purchase your flooring materials from another source, we guarantee our large selection of items and unbeatable prices will help to make sure that you find the flooring that suits your taste and needs.
Visit our showroom where you will find all kinds of flooring we are located at 1440 S. State College Blvd. Suite 6F Anaheim CA. 92806 or phone us for more info at 855-623-5677. We carry a great selection of hardwood flooring, solid and engineered, as well as laminate and tile. We have been in the flooring business for over 25 years.Take a look and see our vast assortment of ceramic, porcelain, glass, wood, and stone available in many styles, colors, and sizes. We pledge with our knowledge, experience and best prices, you won't be disappointed!
• Marianne L. - 5 Stars - Orange, CAWe already had our living and office area done in provenza engineered wood a couple of years ago by another business. We knew at that time we were going to replace carpet in two other rooms with the same product. Once we were ready we returned to the company we had already done businss with to get an estimate, then decided to check another store before making our decision who to use. We went to Mori's and reallly liked him. He came right out and gave us an estimate that was lower than the other one we got. We decided to give him the job. The men that did the work were above our expectations. They were so careful, clean, polite. and friendly. From the prep to the finish was excellent. Might I say I am pretty pickey. I highly recommend using Treasure Stone and Tile for a great price and good experience. • Amir S. - 5 Stars - Signal Hill, CAMori is the man! He gave us a fantastic deal on some high quality wood floors and installation. We are very happy with our overall experience and highly recommend Mori and his team. • Murray P. - 5 Stars - Ladera Ranch, CAGreat contractor, fair price, fast installation, great clean up, nice people & a pleasure to work with. • Betty N. - 5 Stars - Irvine, CAI was referred to Treasure Stone and Tile and I got to know Moe. He was very professional. Showed up at our appointment on time, provided a complete quote, his installers installed my floor in one day and it was perfect. I could not ask for anything more.
Thanks to Moe for a job well done and I will recommend them to anyone I know.
Fullerton is a city we install any kind of flooring and do work as a general contractor. We have hardwood flooring, engineered, laminate, solid wood, Stone and Tile. We offer our clients of top-quality service combined with industry-leading resources and materials. We know when it comes to flooring there are a lot of choices for you but before you purchase your flooring materials from another source, we guarantee our large selection of items and unbeatable prices will help to make sure that you find the flooring that suits your taste and needs.
You will find top Laminate Flooring brands - Eternity - Inhaus Flooring - Republic Flooring - Home Legend - Armstrong Flooring - Provenza Floors - Oasis Flooring - Tecsun Flooring - and more
Many types laminate flooring provide a "glueless" alternative, allowing each board to be connected by means of a tongue-and-groove design that clicks together to form a sturdily fastened surface. With some experience in light carpentry, a laminate floor is a good option for a proficient do-it-yourselfer. In this sense, installing laminate flooring yourself could save you the cost of hiring a professional. If you happen to be a professional, a laminate floor is a great time-saving option to offer to clients, allowing you to move to the next job with minimum fuss and maximum results.
Laminate flooring has been a popular choice in other parts of the world for many years, most notably in Europe where the grading of laminate flooring is still the industry standard. Laminate flooring is made up of a core of dense fiberboard, and a top layer on which a photographed pattern is pressure sealed by a coating of plastic-like aluminum oxide. When you walk on a laminate floor that appears to be made of real wood, you are actually walking on a very realistic photograph! This sealed photographic, or décor layer, makes the laminate floor surface very durable and resistant to damage from high foot traffic, household pets, and light moisture. The core layer is thereby protected from moisture that might land on the top surface, although water spills or other moisture should be mopped up promptly and not allowed to sit on the floor.
Placentia is a city we install any kind of flooring and do work as a general contractor. We have hardwood flooring, engineered, laminate, solid wood, Stone and Tile. We offer our clients of top-quality service combined with industry-leading resources and materials. We know when it comes to flooring there are a lot of choices for you but before you purchase your flooring materials from another source, we guarantee our large selection of items and unbeatable prices will help to make sure that you find the flooring that suits your taste and needs.