Stomping feet, high-heeled shoes, spills, and puppies that are not yet
housebroken. Our floors take a lot of abuse, and at last, through the
marvels of engineering, something exists that can gracefully handle such
abuse: laminate flooring. It looks good, cleans up easily, and can be
installed right over your existing floor. It is a system of interlocking
tongue and groove planks that have a "floating" installation process. This
simply means the laminate is not attached to the floor underneath, but
simply rests on top of it.
A piece of laminate flooring is constructed of four parts. The top layer is
a clear cap sheet of aluminum oxide, making the floor difficult to damage
and resistant to stains. Underneath that is a wear-resistant decorative
surface made from resin-based melamine. This is then bonded to a
moisture-resistant wood-based core. The bottom layer is a material used for
Installing laminate floors is a good do-it-yourself project, but many
contractors are available to do the job for you. If you decide to take the
project on yourself, be certain to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
While flooring systems work in the same general manner, each one will have
specific requirements that must be met. Some systems use a small amount of
glue, placed strategically in the groove, others require the groove to be
completely filled with glue, and still others require no glue at all. Your
warranty may be voided if you fail to follow the instructions correctly.
The one thing you will need to know to install any kind of laminate flooring
is that your floor should be flat, with no holes greater than 3 inches in
diameter. Also, any high spots must be ground down and low spots filled in
so that the floor only rises 1/8 an inch for every 48 inches of length.
After you receive your flooring let it acclimatize to your surroundings for
two or three days before installing. This allows the flooring to expand or
contract based on the humidity and temperature of your geographic location.
The density of laminate floors makes them easy to keep clean, due to the
large amount of resin applied on top of the wood-based material. You simply
need to vacuum or clean the floor with a damp mop. Spot cleaning may
require a damp cloth and some elbow grease. Polishes are unnecessary and
ineffective since they will not stick to the floor because of the resin
coating. While laminate floors are quite durable they can be scratched
under extreme conditions and scratching leads to the dulling of your shiny
floor. Keep your floors looking new by placing floor mats at entryways to
keep dirt from entering your home, cleaning your floors regularly, and using
small cushions or glides under the legs of furniture.
Sources used in this article include www.doityourself.com and