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5 Top-Rated Laminate Flooring Installation Secrets You Can't Afford To Ignore
The laminate flooring installation industry has seen phenomenal growth, and with good reason. These innovative floor coverings simulate virtually any wood grain, style and texture. The appearance is absolutely authentic. If you can't afford a solid hardwood product, this is an excellent, easy-to-clean alternative. However, for a professional finish you need to keep some laminate flooring installation secrets in mind.
Secret 1 - Transform Yourself Into A Traffic Master
You need to match the quality of the flooring perfectly to the area where you plan to install it. One easy way to do this, is to make a note of the AC-rating. This symbol-and-digit system gives an accurate indication of the suitability of a particular range for use in high or low traffic areas. AC stands for Abrasion Class. In order to display this symbol, a range has to be tested for its ability to withstand a certain amount of use, as well as mishaps such as bumps, scratches, burn marks, or fading due to UV damage. The tests also include aspects such as moisture resistance. A cheap, discount laminate flooring product may not carry this mark and may be a total waste of money.
For residential use, the AC-rating consists of a house symbol, while commercially suited lines display a building. The digit tracks the traffic wearability.
AC1 is an indication that you can do the laminate flooring installation in the bedrooms of your home.
AC2 lines can be installed in living rooms and dining room areas.
AC3 is tough enough for use in heavy traffic residential areas, or light commercial settings.
AC4 ranges can be utilized in offices and boutiques.
AC5 is the toughest, suitable for heavy traffic areas, such as department stores.
Don't assume that the most robust one is the best for your home. The higher the AC-rating, the rougher the texture. If you enjoy barefoot walking, your feet will soon be complaining loudly. You are also likely to find that sock darning suddenly becomes a full-time occupation! A sales person should be able to give you advice, but it is much better if you collect some background information yourself.
Secret 2 - Core Truths Of Flooring
You now know to be on the look-out for plank quality and thickness. Another vital secret to keep in mind, is the density of the floor's core. If you want to know how well your choice of brand will be able to resist moisture, rips and indentations, ask about the core density. On the other hand, the wear layer determines the robustness as far as scratches, stains and scuff marks are concerned. Urethane for example, is great if you want to block stains. A good core density combined with a tough wear layer are a winning pair if you want a floor with a long life.
Secret 3 - When The Chips Are Down
Chipping often becomes a headache during a laminate flooring installation project. You have to use some type of saw in order to get the plank lengths you need. It is vital to find a way to minimize chipping. Use a left-over piece of plank to practice on. Find out what works for you, before you continue with the task. If you have a hand held power saw, turn the plank over and keep the good side down. Try to use a form of builders tape to protect the edge while you work. Chips can be extremely unsightly and you need to eliminate them as far as possible. A circular saw with a carbide-tipped blade and a saber saw for curves are highly effective.
Secret 4 - Go With The Flow
You need to install the planks parallel to the direction of the light flowing from the natural source of light. This is one secret behind an aesthetically pleasing floor. In addition, this simple step will display the joints between the planks in the best light, so to speak.
Before you start, also make sure that the walls are really as straight as you assume they are. You can start your project by following a wall, only to find out that the line isn't at all what you expected. This can quickly result in a costly flooring fiasco. It is sensible to complete three or four rows, and let them settle down for an hour or so. This will give you a solid start. The wall of a long hallway can also be utilized as a guide. Always check that you tackle adjoining rooms in such a fashion that the line can be continued straight and smoothly into the hallway.
Secret 5 - Stick To Your Guns
Many experts in the home improvement field still recommend the use of glue in the grooves of the planks. Manufacturers often claim that this isn't necessary, as the planks fit so tightly together. Your laminate flooring supplier will be able to give you an indication of the approach that ensures the best results with a particular brand. A sealed joint will definitely give better protection against moisture. However, this complicates the procedure and is time-consuming.
In bathrooms and kitchens you don't have much of an option in this regard. There are always spills and messes, no matter how careful you are. Humidity has a tendency to seep into every crevice. It will cause the core to swell, leading to unsightly buckling. By being diligent with glue in the joints and a caulking gun around the perimeter of the room, you will ensure that the good looks of your laminate flooring installation is retained for years. The floor itself is never glued down, except on stairs. Don't be too generous with the glue and wipe any excess away with a damp cloth. Always work in the direction of the joint.
Some research will pay handsome dividends in the long run. If you choose wisely, your laminate flooring installation will provide pleasure and an elegant decor touch for years to come.
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