Here are some of the details you should know
The lamination process involves fusing together two or more types of materials then sealing them. The laminate flooring world is replete with choices, and stone, wood plus tile are among the more popular. Any layout of stone or tile, or type of color and grain of wood, can be captured, laminated then split into planks that you can easily assemble to create a floor. A better way to define laminates is by dividing them into different types, in order to figure out which will work best for you.
You can divide laminate flooring into installation categories. This is to help you select the type of laminate with the kind of installation that fits your project:
- Glueless Click-Lock: There’s over two-thirds of laminate flooring types that falls within this category. The glueless click-lock laminates are quite easy-to-install too.
- Pre-Glued: For this type, glue has been pre-applied into the joints already, though they may need to be moistened in order to activate the glue before joining them together.
- Glued Laminate: For this type, you will be required to glue the joints together. This laminate makes for quite strong floor once you install it, but the cost of installation and time is a tad higher than when installing the Glueless Click-Lock.
If you are looking to pick your laminate flooring type based on what the surface will look like, there are many surface types you can choose from as laminates are ever evolving.
- Smooth: This gives a plain finish just like the kind you would find with a layer of varnish on hardwood. You also have a choice with the gloss finish [High, Medium or Low].
- Textured/Embossed: There are laminates whose surfaces give a textured finish. Regular embossing may not exactly match up the printed grain’s grooves, but it will still fool the eye to see a surface grain.
- Hand-Scraped/Distressed: The Hand-Scraped laminate flooring type is a process that, until very recently, was reserved for solid hardwood or engineered floors only. This process is to add an antiqued look to your flooring.
- Embossed in Registration: An embossing type that matches the wood grains exactly to give your floor the most authentic look.
If you are looking for durable laminate flooring products, the AC Rating is the ideal guide to check the expected foot traffic or usage against what the laminate flooring is made to withstand. The AC acronym stand for; Abrasion Class. Set standards for the five AC categories of durability and use are;
- AC1 Moderate Residential: For light residential use, they are suitable for bedrooms or closets.
- AC2 General Residential: For moderate foot traffic, they are suitable for residential spaces with little amount of tear and wear such as living rooms or dining rooms.
- AC3 Moderate Commercial/Heavy Residential: For every kind of residential use. These include high-traffic spaces or even light-traffic rooms such as offices without off-street traffic, plus hotel rooms.
- AC4 General Commercial: For all kinds of residential use. These include heavily-trafficked commercial spaces with off-street traffic [cafes, offices, boutiques, etc.].
- AC5 Heavy Commercial: For the busiest commercial uses. These include high-traffic spaces such as government buildings and department stores.
The general rule of thumb here is; higher AC Ratings mean higher prices.