Laminate flooring

WHAT IS LAMINATE FLOORING?

WHAT IS LAMINATE FLOORING?

It’s no secret that laminate flooring is cost-effective, mess-resistant and more often than not, fuss-free. You may be asking what else makes laminate flooring such a firm favourite aside from these benefits?

Invented in 1977 in Sweden, laminate flooring is by far one of the biggest advancements in interior renovation. After the trend spread across Europe in the 80s and then to the US in the 90s, another Swedish company took it one step further by developing glue-free laminate flooring planks that made it even easier to install.

Since then, the rest is history. This type of flooring has become the preferred choice for homes across the world, along with a constant favourite in home magazines, décor shows and interior websites for its blend of style, easy installation, longevity and affordability.

With the constantly improving quality of materials and products on the market, it is almost impossible to spot the difference between hardwood and laminate flooring. Take a closer look and you may be able to notice some very small differences, but if you have sourced your floors from a trusted supplier, the overall result is one that is flawless and stylish.

Did you know that your laminate flooring could also help reduce allergies and even cut down on stress too?

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring features

  • Easy on the budget. Depending on the material, number of planks needed and the installation, this option works out far easier on the budget than traditional wood. Upkeep is far easier too, with easy cleaning and less chance of scratches and surface damage. As it is designed to be durable and long-lasting, replacement is not a huge factor either.
  • Easy on the eye. Visually, this type of floor is as close to wood as it gets without being pure wood. This is due to an imprinted layer that has a photo realistic imprint of real wood grain. By choosing a mixture of plank designs, you will end up with a wood look that is so realistic, it shows right down to the grain and grooves.
  • Easy on the installation. Another big advantage to modern laminate flooring is that installation can be done quickly and easily with some basic DIY knowledge and skills or you can call one of our expert Floors Direct installation teams. The glue-free installation uses special click technology that fits each plank together like a puzzle. The finish is smooth, without unsightly cracks or gaps in between planks, and everything remains bonded without the need for glue.
  • Easy on the wear and tear. As we mentioned above the upkeep on laminate flooring is minimal, this is due to highly durable planks that comprise a number of layers. Each layer is designed to strengthen and protect, with a final UV resistant layer helping to protect against sunlight and water (if choosing planks that are water-proof). This means less stress over pets, kids and other traffic on your laminate floors.
  • Easy on the hayfever. As laminate flooring does not gather dust, or have gaps that allow dust and particles to build up, these floors are also ideal for allergy sufferers. Moisture is also kept at bay, ensuring a hygienic option that further relieves the risk of allergens accumulating.
  • Easy on the environment. Last but not least, laminate flooring helps the planet. Materials used to create the product come from sustainable trees such as pines, or wood waste that would usually go to the dump. No exotic trees are used, which is so often the case with genuine hardwood floors.

As more homes and premises catch on to the many benefits offered by this choice, one thing is sure – laminate flooring is here to stay!

Vinyl Flooring

THE NEW GENERATION OF VINYL FLOORING

THE NEW GENERATION OF VINYL FLOORING

When you think of vinyl flooring, you might remember the somewhat tacky yet practical flooring favoured for bathrooms, institutions and various other high traffic zones. Luckily, this flooring type has come a long way since then, and today, modern vinyl flooring is making a huge comeback in the most beautiful of homes and premises.

As the need for tough, yet stylish, building solutions grow so too do the options available for homes, offices, shops and even showrooms. Vinyl flooring is meeting this demand with a move towards realistic wood-look planks that are fitted with easy-to-install click technology. The result is a floor that looks like wood, but is water-resistant, pet-proof, kid-friendly, mess-proof and suitable for high traffic zones.

Vinyl floors are extremely versatile, it can be installed in rooms such as lounge, bedrooms, passages, basements, garages, kitchens, bathrooms, kid’s rooms, laundry rooms, work rooms, playrooms and just about any other room you can think of.

Vinyl Flooring

A typical plank comprises a number of layers that each help to make the floors as strong as possible. At the bottom is a tough, cushioned backing to boost strength while also adding comfort.  Next is a thin layer of wood composite, which is followed by an imprinted layer that gives the material a realistic wood look. UV resistant layers are then added to the surface to add shine, while also making the plank safer against the elements.

Once each layer is clicked together and placed onto the sub-floor, you are left with gleaming vinyl flooring that enhances any room, while also being tough enough to withstand anything from a busy two year old child to high levels of traffic on a sales floor.

Why vinyl flooring is the biggest trend in interiors

What is it about vinyl flooring that is making interior and décor experts so excited? Here are just a few reasons why this flooring is making a major comeback…

  • Durability – not only are these floors resistant to water; they are also resistant to stains, mildew and spills, with easy cleaning done with one quick swipe of the surface.
  • Comfortable – this material maintains a constant temperature throughout every season, making it comfortable in cold and warm weather. The cushioned bottom layer of each plank meanwhile adds even more comfort underfoot.
  • Stylish – a range of wood style finishes are available, with authentic looking planks that come in various lengths and widths. Choose the style that suits your décor to customise your floors to your taste.
  • Flexible – Vinyl flooring can be used in kitchens and bathrooms, outdoor patios as well as any other residential or commercial premises – even car show rooms.
  • Even – in the past, uneven sub-floors could lead to uneven floors when vinyl flooring was fitted. The new generation of planks are thicker and less prone to bending, making floors as smooth and flawless as possible.

With the ideal blend of flexibility, toughness and style, it is no wonder that vinyl flooring continues to be the hottest interior trend for modern homes and offices.

Wooden Flooring

SOLID WOODEN FLOORING VS LAMINATE WOODEN FLOORING

SOLID WOODEN FLOORING VS LAMINATE WOODEN FLOORING

There is no doubt that wooden flooring is a constantly popular choice for floors, giving a natural warmth that adds a dash of class to any room. Original hardwood floors are a major selling point for older houses, but for newer houses laminate wooden flooring is a more attractive feature.

It is not always as easy to choose between these options, you have to weigh up the pros and cons. What factors should be kept in mind when redoing the floors of your home? And how should you go about deciding which option is best for you?

Choosing the best flooring option

Just like anything else in life, personal choice, practicality, price and durability are major influencing factors. Each home owner has their own requirements – some may be looking for a tough-wearing floor while others may be searching for the wooden flooring that perfectly matches their cupboards.

Whatever the case, keeping these tips in mind will go a long way in helping you make an informed decision:

Wooden Flooring

Laminate

  • Durability – using high density fibres rather than wood slabs, each plank contains multiple layers that add to the strength of the floor, as well as a printed layer that is designed to look like a natural wooden floor. On the surface is a UV resistant layer that ensures the floor can withstand sunshine, heat, and typical wear and tear.
  • Installation – planks are usually fitted with click technology, which means that no glue is required for bonding. The floors can be fitted yourself, or by a professional, with installation being a fast and painless process.
  • Affordability – this option ranges in price depending on the number of planks required, the quality of the material and of course the installation. Generally it works out to be far more affordable compared to traditional wood planks.
  • Replacement – this can be tricky if you are using older laminate styles that do not snap together. With our quality laminate wooden flooring products however, loose or damaged planks can be replaced far more easily. And as these floors are designed to last, replacement is not a big concern unless major damage occurs.

Hardwood

  • Durability – these planks are made entirely from wood, and can be sanded or treated either before or after they have been placed. Once solid wooden flooring begin to lose its shine, it can be varnished or treated by a flooring professional – wear and tear is fairly standard however. As wood is not designed to be wet, swelling and expansion can be a risk in the event of spills or leaks. In sunlight, hardwood can also fade or even cause minor surface changes.
  • Installation – planks are installed onto the sub-floor using bolsters, which allow the wooden flooring to breathe and make room for swelling. In homes that have existing hardwood as flooring, it is a lot harder to replace planks with other types of floor. Tongue and groove is the most common installation process used.
  • Affordability – as these floors are made from trees, pricing can be on the higher side. This is even more so when exotic woods are used as opposed to pine or other standard wood types. Installation costs are also higher due to the process, while upkeep costs may also come into play when floors are damaged or subjected to regular wear and tear.
  • Replacement – hardwood does not always need to be replaced. If damage is on the surface and minimal, sanding and treatment can be done instead. In the event of rot or woodlice or other more serious damage, replacement will depend on the age of the floor and whether individual planks can be replaced without affecting the rest of the floor in appearance.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to how you want your flooring to function in your home. After weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of each, you should find it far easier to decide which flooring is right for you.

Laminate floor installation

LAMINATE FLOOR INSTALLATION 101

LAMINATE FLOOR INSTALLATION 101

You’ve finally chosen the perfect design for your laminate floor, now all that is left is the installation. How do you go about the process, and what do you need to know in order to get the job done right?

There are two options available for fitting floorboards – DIY or professional. Each option has its own highlights, costs, challenges and advantages. Depending on your time constraints, budget, DIY know-how and preferences, you may find it easier to have the job done by one of our experienced Floors Direct installation teams, or you could take a weekend off to get the job done yourself.

One of the biggest features of this type of flooring is its simple installation process. Most of our quality products are designed to be fitted with click technology, which means that glue is not required to fit each plank. Instead, planks are clicked together and held in place as they ‘float’ on the sub-floor.

Laminate floor installation

Laminate floor installation options

DIY Installation

You will need at least two people for this job, and planks will need to have been pre-measured to ensure that they will fit along the length and width of the room. A small gap of a few millimetres should also be incorporated to allow for planks to fit alongside walls. Once the boards are ready to fit, you and your ‘assistant fitter’ can start at one end and carefully place each board down. As they are placed, they will be clicked into place. Make sure that they are stable before fitting the next.

It can also help to search for online videos if you are not sure how to get started – you could even contact your nearest Floors Direct to get a few expert tips on laminate floor installation.

Professional Installation

This option adds to the total cost of re-flooring, but it is ideal if you do not have the time or inclination to tackle the task yourself and want your floors to be fitted firmly and correctly the first time around. Typically, the process can be far faster than you would think, especially as our Floors Direct teams have prior installation experience. If you are not using an expert within the flooring industry, you may want to supervise to make sure that boards are placed correctly next to walls and that they are clicked into place securely. Always perform a test ‘walk over’ to check that everything is firmly in place.

Some people relish the thought of a bit of DIY fun, while others simply want to get on with life with their beautiful new floors already in place. Whatever option you decide to choose, you are sure to find laminate floor installation a stress-free process that is complete in no time at all.

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ABOUT LAMINATE

ABOUT LAMINATE

Laminate wood floor coverings have added a new dimension to the flooring industry over the last decade. It’s stylish and has been established as a firm favourite for trendsetting home owners. Due to its versatility laminate flooring is suitable for all room types.

Laminate flooring is an extremely durable flooring surface designed for high traffic areas and is an excellent choice for homes with children or pets. All laminate floors have an incredibly hard and durable wear layer finish, and provide better scratch and dent resistance when compared to solid hardwood floors. Laminate flooring is a very liveable flooring solution and with Floors Direct ‘s life time guarantee it is the best solution.

Laminates gives the look and feel of real wood structure.Laminate floors are a floating floor system that are not designed to be secured to the sub-floor, but actually float to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels of the interior environment. They can be installed over an existing floor, sub-floor, or even concrete, but the floor has to be level.

What laminated flooring consists of

Laminated flooring designs are usually an imitation of wood, the imitation is simply a photo of real hardwood printed on the laminate.

  1. Wear Layer : This layer consist of a transparent aluminium oxide foil which will determine the grade or AC rating of the floor in relation to abrasion resistance.
  2. Decorative Layer : This is the imitation photo in the form of a foil or could also be printed directly onto the board, this layer or print can differ in quality and one of the most important properties is that it should be fade resistant.
  3. Core Board : The core board usually differs in thickness from 6mm to 12mm and should be made from Hi Density Fibre Board (HDF), the board gets embossed with the texture required for the floor. The thickness of the board does not necessarily determine the quality of the floor so you could get a 6mm thick board that has a better rating than a 12mm laminated floor.
  4. Backing : The backing provides stability to the board and also prevents excessive moisture being absorbed by the core board
 
 

Benefits

light fastnesLight-fastness

UV light-fast – Even after years of exposure to light, your floor will remain as new: no fading, no stains, no shading.

longevityLongevity

Guaranteed long-lasting beautiful floors – The extremely hard surface of the floor provides for long-lasting beautiful decor surfaces and edges. We ensure this with our abrasion guarantee. That even includes the edges.

shock resistanceShock resistance

Even if something falls on it – we vouch for a timeless beautiful floor with our shock resistance guarantee.

appearanceAppearance

Brilliant beauty – Our unique decors with their beautiful appearances can surpass the natural originals that they imitate. Exotic decors, rustic floor appearance, tiles – diversity for every living situation.

swellingSwelling

Robust to moisture – The specially developed swell-barrier coreboard makes your floor resistant to ingress of moisture. Even if a mishap does occur your floor will remain as good as new.

hygieneHygiene

One of the most hygienic solutions – No dirt or stains which cannot be removed, reducing bacterial build-up on the floor.

just clickJUST clic!

The new JUST clic! profile guarantees perfect professional laying: no glue, “ready to walk on” immediately and excellent surface stability.

ecological componentEcological component

Environmentally conscious – The laminate floor consists of over 90 % wood. The wood used is residual wood from sustainable managed forest enterprises. We protect nature and most especially the rain forests.

 

 

Guarantee

For the full period of our guarantee, our product is guaranteed to be:

  • Fade resistant – from sunlight or artificial light.
  • Wear resistant – the decorative laminate will not wear through.
  • Stain resistant – everyday spills mopped up in no time at all.

Our guarantee is valid for a 25-Year period, with no declining guarantees. Our guarantee is transferable, even if you sell your home.

In cases falling within the guarantee, FLOORS DIRECT will deliver a replacement for the damaged floor. If the flooring in question is no longer available, then the buyer can choose a replacement of equal value from the current product range. No liability is accepted for damages such as those incurred during installation, removal or transport.