Frequently Asked Questions about Laminate Flooring

Here at Value Carpets and Flooring we often get asked plenty of questions about our range of laminate flooring.

This is one of the reasons we have put together this handy guide, where we can answer all of your questions in one place.

laminate flooring in birmingham

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a high-density fibreboard-based product which is designed to be a more affordable alternative to traditional wood flooring. While it may appear to be a natural wood grain pattern, it is, in fact, a decorative paper overlaid with a hard-wearing film. Both sheets are impregnated onto the top surface of a thin high-density fibreboard which makes it a homogeneous product.

Laminate is laid as a floating floor, which means it is not directed to the subfloor. Instead, panels are fitted together without using glue, with profiles that have been machined into the edges of laminate flooring boards.

What is Laminate Flooring Made From?

Between 80 and 85% Virgin wood, typically softwoods such as Pine and Spruce plus 15-20% Organic U/F and M/U/F Resins. Coupled with three layers of impregnated paper, a decorative top layer, an overlay for wear resistance plus a balanced paper for the bottom surface of the flooring.

Where is the Best Place To Install Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring from Value Carpets and Flooring is an extremely versatile flooring option. The beauty of it is that it can be installed in virtually any room of your home plus commercial environments with high footfall.

Here are some rooms you could add laminate floors to –

  • Bedroom
  • Living Room
  • Children’s Room
  • Hall
  • Kitchen
  • Office (12mm products only)

We would not recommend installing laminate floors in bathrooms, wet rooms or saunas.

Are there any health benefits of laminate flooring?

Unlike dense carpet, dust and dirt cannot cling on to the smooth surface of laminate floors. Value Carpets’ laminates are a healthy alternative because they are manufactured using natural raw materials without using wood preservatives. Additionally, laminate floors are chloride and PVC free, meaning no harmful evaporations arise.

How Are Laminate Floors Made?

Laminate floors core is made from virgin wood that is refined to wood fibre. Resins are added to the fibre before it dries to approximately 6.5% moisture content. Fibre is then laid onto a continuous mat and fed into the press where heat and pressure bonds the resin to the fibre which creates a high-density fibre (HDF) board.

The board is cut into large sheets and cooled, before the top and bottom surface of the HDF is sanded off. The large high-density fibre panel is now cut into smaller sizes for further processing.

The high-density fibre is fed onto the Melamine Facing press where the decorative paper, the hard-wearing overlay and bottom balance paper are all pressed onto the board, which uses heat and pressure to impregnate the papers into the high-density fibre board’s surface.

The final step of manufacturing, the impregnated boards are taken to the laminate floor line where the boards are cut into precise size panels. Profiles are now machined into the edges of the board which allows them to be fitted together without glue. Finally, the panels are boxed up and stacked into large pallets ready for distribution.

How Do I Clean Laminate Floors?

We recommend using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any surface dust. Do not use steel wool or scouring pads or abrasive cleaners which will all damage your floor. When regularly cleaning with a cloth, ensure it is well wrung so you are not applying excess moisture to the floor.

Can Small Scratches Be Repaired?

Unfortunately, small scratches cannot be repaired, making it very important to use felt pads on all of your furniture.

How Will I Know How Much Flooring I Need?

Multiply the width by the length in metres and add 10% for cutting waste. If your room has bay windows or archways that need to be cut around, increase this to 20%. Divide the result by the square area in the packs.

Can I Replace a Damaged Plank After Installation?

Yes, boards can be lifted and refitted if required.

Can Laminate Floors Be Installed Over Underfloor Heating?

Subfloors with hot water systems need to be prepared prior to fitting the laminate. Regarding electrical heating systems, Value Carpets recommends contacting the manufacturer as some systems have been tested and approved. The maximum temperature your floor should be heating to is 27°C.

What are the advantages of laminate floors?

The main advantage of having laminate floors is that they are easy to install, very durable and hard-wearing plus they are relatively inexpensive compared to real hardwood flooring. Being a versatile product means it can be used in various areas plus it is low maintenance. You also get a more natural and healthy alternative to carpets.

What is the Best Direction In Which To Install Laminate Floors?

First, consider the incoming light when deciding where to begin laying your new floor. It is always best to install laminate floors in the direction of the main light source.

What Expansion Gap Do I Need to Leave?

An expansion gap is a necessary part of any successful installation of laminate floors, as it allows space for the expansion of the floor as it responds to external influences of humidity and temperature. We would recommend a minimum of 10mm be left around the full perimeter and any fixed objects and threshold strips in all of your doorways.

How Can I Maintain My Flooring?

Laminate flooring from Value Carpets is virtually maintenance-free. All that is required to restore it after most incidents is a wipe from a damp cloth.
Value Carpets would recommend putting down a mat or rug to eliminate the risk of marks (such as gravel or soil) inside your doorways and around sinks to protect from spillages. Make sure you move furniture carefully to avoid damaging your laminated floors. We would also suggest felt pads under your chairs and heavy furniture.

How Do Laminate Floor Panels Lock Together?

There are a number of different types of edge joining systems used to connect laminate floor panels together. Some laminate flooring connections snap together by hand, with others requiring a light tap with a mallet and a tapping block. Others use a combination of a ‘snap’ click edge and a ‘bang’ or ‘tap’ click at the end of the panels. We would recommend reading installation instructions carefully first and familiarizing yourself with how it locks together.

I Didn’t Get My First Row Straight. Can I Continue?

Do not continue as getting the first row absolutely straight is the foundation of a successful installation. If the first rows are not properly aligned, or the joints are not tightly sealed, the whole installation is compromised. This error will only magnify if you continue with the installation. Along both sides and ends, ensure all planks are parallel to each other or they will be wedge-shaped gaps between planks. If residue gets caught in the grooves it will also result in poor alignment. Remember to ensure all grooves are clean before starting installation.

Can Laminate Flooring Be Installed on Steps?

Yes, laminate flooring can be installed on steps but this is an exceptional type of installation. Planks need to be glued down with regular wood glue and moldings and transitions need to be nailed down.

Is It Cheaper to Have Laminate or Tile Flooring?

Laminate floors are typically a cheaper alternative than tile flooring. Laminate is the best choice as previously mentioned, for most rooms, except kitchens, bathrooms or utility rooms where they are likely to encounter water.

Can I Use Laminate on Walls and Stairs?

Yes, you can use laminated flooring on walls and stairs. Having laminate installed on walls has become a popular trend in recent years. Laminate can also be used on stairs, however, this requires special installation instructions for adding to stairs and using laminate wood floor moldings.

Got More Questions? Get in Touch Today

If you have any more questions about Value Carpets and Flooring’s range of laminate flooring, please contact us now.

Alternatively, come and pay one of our showrooms in Cannock or Birmingham and our team of specialists will be able to help.