Laminate Flooring Buying Guide
Floor & Decor carries many different types of Laminate flooring so deciding on one type for your home or business can practically be a project all on its own. To help navigate you through Floor & Decor's sea of choices, we have created a buying guide that will help guide you through the important considerations while searching for your ideal laminate flooring. Download the PDF version of the below guide here.
Keys to a successful laminate flooring project include:
*Abrasion Rating System (AC Rating)
*Trims and Moldings
Although laminate flooring’s range of prices is considerably wide, it pales in comparison to the range of design choices. If you’re looking for a wood design, for example, you’ll find replicas of virtually every species under the sun, and you’ll find them displayed in a variety of ways. There are single-strip, two-strip and three-strip designs with square edges, beveled edges and micro-beveled edges. You’ll find them with different surface treatments and finishes. Laminate flooring is also available in a variety of ceramic tile and stone designs. Like the wood designs, the selection offers plenty of colors and patterns to choose from.
|Product “AC” Ratings
AC ratings are part of a standard developed by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF). The ratings range from AC1 to AC5, with an AC1 indicating the lowest durability level. Flooring with an AC1 rating would be suitable for a low traffic, residential area, like a bedroom. At the other end of the spectrum, AC5 rated flooring would be suited for a heavy traffic, commercial applications.
Residential areas typically don't need laminate with an AC rating above an AC3 because it is made for home with all traffic areas. If you need laminate in a commercial setting, go for AC4 or an AC5 depending on your traffic levels.
The majority of laminate floor types are manufactured using two different processes: High–Pressure Laminate (HPL) and Direct–Pressure Laminate (DPL). These laminate methods produce 4 different laminate installations: glue less (the most popular), laminate flooring with attached underlay, glued, and pre–glued. You’ll find laminate made primarily for no-glue, click together installations, although a rare glue together product may still exist.
Trims and Moldings
You will find a great deal of variety when it comes to the thickness of laminate flooring. The average range is between 6 and 12 mm. The truth of the matter is that thicker flooring is indicative not only of quality construction but also of durability and resistance to buckling over time. Thicker floors also feel more like real hardwood flooring, which many homeowners find to be a tremendous bonus when deciding between different types of laminate.
Certainly, one of the most important things to consider when purchasing laminate flooring is its warranty. A good rule of thumb would be not to purchase laminate flooring with less than a 15-year residential warranty. If you are planning this particular flooring for high traffic areas within your home you will obviously want to go with flooring that is on the high side of the warranty scale. You should also consider the length of time you wish your flooring to last when making this purchase as well. Make sure the warranty period provides protection against premature wear, staining and fading. The better warranties will also offer protection against accidental moisture damage. For example, if a refrigerator water line would break.