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Lamton Laminate - 12mm Basilica Collection

Laminate flooring is a popular, durable, versatile, cost-effective option for modern floor surfaces. Here’s an introduction to laminate floors for the beginner.

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Laminate flooring is an innovative, budget-friendly, and highly versatile flooring option. But when it comes to knowing how to buy it and how to install it, there can be a lot to know. So with that in mind, we here at the BuildDirect Blog decided that we might provide a few useful links at the end of this post to some resources we feel might help that process along.

But, first, here’s an introduction to laminate flooring, just in case it’s an option you’ve never considered before.

Laminate flooring is versatile

Toklo Laminate - 12mm Ancient Spice CollectionGenerally speaking, one of the most popular types of laminate floors are designed to look like solid hardwood floors. But, laminate flooring is a unique product that is not real wood (although it’s sometimes grouped in with wood floors). Because laminates are designed with a high-resolution image of a surface like a wood floor, there are products out there that are designed to look like other kinds of popular floor coverings, too. This includes tile and stone surfaces.

As the products have evolved all through the decades, more and more demand for lightweight, easy-to-install surfaces that resemble all kinds of natural surfaces has exploded (in a good way, of course). More selection for more kinds of applications means that it’s easier than ever for property owners to get the looks they want in a space, and be able to stay within budgets, too.

Laminate floors are designed to last

Because laminate flooring is so versatile, it has to be made to last. Of course this entirely depends on where the specific products are installed, and how much stress they will be under. That’s why the AC (abrasion class) rating is so important when you’re looking to buy laminate floors.

A good general median for laminate floor AC ratings is AC3. This is a general usage rating designed for residences. Although laminate floors aren’t generally used in high-moisture areas, laminate floors are designed to stand up to wear. The AC rating gives consumers an idea on how much wear a particular product is likely to withstand within its warranty period, and beyond. Use the rating as a guide when you’re planning to buy laminate floors for a specific type of space.

Always evolving

One of the great things about the industry is that it is always evolving product lines to appeal to more and more sets of consumers. Since it’s early days as a by-product of the laminate counters industry, there is a wider, and widening all the time, selection of laminate floor products from which to choose.

This means better surface detail. It means a greater variety of board lengths and widths. It means better locking systems, and more secure moisture seals at the edges of the boards. And of course it means more kinds of surfaces beyond laminate wood flooring.

Laminate floor resources list

As promised, here’s a list of laminate floor resources that we think you may find useful.

Is laminate flooring the right option for you?http://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/laminate-flooring-right-for/

How to install laminate flooringhttp://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/how-install-laminate-flooring/

Where to install laminate flooringhttp://www.builddirect.com/Laminate-Flooring/Champagne/ProductDisplay_6951_p1_10083285.aspx

More about laminate flooring AC Ratingshttp://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/laminate-flooring-ratings/

How to measure your room for a laminate flooring installationhttp://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/how-to-measure-your-floor-for-a-flooring-installation/

Laminate floors glossaryhttp://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/laminate-flooring-glossary/

Laminate floor historyhttp://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/laminate-flooring-history/

Buy laminate flooring

If you’re ready to start shopping for laminate flooring, we suggest starting right here.

And if you have any questions for us, you can email us at 

Thanks, everyone!

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[This post was updated December, 2015]

 

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.