In the past, laminate floors were considered as the last option for affordable flooring. But now, they are one of the most popular options for both indoor and outdoor flooring in most properties. The popularity is based on its durability, its availability in different designs, textures, and gloss levels, and its ability to withstand heavy traffic.
The AC rating, floor thickness, and installation options are some of the elements you should evaluate when buying laminate floors. Here’s what you need to know:
The AC rating denotes the durability. A high AC rating generally indicates a high ability to withstand stress and often attracts a high price.
AC1 laminate floors suffice for bedrooms and closets, while AC2 is ideal for living and dining rooms. AC3 are designed for residential areas with high traffic and small offices, while AC4 is for boutiques, cafes, and offices. For places with high traffic, such as department stores and public buildings, AC5 is the best choice.
The typical options for laminate flooring in Orange County properties have the thickness of 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, or 12mm.
- Glueless Click Installation
This is the most prevalent installation method. Here, you will not secure your laminate planks and tiles with adhesive to your subfloor. Instead, you use a tongue and groove locking mechanism.
The tongues and grooves on your board click together and remain secure once installed. A glueless click installation allows a floating floor laminate floor installation and is twice faster than conventional floor installation methods. You can also use this option for the installation of your laminate floor on an existing floor.
- Glued Installation
This is the conventional method of installing laminate floors. You will apply a specific type of glue to the tongues and grooves in the planks and tiles to secure them. The adhesive not only enhances the strength of your floor when installed, but also acts as a waterproof solution between your floor’s joints. A glued laminate floor installation is, however, more expensive, messier, and takes a longer time compared to other options.
- Pre-Glued Installation
In this option, the groove and tongues of your laminate floor planks have glue that’s already applied. This negates the messy and laborious process of glue application during installation. Most manufacturers will require the moistening of the pre-applied glue to activate it to secure your floor’s planks. Although pre-glued laminate boards are more costly compared to those without glue, their faster installation makes them worth it.
- Mechanical Installation
Here, you secure laminate boards using different types of mechanical systems. The commonly used material for such systems, which are installed beneath your planks, is aluminum. Mechanical installation can be costly and takes time. It, however, guarantees one of the most durable and strongest laminate floors.
Other than the above installation systems and designs, there are other features that affect the laminate floors’ protection from early damage. Wax-impregnated laminate floor edges and water-resistant laminate board cores, for instance, have an enhanced moisture resistance. Scratch protection on some floors offers a protective barrier against scratches and scuffs, particularly in places with kids and pets, while spill protection offers protection from standing water for 24 to 72 hours.