Thinking About Laminate? What to Consider.
Laminate flooring can be a great alternative to carpet. It's easy to clean, fun to slide on and makes decorating a whole lot easier; compare wiping up paint spills on laminate to trying to get paint out of carpet!
But Is It A Risk Taking On A Laminate Flooring Project?
There are some things to consider when thinking about getting laminate flooring, especially if you’re attempting to lay it yourself as a DIY job.
Your floor is the thing you are changing/covering. Take a good look at it, or bring in a professional for their opinion. Is your floor straight? Is it level enough for a fairly rigid material? Laminate has a bit of flex but what you don’t want is to end up with air beneath the planks as this will cause it to wear quicker. If your floor isn’t level, then you may need a 'screed'. This is a thin concrete layer that is often used on flooring to create a smooth, level surface.
Not in the travelling sense, but it’s time to think about how much movement will be attacking your floor. What kind of spills and pets will your new laminate be exposed too? Buying high quality laminate helps eliminate this factor as it will be able to withstand the harsh punishment of a busy household. The durability of laminate can take on children and pets. However, it's still important to keep daily traffic in mind. Lighter laminate will easily show the spills and dirt that will be brought into the house. Darker woods will hide this, though pet hair and dust could be an issue. Textured and wood-like appearances on laminate can take these away. Luckily with laminate, when there are spills, it's much easier to clean. No more buckets of soapy water and rough sponges to scrub out a carpet stain.
It's a common misconception that every flooring project will need to include underlay, so it's important to find out if you do or don't. But with laminate it's the better choice. The benefits outweigh any hassles of fitting it, it helps soundproof the floor, protect it from moisture and increases comfort and warmth underfoot.
Skirting boards can be a bit of a head scratcher when it comes to laminate flooring. Is the skirting already down? Or are you putting in the floor first? What is the best method?
There are tools you can buy or that your builder will have to chisel a space beneath the skirting board to allow the laminate just to slide in. However, this can seem like a big job and you could make a mistake that’s difficult to rectify.
One option is to prepare the area by removing the skirting, then replace it after the laminate is down. This creates extra work but the finish will be tidy and satisfying. If you decide on this approach, be careful how and where you store the skirting during the project as to avoid it getting damaged. If new skirting isn’t within your flooring budget then it may be the simpler way to go.
Alternatively, you can cut your laminate flooring up to the existing skirting and lay a Scotia at the edge. This will hide the edge, giving a tidy finish and help protect the edge of the floor.
Things to Consider When Planning to Lay
How level is your floor and does it require a screed?
How much traffic do you expect the floor to endure? This will help determine the quality of the laminate you choose.
Do you want an underlay?
How will you handle the skirting?
Will it be a DIY job, or would you prefer to leave it in the hands of a professional?
About the author:
This post was written by Matt Wilson on behalf of Walton Flooring Centre, the largest flooring company in Merseyside with stores in Walton, Wavertree and Burscough.