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Laminate FAQ

Laminate flooring is now regarded as an alternative to real wood flooring, so you can feel good about going for a lower-maintenance solution. Laminate floors are durable and often hard to distinguish from real wood floors.  Laminate flooring is popular for its ability to be durable, easy-to-maintain, and offer an authentic visual of higher quality wood, at a fraction of the price.

- Laminate Flooring is a durable flooring option that can be installed on any surface
- Laminate is an extremely hard flooring so no need to worry about stiletto indentations, which can damage vinyl and timber floorings. 
- It is a cost-effective choice with a good lifespan, making it an affordable option for many people.
- Laminate Flooring comes in a variety of colours, prints and textures for you to choose from.
- Some laminate flooring can be used in wet spaces such as kitchens, toilets and bathrooms.  
- As they are so easy to clean and maintain, Laminate Flooring does not need any expensive services over its lifetime.

What is Laminate Flooring? How is Laminate flooring made?

The wooden planks are made of compressed wood, usually HDF. This is the most common type of process used for making the flooring. It is created by compressing dried wood fibres into Planks to give them a stronger core. High definition images are then overlaid with protective layers of seal and placed on top of the core of the laminate. These are then fused together to bond the image and protective layer to the planks. Modern laminate flooring features a variety of grain styles, colours, and finishes. We also stock ranges that have a wood-grain design that imitates the texture of real wood. It can sometimes be difficult to discern these flooring from real wood floorings once they are laid.

Is laminate okay to get wet?

One concern that people can often have with laminate is it's durability with water. 

Laminate floors have a wood core and are at risk of swelling when water is introduced to the joints between boards. 

The core material of laminates of lower quality will swell with just a small amount of water, this swelling is caused by the absorption of moisture into the board's core. If you can afford to go for a higher quality laminate this is less of a problem, the core material of laminates of higher quality will resist water for a few hours making them more robust for kitchens and busy family homes. We even offer some lamination products that may be used in bathrooms, laundries and toilet areas where water resistance is very important. Our New Zealand suppliers of some of our ranges offer a warranty that will cover you against water damage. The warranty provided is different for each range so talk to one of our installer experts who can advise you on the warranty on the different laminate products offered. It should be noted that professional installation is needed to apply this warranty.

How is Laminate installed?

Just as with all our flooring, we recommend that you use our in-house team of professionals to install it, to guarantee you get a quality install that will last for your home. Laminate is installed over an underlay, laminate floors are always installed as floating floors, meaning they are not glued down the subfloor. This assists in preventing moisture from causing damage to the planks as it doesn’t bind to planks. Because it is installed with an underlay, unlike an LVT or vinyl this insulation helps to reduce noise and increase the warmth in your laminated rooms. Good underlays can make your floors much more comfortable underfoot as they have a more flexible feel than flooring that is attached directly to the floor. The only requirement for installation is that the subfloor must be level, dry, clean, and stable, if this is the case, you can install a laminate floor on most surfaces.

When you're looking to install your laminate flooring. It is best to install the laminate flooring before skirting boards go on, or to remove skirting boards before the flooring is installed. When looking to start your project we recommend you hold some spare planks once the project is installed. Because some of the laminates can get water damaged, especially if you are using a less premium laminate. If you have some spare planks then you are able to change these out with the spare planks. If you are looking at doing a DIY installation of Laminate, then we recommend you purchasing at least 10% more than you need for offcuts and edge wastage. Our installation experts will be able to advise you of the correct quantities to order. 

Laminates floated flooring style makes it a great choice for small projects as you are able to quickly install floors. However, to accurately install laminate floors we recommend that you use one of our in house professional installers. Often if you do not measure your space correctly or cut the planks to the correct length, you can get bowing of the planks or loose wobble as the planks do not adhere directly to the subfloor. So an accurate installation is vital to get the best look and life and out your flooring.  

Maintenance and Care of Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is easy to maintain because only vacuuming and mopping is needed to keep them looking beautiful. It's as simple as that. A lot of people don't realize this, but if you steam clean laminate flooring it can cause it to swell. The expansion comes from the steam penetrating into the core of the board, this can permanently damage your laminate. One great thing is that you never need to sand varnish or polish your flooring because it's already sealed with a protective membrane, this is a clear sealant that prevents staining and protects the Laminate. 

As with all flooring protect high traffic entryways with mats, to help protect from dirt, sand, grit and moisture. Regularly clean the mats to ensure dirt doesn't build up underneath them. 

Spot clean laminate flooring with a damp cloth. Do not use any strong solvents or aggressive detergents, as these will damage the protective layer of the flooring. Also be careful of rough surfaces, which can scratch laminate flooring. When damage is found, it can often be fixed by replacing the affected plank. 

If you have pets in your home then be aware that urine can permanently mark or erode the surface of some laminate floors. 

Our Bona Cleaning Range provides specialized products that are great for spray mopping laminate flooring because most laminate flooring has a UV protection layer on top that can be damaged if the wrong cleaning products are used. This is especially important in the southern lakes region and New Zealand where we have strong UV exposure. 

How long do laminate floors last for?

Laminate floors if well looked after can last between 10 - 15 years. If proper care is followed and dependent on the traffic levels, they can even last as long as 20 years. 

Do you offer water-resistant laminate flooring?

Yes, we offer water-resistant laminate options. The most premium laminate floorings we offer are made up of high-quality, tightly bonded wood fibres that are sealed with a waterproof and stain-resistant barrier. The waterproof layer prevents moisture from penetrating through to the underlay and the core of the flooring itself. The Laminate has a clear melamine sealant applied to the face side of the planks to give it resistance to moisture, this does mean you have to be careful to protect the surface of the floor. For more information see our full guide on cleaning and maintaining your laminate floor. 

Do you offer laminate installation?

Yes, we have fully qualified laminate installers who have expert knowledge in installing laminate flooring. Some manufacturers require professional installation to take advantage of the excellent warranties that they offer. We are currently offering laminate installation services for Cromwell, Wanaka, Alexandra and Queenstown. 

Is laminate flooring cheaper than carpet?

Yes, laminate flooring is often cheaper than carpet. It is also easy to maintain and doesn't require professional cleaning. As long as Laminate floors are well looked after they can look great for many years meaning you won't have to change them often. If you keep spare planks to replace damaged areas then you can save yourself from replacing the full floor space with new flooring.