Installing Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl is fairly inexpensive when compared to other floor types, as well as being praised for its durability and attractiveness. It is available in a large range of styles, designs and colors.
It is composed of a certain amount of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and can be therefore referred to as PVC flooring. In some ways it is more resilient as it has more give than other types of flooring. Vinyl flooring can provide the look and feel of tiles without the expense.
Vinyl products are made from a combination of vinyl resin and additives. Plasticizers can be used to soften the flooring and adds flexibility.
Stabilizers are added to reduce discoloration from heat, light or degrading in pigments and color.
Vinyl flooring is available in either tiles or sheets. Vinyl tiles are solid and sheet vinyl can be inlaid, or layered composite or homogenous.
Benefits of vinyl flooring include:
• Noise insulation
• Comfortable underfooting
• Moisture and stain resistance
• Cheap to repair
• Well suited to heavy traffic areas of the home
• Available with slip-retardant surfaces for added safety
Laminate flooring is extremely durable, low maintaince and cheaper to install than a solid wood floor. Most laminate floors come with a good warranty.
Laminate floors are created by having an inner core surrounded by an outer layer of wood or a plastic veneer that simulates wood or stone.
Laminate flooring is fixed to the top of an existing floor and is available in planks, tiles or strips. Traditionally it is glued to existing floors, but the newer systems can be pre-glued or even glue less.
Traditional laminate floors are glued in place according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Pre-glued floor planks are wiped with water to activate the glue before setting the plank in place. Glue less floor systems are held in place with the use of joints and or locking mechanisms and are as stable and secure as flued laminate flooring.
Caring for your Laminate Floor:
Firstly always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never use a wet mop as you will find water may seep through the flooring and cause damage. Vacuum and then damp mop the floors to clean laminate flooring.
Never use wax or other acrylic finishes on your floor. Consider the use of protective pads underneath chair feet and other furniture to prevent scratching.
Laminate products are also used on doors, benchtops, cupboards and wardrobes. If sealed correctly it can be used in wet areas too. Laminate is available in sheet form and can be glued to a variety of substrates e.g. plywood, hardboard, aluminum and fiberboard.
Laminate expands in humid weather and shrinks in cold weather, so the laminate and chosen substrate need to acclimatize to the conditions in which they will be used for at least 48 hours before being laid. Laminates are available in a large range of styles, finishes and colors.
Hiring a Vinyl or Laminate Professional:
If DIY is not your area of expertise or if you don’t have the time hire a qualified experienced professional, possibly view previous work and ask for references, enquire if they are able to offer the relevant insurance that may be required. The professional should provide you with an obligation free written quote including materials, installation and labor!
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