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          "FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED since 1983"

(609) 448-8088

943 State Highway 33 West
Monroe Township, NJ 08831

Laminate Flooring- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)?

Q: What is laminate flooring?

A: Because laminate flooring, which arrived from Europe more than a decade ago, is relatively new to the American market, and because it so closely resembles other hard surfaces, there’s a mystery surrounding it. Basically, laminates are the result of a direct-pressure manufacturing process that fuses four layers into one extremely durable surface.

Q: I’ve seen laminate that looks just like real wood or ceramic tile. How do they do that?

A: Yes, laminate flooring has become the flooring of choice for many homeowners due to its ability to closely emulate today’s most popular hard surfaces. Using photographs, laminates lock in the realism of a hardwood strip, weathered or natural stone and traditional brick. When these floors first came to the U.S., they were often simple looks and patterns. Today, laminate floors offer an unparalleled level of realism heretofore unattainable. With embossing and now embossed-in-register technology it’s getting more and more difficult to tell the difference.

Q: Then why buy a laminate floor, and not just get the real thing?

A: Laminate’s real claim to fame is its durability and ease of maintenance. Since most come with an aluminum-oxide wearlayer — one of the hardest substances known to man — it can stand up to kids, pets, traffic and more. Plus, the great thing about laminate flooring is not only does it closely emulate other hard surfaces, but it does it at a fraction of the cost and with no natural material drawbacks.

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Q: What are the average costs I should expect?

A: Generally speaking, laminate flooring will cost anywhere from $1 to $6 per square foot, depending upon the quality of design as well as thickness, with installation running about $1 to $4.50 per square foot, including underlayment. However, keep in mind that installation costs can vary greatly, depending upon geography as well as subfloor preparation needs. Your retail flooring specialist will be able to provide you with an accurate installed cost estimate.

Q: How long will my laminate floor last?

A: With proper care and maintenance, a quality laminate floor should last 15 to 30 years, which is on par with other types of manufactured flooring, but considerably less than that of genuine stone, ceramic and other natural materials.

Q: Can a laminate floor be refinished, like hardwood?

A: No, laminate floors cannot be refinished or recoated.

Q: I’ve seen really cheap laminate flooring being sold on the Internet. Is this the same laminate flooring found in flooring retail stores?

A: There’s one thing you should be careful of when buying a laminate floor: quality. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap laminate products being imported from countries such as China, so it’s important to buy from a reputable and reliable retailer and to buy the best you can afford, depending upon the setting.

Q: How much laminate flooring will I need?

A: Although your retail flooring specialist will take detailed measurements, you can get a sense of how much laminate flooring you will need by measuring the length and width of the rooms where your new laminate flooring will be installed and then multiplying the length by the width to determine the estimated square footage. Also, add 10 percent to your total square footage to account for cutting, installation errors and variation in floor design.

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Q: Can I install laminate flooring myself?

A: There are basically three types of laminate installations:

  • Glue laminate requires that the glue be manually applied to the tongue and groove of each plank during installation.
  • Glueless laminates do not require glue, but rather have a trademarked locking system that hooks, snaps or clicks the tongue and groove together to lock the floor into place. The innovation of these locking systems has greatly simplified the installation process for laminate floors. These floors can be installed faster with no messy glue clean up, and are able to be used immediately, whereas most glue laminates need to set for 18 to 36 hours before being walked on.
  • Pre-glued laminate is a combination of the two methods above and has glue pre-applied by the manufacturer on the tongue and groove that is moistened prior to the planks being clicked together.

While easier to install than most other flooring, unless you’re experienced and accustomed to working with your hands, you might want to leave this one to the professionals.

Q: I know that water is a concern for laminate flooring. Does this mean that I can’t put laminate flooring in my bathroom?

A: Laminate flooring can be used in virtually any room of the house. Although it’s true that laminate floors do have some sensitivity to excessive moisture, if you plan on using laminate flooring in your bathroom, you’ll need to take special precautions to prevent water from contacting the core material of the flooring, such as sealing around the perimeter of the floor with caulk or sealant. Be sure to discuss the installation procedure and care and maintenance of your laminate floor with your retail flooring specialist.

Q: I’ve heard people refer to laminate as a "floating" floor. Does it really float?

A: Well, no, but because the laminate floor tiles or planks attach to each other via an interlocking tongue-and-groove glueless system rather than to a subfloor, they are said to float.

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Q: Can you put a laminate floor over any type of flooring?

A: It is possible to install a laminate floor over virtually any existing floor, except high-pile carpet.

Q: Is underlayment required with a laminate floor?

Yes. Underlayments provide protection against warping from moisture beneath, particularly if you’re installing the floor over concrete. Underlayments also reduce or eliminate "hollow" sounds generated from traffic on the floor. Keep in mind that some laminate floors come with underlayment attached. However a "rolled out" or separate underlayment can provide greater sound absorption and moisture protection than laminate floors with one attached.

Q: How are laminate floors different than hardwood flooring?

A: Though resembling hardwood flooring, laminate floors are constructed of several materials bonded together under high pressure; no solid wood is used in its construction. The substance of laminate flooring lies in particleboard core, which is sandwiched between a moisture resistant underlayment and high-resolution photographic image of the wood species being mimicked. This photographic layer is then topped off with an extremely hard, clear resin-coated cellulose layer that makes the floors nearly impervious to dents and scratches. Laminates mimicking stone and ceramic tiles are created in a similar fashion.

Q: What are the advantages of laminate flooring?

Aside from sparing the life of trees, particularly rare, exotic species, laminate flooring has several advantages over real hardwood flooring. First, comparable visuals and designs can be achieved at a fraction of the cost to the end-user. Secondly, laminate flooring can be installed both above and below grade, where hardwood flooring can only be installed above grade. Another big advantage is that laminate flooring is installed without nails or glue, making it a perfect choice for do-it-yourselfers. Lastly, laminate flooring is extremely durable, easy to maintain and can be easily replaced.

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Q: How do laminate floors lock together?

A: The entire laminate floor industry turned to mechanical locking over five years ago as a means of alleviating claims associated with installers using either too much or not enough glue. While there are several versions of mechanical locking available today, the most popular methods rely on either adjoining the edges of two boards on an angle and snapping them into place or lying them side-by-side and slightly tapping together.

Benefits of Laminate Flooring

See the benefits of choosing laminate flooring for your home.