If you are thinking of moving to a laminate floor, that may be the best choice for your home. Not only is laminate more convenient than hardwood, but it's also easy to lay (thanks to floating installation and reduced thickness), and can reproduce the same effect of real wood, but with a better performance.
Here is an essential guide to help you choose the right laminate and make it last for a long time.
When choosing a laminate floor, an expert seller will be able to ask the right questions to help you find the perfect fit. However, here are five questions you should think about beforehand, so you won't be caught unprepared.
How intensely will it be used? Pets, foot traffic, objects falling and liquids can put a floor to the test. An intense usage will then require a more resilient surface. Make sure you pay particular attention to AC (Abrasion Classes) and IC (Impact Classes) ratings of the product.
(for example, Skema Living ranges from class AC3 to AC6 for abrasion and from IC1 to IC3 for impact)
What visual effect would you like to obtain? Size and tonality of the slats can help create a particular visual effect. Size will be the main factor, if you are aiming at enhancing an environment by improving its space. The choice of tonality on the other hand, will have to match the furniture, to create a unique and enveloping environment, whether with a modern, rustic, or classic style.
In particular, the type of chamfer and the surface finishes with synchronized pores will enhance the visual and tactile qualities of the floor, creating the unique feeling of authentic wood.
(Skema's Living series features up to eight wood finishes and five finishes of different materials, to be applied on over eighty décors)
What décor? Laminate has a great variety of décors. In the wood category, oak and walnut are the most popular ones. Skema's Vision range however, offers alternatives such as cement, metal and resins.
Is the floor heated? In this case, the right type of underfloor will be required, to allow as much heat as possible to pass through. Conversely, if the floor is not heated, you can opt for an underfloor with a good degree of thermal and acoustic insulation.
Can it be oxidized by light? Laminate floors won't be subject to oxidation by direct exposure to sun, so they can be appreciated in full light as well. Furthermore, they won't be stained, nor will they fade because of sun exposure.
The superficial layer of a laminate floor will protect it from humidity, impacts and abrasions. However, by following a few rules, it's possible to make it last even longer.
Limit the excess of humidity. To clean a laminate floor, there's no need of bucket, brush and polisher: they won't be effective and may even damage it. Using a damp cloth is much better.
Use non-aggressive detergents. Only use detergents recommended by the manufacturer, or those specifically created for laminate (they're not necessarily the same as those for tiles or vinyl). Polish and bleach should also be avoided. In case of persistent stains on Skema Living floors, a thinner can also be used.s
Clean immediately, clean often. Since a frequent and aggressive washing can damage laminate over time, the alternative is prevention. Use a vacuum cleaner or a broom often, and clean immediately any residual soil, pebbles, or liquid spills. A doormat can be useful to keep out dirt and humidity.
The warranty certificate makes buying a floor even more stress-free. Currently, there is a legal warranty of two years on all floors.
And what happens next?
Skema's Living laminate floors have a domestic conventional warranty of 25 years. A choice that will prove right over time.
Skema Living is our large family of laminate floors, with two levels of quality (Premium and Competence) and different decorative formats.