Chicago Laminate Flooring
Having arrived from Europe over a decade ago, laminate flooring has become the flooring of choice for many homeowners due to its ability to closely emulate today’s most popular hard surfaces at a fraction of the cost. Using photographs, laminates lock in the realism of a hardwood strip, weathered or natural stone and traditional brick.
Laminate’s real claim to fame is it 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.
How to choose
Because laminate flooring is relatively new to the market and 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. They are:
Back layer: The back is reinforced with melamine for structural stability and moisture resistance;
Fiberboard core: Ultra dense core board provides impact resistance and stability. It also features an edge sealing treatment that provides even further structural stability.
Decorative layer: This layer, which is what you see from above, is actually a highly detailed photograph that gives the laminate the appearance of wood or tile.
Wear layer: The melamine wear layer is a tough, clear finish reinforced with aluminum oxide, one of the hardest mineral compounds known to man, to resist staining, fading, surface moisture, and wear.
There are wood looks, including color and wood type, and ceramic looks, including color and style. When these floors first came to the States, they were often simple looks and patterns. Today, laminate floors offer and 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.
One thing to be careful of with laminate floors: Quality. With a lot of cheap laminate products being imported from countries such as China and others, I would recommend you keep an eye on quality. Again, a good rule of thumb – as with any major investment in your home – is to buy the best you can afford, depending on the setting.
There are two basic types of laminate flooring installation—the old glue and the new glue-less. Installing the glue-less forms of laminate flooring is rather easy and can be done by almost any home or business owner, while installing laminate flooring that requires glue can be more difficult, using clamps and other devices to hold the laminate panels or tiles together until the glue dries.
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.
Did you know…
The tongue-and-groove locking technology of laminate flooring eliminates unsightly gaps at the seams.
Ultra durable flooring planks can be taken apart and reassembled if necessary.
There’s no waiting… you can walk on your new laminate floor immediately after installation is complete.
Floor Vents – With central air and heating systems that come up through the floor, no flooring job is complete without floor vents and registers. While these specialty products can be somewhat expensive, the look of a fully finished floor can be quite dramatic.
Transitions and moldings – These are the pieces that bridge one type of flooring to another. Available in virtually every flooring style you can think of, transitions and moldings put a finishing touch on your.
We offer free estimates before starting each job to ensure that we understand the needs of each client. By doing this we strive to provide the best possible personalized service that we can.