Frequently Asked Questions

| All About Laminate | Suitable Install Areas | Installation Know-hows | Repairs |

What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring looks like real wood flooring, however there is no solid wood used in its construction. It is made up of a wear layer, photo layer, fiberboard (HDF) core layer and stabilizing melamine layer.

How is laminate flooring made?
Laminate flooring is made up of several materials (wood fibres, wood chips, pulp) bonded together under high pressure adding strength and durability.  Most laminate consists of high density fiberboard (HDF) core and melamine wear layer. The top surface of the laminate is printed with a high resolution photographic image paper which is then treated with a clear coating or wear layer. A variety of finishes are available, please contact your sales representative. 

What is high density fiberboard (HDF)?
HDF stands for high density fiberboard and is basically a high-density, moisture resistant fiber panel. HDF is made up of excess sawdust, shavings and wood chips from wood processing factories. These materials are ground into a pulp and a melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin is added.  Once the pulp is dry, it is pressed into panels.

How is the image paper applied to the HDF?
The melamine impregnated paper is thermo-fused to the core, topped with an aluminum-oxide wear layer.

What is the difference between brown core and green core HDF?
Both brown core and green core are similar. The difference is that green core has an added coloring agent that has been added to the adhesive during manufacturing. It seems that the general market prefers green core rather than brown core.

What is an AC rating?
The AC rating is measured by rates of durability such as abrasion resistance, impact resistance, resistance to staining and cigarette burns. If laminate flooring cannot meet the requirements for each of these ratings, approval for a given AC rating will be denied. AC ratings are a standardized measure adopted by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF).

Is there fomaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring?
The formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring are extremely low and virtually emission free registering levels between 0.005 ppm and 0.03 ppm. The maximum emission level for laminate flooring to receive the required E1 status is 0.1 ppm.

Where can I install laminate flooring?
You can install laminate flooring over virtually any existing floor in your home and in any room with some exceptions. It is not recommended to install laminate in damp locations such as bathrooms, saunas, rooms with damp concrete, rooms with floor drains, rooms that could potentially flood or anywhere that may require wet mopping. 

Can I install laminate flooring over concrete?
You can install laminate over concrete flooring that has cured for at least 60 days prior to installation. You MUST install a 4 mil (or thicker) polyethylene vapor barrier under your foam underlay or use a convenient 2 in 1 foam underlay that has a vapor barrier built-in. When installing 2 in 1 foam underlay, butt seams together and then completely seal seams using Tuck Tape.  For 4 mil poly, run the material 5cm (2”) up walls and overlap seams 45cm (18”).  Then tape seams together with Tuck Tape.

Why is a vapour barrier used on concrete?
Installing a vapour barrier over concrete surfaces is mandatory as concrete floors below ground are capable of storing a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between concrete and the laminate floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor.

Can I install laminate flooring over radiant heat?
Our laminate floor product is suitable for radiant heat floors.  However, it is NOT suitable for electric heat floors.  It is recommended that an outside thermostat be installed to minimize the effect that rapid changes in temperature will have on the flooring product. 

Before installation, make sure your surface is moisture free, level and clean.  Lay a 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier around the room making sure the poly extends 5cm (2”) up the perimeter of the wall.  Overlap edges by 20cm (8”) and tape all seams.  Next, install your foam underlay over top of the vapor barrier by butting edges and sealing with tape.


Can I install laminate flooring on steps?
Yes, you can install laminate flooring on steps but the planks should be glued down with wood glue and molding should be nailed down to ensure safety of family, friends and pets.

What should I know BEFORE I install laminate flooring?

There are several things to consider before installation your flooring, such as:

  • It is very important to read all installation instructions included in your package before you begin installation, as improper installation will void warranty.
  • Always check each laminate panel/board for defects such as chips and color or sheen differences under good light conditions. Also check that the channel is clean and free of debris.
  • Allow your laminate flooring cartons to accumilate to the environment of the installation area for 48 hours prior to installation.  Leave the cartons closed and in horizontal position for the full 48 hours.
  • Preferable temperature should be approximately 17-23 ˚C (62-73 ˚F) with a relative humidity of 45-60 percent.  Humidity should never be able to drop below 30% as this may cause gapping.
  • If existing baseboards moldings are difficult to remove, they may be left in place.  Quarter round molding is all that is needed to cover the expansion space between flooring and baseboard.
  • Ensure your subfloor is dry, clean and even before installation.

How much flooring is wasted during installation?
There will be approximately 7 to 10% of wasted flooring unused during an average installation.  There are several reasons for the waste such as, wrong cuts, planks damaged during installation or errors. For these reasons, please make sure you add 10% of flooring to your total area when purchasing your laminate.

What tools do I need?
You will need foam underlay, pressure sensitive polypropylene adhesive tape such as Tuck Tape or equivalent

If installing over a crawlspace or on a concrete floor, you must also install a 4 mil (or thicker) polyethylene vapor barrier under your foam underlay or use a convenient 2 in 1 foam underlay that has a vapor barrier built in.


How do I check to see if the subfloor is even?
To check for evenness, hammer a nail into the center of the floor.  Tie a string to the nail and push the knot against the floor.  Pull the string tight to the farthest corner of the room and examine the floor at eye level for any gaps between the string and floor.  Move the string around the perimeter of the room noting any gaps larger than 3mm (1/8”). Any floor unevenness of more than 3mm (1/8”) per 1m (3’2”) must be sanded down or filled with an appropriate filler.

Which direction do I install the laminate flooring?
First consider which way the light enters your room, as it is best to install laminate with the planks/boards running parallel to the light coming in windows or doors. The starter wall should be as long and straight as possible.

What happens if my first row of planks is not straight?
It is very important that your first row be absolutely straight as it is the foundation of your installation.  If your first row is not properly aligned or joints are not sealed tightly, there may be gaps between the planks.  This will allow residue or unwanted particles to get caught in the grooves and result in poor alignment. Do not continue to install your second row of planks if your first row is installed incorrectly.

Should I stagger the planks during installation?
Yes, always stagger the laminate planks when installing the floor.  Start the first row with a full plank, the second row with 2/3 of a plank and the third row with 1/3 of a plank.  The distance between joints from one row to the next must be 20cm (8”) or greater for the remainder of the installation.

How do I repair minor scratches or nicks?
You can use color fill or laminate floor repair paste to repair minor scratches or nicks.

What should I do if a plank is damaged?
Depending on where the damaged plank is located, you may be able to simply disassemble the laminate planks, removing the damaged plank(s). Then reinstall the new plank(s) and the original flooring. For the damaged plank(s) is located in a hard-to-get area, contact a professional installer.

         

 


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