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installation & maintenance
LAMINATE FLOORING CARE & MAINTENANCE

Laminate floors are attractive, durable, low-maintenance and inexpensive. These characters are causing this floor covering to grow in popularity among home owners. The following facts are designed to give you an idea of what to expect from your laminate floor. The uniformed homeowner may misinterpret some characteristics as defects.

 

Laminate Characteristics

Versatile: Since laminate is a floating floor, you can install laminate flooring over virtually any existing substrate--wood, concrete, ceramic, resilient tile and vinyl sheet flooring. That means you don't have to pull up old floors and deal with the mess or hassle of repairing most subfloor damage. Just make sure your subfloor is structurally sound, dry, clean, and level. (Level qualifies as being a tolerance of no more than 3/16" over a 10-foot span)

 

WHAT IS A FLOATING FLOOR?
A floating floor is a floor built with all of its parts attached to each other but non of these component parts are fixed to supporting floor.

 

DOES LAMINATE FLOORING NEED TO BE ACCLIMATED?
Laminate flooring products do need to be acclimated.

 

WHAT IS ACCLIMATION?
Acclimation is the process of leaving your laminate packaged in the area of installation for 24 -48 hours. This allows the material to properly expand and contract according to the moisture in that particular environment. If you install without acclimation, you run the risk of peaking your joints if the laminate expands more than your expansion gap allows. Or if it contracts to much, it can cause a visible gap around your baseboards. The ideal environment for laminate is between 35% -55% humidity. If your humidity is not within this range your floor will gap at the seams and or peak or cup.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I scratch my laminate floor?
Yes, Laminate floors will scratch when subject to sharp objects, pets, dragging furniture across it. To repair scratches you can use a touch up filler in cases. Where the scratches are really bad, unclick your floor and replace boards.

 

My laminate is separating at its joints? Is this normal?
Laminate is a floating floor; because of its wood content it will expand and contract with seasons. Without the proper humidity level separating will happen. With season change the moisture levels in your home will change; sometimes too extreme, at a rapid rate. This does not give the laminate proper time to acclimatize, leading to a number of problems. If your humidity level is below or above the recommended setting, you are at higher risk to come across gaping, and peaking. Having a humidifier and dehumidifier will help you stay within the percentage range.

 

What is underlay foam? Is it needed?
Underlay foam serves many purposes: It provides a greater thermal insulation, prevents the planks from sticking the subfloor, acts as a sound barrier. Also certain types act as a vapor barrier against moisture in the subfloor. The planks may adhere to subfloor without underlay and the floor will no longer "float". Buckling could be caused if it will not be able to expand.

 

Why is a moisture barrier used on concrete?
Concrete floors below ground are capable of storing a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor because the soil adjacent to the concrete can bring humidity into the floor.

 

MAINTENANCE
It is vital to only use the recommended cleaners for your new laminate. By not using the recommended cleaners your warranty will become null and void. It is known that cracking sounds underfoot and joint integrity will be compromised.



HUMIDITY IN SASKATCHEWAN

It is very important to understand that because we live in an environment that's subject to us to 30 degrees below in the winter to 30 degrees above in the summer, humidity is almost impossible to manage.

Your wood flooring is installed at a certain humidity when the temperatures drop or increase, your wood may gap in the dry and low humidity times and peak in the high humidity times. When humidity levels are low, it is not as easy to just turn a humidifier up and expect your levels to jump up by 10 degrees. What you'll see happen is your windows will sweat and ice will build up on your windows, the interior of your house simply won't handle that at once. You can however increase moisture slowly at a time. There is not an exact science to humidity, therefore when purchasing your wood, you must expect the gapping and peaking are inherent in wood in our area. Wood flooring IS expected to shrink and expand.


Grainier type wood, like oaks, will show less problems that solid maples or dark exotic products. Engineered wood is more structurally sound four our environment, and should be considered.


The above comment concerning humidity relates to Laminate flooring



 

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