Different Types of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is beautiful and affordable. It can imitate the appearance of wood, tile or stone and is easy to maintain. This kind of flooring is resistant to burns, scratches and heat, making them a suitable choice for most rooms in the house, including the kitchen. In comparison to hardwood, laminate flooring is available in different grain patterns, textures, installation types, floorboard construction and AC rating.
This blog post by Super Choice Carpet offers discusses the different types of laminate flooring based on these factors.
1. Installation method
There are different installation methods for laminate flooring that are important to understand, especially if you’re planning to install it on your own. Choose the option below that is easier for you.
These planks have an underlayment that has to be snapped and locked in place. There are different variations of the tongue and groove system and the underlayment helps to reduce noise. However, not all variants have a glue-less-click, therefore, you would have to lay down an under-pad before installing them.
• Glued laminates
This option of floorboard, or plank, must be glued together. They are very durable once installed, but costs more than and the installation time needed is much longer.
• Pre-glued laminates
This variant comes with pre-applied glue, so all you have to do is install the planks in place. Read the instruction manual for such laminates carefully as certain types have to be dampened at the edges to activate the glue.
2. Surface type
Laminate flooring comes in various surface types and is ever evolving.
The finish is plain and the surface looks varnished like hardwood. You can choose between high, medium and low gloss finish.
This type creates an illusion of surface grain due to the textured finish of the floorboards.
• Distressed/hand scraped
This technique gives an antique finish to your floor and is a recent breakthrough in the industry. Hand scraping was limited to hardwood and engineered wood flooring until recently. It’s known for the naturally aged look it imparts to the room.
3. AC rating
AC or Abrasion Class is a third party unbiased rating based on the durability of the laminate plank type. This type has a scale rating of 5, which helps you determine the appropriate use for the laminate floorboard of your choice.
• AC1 moderate residential
These are suitable for closet and bedrooms where residential use is light.
• AC2 general residential
This type can withstand moderate foot traffic are suitable for areas like dining and living rooms.
• AC3 heavy residential/ moderate commercial
Optimal for residential use in rooms with heavy traffic, AC3 is also common in commercial space with light foot traffic like offices and hotel rooms.
• AC4 general commercial
They can withstand moderate to slightly heavier traffic and are perfect for offices, cafes and boutiques.
• AC5 heavy commercial
This type is ideal for departmental stores and government offices.
4. Floor construction
The method of laminate construction can be categorized as HPL, CPL, and DPL.
• HPL or high-pressure laminates are more durable and made by fusing several layers of material into the plank using glue.
• CPL or continuous pressure laminates are comparatively less hardy and are made by applying constant pressure on the layers.
• DPL or direct pressure laminate involves a single step where all four layers are pressed and heated to bond, making them the least durable type.
Laminate flooring can be classified based on the above-mentioned factors. Understanding their differences will help you buy the best type for your home. Super Choice offers a wide selection of flowing options for you to choose from. View our products!