Questions about laminate flooring are common as it is increasingly recognized as a versatile and durable option for interior design.
We at Chestnut Flooring have collected some of the most common questions people have asked us about laminate flooring in Toronto and put together this handy list to help out the curious. If you’re planning a renovation and want to know why these floors are worth considering, take a gander and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
About Laminate Flooring
What is laminate flooring?
It is a type of synthetic flooring comprised of multiple layers that have been sealed in a lamination process—hence the name. The wear layer is on top and is a transparent shield that withstands fades, stains, and scratches while offering a surface that’s easy to clean. Below is the décor layer where a printed image recreates the look and texture of hardwood, ceramic, or stone. Next is the core layer, usually the thickest part of the tile, which is the source of the floors’s structural stability and high dent-resistance. Last is the backing, which offers extra stability and sometimes includes a built-in underlayer for sound and moisture absorption.
Is it hard to clean?
These floors are low maintenance and easy to maintain. The main thing to keep in mind is that spills should be wiped up as soon as possible and you should avoid steam cleaners or jet mops. A weekly sweep or dust mopping is often all that is required to keep these floors in top shape, though specialty cleaners exist as well. Beyond this, standard precautions like felt or rubber tips on furniture legs and placing mats at indoor/outdoor transition points will help improve the longevity of your floor.
Where can I use it?
This type of flooring is extremely versatile and can be used in any room of a home or business but high-traffic areas let the material show off its strengths. You can even use laminate planks to decorate walls in addition to floors for an added expression of style. There are only two caveats to where you can use laminate flooring in Toronto. The first is that it will swell if moisture infiltrates the bottom layers, making it less than ideal in or basements with above-average ambient moisture. The second is that it requires a relatively smooth subfloor so pronounced divots or other imperfections can make installation tricky. Having said that, it can come with water resistant and waterproofing options and subfloors can be repaired, so there are no true limits on where the material can be used.
“Click Lock” Method
How is it installed?
These floors are typically installed using a tongue-and-groove or “click lock” method, where the tiles fit together sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. This is a floating type of installation, meaning the flooring is not fastened to the subfloor directly. However, some types offer a glue-type installation that makes use of an adhesive. This style is slightly more complicated than the tongue-and-groove but provides a more seamless result in exchange.
What is an AC rating?
The AC rating is a type of durability metric that you will likely encounter when shopping for laminate flooring in Toronto. AC ratings range from 1-6 and give a sense of where a particular product should be used. AC 1 tends to be best for minimal foot traffic like in a closet or bedroom, while ACs 2 and 3 indicate suitability for moderate-to-high traffic such as living rooms or kitchens. AC 4-6 are capable of meeting commercial standards but are also worth looking at if you host a lot of get-togethers or have a particularly rambunctious household.