Know This Before You Walk Into a Laminate Flooring Showroom

There are a number of laminate flooring showrooms in Toronto, each home to a delightful array of options for renovation and interior design.

However, going to a showroom without a plan can leave you feeling overwhelmed by the options and might end up causing more indecision rather than less. Here are some ideas of what to think about before visiting a showroom to help narrow your search and let you increase the odds of finding exactly what you need.

Design

Underlayment

Laminate is an extremely versatile material and can expertly mimic the appearance of rich ceramic, natural stone, and native or exotic hardwoods. This handy ability, combined with the flooring’s inherent durability, stain resistance, and low maintenance needs, makes the floors an awesome way to capture the beauty of other materials with much less fuss or upkeep. Take some time to consider the sort of visual design and surface texture you want your room to have. Even if you can’t decide on a specific look, narrowing your choices down to a category like stone or hardwood can still be a big help when visiting a Toronto laminate flooring showroom. This type of floor has two weaknesses: moisture infiltration and the fact that they can sometimes produce a hollow sound when stepped on. The underlayment solves both of these issues but the type of underlayer you need will depend on the environment your flooring is installed in and the thickness of the tile itself since thickness improves sound absorption. Using thicker tiles in rooms without much ambient moisture will work fine with a standard foam underlayment, but thinner tiles in rooms with higher ambient moisture (like a basement) might require a higher-grade approach.

The AC rating is one of the most useful durability metrics for these floors and any of Toronto’s laminate flooring showrooms will likely contain products that cover the full range of the scale

AC stands for “abrasion coefficient” and is independently measured through methods like rubbing sandpaper on the tile, dragging furniture back and forth, delivering impacts and stains, and more. AC ratings of 1-3 are considered suitable for home use while ratings of 4-6 are better for commercial properties. Think about what the room is used for, the sort of furniture it contains, average foot traffic, and other common stresses the floor might be exposed to in order to get a sense of which AC rating you should aim for.

AC Rating

Budget

There are a few handy rules of thumb that you can use when trying to develop or stay within a budget when buying flooring

The first is that cost will rise as thickness or AC rating increases, which makes identifying your durability needs extra important. You should also keep in mind that flooring projects will almost always produce some level of waste, so anticipate needing around 5-20% more tile than the actual square footage of the room in question. Pay attention to the unit that a candidate tile is sold in (usually boxes of 20 square feet, but this can vary) and look for the most efficient option.

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