Tackling your questions: Laminate flooring FAQ

Laminate floors are finding their way into high-end homes, especially laminate wood flooring. They have a sophisticated, high-end design appearance, and they perform better than ever. The floors, which are made of wood products, are popular in living rooms, dining areas, bedrooms, hallways, and kitchens that don't have excessive moisture issues. They now come in two versions: highly water-resistant and waterproof.

Water-resistant vs waterproof laminate

While waterproof means entirely impervious to liquid, water-resistant means it doesn't attract liquid, but there is always a possibility that some might get through. Traditional laminate flooring is highly water-resistant. If installed properly, that is, if the joints and seams are tightly aligned, and expanders and caulking are used when necessary, some might even consider it to be waterproof.

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What is waterproof laminate?

The traditional laminate was known to swell and absorb water quickly, mostly since it's made from wood products. Technology has made advances in construction that improve the core layer and add a special backing that won't let the water absorb, stain, and swell. It doesn't work in the same way as vinyl or ceramic tile, however. This is waterproof from the top, while vinyl is waterproof from both top and bottom, the latter meaning that you can submerge it, and it will be fine.

What is the AC Rating?

Abrasion Criteria (AC) is a numerical rating system from one to five that determines the product's strength and ability to withstand various levels of foot traffic and wear. AC is the most accurate rating system, the one many experts depend upon, and the products must undergo stringent testing. If they fail just one test, the product is disqualified!

The AC Rating is broken down into residential and commercial categories. AC-3 and AC-4 are considered the best for residential, as they withstand moderate and heavy foot traffic, respectively. AC-5 is reserved for commercial installations.
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How thick should laminate be?

Laminate thicknesses range from 6-mm to 12-mm. If you have selected a wood-look laminate, you can go as high as 10-mm or 12-mm to get the most high quality, authentic feeling underfoot. If the budget's an issue, and if the subfloor is level and in excellent condition, you might be able to get away with a 7-mm or 8-mm.

You can have all the classic elegance of a wood look with laminate flooring, but with a budget-friendly price tag. Let our experts at Carpet Mart and More Flooring Center tell you more at our gallery in Aurora, CO or call for our mobile showroom to come to you. We service homeowners in and around Aurora, CO, Denver, CO, Highlands Ranch, CO, Littleton, CO, Centennial, CO, Englewood, CO and Greenwood Village, CO. Be sure to ask about our free quote for your laminate flooring project.