Laminate Flooring
What Is Laminate Flooring?
The first laminate flooring was developed in Sweden in 1977, but did not appear on the market until 1980. The new type of flooring quickly spread to other European countries. Laminate flooring is also called floating wood tile in the United States. It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials.There is a European Standard No. EN 13329:2000 specifying laminate floor covering requirements and testing methods.

Today laminate is one of the most popular floorings in the world, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring. It may also have the advantages of costing less, reasonably durable and hygienic.

What has not changed since the 1980s is the composition of the laminate flooring. The rough build-up consists of three layers.

Laminate floors are reasonably easy for a DIY homeowner to install. Laminate flooring is packaged as a number of tongue and groove planks - these can be clicked into one another. Sometimes a glue backing is provided for ease of installation. Installed laminate floors typically "float" over the sub-floor on top of a foam/film underlayment.

Underlayment (which may or may not be built into the laminate floor product) is a requirement for any installation. It’s helpful in absorbing some of the minor imperfections in the subfloor, reducing some noise when walking on the floor, and softening some of the impact. Some underlayments also offer a moisture barrier on one side, which is a good idea for wet-area installations.
About Laminate Structure
Layer 1:
First, the uppermost laminate layer consists of an overlay to protect against wear and tear and a design layer, which depending on the production process is made from one or several layers. The surface coating is composed of a special synthetic resin-treated cellulose to give the floor a tough, durable surface. The decorative layer gives the laminate flooring an attractive appearance.


Layer 2:
Under the decorative pattern is the wooden composite core (HDF).

Layer 3:
At the base on the back of the HDF core you will find a watertight layer that improves the structural stability and serves as a moisture barrier. All three layers are permanently bonded with resin, heat and pressure. DPL stands for “Direct Pressure Laminate”.
 
The Benefits of Laminate Flooring
Versatility:  Laminate flooring is quite versatile and durable. Due to laminate flooring being a printed strip of vinyl over a composite board many textures and styles of flooring can be replicated. Recently laminate floors have seen success in simulating stone and tile patterns as well as wood. With EIR embossed in register texturing they are even able to somewhat reproduce the surface texture of these natural materials.

Installation: The installation of a laminate click together floor is one of the easiest do it yourself flooring projects you can undertake. New innovations in the manufacture of this material have made it so you do not even need to use adhesive. You just roll down a sheet of underlayment material, and then snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another. An entire room can usually be finished in just a day or two.

Apply to any existing floor : With the exception of carpet, laminate flooring can be installed over almost any existing floor in the home. As long as a moisture barrier is in place and water prevention measures are taken it can also be installed at any grade. This removes the hassle and expense of having to remove old flooring installations before installing new laminate materials.

Durability: Laminate flooring is resistant to many of the outdoor agents that can discolor other flooring materials. The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges due to dirt and mud making it a great material for hallways and entryways. It also resists fading from UV light exposure making it popular in sun rooms.

Low maintenance: Quality Laminate floors ensure dirt and dust won’t adhere to your floor and will not stain or fade like other flooring surfaces. With a few easy maintenance steps, you’ll find taking care of your laminate flooring is remarkably easy.

Acclimation: Hardwood needs to sit in an environment for 3-6 weeks so that it can acclimate to the temperature and pressure of the area. Laminates can be installed in as little as 36 hours.

Health:
 Laminate flooring is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. It can also be treated with special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Green
: Laminated flooring is commonly used in LEED residential and commercial applications.
Why florenza laminate flooring?
  • Our manufacturers are in full compliance  and certified with world class standards by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), includes the “CARB” standard and European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF)
  • Contributes to credits for green building systems, like LEED 
  • High Recycled Content
  • Decorative paper printed with waterbased low VOC ink systems
  • FloorScore certified, complying to strict indoor air-quality standards
  • Replication of natural looks using advanced printing technology
  • We are using HPL- high pressure laminate flooring is made up of at least five layers. Each of the layers which make up HPL are treated separately and then fused together directly to the core layer. The result is a more stable and more dent-resistant floor surface.
Maintenance
It is important to keep laminate clean, as dust, dirt, and sand particles may scratch the surface over time in high-traffic areas. It is also important to keep laminate relatively dry, since sitting water/moisture can cause the planks to swell, warp, etc., though some brands are equipped with water-resistant coatings. Water spills aren't a problem if they're wiped up quickly, and not allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time.

Cleaning laminate floors is easy and comparable to cleaning other hard surfaces such as hardwood floors. It is generally not recommended to mop laminate floors as this has been shown to cause damage by soaking into the composite portion which allows warping over time. Most manufacturers suggest using dry methods such as brooms to clean with occasional wet cleaning with more specialized mop-type products that do not leave excessive water on the flooring.
Adhesive felt pads are often placed on the feet of furniture on laminate floors to prevent scratching.
Regular Maintenance
> General Cleaning
Use a dust mop, or vacuum with a hard-floor attachment to remove dirt and dust. For additional cleaning use a damp cotton cloth or cloth mop.
> Heavy Cleaning
You can also create a cleaner with a mixture of household vinegar and water (1-cup vinegar to 1-gallon warm water) or household ammonia and water (1/3 cup ammonia to 1-gallon warm water). Do not use soap or detergent based cleaners, wax-based products or any type of polish on laminate floors; they leave a dull, filmy residue.
Important Note: There is never a need to wax or refinish your laminate floor.

Protect the Floor
While laminate floors are remarkably durable, there is no such thing as an indestructible flooring material. There are however, a few simple measures that are important to keeping your floor looking new.
> Protection from Scratches and Everyday Wear
Place walk-off area rugs or mats inside any exterior doorway to collect small bits of sand and gravel that may be tracked into the home.
> Protection from Furniture Scrapes and Scratches
Use floor protectors on chair legs, sofas, TV stands, tables and other easily movable furniture.
Replace plastic casters on chairs with rubber wheels and lift rather than slide heavy objects across the floor.

Spot Removal
> Remove chocolate, grease, juice, cordials and wine.
Use lukewarm water and a non-abrasive cleaner (such as ammonia, and water) or Laminate Floor Cleaner.
> Clean up tar, markers, crayon, lipstick, oil, shoe polish, ink, nail polish and cigarette burns.
For tough stains like tar, markers and nail polish use acetone/nail polish remover or denatured alcohol.
Important Note: Do not use acetone on wall base or quarter round.
> Remove candle wax and chewing gum.
Let the wax or gum harden before carefully scraping with a blunt plastic scraper.