Laminate Floor

How laminate flooring is made

Laminate flooring is made of various layers that are fused together. The layers in most laminate flooring include:

Wear Layer –
This is the top layer, the one you walk on. It’s usually made from cellulose paper that’s been saturated with melamine plastic resins that make laminate flooring so incredibly scratch-resistant.

Design Layer-
This is the image you see, typically a photograph or patterned print that has been copied onto cellulose paper. Because it is below the upper melamine layer, it can’t be marked, scuffed or even fade.

Core Layer-
This is the backbone of all laminate flooring. The core layer is usually some form of processed particle board and comes in different strength and thicknesses.

Stabilizing Layer-
This is the bottom layer that holds everything in place. It's usually made from resin-saturated paper, just like the top layer. In addition some brands of laminate flooring have an underlayment attached to the bottom. The underlayment is designed to absorb sound and cushion the floor. It is usually made of cork, felt, foam or some similar material.

Laminate flooring is put together in two ways.
- Direct-pressure laminate flooring is the most common variety. All the layers are assembled at once, then heated and pressed to form a bond.
- High-pressure laminate flooring is more recent innovation and is often found in more expensive premium brands. Both the top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate flooring are treated separately, thenfused to a core layer under extreme pressure.

Laminate Flooring is an excellent choice for easy maintenance and long-lasting beauty.
• Cleaning your laminate floor is simple. Dirt and dust are easily removed with a vacuum
featuring a hard surface attachment or a broom.
• For more difficult-to-remove soil, use a cloth moistened very lightly with plain water.
Then wipe the surface with a clean dry cloth. Under no circumstances should the floor
be wet mopped.
• Heavier stains, such as crayon, felt-tip markers, etc., may be removed with laminate floor
cleaner available through your dealer.
• Laminate Flooring needs no special treatment– never use soap solutions, waxes,
sealers, polishes, or any abrasive materials.
• Protect the flooring in high traffic areas and from excessive tracking of outside dirt and
soil with walk-off mats at all entrances.
• Use quality floor protectors, such as felt pads, under furniture legs to help protect the
flooring surface.
• Laminate Flooring is best maintained in a balanced room climate with 45-65%
relative humidity at normal room temperature (68o - 72o Fahrenheit).
• Chemical spills such as acids, alkalis or petrochemicals should be removed promptly
using appropriate methods. The floor should then be cleaned with a laminate cleaner
and dried with a soft absorbent cloth to prevent any residue from remaining on the
flooring surface.

Q & A

Q: How can I remove dried glue from my laminate floor?
Answer: Hardened glue left over after your floor is installed can be removed with Acetone™ nail polish remover or special glue solvents.

Q: Can pets damage my new laminate floor?
Answer: Yes, it is possible for dogs and cats to damage any type of flooring, including laminate flooring. Although Laminate Floors are extremely durable they can be scratched by untrimmed pet claws. Keeping dogs and cats claws trimmed will help your floor look beautiful for many years.

Q: How can I remove scratch marks from my laminate floors?
Answer: For minor scratches in your laminate floor there are special, color-coordinating pencils that may be used to fill in scratches. See your Laminate Flooring dealer for more information. By using some common sense precautions you can help keep your floor looking like new. Use walk off mats in front off all doorways and felt pads under all furniture legs. Never drag heavy objects over the floor, instead place 1/4" underlayment or plywood down first and then slide the heavy object across the underlayment panels.

Q: Can a chip in my laminate floor be repaired?
Answer: For chips, deep scratches and gouges there are colored burn-in, filler sticks available which are used with special electric knives to repair these areas. If the damage to the plank is too severe you can have the damaged plank replaced without destroying the rest of the floor. For plank replacements there are special tools, router bits, and wood splines available to make the job easier. We suggest you leave plank replacement up to a professional installer.

Q: Can a Laminate Floor be installed over my existing flooring?
Answer: Laminate Floors can be installed over many types of existing floors, such as ceramic tile, vinyl, hardwood, and some glued-down level loop carpets. Ask your flooring dealer to determine if the existing flooring is suitable for this purpose. Never try to install a floating floor over another floating floor.

Laminate Installation Instructions

After ensuring that the subfloor is free of any debris, begin to lay the underlayment. In order not to damage the underlayment, you should lay only enough for the next 5-10 rows of the laminate flooring.

To lay the first panel, start in the left hand corner of the room and lay the panel so that the "tongue" side faces the wall. Be sure to observe the 3/8" expansion requirements between the first row and surrounding walls.

Secure the first row against slipping suing 3/8" spacers or wedges. Use the piece left over from the first row to start the next row. Make sure that the joints are offset by at least 12". Cut a new panel if necessary.

Insert the first panel of the second row into the groove side of the panel already in place. Lay it completely flat down on the floor

Take the next panel and rotate it on the short side into the first panel of the second row, which is still laying flat on the floor. You should take care that this panel is on the long edge as close as possible to the first row.

Place your fingers under the second panel of second row. While standing on the first row, simultaneously lift panel slightly and pull panel towards you. This closes the joint. Lay locked panel flat. Repeat this technique for other panels.

The last panel in the row is fitted by turning the panel so that the groove side lies to groove side and the panel with the front side has a 4" distance on the panel laid in front of it.

Now you should saw the panel which has been marked to the correct length and fit it in. Tip: You can achieve edges without damage by sawing on the reverse side of the decoration using a circular saw.

For heating pipes you should drill and saw, depending on the position of the pipes, as shown in the sketch. In all cases, account for an extra 3/8" beyond the size of the pipe to meet expansion requirements.

Existing wooden door frames can be shortened to allow the laminate to be laid beneath them. However, be sure to allow for 3/8" expansion.

The last row can be fitted by stenciling out the remaining area using two unlaid panels as show here. Pull the tongue of the cutout panel into the groove of the second to last row to join using technique from above.

Use coordinating transitions to cover the 3/8" expansion area around walls and between rooms. Never glue transitions to the floor. When affixing is recommended , do so to the walls.

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