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Laminate flooring in your Liverpool home – what you should know

Laminate flooring can be an attractive, low-cost, and low-maintenance option for a room. Many people even install it themselves, although you may prefer to draw on the services of a professional for a top-notch installation.

Laminate does have its limitations, however, and these should be considered if your floor is going to last for years.

Consider the environment

The first thing to consider is that your typical laminate hates water. While the visible layer is usually waterproof, water can seep between the planks and penetrate into the core, ultimately leading to warping. The occasional spill shouldn’t cause too many problems, especially if it’s swiftly cleaned up, but laminate does not tend to be the best option for kitchens and bathrooms, where splashes and spills are commonplace. What’s more, Liverpool gets its fair share of rain, so you may want to avoid installing it in an area with an external door.

While vinyl can be a reasonable alternative in these circumstances, you can also get completely waterproof laminates, such as the ‘Aqua Step’ range, which are suitable for wetter areas.

How much foot traffic will it get?

Not all laminates are created equal, and it’s important to pick one that’s suitable for the level of foot traffic it is going to experience. The average Liverpool household may include two or more busy adults, children playing and pets, as well as visiting friends and family.

Most laminate has an AC (Abrasion Class) rating that indicates how well it should perform in a given domestic or commercial setting. Laminate rated at AC1 is usually suitable for moderately used residential areas, such as an adult or guest bedroom, while AC2 and AC3 reflect suitability for residential rooms with general or heavy traffic respectively. Laminate rated AC4 and above is usually intended for busier commercial areas.

If a product is labelled as “unrated”, it may have failed one or more durability tests and shouldn’t be expected to last too long.

Looking after your laminate floor

Unlike solid wood, or even engineered wood flooring, there is no option to sand and refinish laminate, so you need to take some care if it’s to last as long as possible.

When it comes to cleaning, wet mops and steam cleaners are generally a bad idea with non-waterproof laminate, for the same reason as explained above, so a dampened microfiber mop or a Swiffer-style duster is preferable. Anything abrasive should generally be avoided. When vacuuming, you should also always disengage the brush bar if your vacuum has one, as this may scratch the surface of the laminate.

Scratches in laminate cannot generally be invisibly repaired, although whole planks can sometimes be replaced if you have spares left over. It’s therefore important to avoid scratches in the first place, such as by placing protective pads under the feet of all furniture and always lifting rather than dragging heavy furniture when moving it. If something really needs to be dragged, always place something soft, such as an upside-down piece of carpet, under it first.

With a little care and attention, you should be able to enjoy a laminate floor for years to come.

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