Laminate Flooring
Laminate floor laying

Laminate flooring is a melamine or fibre board composite material that is most usually designed to simulate wood. It usually "clicks" together (thus “"Click Flooring") using tongue and groove ridges, although it may, alternatively (or also), use backing glue.

Since its invention by one of two Swedish companies - either Pergtorp or Valinge depending on which law suit you believe - in the early 1970s it has become an increasingly popular floor covering.

Its popularity derives to some extent from its easy - and so relatively cheap - installation and low maintenance requirements.

The flooring’s texture is such that it is warm underfoot compared to tiles or stone and, indeed, the range of underlay available offers various levels of sound and heat insulation.

Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it is fairly hygienic with antimicrobial properties built by manufacturers.

What of the disadvantages? Unless a "water resistant laminate" is used it is not ideally suited to environments with a high level of humidity such as kitchens or bathrooms. Any water spillages should be cleared up quickly. Should a laminate floor become damaged by water or chemicals then, unless a spare pack is retained at time of fitting it will be difficult to find an exact match to replace a couple of boards once the manufacturer has discontinued production of the particular style you have. You may have to replace a whole floored area.

Costs

It is possible to buy discounted end-of line stock, however, HomeForce would advise you to proceed with caution with any laminate flooring costing less than £5 / sq m.

In addition you will need to factor in the cost of underlay from around £1 / sq m to £5 / sq m depending on the sound and heat insulating properties. Also allow for edging bead and threshold strips for doorways and other miscellaneous materials.

As a rough guide the labour charge for laying laminate flooring will range from £12 to £15 per sq meter. The variation being down to factors such as the number of doors, the shape of the room, the corners and angles of the room and even the direction the laminate is laid.

For very small (1 – 2msq) or intricate areas laminate can be an impractical flooring as the cost per square meter to lay it will be significantly more than the indicative prices shown.

Tips for Laminate Floor laying
 
  • An "expansion gap" of 5 to 10mm should be left between the flooring and any immovable objects as the floor will expand and contract as the heat and humidity of the room goes up and down.
  • The expansion gap can be situated under skirting, though this involves significantly more work, but is more usually covered by "edging beading"
  • If new laminate flooring and underlay is going to raise the level of your floor you may need to trim doors so they don’t drag on the floor. In kitchens trim kick plates so that they sit on top of the flooring.
  • Manufacturers often recommend that laminate flooring be left to acclimatise in opened packs in the room it is to be laid in for 24 hours before laying.

To arrange for a HomeForce joiner with years of experience fitting laminate flooring to visit you for a quotation call 0131 315 0000 or complete our request-a-visit form.