Beautiful wood look laminate flooring in a Lynwood, WA dining room

Laminate FAQ: You?ve got questions, we have answers

We hear many questions about flooring in our store. Here are some answers to the most common ones about laminate.

What is laminate?

First, let us tell you what it?s not. The floors may not be what you remember from years ago. Today, there are no flat images with laminate, because technology has developed embossing features that give depth and dimension. That means your floor can look wire-brushed, hand scraped, weathered, or distressed.

It?s a realistic mimic of wood, tile, or stone, so much so that it?s often difficult to discern it from the real thing. While it?s available in sheets, it can also be cut into ?groutable? tile-sized pieces or planks.

Where can I use laminate?

We?re seeing the flooring in living and dining rooms, home libraries, bedrooms, and in some very high-end homes. Laminate is made from wood byproducts so, while it's highly water-resistant, it's not completely impervious to liquid.

When it?s installed with the boards tightly together, it does become almost waterproof. It's still best, however, to avoid high moisture, non-climate-controlled rooms.

Be sure to tell your retailer how and where you plan to install it.

Is laminate flooring kid and pet friendly?

Yes, this is highly durable. It is a layered product, the core being the ultra-tough high-density fiberboard. It also has a clear top layer, coated with aluminum oxide that protects the floors from scratches and scuffs. Stains sit at the top, so they wipe off easily.

Can I install laminate flooring myself?

Laminate is a?more?DIY-friendly flooring type, but it depends. Here are some things you should know:

?Make sure the subfloor is clean and dry.
?With a few exceptions, it can ?float? over hard surfaces.
?Always use an underlayment because they eliminate sound. Some have them pre-attached; if not, you can buy one separately.
?Read the installation instruction manual thoroughly; if instructions aren?t followed, it could void the protection.

Should I acclimate laminate flooring?before installation?

Yes. Wood shrinks and expands to adjust to weather conditions and remember that laminate is made from wood. Acclimate simply means keeping open boxes in the room in which you plan to install for two to three days before installation, so the material first gets used to its new surroundings.

For more information, visit the Nielson Bros flooring showroom in any of its three locations: Bellevue, Auburn, and Lynwood, WA. Be sure to ask about our estimates.