Table of Contents
Beginning repair in the apartment, there is a wish to show the identity. For this purpose we think over and we make out each corner of the dwelling in harmony with the habits and character. The choice of finishing of floor is one of the major moments under repair. Much want to feel noble parquet or tree under legs, however these materials cost much and are exacting in leaving. Excellent alternative is the laminated floor covering. Today in the market of construction materials it is possible to find laminate from different producers, on any design taste and with different technical characteristics. Before purchase it is necessary to study information on that what laminate of firm it is better to choose for the apartment: responses of buyers, prices for products and other data will also be useful.
What is laminate
The laminated floor covering which in use has received the name “laminate” has been invented about 30 years ago in Sweden by the Perstorp Flooring AB company. Several years later this covering began to apply in finishing of floors. Today laminate very popular. Species diversity and classes of the laminated covering, various design solutions of color gamma and styles allow to use it as floor covering for different types of rooms (inhabited, office, trade and so forth).
For the general concept about structure of laminate, briefly we will sort its building:
- the base rigid layer consists of waterproof melamine which serves as protection against deformation;
- further the basis follows – it is the panel from fibreboard or chipboard which carries out the main mechanical loading;
- the following layer – decorative. It is paper on which the drawings imitating different breeds of tree, leather or other material are applied;
- from above laminate becomes covered by the laminated film. For its production use melamine or acrylic resin. Thickness of this layer and amount of melamine in it affects resistance of plate to wear and mechanical damages.
What laminate of firm it is better to choose for the apartment: responses of buyers. TOP-10 the best producers
All laminate is almost identical in the building, but here its quality depends on many indicators. First of all it is the manufacturing company. On example TOP-10 of popular producers we will consider what laminate of firm it is better to choose for the apartment. Responses of buyers will help to make right choice.
This company is one of leaders in the world market of laminate. Its products are in demand not only in Russia and Europe, but also in the USA. Only this company has the patented Uniklic lock which allows to simplify laminate laying. The Quick-Step team constantly works on improvement of material and design therefore products of this brand always keep up to date. Collections constantly are replenished with new models and coloring, all products have the first-class quality and are ecologically safe.
The popularity of the company allows it to establish pretty high cost on the products. In reviews of Quick-Step laminate it is possible to see different opinions, positive concern quality and long time of service of covering.
Laminate of Balterio is in demand around the world. It is the relatively young company, but the quality of its products has provided it the place among world leaders in production of the laminated floor coverings. Balterio also has own patented system of lock connection Click Xpres, fastening of lamels such lock provides strength seamless connection.
Laminate is made of the high-strength HDF plates guaranteeing durability and wear resistance. The special decorative layer created by ultraprecise stamping as much as possible transfers structure of natural materials.
Opinion of buyers on laminate of this firm are also ambiguous, however these products have the mass of positive reviews:
“There has passed year, laminate lies perfectly, nothing creaks, any cracks and slots. In one corner it was necessary to shift partially — has coped itself, everything is joined ideally, but not at once — it is necessary to be accustomed. In the house there live 2 cats, their claws to it are not terrible. The scrap of laminate has lain year on kitchen garden, i.e. snow, rain, frost, heat, end faces as new / just notched – has not inflated!”
Other consumers note scratch at first of operation and appearance of scratches.
The floor covering of this firm in registration is oriented to fashionable trends. Quality material, attractive exterior, hypoallergenicity of laminate from Egger is incomplete list of its advantages. The special attention is deserved by marking of aqua + on products that means high moisture-proofness of laminate and opportunity to apply it as floor covering even in the bathroom and in kitchen. It is positioned by high wear resistance and ecological security.
To this brand in responses buyers such claim is made:
“Have put laminate the Oak the Loft white, has ordered it on the Internet, has disappointed. Very badly dust washes, gathers, looks not really beautifully, it is necessary to wash often. It is laid in the bedroom, in year it was pressed through under bed and joints are visible, and it is the main minus. Let’s lay other laminate, with it was exhausted already”.
However there is also mass of positive reviews about high resistance to damages, simplicity of mounting, etc. For example, masters in laying of laminate write at forums that products of this firm of collection of 8 mm have almost no defects and the price best in the ratio – quality.
Tarkett company (Europe)
Products of concern are manufactured in Sweden, Germany and Serbia. Tarkett releases class coverings 32 and 33 which use both in inhabited, and in public places. High-quality laminate of this firm has layer from kraft paper, the castle T-lock system, high wear resistance. The model for any interior allows to pick up different surface structures, wide choice of color and thematic gamma.
The Tarkett company only of producers of the laminated floor coverings which has ecological marking “Life leaf”. Opinions on this laminate very different. At the same time reviews of the same buyer of the bought at the same time different Tarkett collections and laid in kitchen and in corridor meet. In kitchen laminate has not worn out, and in corridor has climbed seams.
Products of this firm are characterized by the innovation design, refined decor and variety of textures. At the same time all collections are released in three classes of wear resistance. But the main advantage is the patented technology of processing of surface TitanX™ that provides the most advanced stage of resistance to wear. At Pergo the castle PerfectFold™ 3.0 system which facilitates laminate laying process. Floors from the laminated covering of this company are ecologically safe.
BerryAlloc (Belgium – Norway)
The Norwegian company Alloc, with old story and vast experience of release of qualitative floor covering and panels from wood, in 2012 has integrated the resources with the company from Belgium. The producer making laminate using HPL and DPL technologies which is characterized by excellent quality has as a result turned out.
The company has exclusive aluminum lock connection of lamels and produces ecologically harmless laminate. The rich range of models with various coloring and invoices will be satisfied by preferences of any buyer. Products have high wear resistance and moisture-proofness therefore it can be applied as floor covering in kitchen. High price of this laminate is quite justified it by quality.
Products of this firm have fine technical characteristics and unique design. It has the high quality, original textures repeating the drawing of natural materials: tree, stone and so forth Parador has patented two technologies of lock connection – Automatic-Click and Safe-lock which guarantee reliable fastening of panels at any loading.
The firm applies HDF plates and special water-repellent protector to laminate production that increases moisture resistance of the laminated floor covering. Products have collected positive reviews thanks to the ProAir system which is designed to reduce concentration of hazardous substances in rooms. At high quality you should not expect low prices, however at Parador they are quite available.
The famous German producer of the laminated floor coverings. Collections of this company are diverse and will satisfy taste of the most exacting buyers. Laminate has high resistance to abrasion and burning out, the simple system of mounting by means of Click-locks and guarantee of ecological security.
For production of laminate it is used HDF plates from natural wood. Kronotex products, have cost below, however and comments on her worsen. Original products of the German production have won only positive reviews.
The family business founded in the XIX century. Till today it takes the worthy place among leaders in production of parquet and the laminated floor coverings. Sandwich construction of the laminated HARO floors always keeps resistance to loadings and wear.
The special aquaTec system (combination of the bearing HDF plate to water-repellent processing of aquaResist® and specially impregnated protective layer of surface) provide high wear resistance and water-repellent effect. It allows to use covering in rooms with the increased humidity.
Laminated floor coverings of this firm integrates in itself such criteria as simplicity in mounting and quality. Plates are made of the pressed wood fibers. Products are positioned as durable, not afraid of moisture and ultraviolet rays. The convenient system of the patented locks of the LocTec® connection allows to fasten to ease panels among themselves. Laminate from Wineo has different structure of surfaces (glossy, opaque, imprinted) and also various coloring.
To define by forums what laminate it is better to choose for the apartment, it can be absolutely difficult as opinions are absolutely opposite and each of above-mentioned firms has both positive, and negative reviews.
Kinds of laminate: what needs to be known for the correct purchase
Thanks to the presentable exterior, the main characteristics and available cost, laminate is fine alternative to expensive parquet floor and is most often used for finishing of floor in apartments and owner-occupied dwellings.
When choosing laminate it is necessary to be guided by its such characteristics:
- laminate class;
- form and sizes;
- types of locks of connection;
- ecological security;
- design decision;
- surface texture.
Laminate class: it is better for them to choose for the apartment
That the laminated floor covering has served long, it is necessary to pick up correctly it according to wear resistance class. These technical characteristics define possibility of resistance to mechanical and chemical damages, moisture resistance, sound insulation, reaction to light, etc.
What class of laminate will be suitable for this or that room define depending on intensity of its use better.
The European Association of producers of the laminated floors (EPLF) has approved norms for the laminated floor coverings.
According to these norms six classes of laminate are defined:
- Class 21. It is intended for premises with low load scale: bedrooms, libraries, offices. Has low resistance to abrasion.
- Class 22. Is suitable for rooms with average load scale: nurseries, living rooms. Moderate resistance to abrasion.
- Class 23. It is used in premises with loading large-scale: to the hall, kitchen. Has the highest resistance to abrasion.
- Class 31. It is applied in public places with easy load scale: small offices and conference rooms, has indicator of high resistance to abrasion.
- Class 32. It is intended for public places with average rate of exploitation: classrooms, offices, receptions, boutiques. Very high resistance to abrasion.
- Class 33. The strongest laminate with the highest resistance to abrasion. It can be used for finishing of floor in public places with intensive loading: shops, gyms, restaurants.
Today laminate 31, 32 and 33 of classes is in the greatest demand and it is widely applied to finishing of floor in apartments and residential buildings. Modern producers, considering preferences of consumers, are even more often limited to release of the laminated floor covering of these classes. It is more expensive than household laminate, however its quality and life cycle are many times higher.
There is one more class of laminate – 34 which has superresistance to abrasion. It is used in apartments seldom because of high cost. Laminate of this class is recommended to lay in rooms with very intensive loading.
Size and form
The laminated covering is released generally in the form of the rectangular panels imitating wooden surfaces. Standard dimensions of laminate do not exist therefore we will stop only on limit indicators and also on the most demanded sizes. Minimum parameters of laminate board: length is 300-400 mm, width – 90 mm, thickness – 6 mm. Maximum parameters respectively: the 1845th 330х12 mm. The most demanded laminate with average parameters is considered: from 1260 to 1380 mm long, 185-195 mm wide and 8 mm thick.
It is worth noticing that shorter boards keep within easier. When using long panels it is important to maintain geometry of each level that in use laminate was not deformed. Width is selected proceeding from room geometry and also desirable exterior (imitation of wooden floor, parquet, tile, skin). It is necessary to consider that the thick covering more hardy in respect of loadings and has low heat conductivity, however is of such covering more expensive. These criteria will help to decide what is better to choose laminate thickness.
Laminate and square shape meets. Most often the drawing imitates it ceramic tile. Width of such panel is 330 mm. The square covering keeps within easier and does not demand substrate, unlike rectangular option. And here cost it more expensive and is more difficult to repair the damaged tile, than classical laminate.
Important! When calculating necessary amount of laminate surely consider costs of undercutting. At direct laying – it is 7% of room space, at diagonal – from 10 to 15%.
Before purchase be convinced that the chosen form and the size of laminate will be in harmony with room geometry. Levels will be suitable for large rooms more long and more widely, and in small it is more appropriate to use narrower panels.
Connection locks: Click or Lock
Fastening of levels of laminate can be carried out by one of two ways: Click or Lock. Let’s try to find out what lock of laminate is better.
The principle of the drive Lock lock consists in connection of boards of laminate among themselves by swamping of figured ledge on one level in groove another. Respectively each level has both groove, and ledge with combs which do not allow boards to disperse.
Advantage of such laminate in the low price. Lock locks are not suitable for heavily trafficked rooms since permanent load leads to their abrasion and as a result, breakdown. Laminate with Lock locks needs to be stacked on ideally equal basis that there were no “saggings”. The specialist has to be engaged in laying, the inexperienced master can break level at knocking.
The Click lock differs in simplicity of mounting. Even the beginner will be able to lay the laminated covering from cliques lock. It is necessary to put one board to another at an angle 45º and to press to click sound. Laminate with such type of the lock is not afraid of loadings and rather simple under repair, it can be sorted and laid in other place in case of moving. It is obvious that it is necessary to pay for such comfort and reliability more, however the result is worth it.
Ecological security – the main criterion of quality of any finishing material for premises. According to norms of EPLF, class E1 laminate is considered safe. It contains the admissible amount of formaldehyde harmless for human health. Choosing laminate with the corresponding marking, it is worth remembering the existing fakes. In this case it is worth paying attention to the price: laminate of the known brand cannot unfairly cost little.
Also it is necessary to pay attention to information on possibility of implementation of laminate only in certain regions (as a rule, it is not the European countries with low requirements to structure of floor coverings). It is better not to get such covering as it can be made by joint ventures for which there is no need to observe the European requirements for ecological security.
Helpful advice! Buy the laminated covering in specialized shops with good reputation. During purchase open one packaging: if the strong chemical smell is felt – refuse such covering and look for the laminate smelling of sawdust.
Design of laminate: interior in the apartment
Considering collections of the modern laminated floor coverings, it is possible to tell about high professionalism and inexhaustible creative inspiration of his producers. For giving of originality apply various drawings on it, create effect of imitation of natural materials (tree, skin, stone, metal), experiment with surface texture.
What options of design of the laminated floor covering offer modern producers?
Laminate under tree – classical option of registration of floor which with success replaces expensive parquet board. Panels meet imitation of the drawing of oak, maple, birch and so forth. The maximum effect of naturalness is created by means of the various invoice of the laminated levels of which it will be a question below.
The interior with the laminated covering “under skin” will be suitable for those who prefer luxury. It is not the budgetary option and it will run into money, however the result is worth it. Walk on floor from “crocodile leather” will give pleasure to everyone.
In such design directions as hi-tech, minimalism or the loft will brightly look finishing of floor the laminate under metal imitating crude steel, zinc, chrome and so forth.
The floor laminated covering “under stone” will please supporters of classical design more. It will be good to look laminate in “stone” style in the living room (especially with fireplace), corridor, the dining room, in the bathroom and in kitchen. Variety of collections is imitated by such types of stone as agate, onyx, slate, volcanic stone, etc.
The most original and many-sided it is possible to call the design collections of laminate offering exclusive patterns, unpredictable textures and absolute originality. For example, the German producer Parador in the Edition and TrendTime collections has provided variations on Leonardo da Vinci’s cloths, the animalistic print imitating skins of animals, abstractionism in the form of drawings in ultra bright colors.
Designer laminate can be met also at Kronotex, Classen and other companies. At these producers children’s collections of the laminated coverings enjoy special popularity.
Invoice: effect of touch
For overall view and feeling of comfort the invoice of the laminated floor covering indoors is important.
It can be the most various:
- the classical wooden surface imitates relief of natural wood;
- the effect of the made old tree is reached by means of imitation of the noticeable roughnesses inherent in “worn-out” wood. Perfectly Provence will be suitable for interior in style;
- the glossy surface will make flooring impression the wooden varnished boards;
- laminate with natural surface looks as wood with the natural drawing characteristic of this breed;
- oil tree. With such surface the dullness of covering and effect of well oil-impregnated tree is characteristic of laminate;
- laminate with waxed surface creates effect of the tree rubbed with wax and gives to panels massive look;
- the covering of country has large relief and imitates type of the fresh wooden boards which are slightly ground by plane.
Apparently, the range is rather big and allows to apply the laminated floor covering in the most unexpected variations. Therefore deciding what laminate it is better to choose for the house, you proceed from the general interior of the dwelling and own preferences.
Substrate under laminate: what to choose
Even the qualitative laminated floor covering can long not serve if does not take care of quality of the basis on which it keeps within. That laminate did not cave in, between the basis and laminate it is necessary to lay substrate which will act as the shock-absorber and will reduce noise.
There are several types of substrate:
- pith substrate under laminate. Pluses and minuses: natural material with long life cycle, has good indicators of noise-absorbing and heat insulation, perfectly levels the basis. Shortcoming is the high cost and risk of dyeing in the conditions of high humidity;
- extruded polystyrene foam. The substrate from this material of vlagoustoychiv, does not give in to rotting processes, has noise-absorbing effect;
- Tuplex – strong three-layer substrate. The base layer of polyethylene has perforation which provides ventilation. The center – polystyrene foam granules, upper – polyethylene;
- substrate from frothed polyethylene – the budgetary option. Has noise-absorbing effect and is not afraid of humidity, however it can be crumpled from high loadings.
Helpful advice! It is impossible to stack sheets of substrate with an overlap. To avoid blistering and roughnesses it is possible to fasten seams on joint of sheets of substrate with adhesive tape.
Any of these substrates will prolong life cycle of your floor covering therefore you should not save on it. What is better substrate thickness under laminate – depends on class of the chosen covering, type of the lock and material of draft floor.
Laminate with facet or without: what is better
Depending on by what way edges of lamels are processed, laminate can be:
- without facet. Edges of lamels are cut off at right angle;
- with facet. The edge is cut off at an acute angle. Between lamels when laying the fillet of 2-3 mm in depth is formed;
- with microfacet. Differs from the previous option only in fillet depth, in this case it is 0.5 – 1 mm.
The facet is double-sided (it is put only along long edges of lamel) and quadrilateral. Bevels can have V-shaped or U-shaped cut.
Availability or lack of facet will not affect technical characteristics of laminate in any way, and will affect only exterior and the price of product. The covering without facet will cost cheaper, and on floor will look as smooth continuous surface. Laminate with facet is more expensive, it looks more volume and visually reminds floor from natural wood.
Quality and price of laminate
The cost of the laminated floor covering depends on the producer, class of wear resistance, relevance of collection, surface structure, the system of locks of connection, ecological security and so forth.
Remember that buying floor covering, you do investment for many years therefore it is necessary to remember saying “penny-wise and pound-foolish”. With the laminated floor covering, qualitative, strong and safe for health, your apartment will become more comfortable and cozy, and will take presentable form.