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Flooring advice
What is Laminate Flooring?
October 1st, 2020

If you love the look and texture of wood or stone but you need something a bit more practical, then laminate flooring is the one for you. Renowned for its tough and durable nature, laminate is incredibly easy to install and to look after – ideal if you’ve got small feet or paws running around. This perfect all-rounder is suitable for most rooms, even the busiest in your home. A budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on style and we have plenty of colour, finishes and thicknesses available so you’re certainly spoilt for choice.


How durable is laminate?

Laminate flooring is incredibly durable making it perfect for those high-traffic areas in your home – from the liveliest of kitchens to the hustle and bustle your hallway endures. The printed décor layer of laminate flooring features a high-definition digital reproduction of wood or stone. This is sandwiched beneath the resin top layer – a translucent, protective, clear finish which guards it from daily wear and tear.

Which type of laminate flooring is best?

Depending on the durability you need, this will influence the thickness you choose to go for. We stock a vast range of thicknesses from 7-14mm that come with a durability rating of AC3 to AC5, so you’ll be sure to find a floor to suit your needs. The AC rating is a way of determining suitability so you might choose an AC3 rating for your bedroom and an AC5 rating for a busy office or commercial setting. To find out more on AC ratings, head on over to our handy guide.

Where to use laminate flooring

Hard-wearing, laminate flooring can be used in most areas of the home including dining and living rooms, hallways, kitchens and bedrooms. If you’re looking for laminate flooring for your bathroom or wet room, our Audacity or Aqualock ranges are suitable. If your home has underfloor heating, then laminate is also safe for use as it is stable enough to withstand direct heat.

How to acclimatise laminate

With laminate flooring you won’t have to worry too much about any unwanted shrinking or warping. Though stable, laminate floors will still move slightly, so it is best to let your floor 'settle' into its new environment before you install it.

This is a simple step in your project planning so make sure you don’t skip it! All you need to do is keep your flooring in its original packaging, laid flat in the room it’ll be installed in (at its typical room temperature) for 48 hours prior to installation.

For more helpful tips on acclimatising your floor check out our How to Acclimatise Your Floor guide.

How to install laminate

All our laminate ranges are DIY-friendly, meaning you won’t have to call in the professionals and you can have your dream floor fitted in no time. Thanks to its added stability it is possible to use click systems at the joints so it's ideal if you’re looking for a floor you can install yourself. Providing you follow our How to Install Laminate Flooring guide, it really is simple to fit, particularly with the latest 5GS click joints.

All laminate floors should be used alongside a suitable sound reducing underlay as this makes a huge difference, making the floor sound more natural and helping to lessen the sound of footsteps. We've got a full range of underlays for you to browse through, so you’ll be sure to find the right one for your project.

How to choose a laminate style

The look of laminate floor is dependent on the printed decor layer meaning that any wood or stone look is possible in areas it may not have been before. With a wide range available, from rustic natural oak looks to very contemporary grey and white finishes, laminate can make a great addition to your home no matter what your interior style. Got a specific colour scheme in mind? See our easy to use Shop by Colour pages for more.

If you’re looking for a laminate floor that provides character and a traditional feel, then consider a design with lots of colour variation and a pronounced bevel between each plank. For a more contemporary look, go for a more consistent tone and a less defined bevel, or none, between each plank.

How to maintain laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is easy to look after, just needing regular vacuuming and damp mopping to keep it looking its best. Our quality laminate floors feature a smooth coated finish that will stop dirt clinging to the surface, making it even easier to get rid of. That said, stubborn scuffs and marks may need treating with a specialist spot cleaner.

Thanks to the durable wear layer, laminate is pretty stain-resistant if quickly attended to, so makes a great choice for kitchens and dining rooms.

Be sure to check out our selection of daily and specialist laminate cleaning products to keep your floor looking and feeling tip-top.

Check out our Shop by Room pages for ultimate laminate flooring inspiration.