How to choose a laminate for an apartment in terms of quality?

How to choose a laminate for an apartment in terms of quality -0

Carrying out repairs in the apartment, many owners prefer to use such material as a laminate as a floor covering. Some are attracted by the simplicity of its installation, others by the relative cheapness of this material. It should be said that such a coating is not much inferior to natural wood.

Arriving at the store, we can quickly choose a laminate for decorative qualities. But it is very difficult for an ignorant person to figure out the operational characteristics of this material because of the large number of different icons and pictograms on product packages. Let’s try to figure out how to choose a quality laminate for an apartment.

Advantages and disadvantages of laminate

Lamellas of a laminate are made of a wood composite. Most often they can imitate floorboards, solid board, parquet, cork. However, it is possible to purchase a laminate with an external design for ceramic tiles, stone, or even rusty metal. Among the variety of collections, you can choose the one that is right for your room.

Laminate has a low weight and sufficient strength, which is sometimes even higher than that of wood. No dents, no scratches, no cracks remain on the surface of a high-quality laminate.

The surface of the laminate floor does not absorb dirt, so it is very easy to care for. This coating does not rot, neither fungus nor mold appears on it. A good laminate is water-repellent and will not fade in the sun. Without losing its decorative effect, a high-quality coating can last for decades. In addition, even an inexperienced owner can lay a laminate.

The disadvantage of the laminate is its low thermal insulation properties: this coating is quite cold. Sometimes cheap material can build up a static charge. You should pay attention to this when buying a laminate and choose a coating that has antistatic properties.

If you have heated floors installed in your apartment, then when buying a laminate, you need to specify whether this type of it can be used on a system of underfloor heating.

What quality of laminate to choose?

In order to distinguish laminate depending on its properties, operational and technical characteristics, a special classification has been developed. Previously, laminate from grades 21 to 23 was used for residential premises. They also produced a commercial laminate of 31-34 classes for public spaces with high traffic.

Class 21 material was considered the most unstable. It was used in rooms with the least abrasion load on the floor. The coating was short-lived even if it was used in the bedroom or home office — places where traffic is low.

Grade 22 laminate was more durable compared to the previous one, so it was used in living rooms or children’s rooms.

Class 23 laminate flooring was developed for living rooms with active dynamic loads, which means that it could be used in the kitchen, in the hallway or in walk-through rooms.

Today, due to insufficient strength, laminate of these classes is no longer produced by many manufacturers. Therefore, in a modern apartment, you can use a laminate of 31-33 classes to decorate the floor, and the material of class 34, due to its high cost, is almost never used in living rooms.

Class 31 laminate flooring is suitable for bedrooms and will last for 5-6 years. Class 32 laminate is the best option for use in all living rooms, including the hallway and kitchen. The service life of such a coating in residential premises is up to 15 years.

Class 33 commercial material is more often used in public areas, although it is also used in apartments, where it will not be necessary to replace it for more than 15 years.

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