|Laminate Flooring :: Laminate Flooring Buy Guide|
Do You Know What You'll Get For Your Money When Buying Laminate Flooring?
Buying laminate flooring on the internet offers convenience and usually big savings, however, since there is such an enormous choice of laminate floors available, it can be confusing too! If you are buying for the first time it will pay to do your homework before taking the plunge. In order to narrow down your choices you may want to follow the tips below so that the job of choosing a floor that suits your requirements is more easily accomplished.
One of the primary considerations for buyers of laminate flooring is the cost. With prices generally ranging from around $1.50 s/f to $5.00 s/f you will initially want to determine how much you are able to spend on your floor so that you can start to narrow down your choices. Many buyers opt for flooring in the intermediate price range, that is from $2.50 - $4.00 per square foot.
In the under $2.50 s/f price range it may be unlikely that you will find any products from the better known manufacturers, such as Pergo, Armstrong and Alloc but this does not mean that you will be unable to find a good quality floor. However, since some inferior brands are most likely to be found at the lowest price level you will have to be on your guard to ensure you do not end up with a floor that could prove problematic in the future.
Most brands of laminate flooring come with snap lock or click together joints. If you are looking to purchase a floor that will be easy to install then you'll want to be sure that your floor incorporates such a locking system. Do bear in mind that although many of these systems are similar, you will usually find that tiles or planks of different makes are not interchangeable.
Often overlooked is whether or not a floor has built in underlayment. Many laminate floors do now incorporate it and it is mostly of the cork variety. Planks & tiles with the underlay already attached to their underneath further simplify the installation process. If the floor that you wish to purchase does not have the underlayment built in you will have to factor this into your overall budget as well as the additional time required to install the floor.
The Healthy Laminate Flooring Choice
Laminate floors come prefinished but since the coating can be of varying quality it is something that will also affect the price you pay for your floor. Floor planks or tiles that have been coated with a lacquer certified to be low in toxic substances or formaldehyde free will typically cost more, simply because the coating is more expensive to manufacture. Be warned, some of the cheapest coatings may be hazardous to your health over the long term, so be sure to enquire with your flooring vendor about the toxicity levels of each brand before making your final choice. In many cases manufacturers will have provided their distributors and vendors with certificates that detail the composition of the coating so, for peace of mind, be sure to ask to see them.
It is of paramount importance that the vendor of your laminate floor provides a manufacturers warranty with your flooring at the time of purchase. Nowadays it is quite the norm for a laminate flooring warranty to remain valid for a minimum of 15 years. If a floor is offered to you with less than this you may be well advised to consider a different brand. Furthermore, fully check the terms of any warranties in order to ascertain to what extent you are protected. As a bare minimum you should expect that the floor you buy is guaranteed against premature wear, fading and staining. Steer clear of anything that is sold without a warranty unless you have the required expertise to independently verify that it is of sound construction.
By taking the time to carefully consider your exact requirements you will make it easier to select a laminate flooring that suits your needs perfectly and you'll be rewarded with a floor that may well last you several decades if properly cared for. What's more, you'll just happen to have one of the most stylish floors in the neighborhood too!
So, you are almost there. We hope that our tips have helped to bring you a step closer to purchasing a laminate floor that is right for you.