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Laminate Flooring

Laminated Flooring Singapore

If you like the natural, warm feeling of hardwood flooring but lacks the budget for it, you may wish to consider laminate flooring. It has become a popular choice among homeowners because it can resemble materials such as wood and stone, and is able to create a classy, stylish look for your home  without burning a big hole in your pocket. Besides, Laminate Flooring has a wide selection of colours and patterns, and it is, to a certain extent, moisture, stain and scratch resistant.

Laminates are made up of layers. The top layer is either a thin hardwood such as beech, birch, oak, maple, bamboo or a photographic layer that mimics the look of wood. The inner core layers consist of melamine resin and High Density Fibreboard (HDF) which are pressure bonded under heat together to make a durable floor. Laminates are usually easy to install as they are fitted using tongue and groove boards. Each piece has a slot (the groove) along one edge, and a thin, deep ridge (the tongue) on the edge of a corresponding piece. These boards are shaped to provide an interlocking system that fits the pieces closely together.

Due to cross bonding, laminate flooring is more stable and is relatively less of a hassle to maintain compared to hardwood, which can easily be damaged by water. Because its surface is coated with aluminum oxide, it makes laminate flooring less susceptible to stains and scratches. It is also termite-resistant, and with proper installation, it would not have seams or gaps that could trip dirt.

Durability, however, depends on the quality the the laminate. When shopping for laminate flooring, consider the amount of traffic you expect on your floor and choose the thickness and quality accordingly.  Thicker planks usually gives a solid feel of wood. Although laminate flooring is designed to be moisture resistant, it is not waterproof, and hence is not suitable for areas such as bathrooms. If water leaks into the planks, they may swell or warp and can damage the floor.

Use and Maintenance

Although laminate flooring requires less maintenance compared to hardwood flooring, some care is needed to minimize wear and tear. Here are some simple tips follow:

- Avoid strong chemical such as bleach or acid when cleaning the laminate surface. It may permanently discolour or ruin the varnished finish.
- Laminate floors are scratch resistant, but not scratch proof, so make sure you lift instead of drag or push heavy furniture across laminate floors.
- Wipe away any water spills immediately. If water is left on the laminate flooring for too long, it may seep in, causing the planks to swell and warp.
- When removing stains, use a soft cloth. And, if you need to scrape up hard-set material like dried food or candle wax, use a rubber spatula.
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