Laminate is an inexpensive alternative to wood or stone, and it has recently grown in popularity. But maintaining a laminate floor comes with its own set of potential problems. Keeping in mind the DIY homeowners, few manufacturing companies are designing the new types of laminate flooring. Despite the fact that manufacturers have tried to keep the installation simple, there are still several problems that can arise. Many of those issues result from improper installation, or unfavorable conditions for laminates. Taking time to learn about potential difficulties and how to avoid them can save a lot of extra work and frustration.
Problems with Laminate Flooring:
- Slippery Issue: Laminate flooring is very slippery. You have to be worried about slipping issues with laminate flooring, though manufacturers have been developing slip-resistant wear layers. Make sure that you choose a finish which will provide friction or grip even if it gets wet.
- Not Refinishable or Sandable: This is probably the biggest disadvantage of laminate flooring. It must be replaced, if laminate flooring is deeply scratched, heavily worn, or grooved, it cannot be refinished or sanded like solid hardwood.
- Peaking Problem: Peaks can occur along the layered joints where two laminate boards meet. It’s caused by the boards being pushed together and up, which results in a peak. Laminate floors are not typically fastened to the sub-floor, which allows them to float as the material contracts and expands with the changes in humidity and temperature.
- Gaping: Gaps are created when flooring boards pull away from each other. However, it is not common, it occurs only when the temperatures drop well below 60˚F. So it is very important to acclimatize your flooring to room temperature before it is installed.
- Noisy: An uneven sub-floor with hollow spots or dips is one of the main reasons of this noise.When board’s move, the rubbing of one board against another produces annoying creaks and squeaks. Lack of sufficient underlayment also causes noise, so your sub-floors need to be flat.
- Curling Issue: Probably the biggest complaint from homeowners who have installed laminate flooring in their kitchens is that if water is spilled on the material, the tiles will often react by curling up at the edges. This can completely destroy the effect of the floor, and ruin the ambiance of a room.
- Chipped corners: Chipping is caused due to the following reasons:
- Careless handling of the laminate before it is installed.
- Poor installation: Mallets/tapping blocks make contact with flooring causes dents.
- Vacuuming with the beater bar attachment.
- Buckling or Warping: Poor construction can also play a role in warping and buckling. For example: Simply walking on the floor can cause these defects, if the balancing layer of each board is insufficient.
- Fake Feel: Laminate flooring has a pretty good look at replicating hardwood and stone, that apparition falls apart as soon as you physically touch it.
Laminate flooring requires some amount of skill along with some patience to install, though it is recommended for “do-it-yourself”. The initial and the final phases of the installation should be done properly as it is the most difficult phase as well as an important one. The place looks unappealing and untidy, if the installation is not done properly. Laminate flooring also tends to be quite slippery and sometimes it may result in serious injuries. Therefore, it is advisable to take a wise decision by considering all pros and cons of laminate flooring before going in for it!!