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What is laminate flooring? What is the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring?

Laminate flooring, according to wikipedia, is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood(or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Simply put, laminate flooring is high desensity fiber core, with a picture of hardwood, tiles, stone or whatever the manufacturer choose on top. Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate flooring is not made from hardwood, but it does look at hardwood.

Hardwood flooring is divded into two categories, engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring has a real hardwood wear layer laminated on to a plywood sheet. Solid hardwood flooring is a solid plank of hardwood.

Which flooring is better, laminate flooring, engineered hardwood flooring or solid hardwood flooring.

That really depends on the purpose of the property. Laminate flooring is very strong and sratch resistant. However, over time, it gradually loses its sheen due to microscopic scratches from daily wear and tear. It is a irreversible process. Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood on the other hand, although more easily scratched, can be revitalized by applying floor care products. They can even be refinished by sanding the old, worn top layer off, and applying wood stain and finish on site. So rental or investment properties typically uses laminate. Pet lovers and families with small children may also pick laminate for its high endurance to scratches. But if you want to get that warm and cozy home feeling, nothing beats hardwood.

Should we glue down engineered hardwood floors or should we float it?

Glue down installation does give you a solid flooring system that does not feel bouncy anywhere. However, it is quite pricey. Usually 40 percent more than floating installation in terms of labor cost. Floating installation, if done right, can feel just as solid, but comes a lot cheaper.

Also keep in mind that once the floor is glued down, it would be a heck of job to remove it. That being said, it is bot always that a installer takes the neccessary steps of preparing the subfloor before installing new hardwood or laminate flooring. Skipping the most important part of floor prepping means the floated hardwood or laminate floor will feel bouncy in spots. Over time, because of the extra stress on the flooring joints, the locking system on laminate floor will fail. Or if it is engineered hardwood, the planks will seperate from each other.

Can we install laminate flooring over old carpet?

No is the most often answer. Most residential carpet is floated over underpads and tacked on the sides by smooth edges, so it does not provide a solid subfloor for laminate floor to sit on. Also the carpet and padding are way too soft and will allow the newly installed laminate to bounce up and down, creating stress at the joints.

How can I fix the scratches on a flooring board?

Way to often we find accidental scratch marks popping up on our new floors. It makes your heart sink to see a perfectly installed floor gets dammaged. There are a few remedies. Most simple and cost effective way to hide a minor scratch is to get a scratch repair kit from local hardware stores. Most often they come in the forms of felt marker, crayon or a touch up pads. However, if the scratch is too deep, these product won’t be able to hide it. Then you next option is to replace the boards of the damaged area with exact matches. It is a long process and because the old boards must be cut out and new boards placed in their places, the new boards are not connected to the surrounding boards like the rest of the area. Which means you have to sacrifise a bit of structural interigy in exchage of physical beauty. The reason is that the new boards will be glued firmly to the subfloor, but the boards around them are not. If the repair happened in a low spot of the floor, overtime, a bit of hieght difference may be noticed.