Replaced with parquet floors not so long ago came laminate. The availability and ease of installation made him the leader, temporarily pushing the classic wood flooring. But even today the parquet has its admirers, who are sure that laminate is an unworthy alternative for natural wood. We will understand what is better, laminate or parquet: user reviews and analysis of the features of both options will help you make a choice in favor of one or another option.
How does laminate: its pros and cons
Laminate is a multilayer material, each layer of which has its own function and is responsible for the specific characteristics of the coating. Externally, the laminated board is a panel with a length of about one meter and a width of approximately 20 cm. The internal composition is as follows:
- the bottom layer, which is the basis, is made of thin plastic or special moisture-resistant paper impregnated with resins. This base provides panels rigidity and stability;
- In the middle, as a filling, wood chipboard or fibreboard is used, which makes up a strong frame of the panel. In addition, it provides moisture resistance and elasticity, which is so necessary for the floor covering for durability during intensive walking;
- the top, visible layer of the panel can imitate almost any surface. The variety of colors pleasantly surprises, and the protective film allows the pattern not to fade and remain intact. So the laminated surface can retain its original appearance for a long time.
The multilayer structure allows the use of laminated coating in all rooms. True, most of the boards continue to deteriorate from prolonged exposure to moisture, but, nevertheless, a moisture resistant laminate has already appeared on the market, the installation of which is allowed even in the bathroom.
Manufacturers awarded laminate many useful qualities that have expanded its wide application:
- the easiest way of laying the cover available even for self-assembly;
- Although it is difficult to call the material completely environmentally friendly, however, it does not pose any danger to human health;
- the laminate is fireproof. Even when exposed to high temperatures, ignition will not occur;
- the top layer of the panels is resistant to UV rays, so over time it does not fade and does not lose its appearance;
- modern models of laminate are equipped with a special protective film that makes contact with water completely safe to cover;
- it is hard enough to leave scratches on the laminate. He is not afraid of heavy furniture, constant loads and sharp claws of animals.
However, this coating has disadvantages:
- when walking on the laminate there is some noise. To eliminate this problem, additional costs are required for the purchase of sound insulating material for the substrate;
- it is impossible to restore damaged areas of the coating. The only solution is a complete replacement of the constituent elements.
Helpful advice! Buying materials in the store, pay attention to the integrity of all packages. Otherwise, you run the risk of facing elements of damage on the floor.
What class of laminate to choose for an apartment is quite a controversial issue. Many manufacturers claim that virtually any of their coverage will be perfectly combined with a heating system. In fact, laminate 32 or 33 class is much better. Which brand you prefer is another question. The main thing is that the strength and rigidity of the structure will be sufficient to withstand severe loads on the surface without harming the floor heating system.
In addition, there is a great option – laminate “two in one”, which was released specifically for underfloor heating. The system is designed in such a way that the heating elements are located between two layers – the outer one, on which you will walk, and the inner one – the substrate. Thus, you do not have to select the right flooring and flooring for it. The manufacturer has already taken care of everything.
In the process of laying such a coating, the wires of the heating elements are interconnected, forming a complete system. This is a very convenient, albeit more expensive way compared to the traditional floor heating system.
Helpful advice! Before you start laying laminate, you need to allow him to stay in this room for at least two days. So he can adapt to the level of humidity in the room.
Laminate is a very sensitive material, and special care is also needed. Consider a few basic recommendations on how to properly care for the floor and thereby extend its operational life:
- ideal for laminate – dry cleaning. Best suited vacuum cleaner with a soft brush;
- if you still need to wash the floor with water, use a well-wrung mop moistened with warm water;
- regarding the laminate panels, mop only longitudinal movements to eliminate the risk of water entering the joints;
- do not use any chemically active agents;
- after you have washed a certain part of the floor, wipe it thoroughly with a dry cloth;
- To care for the laminate can be purchased specifically designed for this tool.
The parquet board is carefully glued together one with another panels of natural wood. Spruce or pine plywood about 1-2 mm thick is used as the bottom layer, which serves as the base.
The second layer is lamellas – narrow wooden panels, most often also made of spruce or pine, which are placed across the base to make the structure more durable. The third layer is facial. The most suitable and common tree species for it is oak, ash or beech. The thickness of the upper layer is about 3-4 mm.
The strength and stability of this design to mechanical loads provide panels that are located across. This eliminates the possibility of breaking the board or the appearance of cracks as a result of walking or the location of heavy furniture on the surface. A protective coating applied over the panel itself prevents scratches on the surface and, in the case of a pattern, does not allow it to wipe.
The parquet board is very popular due to its obvious advantages over other materials:
- locking mechanism for installation provides easy and convenient installation of the coating;
- easy to clean – perfectly washable with a damp cloth;
- all defects that appeared over time can be easily eliminated by grinding the coating;
- with high-quality installation and proper care, it has a rather long service life – up to 35 years.
Among the disadvantages of parquet flooring note:
- the instability of the parquet to moisture;
- ability to lose its color and appearance under the influence of ultraviolet rays;
- can absorb foreign odors;
- scratches and damages easily remain on its surface.
Here are some tips to help you properly care for your hardwood floor:
- Parquet can only be washed with a damp cloth. It is strictly forbidden to pour even a small amount of water onto the cover;
- try to do without a washing vacuum cleaner. He will not have any positive effect on the parquet;
- small fresh scratches on the floor can be made invisible by wiping this place with a sponge dipped in sunflower oil.
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As can be seen from the above characteristics, both materials have their pros and cons relative to each other. So which option to give preference? What is the best coverage? Let’s try to make a comparison and understand this issue.
Table of comparative characteristics of laminate and floorboard:
|Technical characteristics of the coating||Floorboard||Laminate|
|Service life until the first visual signs of wear||up to 5 years||up to 3 years|
|Maximum wear resistance class||31 class||34 class|
|The need for additional processing||yes (impregnation of seams, applying protective mastic)|
|The composition of the protective layer||resins and varnishes||acrylate and melamine resins|
|The thickness of the protective layer||up to 0.1 mm|
|Coating weight, kg / m?||up to 17||to 10|
|Slip Resistance Level||low||average|
|Sound insulation level||low|
|Color tolerance level||low||average|
|Level of fragility||average|
|Antistatic||does not accumulate static electricity|
|Possibility of floor heating||yes (when using foil substrate and gluing parquet to the floor)||yes (when using foil substrate)|
Laying and floorboard, and laminated panels requires some preparation. However, in lightness and ease of installation, experts cast their vote in favor of the latter. Consider the features and differences of preparation of the base in both cases.
The process of preparing the basis for laying flooring:
- the existing floor must be poured over with a coupler, having preliminarily set lighthouses for filling at the zero level;
- when the screed is completely dry, you need to pour a self-leveling mixture over it, which will minimize even the insignificant drops that will remain after the first stage;
- then follows the stage of laying the substrate. In the case of floorboard most often used sheets of plywood, or even do without it. But the laminate to put directly on the concrete will not succeed, it requires quality flooring.
Experts in one voice insist on the need for laying high-quality substrate under the laminate. They are very different, and their choice is largely determined by what material characteristics are decisive for you. If you have to deal with the problem of noise isolation every day, the cork substrate will easily solve this issue. If the issue of reducing thermal conductivity is more topical, then a foamed polyethylene substrate is what you need.
If we talk about the device of the “warm floor” system, then, according to experts, this can be done, however, given some nuances. This only disproves the myth that it is possible to warm floors only if they are tiled.
Below are a few reviews of owners of laminated and parquet floors.
“In the second year after laying the laminate, a bit of wax from a burning candle was accidentally spilled on the floor. They tried to wipe it off right away, but for now they were looking for something – it was already frozen. Worried that we can not eliminate the consequences imperceptibly. But nothing, neatly cleaned it with a knife, and the remaining trace was smeared with a special pencil for laminate. A year has passed, and everything has gone unnoticed. In general, the coating is very satisfied. “
Mikhail Novikov, Samara
“We chose a covering for the living room for a long time, as it is a passage room and there are always a lot of people there. In the end, decided to take the flooring. We were more than satisfied with the coating. In the care of any difficulties there. I use the grandmother’s way: I breed 1 tbsp. a spoonful of vinegar in half a bucket of water and my floor with a regular mop. All contaminations are perfectly washed. ”
Irina Semakova, Naberezhnye Chelny
Whichever of these options are the best among consumers, there will always be those who disagree. And this is correct, because depending on personal preferences, one or another quality of each of the materials may or may not be suitable in specific conditions. Generally speaking, both coatings are fairly easy to install using the locking system of laying. However, if we are talking about a room where there is a very high permeability, for example, in the corridor, then it is better to give preference to laminate. It is less susceptible to wiping and scratching, plus its level of impact resistance is several times higher than that of a parquet.
Helpful advice! The increased ability of a laminate to resist abrasion and scratching will come in very handy for those who have pets. On the floor, with time, the marks of their claws will begin to appear.
But according to all other criteria for flooring in the apartment is better to choose parquet. It is easy to restore it after a certain period, otkiklevav and covered with a new layer of varnish. Thus, you can easily get rid of all the scratches formed during the operation and return the coating to its original appearance. In addition, the exterior of the parquet floor looks richer and more solid laminate. The refined appearance of the wooden coating allows it to be used even in the most demanding and pretentious interiors.
With regard to technical characteristics, such as thermal conductivity, the parquet and here occupies a leading place. Its ability to hold heat higher is very important if the coating has to be laid directly on a concrete base. In the case of laminate, the problem of heat conduction is also solved, but it is worth the extra effort and cost.
Among the difficulties of using floorboard it is worth noting that it is quite sensitive to changes in humidity in the room. In old houses where there are no modern ventilation systems, the coating can swell and then shrink again due to changes in air humidity. Already after the first such cycle, gaps will appear between the joints of the boards, and the parquet will begin to diverge.
There are two ways to solve this problem: installing an appropriate ventilation system and controlling the humidity of the air, or opting for a laminate that is much less sensitive to such drops.
A wooden private house requires the use of natural wood materials in the interior. For example, if a house is built of timber, then an artificial laminate will look cheap and inappropriate. Brick or foam concrete houses are less demanding, for laying on the floor is perfect laminate, imitating oak or other tree species.
If we talk about sound insulation, then here the laminate, of course, loses the parquet. But living in your own home, you can afford to make some noise. So here this problem is not relevant. But if we are talking about repairs in the apartment, then before laying the laminate will have to additionally acquire a soundproofing substrate. These are additional efforts, which, however, are well worth the effort.
As for the financial side of the issue, laminate is definitely cheaper than parquet. Although you should not forget that buying panels alone is not enough. Among other things, you need to purchase a quality substrate and prepare the basis for laying the coating.
Another topic that cannot be touched on is the laying of the laminated covering over the already existing parquet. It so happens that the parquet boards were laid for a long time and already completely lost their appearance, or simply want to update the interior. A new laminated coating can be laid directly over the parquet, using the latter as the base.
Before proceeding with the installation of laminate flooring, it is necessary to prepare the base. Start by examining the old coating. If fragile places are found, they must be reinforced with additional planks. To eliminate the cracks, use a special putty.
If by pressing individual elements create a creak, then this problem can be solved as follows:
- between the two bars that are next, you need to drill a hole;
- a wooden thorn of the appropriate diameter, pre-oiled with glue, is inserted inside;
- the upper part of the spike is cut off by the level of the finished floor.
In the process of preparing the parquet, it is important how to level it (the maximum allowable height difference per linear meter of floor covering is 2-3 mm). To do this, use the method of rough scraping. After finishing the leveling, the parquet should be cleaned and primed. When the surface is dry, you can proceed to laying the substrate. It is necessary to lay it end-to-end, and to glue the joints with adhesive tape to ensure the tightness of the coating.
If you want to put a new coating on top of the parquet, then think about how the thickness of the laminate will be optimal for this room. You should not choose too thin panels. Pay attention to the laminate Tarkett 33 class. Reviews of it only positive, and the price range pleasantly pleased.
In order for the combination of laminate and parquet to be strong enough and withstand all the pressures that lie ahead, it is important to adhere to the installation technology and some tips.
It is not necessary to put the entire laminate in the house in one direction. That is, if you install the coating in more than one room, it is better to choose a different direction of the slats. Places joints can be easily hidden with decorative thresholds. The continuous method of laying is more difficult, moreover, it eliminates the possibility, if necessary, to disassemble and replace the coating in only one of the rooms.
Note! If the old parquet creaks when you walk, do not expect that this will not be noticeable under the laminate. Be sure to solve this problem before installation.
The process of laying laminate on the parquet after fixing the substrate occurs according to the standard scheme: it is worth starting from the corner, positioning the panels so that they are parallel to the sun’s rays and perpendicular to the window opening. You can try to lay out some more complex drawing, however, in most cases it is only possible for professionals.
And yet, which is better: flooring or laminate? Parquet has the advantage of service life and some technical characteristics. On the other hand, the limitedness of its color and texture solutions allows the laminate to take over it, but everyone wants to create a unique individual interior in their home. In any case, whatever you prefer, with the purchase of high-quality materials, as well as professional styling of the coating, you will be able to enjoy your chosen option for a long time.