Starting repairs in the apartment, I want to show my individuality. To do this, we think over and design every corner of the home in harmony with our habits and character. The choice of finishing the floor is one of the most important moments in the repair. Many people want to feel noble parquet or wood under their feet, but these materials are expensive and demanding to care. A great alternative is laminated flooring. Today in the market of building materials you can find laminate from various manufacturers, for any design taste and with different technical characteristics. Before buying, you should study the information on which laminate it is best to choose for an apartment: customer reviews, product prices and other information will also be superfluous.
What is laminate flooring
Laminated flooring, which is commonly known as “laminate”, was invented about 30 years ago in Sweden by Perstorp Flooring AB. A few years later, this coating began to be used in the decoration of floors. Today laminate is very popular. A variety of types and classes of laminated flooring, various design solutions of colors and styles allow it to be used as a flooring for various types of premises (residential, office, retail, etc.).
For the general concept of the structure of the laminate, briefly analyze its structure:
- the lower hard layer consists of waterproof melamine, which serves as protection against deformation;
- further follows the base – this is a panel of fiberboard or particleboard, which performs the main mechanical load;
- the next layer is decorative. This is a paper on which drawings are imitated of various types of wood, leather or other material;
- on top of the laminate is covered with a laminated film. For its production using melamine or acrylic resin. The thickness of this layer and the amount of melamine in it affects the resistance of the plate to wear and mechanical damage.
Laminate which company is better to choose for an apartment: customer reviews. Top 10 best manufacturers
The whole laminate is almost the same in structure, but its quality depends on many indicators. First of all, it is a manufacturer. Despite the appearance on the construction market of domestic laminate, the leadership still remains with foreign companies. For example, the TOP-10 popular manufacturers consider the laminate which company is better to choose for the apartment. Customer reviews will help make the right choice.
This company is one of the leaders in the global laminate market. Its products are in demand not only in Russia and Europe, but also in the USA. Only this company has the patented Uniklic lock, which allows to simplify the laying of the laminate. The Quick-Step team is constantly working to improve the material and design, so the products of this brand always keeps up with the times. Collections are constantly updated with new models and colors, all products have first-class quality and are environmentally safe.
The popularity of the company allows it to establish a rather high cost for its products. In opinions about the Quick-Step laminate, you can see different opinions, positive concerns the quality and long service life of the coating. Negative reviews indicate instability to damage and poor quality of products manufactured at Russian factories, while customers complain about the high cost.
Balterio laminate is in demand all over the world. This is a relatively young company, but the quality of its products has ensured it a place among the world leaders in the production of laminate flooring. Balterio also has its own patented Click Xpres locking system, the lamella fastening with such a lock provides a solid, seamless connection.
Laminate is made of high-strength HDF-plates, which guarantee durability and wear resistance. A special decorative layer created by ultra-precise embossing, as much as possible conveys the structure of natural materials.
Customer opinion about the laminate of this company is also ambiguous, but this product has a lot of positive reviews:
“A year has passed, the laminate is excellent, no squeaks, no cracks and crevices. In one corner I had to shift partially – I managed it myself, everything fits in perfectly, but not immediately – I need to adapt myself. Two cats live in the house, their claws are not afraid of him. A piece of laminate lay year in the garden, i.e. snow, rain, frost, heat, butts as new / freshly washed away – do not swell! ”
Sergey Novikov, Kaluga
Other consumers note the scratch in the first time of operation and the appearance of scratches.
The flooring of this company in the design is focused on fashion trends. High-quality material, attractive appearance, hypoallergenic laminate from Egger – this is an incomplete list of its advantages. Special attention is given to aqua + marking on products, which means high moisture resistance of the laminate and the ability to use it as a floor covering even in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Positioned for high durability and environmental safety.
To this brand in the review of the buyers are such claims:
“They put laminate Oak Loft white, ordered it via the Internet, disappointed. It is very bad to wash, dust is collected, it does not look very nice, you need to wash it often. Bed in the bedroom, for a year sold under the bed and visible joints, and this is the main disadvantage. We will lay another laminate, with this already tortured. “
Evgenia Ischenko, Orel
However, there are plenty of positive reviews about high resistance to damage, ease of installation, etc. For example, laminate laying masters write on the forums that the products of this 8 mm collection are almost free from defects and the best in terms of price – quality.
Tarkett Company (Europe)
The concern’s products are manufactured in Sweden, Germany and Serbia. Tarkett produces coatings 32 and 33 classes, which are used both in residential and public spaces. The high-quality laminate of this company has a layer of Kraft paper, lock system T-lock, high wear resistance. Various surface structures, a rich choice of colors and thematic range allows you to choose a model for any interior.
Tarkett is the only manufacturer of laminated flooring in Russia that has an eco-label “Leaf of Life”. Opinions about this laminate are very diverse. In this case, there are reviews of the same buyer about simultaneously purchased different Tarkett collections and beds in the kitchen and in the hallway. In the kitchen, the laminate was not worn out, and in the corridor it went up at the seams.
The products of this company are characterized by innovative design, elegant decor and a variety of textures. In this case, all collections are available in three classes of wear resistance. But the main advantage is TitanX ™ patented surface treatment technology, which provides the highest degree of wear resistance. Pergo has its own PerfectFold ™ 3.0 locking system, which facilitates the process of laying laminate. The floors of the laminated flooring of this company are environmentally safe.
BerryAlloc (Belgium – Norway)
The Norwegian company Alloc, with a long history and rich experience in producing high-quality flooring and wood panels, in 2012 combined its resources with a company from Belgium. The result is a manufacturer that manufactures laminate using HPL and DPL technologies, which is characterized by excellent quality.
The company has an exclusive aluminum locking lamellae and produces an environmentally friendly laminate. A wide range of models with a variety of colors and textures will satisfy the preferences of any buyer. The products have high wear resistance and moisture resistance, so it can be used as a floor covering in the kitchen. The high price of this laminate is fully justified by its quality.
The products of this company has excellent technical characteristics and unique design. It has high quality, original textures, repeating the pattern of natural materials: wood, stone, etc. Parador has patented two locking technologies – Automatic-Click and Safe-lock, which guarantee reliable fastening of panels at any load.
For the manufacture of laminate, the company uses HDF-plates and special water-repellent impregnation, which increases the moisture resistance of the laminated flooring. Positive feedback products collected through the system ProAir, which is designed to reduce the concentration of harmful substances in the premises. With high quality, you should not expect low prices, but the Parador is quite affordable.
Famous German manufacturer of laminate flooring. The collections of this company are diverse and will satisfy the most demanding customers. Laminate has a high resistance to abrasion and fading, a simple installation system using click-locks and a guarantee of environmental safety.
For the production of laminate used HDF-plates from natural wood. Products Kronotex, manufactured at Russian factories, has a lower cost, however, reviews about it deteriorate. The original products of German production has won only positive reviews.
Family business founded in the nineteenth century. Until today, it occupies a worthy place among the leaders in the production of parquet and laminate flooring. The multi-layered construction of HARO laminate floors always maintains resistance to stress and wear.
The special aquaTec system (combination of the HDF carrier plate with the water-repellent treatment of aquaResist® and the surface specially impregnated with a protective layer) provides high wear resistance and water-repellent effect. This allows you to use the coating in rooms with high humidity.
Laminated flooring of this company combines such criteria as ease of installation and quality. Plates are made of compressed wood fibers. Products are positioned as durable, not afraid of moisture and ultraviolet rays. The convenient system of the patented LocTec® connection locks makes it easy to fasten the panels together. Laminate from Wineo has a different surface structure (glossy, matte, cramped), as well as a variety of colors.
Using forums to determine which laminate is better to choose for an apartment, it can be very difficult, because opinions are completely opposite and each of the above companies has both positive and negative reviews.
Due to its presentable appearance, basic characteristics and affordable cost, laminate is an excellent alternative to expensive parquet flooring and is most often used for flooring in apartments and private homes.
When choosing a laminate, you need to focus on its characteristics:
- laminate class;
- shape and size;
- types of connection locks;
- environmental Safety;
- design solution;
- surface texture.
In order for the laminated flooring to last for a long time, it is necessary to choose it correctly in accordance with the wear resistance class. These technical characteristics determine the possibility of resistance to mechanical and chemical damage, moisture resistance, sound insulation, response to light, etc.
Which class of laminate is best suited for a particular room is determined depending on the intensity of its use.
The European Laminated Floor Manufacturers Association (EPLF) has approved standards for laminate flooring. According to these standards, six classes of laminate are defined:
- Class 21. Designed for residential areas with a low degree of load: bedrooms, libraries, offices. It has low resistance to abrasion.
- Class 22. Suitable for rooms with an average degree of load: for children, living rooms. Moderate abrasion resistance.
- Class 23. Used in residential areas with a high degree of load: hallway, kitchen. It has the highest resistance to abrasion.
- Class 31. It is used in public premises with a light degree of load: small offices and conference rooms, has an indicator of high abrasion resistance.
- Class 32. Designed for public spaces with an average degree of operation: classrooms, offices, reception rooms, boutiques. Very high abrasion resistance.
- Class 33. The most durable laminate with the highest resistance to abrasion. It can be used to finish the floor in public places with an intense load: shops, gyms, restaurants.
Today, laminate of 31, 32 and 33 grades is in the greatest demand and is widely used for flooring in apartments and houses. Modern manufacturers, given the preferences of consumers, are increasingly limited to the release of laminated flooring of these particular classes. It is more expensive than household laminate, but its quality and service life is several times higher.
There is another class of laminate – 34, which has super resistance to abrasion. Used in apartments rarely because of the high cost. Laminate of this class is recommended to lay in rooms with very intense load.
Laminated flooring is produced mainly in the form of rectangular panels that mimic wooden surfaces. Standard sizes of laminate does not exist, so we dwell only on the limiting indicators, as well as on the most popular sizes. The minimum parameters of the laminate board: length 300-400 mm, width – 90 mm, thickness – 6 mm. The maximum parameters, respectively: 1845x 330×12 mm. The most popular is considered to be laminate with average parameters: from 1260 to 1380 mm long, 185-195 mm wide and 8 mm thick.
It is worth noting that the shorter boards fit easier. When using long panels, it is important to maintain the geometry of each strip so that during operation the laminate does not deform. The width is selected based on the geometry of the room, as well as the desired appearance (imitation of wooden floor, parquet, tile, leather). It should be noted that a thick coating is more durable in terms of loads and has a low thermal conductivity, but this coating is more expensive. These criteria will help decide which laminate is best to choose.
There is a laminate and a square shape. Most often, his drawing imitates ceramic tiles. The width of this panel is 330 mm. The square coating is easier to fit and does not require a substrate, in contrast to the rectangular version. But the cost of it is more expensive, and repair damaged tile is more complicated than the classic laminate.
Important! When calculating the required amount of laminate, be sure to consider the cost of trimming. With direct laying – this is 7% of the floor space, with diagonal – from 10 to 15%.
Before purchasing, make sure that the chosen shape and size of the laminate will be in harmony with the geometry of the room. For larger rooms, strips longer and wider are suitable, and in smaller ones it is more appropriate to use narrower panels.
Remember that buying flooring, you make an investment for many years, so you must remember the saying “miser pays twice.” With a high-quality, durable and health-friendly laminate flooring, your apartment will become more comfortable and cozy, and will have a presentable appearance.