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Let’s discuss that DIY flooring dilemma where we want that timeless natural timber look without the hassle of having to sand it down and varnish it every so often. We want the pure grain visuals without the wait from acclimating the wood in your home. We want the organic bronzed colour but with more affordability than the real deal. Considering all the flooring options that fit within this criterion, there is one that prominently sticks out calling “me, me, me!” When in doubt, laminate flooring is always there to lend a helping hand and is more reliable now than it ever was with the help of modern advancements in machinery and fabrication techniques. If we consider that our iPhones and Androids now have better cameras than some actual cameras, then you can then imagine that technology has evolved far enough to exceptionally replicate the glamorous wooden appearance of hardwood flooring.
But then comes the problem of which laminate flooring do we want to choose from? With a plethora of options even after filtering through flooring types, we now need to decide upon a particular supplier. Well, if you remember Laminex, Australia’s market leading group in decorative surfaces, you may recall that they are responsible for the reliable and beautiful Essastone benchtops. Check out our previous blog about Essastone here if you can’t quite jog your memory. Dependability and aesthetics are not just limited to Laminex’s Essastone benchtops however as they also sport stunning laminate floors with their Formica range. From their expertise in producing top-of-the-line cabinetry surfaces, they were able to translate this knowledge into creating these dazzling floors. Like Essastone benchtops these laminate floors are European based, providing remarkable production quality as Formica sources its products from Austria – and this quality is guaranteed with the accompaniment of a seven-year commercial warranty or a thirty-year residential warranty.
“Formica Laminate Flooring harnesses the richness and character of natural timber.”
As with all laminate floors, Formica flooring gives all the general benefits which include straightforward installation (check out this 6-minute laminate flooring installation guide by Laminex), simple maintenance and high definition style. With DIY laminate flooring, not only is there a floating installation method that can be done yourself without the help of external tradesmen. Also, as mentioned before, you don’t need to invest in fancy cleaning or treatment as needed for hardwood floors over a long duration – all you really need is a vacuum cleaner and a laminate-friendly mop. Finally, the power of technology reigns in the field of imitation as access to digitally printed wooden surfaces allows us to replicate the finest details of timber grains while also granting greater versatility when choosing colour and pattern. Furthermore, Formica flooring adds a textured finish to make your floors not only look like timber, but to also make it feel like it too with subtly coarse ingrained lines. One example of this is the Dijon Oak range from Formica, which exhibits a smoothened hilly landscape and you can experience this sensation here at our QN Designs Kitchen & Flooring showroom in Malaga.
However, despite all the grandeur surrounding laminate’s status as a fall back from real hardwood floors, there does exist several concerns. Of these include the potentially dangerous effect that arises from the chemical components used in the manufacturing of these floors. You may have heard stories of some flooring companies providing laminate floors with high concentrations of carcinogenic substances such as formaldehyde. However, with the European-based Formica products, there has been a significant level of commitment to ensuring healthier indoor air quality and this is demonstrated through certification by GEI (GREENGUARD Environmental Institute) to confirm low levels of VOC emissions such as formaldehyde, having less than 0.22 milligrams of total VOC’s per cubic meter. If you’re a devoted greenie and want to take it one step further to ensure that the products are sustainable for yourself as well as the environment, know that 60% of the components is utilising recycled fibres while 30% is reclaimed wood scrap. As a result, one can be reassured that when purchasing Formica laminate flooring they are not exposed to externalities associated with chemical substances from production as opposed to other products in the industry. This feature is vital for those who have breathing difficulties or pervading health issues.
Another potential problem linked with DIY laminate flooring includes those terrible hollow sounds. Well for starters, where does the hollow sound come from? To know that, we need to understand how floating DIY laminate floors are installed in the first place. Above the subfloor of the house or building, an underlayment is generally placed. This is a thin layer of floor covering to ensure a flat surface before the actual laminate floor is set on top. This means that there is a supposed gap between the actual laminate cover and the subfloor which can lead to a hollow sound when walked atop. One counteraction that can be implemented to reduce this annoyance is based on the type of underlayment that is used. Here at QN Designs Kitchen & Flooring we offer various types of these underlays, of which includes the Hush Platinum acoustic silent underlay, characterised by high density polyethylene. This underlay complies with the BCA Code for sound transmission, providing consistent performance within multi-tenanted projects. Otherwise, 12-millimetre plank range from Formica includes a silent underlay attached to the bottom of the plank for sound reduction too.
Finally, one other complaint about DIY laminate floors is its limitations in refinish opportunities. This may be true but let us consider the following scenario where one has genuine hardwood floors. When the time comes around where you need to sand it down, varnish or wax it you’ll be looking at prices at about forty to fifty dollars per square meter. Plus, after sanding you’ll have to deal with the horrible fine dust particulates creeping through the air and after varnishing you may have to vacate the house for a few days too. Well, if you have a laminate floor – although you don’t have the refinish choices that is partnered with hardwood floors, you can instead use that money to grab yourself a whole new laminate floor if you wanted to. Not only that, but it can be done in a very quick time too, as an installer can lay down up to 35 square metres of laminate flooring per day. Check out some of the ranges that Formica offers, such as the light and snowy grains accompanied by splashes of pale barky textures within their Whitewashed Oak boards. On the other hand, you can also have yourself a more country villa feel that emanates an earthy luxury with their Ashford Oak. You can have yourself a proper look by heading over to Laminex’s showroom in Osborne Park or on the other hand, come down to QN Designs and see our ranges here in our Malaga showroom at 1914 Beach Road.
Thus, with laminate on the rise it is important to be aware of which suppliers are at the forefront in reliability. With Formica floors, there is not only a guarantee for quality and gorgeous aesthetics, but there is also the assurance that we can live atop these floors with clean indoor air. Our trusty Laminex has always had a big presence in this name and therefore, we can be sure that when we turn to them for their Formica floors, we’re in the right hands.
By Jacky Lu, QN Designs Kitchens