Laminate flooring is a popular choice among many as it’s easy to install, gives great value for money and is also super stylish. Laminate boards usually fit together over a water-resistant layer which creates a durable and strong solid floor. Laminate is also available in many designs resembling real wood, slate, concrete and even stone. It gives the rooms a very high standard which costs a fraction of what real hardwood would. There are certain issues which may arise, but they’re easily avoidable. If you ensure the floors are fitted correctly and follow maintenance instructions, there’s no reason to worry.
- Warping or buckling
Moisture rising upward within the planks is almost always the leading cause of buckling or warping. It’s usually due to a moisture barrier which is insufficient. High moisture content in the air can also lead to warping or buckling. To avoid the hassle of a complete floor repair, its best to take precautionary measures before the problems start. Install plastic sheeting under the underlay so that it extends up to 2 – 3 inches up the wall. Warping or buckling can also happen if the laminate isn’t one which repels water. Always be very careful while cleaning or mopping the floor to ensure the surface water is kept to a bare minimum.
- Mildew and mould
Even in cases of mildew and mould, moisture is the main culprit. You can ensure waterproof sheeting is installed beneath the underlayment. If, before installation, you detect even the slightest hint of damp or mould, it’s important to locate the source as soon as possible. Treating the problem before it ruins your entire flooring is the best thing to do to avoid the hassle of renovations.
When the laminate boards push together and touch, resulting in small peaks to form, it’s called peaking. This makes the floor look uneven. It can be caused during installation as the expansion gaps are easily overlooked. It’s essential to leave enough space for the floor to naturally expand and contract. If the planks are installed too close to the walls they may end up pushing up against each other. This can also result in peaking. If this has happened already the easiest way to fix this is to remove the baseboard and to trim the laminate board. This gives it enough space to expand and contract naturally.
- Squeaking and creaking
Like real wood floors, the laminate shouldn’t squeak and creak. It should feel solid underneath your feet with the only sound emitting when your shoes make contact with it. A floor can make noise due to the presence of moisture, because of a noisy subfloor or because there isn’t enough space.
Before the laminate flooring is fitted, make sure the subfloor planks are completely stable. Make repairs if any are needed. Check for any damp areas and make sure the waterproof layer is sufficient to provide protection.