Trendy fashionable homes and workplaces are the popping up across the urban landscapes around the world. With the fast sharing of ideas between people across the globe, benchmark for performance in the field of Interior designing has risen considerably. Quality professional education institutions offering courses in these subjects have helped pull in young talent which has lightened up the real estate market with fresh ideas.
An increasing demand for Interior products such as Wall papers, paneling, furniture, curtains, wood flooring and porcelain materials etc. was a key indicator of upgraded lifestyles. Here we will briefly discuss the growing trends of Laminate Floors in Pakistan.
“The global market for laminate flooring is projected to reach over 10.6 billion square feet by year 2020 driven by improving real estate and construction activity, technological advancements and design innovations” – Global Strategic Business report.
There are numerous different things that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to remodeling interior spaces. According to reviews, basically, you have to follow a series of steps that will result in your desired outcome, both physically and economically speaking. Therefore it is essential to know a little background of this fascinating product called ‘laminate floor’.
The concept of Laminate flooring emerged as a cost effective alternative to real wood floors and soon became a ‘must have’ in homes and offices. Started in Karachi in late 90’s, wood flooring was quick to emerge as a leading flooring product across Pakistan. Commonly known as ‘wooden floors’, interior designers adore it when designing residential and commercial spaces.
It is important to know that as Laminate Floors were introduced as wood floors, that happens to be a common name for the product in this region not to be confused with ‘hardwood flooring’.
Is every Laminate floor the same?
No, and here is why. There are two basic types of Laminate floors one may come across in the market:
1. MDF core board (Medium density fiber)
2. HDF core board (High density fiber)
Floors made with MDF core board are not long lasting due to the low density of the board. They may easily wear and don’t perform well in moderate and high foot traffic areas. The density is less than 700kg/m3. MDF board based laminate flooring serves the prime goal to keep it cheap.
HDF floor boards perform well in all applications as the density is over 700kg/m3. This allows the floor to stay intact for decades. Most HDF based floors carry a manufacturer guarantee of over 20 years or so.
Why is it called maintenance free floor?
The surface is made of Melamine impregnated layer with Aluminum oxide which protects it from stains and dust. As all products, certain quality standards are established for wear layer of laminate floors. EPLF (European producers of Laminate Flooring) designed AC rating system which is the industry standard. AC refers to ‘Abrasion class’.
“The EPLF is an independent organization which aims to set standards for the laminate flooring industry. Floors submitted to the EPLF go through a series of tests that evaluates a laminates resistance to stress and is then given a rating code according to its performance. They test the floor for resistance to scratches, burns, fading, stains and impact. If the floor fails any of these categories then it is not certified. The rate of abrasion is the figure used to state the abrasion resistance of a laminate floor. It is established in what is known as a Taber test and assigned to abrasion classes according to the Euro standard EN 13329. This is an important element of defining load classes, which identify where a laminate floor can be used. The abrasion resistance is one of many factors used to assess quality.”
Most important yet overlooked is the ‘wear class’ of Laminate floors as explained in the table below:
Wear classes for laminate flooring are specified in the European standard EN 13329 (“Laminate floor coverings – Elements with a surface layer based on amino plastic thermosetting resins – Specifications, requirements and test methods”). There is a differentiation between domestic and commercial usage.
In private use areas, the classification ranges from 21 (light use, e.g. in bedrooms) to 23 (intense use, e.g. in hallways). In commercial use areas the classification ranges from 31 (light use, e.g. hotel rooms or conference rooms) to 33 (intense use, e.g. in large offices, shopping malls or public buildings.) or even 34 (for commercial areas with very intense use).
The following classification chart shows area of use, intensity of use, types of wear and examples of use:
Class Area of use Intensity of use Description of use Examples of use
21 Domestic Private use areas moderate/light use bedrooms/guest rooms
22 Domestic Private use areas average/everyday use living/dining room/hallways
23 Domestic Private use areas high-traffic use Stairways/entry halls/kitchen
31 Commercial Private/public areas moderate/light use Hotel rooms/conference rooms/small offices
32 Commercial Private/public areas average/everyday use Kindergarten/offices/waiting areas/lobbies
33 + 34 Commercial Private/public areas high/intense traffic Hallways/large offices/malls/classrooms
As shown in the video below, it can be observed how important it is to know the correct AC rating of the floor based on the foot traffic it will host in the intended area of installation.
Does thickness matter?
Contrary to popular belief, thickness of laminate flooring does not translate into its durability. Kronoswiss has a variety of solutions available in 8 to 14mm thicknesses however, 8mm is our most popular thickness here. Combined with the desired Wear class, Kronoswiss in 8mm flooring exceeds performance expectations by a landslide. Ask your nearest floor retailer for Kronoswiss 8mm options for both residential and commercial usages.
What is the better plank size and why?
No matter what you are told, size does matter. The right length and width of flooring plank ensures minimum wastage and controlled movement of your floating floor. A good plank length is over 53 inches (1385mm) and 7 inches in width. Floors shorter in length may result in excessive unusable waste ending up heavy on the pocket. As a rule of thumb, no matter what the per square foot price you are being quoted, make sure you ask them the waste proportion they will be adding to your order. Generally you will be told 5% to 8%. With floor planks above 53 inches long, that percentage drops down to 2% or less!
How important is the locking system between planks?
The most important element is the lock. A good laminate floor lock ‘needs no hammering’. At Kronoswiss, we have 2 types of locking mechanisms illustrated in relevant videos:
1. Angle 2 Angle: Featured in our Noblesse series.
2. 5G lock: Featured in Swiss Sync Chrome and all high end series of floors.
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