Pay More for Laminate Flooring
The actual board that the laminate is printed onto is quite important. There are several factors too look for. The first is what the board is made from. If the board is made from MDF (medium density fibre board) then it would be weaker than buying a board from HDF. (heavy density fibre board)
Although, the second factor is the thickness, and laminate flooring starts at 6mm and will usually go as high as 12mm. The thicker the board means you will pay more for the laminate. However, this does not mean that a 12mm board is better than a 7mm – the quality is usually down to the amount of the wear layer and is spread over the pattern/décor.
The way laminate flooring locks together is important, there are different locking systems that each has their own laying techniques. Below is a list of different locking systems:
This system requires a row of boards to be fitted end to end, and then for the whole row to be locked onto the previous row together (can require 2 people to use this system).
This system is easier and quicker to install, each board is laid the longest side first, keeping the end aligned, the ends simply are pushed down which automatically locks via a small strip on the end. The 5G system is slightly more expensive than the Valinge system as the manufacturing process with the locking strip cost more.
This is a simple locking system. The board can either be locked in by putting the boards at an angle and then pushing the boards down or the boards can be put side to side and tapped together with a tapping block. This system is the most expensive as the inventors of the system charge a licence fee for other companies to use it.
Bevel or Grooves
The more expensive laminates have a bevel or groove all the way around each plank, which means the cost of making it is more for this type of laminate.
There are 2-way groove/bevel, which have the bevel on the sides only giving the appearance of a continual plank. Although, the 4-way groove/bevel has a groove all of the way around each plank to make it look authentic to a solid wood floor.
Brand names do not always mean that the floor is of a higher quality. Some of the extra cost involved is for the cost of marketing the brand name. The bigger the name the more you are paying for marketing and brand awareness.
All manufacturers have a basic range with usually a ten-year guarantee. They will also have a premium range of a higher quality with a much longer guarantee.