COVID-19 has the world in its grip and many people are locked down in an attempt to curb its spread. This is a difficult time for everyone, but is also a time to reflect, try to build your business and relationships online, spend more time with close family and ty to get some things done around the house.
It is a great time in fact, whilst you are spending so much time in it, to take stock of your home. Examine its condition and possible issues that you may need to fix – or at least plan to fix or replace – when this is all over.
As flooring specialists we want to take this opportunity to help people with any flooring issues they may have, so here are four flaws of laminate floors to lookout for in lockdown…
Remember that laminate floors are not fastened to the subfloor. They are allowed to float to enable expansion and contraction of the material, caused by changes in temperature and humidity.
They therefore require an expansion gap usually about a 8mm wide along the full perimeter of the room. Incorrect installation, resulting in the gap not being wide enough, causes the pressure from the expansion to push the boards up at the seams and this is what is known as peaking. Watch out for this.
- Shrinking and installation Gaps
The opposite can happen too when the floors, subjected to big temperature swings can shrink creating gaps in the seams. The answer to this, as professional installers know, is to leave the laminate boards, still boxed, in the room to acclimatise (adjust to the temperature & humidity) for a few days before installation.
Poor installation techniques can also be a problem if the boards are not locked together properly, resulting in gaps. Look out for chipping along the exposed edges – this too could be a result of poor installation.
- Squeaks and creaks!
The rubbing together of laminate boards when they move can cause those irritating squeaking and creaking noises you hear. If not totally level, subfloors should at least be flat and dips or hollow spots in an uneven subfloor is usually the cause of these noises.
Another cause of this can be insufficient underlay – a thin sheet of foam that absorbs sounds and cushions the floor as you walk over it. Laminate boards might not align or join properly, due to cracked or broken tongues along the edges, which allow too much movement.
- Buckling and Warping
In the centre of laminate boards you sometimes get a concave depression known as ‘cupping’ and the opposite convex curvature at a boards centre is known as ‘crowning.’ Boards can warp with a cup and buckle with a crown and this is usually due to excessive moisture. So watch out for this.
Moisture may be ‘wicking’ up through the subfloor or an insufficient moisture barrier can lead to buckling or warping boards. If certain plumbing fixtures cause excessively high humidity in a room, this can also end up causing the same problems. Too much moisture can even lead to mold under the laminate flooring, between the seams, which can also sometimes be seen on the surface.
We can help – even now
Even in times that Libra flooring, expert suppliers an installers of laminate floors (and a host of other flooring products) can’t physically get to you, we are always here for you.
Contact us to discuss any issues you may have and let us advise you and plan the repair or replacement of your floors when the lockdown is a thing of the past.
We hope these four flaws of laminate flooring to lookout for in lockdown have been useful to you, or at least made interesting reading and gave you food for thought. We are fully available online and there for you to help and to ‘talk floors’ any time you like. Stay inside and be safe!