A Guide to Laminate Flooring Moldings

Looking for a simple way to make your new laminate floor seem like it’s always been a defining feature of your room? The proper molding can make a big difference by adding a little something extra to your flooring project.
One of the most important factors to consider regarding your interior décor is the degree of integration and harmony you wish to achieve among the various areas in your home or work space. In some settings, a sense of continuity may be desired between adjacent rooms. In others, you may want sharply contrasted areas. You might wish to create the illusion that your new flooring has always been a part of the living or working space in which it is installed. Even with a limited budget, you can create striking effects with a bit of imagination, and often the best way to get the desired effect is the simplest one.

For laminate flooring, something as basic as the right style of molding can make all the difference in adding flow and continuity, as well as a sense of unity to an interior. There are several varieties of moldings that are available to you to help you gain these effects. But, which variety is the most appropriate for your specific space? Let’s take a look at the options:

Reducer moldings

This type of molding is useful when applying a transition from one floor space to another where the levels are slightly different. This situation sometimes occurs when the transition is between two different flooring materials, for example from a laminate floor to a tile floor, or when the floor of the adjacent room is the same material but installed at a different level.

End moldings

An end molding can be used as another type of transition molding, but it is more useful when the transition is to an uneven surface such as a high-pile carpet or a thicker variety of tile. An end molding may also be a better choice when your flooring butts an edge such as a sliding glass door, where a quarter round molding may be too small. With a lower profile than a reducer strip laminate molding, an end molding can add a subtle, tailored look to your interior.

T-moldings

T-moldings are useful for doorways or between other flooring sections which are at the same level. For example, if a laminate floor is installed in a particularly long room, a T-molding could be used for tying the two sections together. The T-molding is aptly named – shaped like a “T” – with the beams of the “T” serving as a bridge from one room or flooring section to another.

Baseboard moldings

baseboard is a well-known finishing element to a flooring project. The baseboard molding serves as a transition from a horizontal surface (e.g. your new laminate floor) to the vertical surface of a wall. Like all types of molding, you can match it with the color of the laminate floor, or paint it to match the wall. Either way, a baseboard molding can add a subtle, almost subliminal effect to the appearance of your room.

Base shoe moldings

This type of molding appears as a standard baseboard molding with a shallower profile. The base shoe molding is useful when trying to preserve the look of an existing baseboard while at the same time offering the advantages of its lower profile. The “shoe” portion of the molding is a rounded lip that helps to preserve the face of the baseboard from everyday wear, specifically when you vacuum your laminate floor.

Quarter round moldings

Used in the same way as a base shoe molding, the quarter round molding butts against your wall with a low, rounded exterior profile that adds a simple, yet tidy touch to your completed laminate flooring installation. This type of molding is often used behind cabinets where a low profile molding is better suited to support an object flush against the wall.

Stairnose moldings

For making a transition from your floor to the edge of a flight of stairs or steps, a stairnose molding is a great solution. The molding sits flat and level on one side with your laminate flooring and closely hugs the first stair or step on the other side, rounding off the edge of the stair and adding a unique finishing touch to your completed laminate flooring project.

Something as simple as a molding can really make all the difference to the overall effect of your new laminate flooring project. Putting in a molding is often an afterthought to some, but the finished visual effect it creates is more often than not the defining feature of the completed project

http://learn.builddirect.com/flooring/laminate-flooring-moldings/#ixzz3gvROgkOQ

The Benefits of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a relatively new invention which has taken the world of floor surface covering by storm. Versatile, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced, some people consider this a “super material.” However there are a number of drawbacks when it comes to laminate flooring. It is important to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly, before making a final decision about whether to use this material in your home, or commercial properties.

The Benefits of Laminate Flooring

Convenient Packaging: Natural hardwood flooring comes in planks that are 8 or 10 feet in length, and sometimes even longer. By contrast laminate planks that simulate hardwood are sold in convenient 4 foot strips. They are also available in tile form in varying sizes.

Versatility: Today laminate flooring can simulate the look of dozens of different natural hardwood materials. The printing process can also reproduce the appearance of a variety of natural stone, and ceramic flooring materials. With EIR embossed in register texturing they are even able to somewhat reproduce the surface texture of these natural materials.

Cleaning: The wear layer of a laminate floor protects the material from stains and some spills making cleaning and maintenance relatively easy. Typically the only regular requirement is sweeping or vacuuming of the floor to remove grit and dirt which can slowly erode the floors wear layer over time.

Installation: The installation of a laminate click together floor is one of the easiest to do. New innovations in the manufacture of this material have made it so you do not even need to use adhesive. Roll down a sheet of underlayment material, snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another. An entire room can usually be finished in just a day or two.

Goes Anywhere: With the exception of carpet, laminate flooring can be installed over almost any existing floor in the home. As long as a moisture barrier is in place and water prevention measures are taken it can also be installed at any grade. This removes the hassle and expense of having to remove old flooring installations before installing new laminate materials.

The Elements: Laminate flooring is resistant to many of the outdoor agents that can discolor other flooring materials. The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges due to dirt and mud making it a great material for hallways and entryways. It also resists fading from UV light exposure making it popular in sun rooms.

Health: Laminate flooring is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. It can also be treated with special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Expansion: The nature of the installation process means that the flooring material is not adhered directly to the subfloor. Rather all of the pieces of the floor are interlocked, or adhered one to another. That means that the material can expand, or contract, due to changes in pressure and temperature, without buckling and snapping against the subfloor.

Acclimation: Hardwood needs to sit in an environment for 3-6 weeks so that it can acclimate to the temperature and pressure of the area. Laminates can be installed in as little as 36 hours.

Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen

Affordable laminate stands up to stains and scratches and is easy to clean.

If your kitchen encounters frequent food spills and the pitter-patter of kids or pets, this durable surface may be the solution. Laminate mimics the look of hardwood or tile and comes with a lower price tag. The surface resists stains and scratches, and cleanup is a snap.

Unlike wood, it doesn’t gain character and can’t be sanded. But when it comes to today’s high-end options, even experts can have a hard time distinguishing high-end laminates from the real thing.

What You Need to Know

The Lowdown: Laminate is constructed of four layers of material fused together: a melamine wear layer, a high-resolution photo, a dense core board, and a melamine backing layer.

Tough Enough? Laminate is extremely durable, withstanding cooking spills, heavy traffic, and pets’ paws.

How to Clean: Wipe up spills immediately. Sweep, dust, or vacuum regularly, and occasionally wipe the surface with a damp mop or cloth. Keep floors free of dirt and sand, as they can scratch the surface over time. Watch for separation between boards.

Underlayment: Laminate requires underlayment to serve as a moisture barrier and muffle sound. Specially designed underlayment even makes laminate sound more like hardwood when it is walked on.

Considerations When Choosing Laminate Floors

Color. Wood-look laminate is available in a variety of colors from blond to black. Tile-look laminate comes in a range of earthy neutrals for an authentic look.

Texture. Manufacturing advances produce more realistic textures. Wood-look laminate, for instance, now comes with the distressed appearance that is so popular for hardwood.

Shape. Laminate comes in strips, planks, or tiles and can be installed in various orientations for a one-of-a-kind look.

Finish. Choose from various matte or glossy surfaces. The finish generally doesn’t affect durability.

Laminate is easy to install. Glueless installation is a quick, easy, mess-free option . It’s eco-friendly; laminate uses less natural material than other floors. Many manufacturers are even incorporating recycled materials. And it’s low maintenance. Laminate requires no waxing or oiling over the years.

taken from:http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/kitchen-remodel/laminate-flooring-in-the-kitchen

Tips for laminate floors maintenance

Clean the floor regularly

The key to preventing laminate flooring from getting scratched or warped is regular cleaning. This is also a great general advice. Sweep the floor regularly with a dry mop to remove everyday dirt and you won’t need to use harsh chemicals or cleaning products later on.

Don’t use a standard floor brush

This may sound like an exaggeration but the stiff, straw, like bristles on the brush can actually damage the surface of you laminate wood flooring so either get a soft brush or use a dry dust mop.

Don’t let the spills sink in

You should clean up the spills immediately. Don’t allow any liquid to sit on the floor for long period of time because they can stain the floor and damage the protective wear layer. Soak up the excess liquid with a dry cloth or paper towel and don’t allow the area to remain wet.

Try hot water

Every once in a while, laminate floors need a thorough cleaning. Since water is the mildest cleanser possible, use that. Do this every few months in addition to regular sweeping or when you notice that an area is muddy or dirty.

Clean with vinegar

If your laminate flooring looks dirty and has mud stains or if it starts to look faded, use a mixture of water and vinegar. Never use vinegar in its pure forms because it’s too abrasive. The solution will give the floor a shiny look and the vinegar smell will go away in a few minutes. If you hate the smell you can add a few drops of lemon, peppermint or essential oil in the mixture.

Clean stubborn stains with alcohol or acetone

For more difficult stains such as ink, crayon, nail polish or shoe polish, you can also rub the stained area with alcohol. You can also try to make a mixture of alcohol and water to avoid damaging the wood. Another option is to use acetone or nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. Wipe the area to remove any remaining residue.

Remove sticky stains with ice

In case you notice stains caused by wax or chewing gum which are notoriously difficult to get rid of, harden the spot with ice and gently scrape. Be careful not to scratch the floor. Ice can also be used to remove gum from carpets.{found on capital-building}.

Never use a polishing machine

Buffing or polishing machines should never be used on laminate floors. They will completely damage the floor and you’ll be forced to replace it. These machines are only to be used on hardwood floors.{found on tourfactory}.

Don’t use abrasive cleaners

Any type of abrasive cleaners should be avoided. They can cause permanent damage to the laminate floors. Also, stay away from steel wool or harsh brushes which can scratch the floor and leave marks.{found onlintonarchitects}.

Clean with baby shampoo

Instead of using dish detergent or any types of cleaners, try baby shampoo. It’s very gentle and you can safely use it to clean your laminate floors. Mix the shampoo and water until bubbles begin to form and, soak a sponge mop in the solution and make sure it only remains mildly damp.{found on gibeonphotography}.

Taken from: http://www.homedit.com/clean-laminate-wood-floors/