Classes and thickness of laminate
One of the most important stages of modern repair is the choice of flooring. Indeed, a warm, high-quality and pleasant to the touch floor is wonderful. Modern building materials are simply amazing with their diversity: self-leveling 3D floors, parquet, linoleum, carpet and PVC tiles, all sorts of panel elements and heated floors - just not to list. Nevertheless, more and more consumers prefer laminate, especially since there are so many types of it that it is possible to satisfy the most demanding customers.
So, choose laminate: classes, thickness and other parameters - what to prefer and how not to be mistaken with the choice.
Laminate looks quite impressive in any room, while it is quite strong and durable and has excellent technical characteristics. Most often, you can find a laminate board that mimics different types of wood, but if you prefer, you can purchase a marbled floor that mimics tiled or granite tiles.A little less common laminate with decorative patterns or textured surface, imitating the stone-savage.
Many consumers like not only the aesthetic appearance, but also the thickness of the laminate: there is no trace of furniture and heels on the right coating.
Laminate flooring is very easy to clean, especially since it is not afraid of heating: if a curling iron and a burning cigarette butt fall on the floor, then there will not be a trace of such embarrassment on such a wonderful coating. Stubborn stains on the laminate can be cleaned even with acetone - the coating will not suffer. In addition to all the benefits, such a coating is very easy to lay, besides it perfectly absorbs a variety of noise.
Most often the laminate has a four-layer structure:
- Protective- the uppermost invisible layer, designed to ensure the durability of the floor covering. It is this layer that gives the laminate the ability to resist high temperatures, and also protects it from burning out in the sun. Most often it consists of melamine resins with the addition of corundum, the second strongest substance after diamond.
- Decorative- a layer of paper with a pattern applied on it.To increase strength, this layer is impregnated with acrylic or melamine resin, where particles of aluminum dioxide are added for extra strength.
- Bearing layer (base)- This is the core of the coating. The thickness of the laminate mainly depends on it. Most often, the core of the domestic laminate is made of fiberboard (fibreboard), but in a more expensive and high-quality coating it is replaced by the western analogues: HDF (density 850-1050 kg / m3) and MDF (650–850 kg / m3).
- Stabilizing- the lowest layer made of waxed or melamine paper. Sometimes this layer can also be made of thin plastic. The task of the stabilizing layer is to compensate for the bending stresses of the base and to ensure the adaptability of the laminate to changes in temperature and humidity in the room.
Oddly enough, but a much more important indicator than the thickness of the laminate is its density. Most often, such information is not written on the package, but if desired, it can be calculated independently. To do this, you can use the following formula:
PL = M / S x T
- PL is the density of the flooring.
- M - weight 1 pack of laminate.
- S - the total area of all parts (boards) in the package.
- T - the thickness of the laminated board.
All the necessary parameters are quite easy to detect by examining the packaging of the goods. In order for the laminate to be of high quality and last as long as possible, it is necessary to give preference to such a floor covering whose density exceeds 850 kg / m3.
Operating load class
Another indicator that the laminate thickness does not affect in any way is the class. It is from this indicator that it makes sense to make a choice. The fact is that the flooring in different rooms is experiencing a different load. Agree that in your bedroom and in the office of a successful company for the same period of time, "radiate the floor" radically different number of people. Accordingly, the strength of the flooring should not be the same.
There are seven main classes of laminate flooring: 3 for home use and 4 for industrial premises. Consider them in more detail:
- The 21st, 22nd and 23rd classes are used for residential premises and can be used for premises with light, medium and high traffic, respectively.For example, the 21st is suitable for the bedroom, the 22nd is for the nursery, and the 23rd is for the hallway or kitchen. It is worth noting that, although laminated boards of such a classification can still be found on sale in the domestic construction markets, they have already been discontinued as the least quality and are in weak demand.
In industrial, office, and now residential premises today, floor coverings of a higher durability class are used:
- 31st - in premises with a low load, service life of 3-5 years;
- 32nd - able to withstand the average load, used for private housing and small offices, the service life - 5-15 years;
- 33rd - can withstand significant loads, is used in the offices of the “medium arm” and places of high terrain of apartments, will last an average of 15–20 years;
- 34th - capable of withstanding enormous loads, it is put in stores, waiting rooms for railway stations, bars, restaurants and dance floors, will serve faithfully for 12–20 years.
However, the load class is also a relative concept. Very much also depends on the manufacturing technology. For example, a coating made in Italy or Germany, having a 32nd class, can be almost as good as Russian in its 33rd class.
The next, also quite a relative indicator - the thickness of the laminate. It is rather difficult to say which one is better, because a thicker board is not always better in strength or durability. Of course, ceteris paribus, it is worth choosing a thicker option, however, it’s not all that simple. Much depends also on exactly where it will fit. Residents of the first floors should choose options not less than ten millimeters thick, and for rooms located above, 7–8 mm will be enough. But if you decide to lay laminate on a warm floor, you should not chase after the thickness: a thinner one will be better to let in heat.
What laminate to choose for an apartment
As you can see, the optimum thickness of a laminate for an apartment can vary depending on many parameters. So when choosing it is still worth paying more attention to wear resistance and ease of installation.
If the financial component does not bother you too much, you can purchase a waterproof coating of the 33rd class. Most likely, when used in an apartment, such a laminate will bother you much earlier than it will wear out, because its service life with proper care can reach 25–30 years.
However, even if you want to save money, you should not lay the material of the 31st class in places of high terrain: in the kitchen, living room or corridor. Resuming once, you risk a couple of years to redo the repair throughout the room.
Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the best choice for an apartment can be a covering of the 32nd class, 7–8 mm thick.
Choosing the right substrate
Another important moment when laying such a floor covering is the thickness of the substrate under the laminate. The fact is that it is made of a wide variety of materials and may have different thickness.
Experts believe that the optimal thickness of any substrate should not exceed 2-3 mm. Such parameters, on the one hand, will not allow the laminate to spring strongly under loads, which will increase its service life, and on the other hand, they will provide excellent sound and heat insulation and will allow to level small irregularities of the subfloor.
As you can see, choosing the right floor by yourself is not so difficult, especially with some knowledge. I would like this article to be useful and each of you could easily determine what thickness of the laminate, its class and density will satisfy all your wishes.