Tips When Shopping for Laminate Floors in Stores
Whenever you’re shopping for something you aren’t familiar with, it can be an ordeal. Everything seems different, salespeople can be pushy, and the entire processing can be overwhelming and off-putting, to say the least. However, it doesn’t have to be. The next time you go in to purchase laminate flooring for your home, these are some tips to make the experience easier. Better still, you’ll also be able to get higher quality laminate floors this way.
If money’s not a concern, often it’s best to go with the higher grade laminate floors. They’re liable to be stronger, more durable, and less likely to break down on you in a shorter period of time. If you don’t see the grade of the laminate flooring or don’t know, ask. Don’t purchase laminate flooring if you aren’t aware of the grade.
As ever, be sure to find the Certification Seal from the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) on the laminate flooring. They test the laminate flooring for all kinds of stress, up to and including many different kinds of stress you probably won’t have in your home. That’s fine. Making sure your floors are certified is a great way to ensure that they’re quality.
If there’s an example of installed laminate flooring in the store, take it seriously. Check it out. Does it make a surface that’s perfectly flat? Or, do you see unevenness or even unsightly gaps? You want quality laminate flooring that seamlessly connects. That’s not “kind of” or “sort of” connects, that’s “seamlessly” connects, as in “without a seam to be found.” Really, study this floor sample as much as you can. The lesser quality laminate flooring has a pattern that repeats, and moreover, you can tell it repeats rather quickly. As they’re made by a machine, they make a simple pattern. If you can see it in the sample at the store, a guest will be able to see it in your home. Laminate floors that are considered of a higher quality, however, don’t have that. They look natural, and effort has been taken to not show a repeating pattern.
At this point, it’s probably time to talk to a salesperson. You can do this; you just have to know the right things to ask. You’re probably familiar with “ISO” ratings from your job. 9001, as in many things, is a solid rating for quality laminate. See whether the laminate flooring is what’s considered “high pressure,” or if it’s known as “direct pressure.” Direct pressure probably won’t be as expensive, as it’s considered less new and cutting edge than the high pressure. Asking the sales person about the “UV surface” of your laminate flooring may sound odd if you are going to have your laminate flooring inside and not outside in the sun, but it’s a great question to ask. The sun’s rays can wear down laminate flooring, not only weakening it but causing the printed hardwood image to fade out. A strong UV surface can keep that from happening.