Why does Laminate Flooring Warp?

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Posted by admin | Posted in Tips & Advice | Posted on 13-09-2010

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Laminate flooring is generally designed for use in such areas as the den, living room, dining room and bedroom. If it’s a lower-grade type floor, it’s usually best not to install it in areas that are subject to moisture such as the bathroom or kitchen, as the subsequent outcome can be warping or buckling. Moisture damage or warping can result due to the grade of the flooring, how it was installed, the humidity level in the home and how the floor’s been maintained.

Grades of Flooring
Laminate flooring is graded by a system with AC1 being considered the lowest grade and AC5 regarded as the premium grade. Flooring with an AC5 designation is manufactured for commercial use and used in areas with a great deal of foot traffic. AC1, on the other hand, is used in areas with very light foot traffic. Ratings of AC2 or AC3 are the standard grades for flooring used in residential settings. Therefore, flooring which hasn’t been rated or has a lower rating is more susceptible to water damage and warping.

Warranties
Although warranties for laminate floors usually guarantee against stains and UV damage, they normally don’t cover damage from moisture.

Installation
Most kinds of laminate flooring use a floating construction method; in other words, the floor is installed to lie on top of the subfloor without the use of glue or staples. Warping can result when there is too much moisture underneath the flooring as a result of ice makers, refrigerators or leaking pipes. This can also happen when the floor has been glued down. So it’s important that the area where the flooring is installed is free from the assault of moisture.

Humidity
Too much humidity can cause a laminate floor to warp as well. The use of a dehumidifier can eliminate the problem.

Maintenance
The laminate floor can also buckle if it’s improperly maintained. Laminate floors only need minimal cleaning. Solvents and brushes specifically made for the floors should be used. For instance, drenching the floor while mopping it can cause the floor to expand and buckle.

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