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How to select the best laminate plank for your project?

Eelinn Vanquaethem Nov 27, 2019
Design Flooring Laminate Sisu

Laminate’s versatility has made it a popular choice for indoor flooring. It varies in thickness, durability and allows for an array of designs to choose from. The many options can, however, be a bit overwhelming and make it difficult to choose the perfect laminate plank for your project. We’ve rounded up some answers to the most commonly asked questions when choosing laminate flooring. 

Sisu Laminate flooring available in 10 colours

What is a good thickness for my laminate floor? 

Laminate thickness is measured from the base to the top of the board and often ranges between 6mm and 12mm. The thickness can affect a whole range of aspects from durability to look. While our laminate planks are on average one of the more affordable ones on the market, thicker tiles will be more expensive so it’s important to know exactly which of the extra features a thicker plank provides you need. 

A 6 mm laminate plank can often sound and look a bit cheap. When walked on, your laminate flooring could sound like plastic and the lack of thickness also doesn’t allow for the etching of intricate wood designs. 

At EnviroBuild, we believe that laminate flooring’s most important feature is for it to look and feel like real wood yet remain sustainable. That is why our Sisu laminate flooring currently comes in 8mm and will soon also be available with a thickness of 12mm, avoiding the unrealistic look and feel 6 mm planks may have. 

The second and equally important thing to consider when deciding on laminate thickness is whether you have a smooth subfloor to lay your planks on. A rough subfloor with lots of bumps can be hidden with a thicker laminate plank. 8mm planks may not be as easy to install on a rough subfloor and after installation, bumps may still appear through the laminate flooring. 

What level of durability should my laminate plank have?

The durability of a tile is measured using an abrasion class rating (AC) from 1 to 6, one being the least durable and five the most. As laminate is man-made, most planks have a rating between AC3 to AC5. They are thus resistant to scratches, moisture and wear and tear - perfect for use in even the busiest commercial areas. AC6 is the highest recognised abrasion criteria rating, but is rare and only necessary for extremely high-wear public areas. For busy shops, showrooms and offices a laminate floor with an AC5 rating should be sufficient. 

Laminate AC Rating

Our Sisu laminate planks have two different levels of durability dependent on their thickness. The 8mm planks have a durability level of AC4 and the 12mm boards will be available with an AC5 rating. While both are great and highly durable, it is important to consider the purpose of your project. 

If you’d like to install laminate flooring in your living room, dining room or any other room in your home, the 8mm planks with a durability level of AC4 will definitely be sufficient. The most your flooring would have to endure would be a few friends coming over, perhaps your kid stomping their feet or your cat or dog running around. Even if your flooring has to endure more than that, AC4 is more than enough for a residential area. If you are, however, planning on using laminate in a commercial area such as a restaurant or store which has a lot of footfall to endure, a 12mm plank may be more suited for your project. 

What design is best for my project? 

Just like a wood or vinyl plank, laminate can be laid in a variety of designs allowing you to make a space that’s unique and suited to your style. 

Different designs available for laminate: grid, staggered, diagonal, offset, weave and harringbone

One of the most popular designs at the moment is the vintage herringbone pattern. This sophisticated design is still relatively easy to achieve especially because the click design of laminate planks makes for an effortless installation. 

We’d also recommend a staggered or offset pattern. These are quite traditional, but for a reason. They are one of the easiest designs to lay yet look refined and modern. Some other stylish options are the grid pattern, which aligns all the joints, the weave layout, which is perfect for use when you use different colours, and the diagonal design, an offset pattern rotated by 45º.

Which design you use, depends on the general style you want to achieve and whether you want an easier or slightly more complicated installation. No matter which design you choose, the realistic look and feel of Sisu laminate wood flooring will make any space look amazing. 

Are there any sustainable options available? 

Most laminate flooring has been made out of wood scraps so is usually more sustainable than traditional hardwood flooring. It is, however, important to still check with suppliers what the actual recycled content of their boards is. 

All the wood used to produce Sisu laminate planks is recycled and due to adhesives and other layers, the total recycled content of the boards is around 72%. As part of our sustainable mission, 10% of all of our profits are donated to sustainable causes such as Rainforest Trust UK, this includes profits made on Sisu Laminate flooring. 

Where to lay my laminate flooring? 

As Sisu laminate flooring is water-resistant, it can be used in any room which has no or minor liquid spillage. This will ensure your laminate flooring lasts as long as it possibly can. It is thus safe to use in your bedroom, living room, conservatory and hallway. 

We would, however, recommend luxury vinyl flooring or another flooring option in your bathroom. This room often has a lot of water spillage and as Sisu laminate flooring is not waterproof, your flooring may warp or stain. 

For kitchens and hallways, we would also recommend using a moisture protection sealant. This will protect the core of your click flooring from moisture and water damage and is ideal for use where water is likely to be splashed. 

Equally, commercial areas where there will likely be a lot of spilling of food or drinks such as in a kitchen or restaurant dining area, we would again advise you to use a moisture protection sealant or opt for another type of flooring. 

Nevertheless, laminate remains a great choice for other areas and guarantees your floor will get the same authentic, rustic look like any hardwood flooring would. Yet it’s more durable, easier to maintain, and is sustainable.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our indoor flooring team by calling us on +44 (0) 20 3927 7376 or sending an email to indoor-flooring@envirobuild.com. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, point you in the right direction and give you a quotation.