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Grande Prairie, AB
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Posted: 8 Dec '16

Why Laminates Are Out & Luxury Vinyl Plank is in, Especially for DIYers

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring from Carpet Superstores Grande Prairie
For the past decade, Laminate flooring has been the ‘go-to’ product for DIYers. By interlocking and floating over a foam pad, laminate planks give you the ability to install with minimal subfloor preparation and minimal strength and tools.

When installing laminate flooring, a main factor to consider is the humidity level of the room: laminate has a wood-based core, which makes it susceptible to shrinking and expanding as the moisture level changes. This could lead to undesirable buckling if the humidity is too high, or plank separation if it’s too low.

Most laminates may also swell on the edges of the joints if water is applied and not removed immediately (either from over-washing it, pets, or wet footwear), because the interlocking edges are porous. The result of water absorption is rough uneven edges on the laminate flooring planks, that are very noticeable under certain lighting.

Repairing laminates, especially in the centre of a room, is far from easy. Removal of damaged planks (by cutting them out and then replacing them), usually requires the precise skill of a professional installer. Or it requires the removal of all planks between the damaged ones and one wall, with the bad ones being replaced and then re-installed along with all the others.

Lately, to reduce costs, the Manufacturers of laminate have stopped producing many of the matching trims that would perfectly blend with the flooring they produce: instead, they have turned this over to others who only produce a limited selection of colors, to control their costs. So, it is now much harder to find trims that match in color, or are acceptable.

The quality of laminate flooring and trims varies widely, and thicknesses also vary, making the matching of trims to flooring even more challenging for both the retailer and the customer.

Enter the Vinyl Plank line of products.

Like laminates, vinyl plank can be installed over most substrates (even concrete floors), if you select the DIY-based products. The main requirement is that the substrate is flat, and so a minimum of floor prep may be required, such as sanding or applying a thin layer of floor filler.

Shrinkage and expansion due to moisture is not a problem, making it a great product for all environments and seasons. The only limitation is the temperature of the floor surface: it must be fairly constant for most of the year, which is not an issue for most buildings.

‘Click’ vinyl plank can be affected by the heat of direct sunlight, causing the expansion problem of heaving and unevenness. We recommend the ‘drop in place’ format of vinyl plank, a relatively new product on the market that is overtaking laminates.

Flooring Superstores carries the product line of vinyl plank called ‘Drop ’n Done’, which has a solid fibreglass core for maximum stability making expansion issues minimal, unlike other products with mesh fibreglass cores. The vinyl plant is 5ml thick, and we carry a special metal stair nosing to use with it that complements most flooring colours and decorating styles.

‘Drop ‘n Done’ has no edges that interlock or click together, which make replacement of a damaged vinyl plank as easy as simply popping it out and replacing it with a new one. It literally does ‘Drop’ into place due to it’s shape, construction materials, and weight.

Wet planks due to water exposure, such as in flooded basements, can be lifted, dried thoroughly and put back. No expensive tools are required, and no costly replacements!

Everybody who has installed it (hundreds of our customers so far!) has been very impressed with the ease of installation and how great it looks. Only the perimeter edges of the room need to be glued down, using a releasable adhesive. The remainder of the flooring is dropped in place. A utility knife is the only tool required, making this product a dream to install for even timid DIYer’s!

No wonder laminate is a thing of the past, and ‘Drop ‘n Done’ vinyl plank is replacing it!