A Design and Resource Guide for Laminate Flooring. Living on. Laminate. special presentation of FABULOUS FLOORS

A D e s i g n a n d R e s o u rc e Guide fo r La mina te F loor ing Living on Laminate A special presentation of FABULOUS FLOORS ARCADIA Smoke M...
3 downloads 0 Views 29MB Size
A D e s i g n a n d R e s o u rc e Guide fo r La mina te F loor ing

Living on

Laminate A special presentation of FABULOUS FLOORS






What happens when rustic charm meets modern technology.






Living on

Cover: Quick-Step, Reclaimé Collection, Mocha Oak Planks

Laminate Dicovering Laminate

Here, Historic Oak in Ash from Mannington


What is Laminate Flooring?


Florence Michelson — What’s Your Style?


Jeanette Chasworth — The Power of Color


Creating the Look of Laminate


Jeanette Chasworth — What’s Color Got to Do With It?


It’s Not Faux Anything... It’s Laminate Flooring!


What’s In a Word? The Language of Laminate


Laminate Flooring and Your Lifestyle


Mark Brunetz — Style Shift Underfoot: Today’s Laminate Flooring


Laminate Flooring and Your Décor


Laminate Flooring Room by Room Storage and Utility rooms

32 36

Entryways 37 Kitchens 38 Kathy Ireland—Designing with Laminate Flooring


Gathering Spaces and Living Areas


Dining Areas


Bedrooms and Nurseries


Playrooms 48

Premium Materials


The Brawn Beneath the Beauty


Radiant Heat


Underlayment for Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring


NALFA Certified Products


The Importance of Certification


Inherently Green!


Installation and Maintenance Installation Q & A

66 66

Getting Ready to Install


How to Clean and Maintain Your Laminate Floor


Laminate Buyer’s Guide


Taniya Nyack — Fashion Meets Function


Laminate Flooring: Style, Perfromance, Maintenance, and Price


You CAN Do It Yourself!


NALFA Certified Inspectors and Installers


Steve Patterson — Elevate Your Space


nalfa.com ❚ 1

Welcome I

f you’re working on a flooring project and making a list of the things you want in a floor, consider laminate

flooring. The laminate flooring of today is not the laminate of yesterday. With quality standards put into effect by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) and the beautiful designs available, the catergory has flourished into one of the most popular flooring choices in the market. This can also be attributed to the


product itself. It’s just that good. Take that list of needs in a floor and start checking off the boxes. From a design standpoint, you can attain just about any style, with inspiration from art, nature, fashion and culture — you can find the rare patterns along with lam-

inate flooring types that mimic traditional flooring. Laminate comes in a

CREDITS Living on Laminate © 2014 PUBLISHER Margo Rodgers Locust Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC PUBLICATION DESIGN Ron Toelke Toelke Associates CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Teiya Eubanks, Amy Mace KMT Creative Group, Inc. Chattanooga, TN Florence Michelson, Design Consultant Jeanette Chasworth ASID, Color Expert EDITOR Marsha Howland NALFA gratefully acknowledges the support of its members and the laminate industry in the production of this publication.

to clean and maintain. And in a time when the environment is at the forefront

“Living On Laminate” is a joint initiative of The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) and Fabulous Floors Magazine.

of consumers’ minds, it’s a choice that you can live with. Laminate flooring is

Copyright NALFA © 2014

made from recycled papers and has a low VOC level. It’s also easy to install

All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in anyway, electronic or mechanical, without written consent from the North American Laminate Flooring Association, NALFA, at 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20006. Contact Teiya Eubanks with questions at 423.316.1566 or [email protected].

multitude of widths, lengths and thicknesses. It’s extremely durable and easy

over just about any surface, and it works in every room in the house. What’s more to love? See, all those boxes are checked! Quality laminate flooring has become so popular, in fact, that we’ve created this guide to laminate flooring with generous photography showcasing the limitless design options, product information from the most prominent laminate flooring manufacturers in the country and even design tips from celebrity designers like Kathy Ireland, Taniya Nyack, Erinn Valencich, Mark Brunetz and more! We hope you find this book extremely informative and like the product itself — inspiring. We also hope that when choosing your next flooring product, you’ll choose a quality laminate flooring. ❚ Happy living,

E.C. “Bill” Dearing President of the North American Laminate Flooring Association 2 ❚ Living on Laminate

FABULOUS FLOORS MAGAZINE is published quarterly, by Fabulous Floors Magazine LLC, PO Box 2166 Dalton, GA 30722, a Georgia LLC. Editorial and Advertising offices located in Dalton, GA Contact: 678.761.5002 Fabulous Floors logo is a trademark of Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC. Fabulous Floors Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photos, images or artwork. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and timeliness of information, Fabulous Floors Magazine and NALFA cannot be held responsible for discrepancies, discontinuance of product nor color reproduction.

For quality and peace of mind, demand the NALFA Certification Seal.

Your family will test your floor every day. So buy a laminate floor that’s already been tested to meet 10 key performance standards for durability, color, stain resistance, and more. Just look for the NALFA Certification Seal, and purchase a floor you’ll love to live on.

MeMbers Clarion Columbia Kronotex Mannington Mohawk Pergo Quick-Step Shaw T O R LY S

A s s o c i At e MeMbers DMX Flakeboard MP Global Pak-Lite Pregis Sealed Air SELIT

nalfa.com ❚ 3




What Is Laminate Flooring? W

hen was the last time you looked at laminate? Brace yourself…

The days of “good” laminate are just about over.

Good is not good enough anymore!

designs, and from long and wide planks with beveled edges to the look and feel of European handcrafted hardwoods. Explore the thicknesses of laminate and products

Technology and manufacturing know-how are

like underlayments which have changed the perfor-

delivering laminate flooring products at every price

mance characteristics of laminate to include the virtual

point and in just about any look imaginable.

elimination of the sound of heels clicking as you walk

What’s interesting from a design standpoint — and

on laminate.

one thing you likely do not know — is that laminate is

That happened…? Yes! There are many new tech-

not a cheap alternative; no, laminate has evolved into

niques emerging that create an incredible image on

a flooring category or type all its own.

the top or fashion layer of laminate.

And today’s laminate from name-brand manufacturers is quite lovely, from wood to stone to graphic

Reclaimé in Malted Tawny Oak Planks from Quick-Step 4 ❚ Living on Laminate

Sound like the laminate you thought you knew? ❚

WHAT EXACTLY IS LAMINATE FLOORING? Laminate flooring is comprised of a hybrid of materials fused together through a unique lamination process. A. A transparent, protective wear layer is highly resistant to dogs, cats, chairs, and even high heels. B. The decorative layer provides a high-definition, highly detailed image. Today’s laminate flooring manufacturers have the technology and capability to realistically simulate everything from hardwood to marble to stone. C. A high-density fiberboard core (or HDF) offers impact resistance, stability and long-lasting durability. D. A layer comprised of melamine resin offers additional structural stability and moisture resistance. E. Underlayment (which may or may not be built into the laminate floor product) is a requirement for any installation. It’s helpful in absorbing some of the minor imperfections in the sub-floor, reducing some noise when walking on the floor, and softening some of the impact. Some underlayments also offer a moisture barrier on one side, which is a good idea for bathroom and wet-area installations.

nalfa.com ❚ 5




What’s Your Style? FLORENCE MICHELSON Designer, space planner and consultant, Florence Michelson’s design career began in California in 1957. She has enjoyed working with a varied spaces, including private homes, offices, restaurants, yachts and movie sets. Florence saw a need in the industry for contemporary lamps, lighting and accessories and in 1979 opened a designer’s showroom “To the Trade” filling that void. Now retired at 86, she has put a crown on her career by joining the team at Fabulous Floors Magazine, where she is a regularly featured columnist offering her expertise on style and design. Flo@fabulous floorsmag.com


or years, laminate flooring has been used for its durability, ease of maintenance and beauty. Today the abundance of colors and textures coordinates with an array of design

styles. What is your personal style? Do you have one? Is it casual? Modern? Traditional? Country? Eclectic? Does it have an Asian flair? Let’s explore some style options together. A deep red color or mahogany floor in a traditional study or living room is a wonderful foreground for leathers and woven fabric furniture. Replace neutral “beige/brown” with a gray pallette. Imagine a living room, dining room and hall in a shade of gray wood. This works in both traditional and modern homes! Width of planks connotes style: Narrow 3" to 4" planks are classic and formal; wide 8" planks are country, colonial and relaxed. Envision a wide-plank floor in a country kitchen or a fireplace-warmed family room. Conversely, a sleek new floor of 3" to 4" planks, in very light or very dark wood with little figurative grain, is striking in a traditional or highly styled contemporary/modern living room or kitchen. Innovative distressed wood includes light wire scraping, reproduction bark, barn wood and reused wood floors with nail holes, saw marks and knots. For an eclectic feel, use it in a family room with repurposed furnishings complementing the furniture’s unique character. A lightly distressed laminate floor would be welcome in a study, family room or game room. The addition of tile-style laminate allows replicating stone, slate, ceramic and concrete on your fabulous floors! The slate is realistic and marked like actual stone without grout or roughness. Its uniqueness might be found in a country or sleek modern kitchen. The stone look can replicate marble or granite, in a shiny or distressed finish. A shiny marble look is very dressy and would be wonderful in a traditional living room or a sleek contemporary space.

Vintage Painted in Ice House from Shaw 6 ❚ Living on Laminate

Amazone Cambridge Oak from Kronotex USA

Sweden is where it all began: Perstorp, AB, is a company that has long been Imagine a random group of stones resembling

dedicated to the production of decorative lam-

a country floor with rounded edges. These are very

inate to be used in countertops, windowsills

effective in an entry hall, den or colonial kitchen.

and wall panels and many other applications.

Consider a mosaic style laminate which replicates

After much research, the company created

small tiles. One thing to remember about mosaics is

a flooring division, and Pergo made its mar-

they usually depict a picture, a flower or an animal.

ket entry in the Nordic countries in 1977 and

Mosaic patterns should be used in smaller venues such

debuted in North America in 1993. Laminate

as an entry hall or in four corners of a dining room

flooring was immediately embraced by our

or wonderfully well as trim. Mosaic tile style is tra-

flooring consumers as a fantastic new prod-

ditional and more formal and can be mixed with the

uct: one that would not stain or fade, was

look of high-styled modern.

easily cleaned and featured a quick installa-

Let’s not forget the industrial, contemporary look of a concrete floor when choosing laminate. Yes, you can get that look too! With Laminate Flooring… The possibilities are endless. So…What’s YOUR style? With laminate you are only limited by your own ingenuity! ❚

tion process that had far less down time and the associated mess. Major flooring manufacturers took notice immediately, and the brands of today began almost at once. Over the years, North American Laminate Flooring producers consistently improved the flooring, and now laminate flooring is recognized as much for its beauty as it is for its revolutionary technical properties. Laminate flooring is also known for creating floors that are environmentally friendly and recognized as such world-wide. Laminate flooring uses recycled pieces and renewable wood products, such as pine and spruce. And the environmental advantage continues even at the end of a product’s life, when the material is burned at waste incineration plants. Now that is truly flooring for now and the future! ❚

nalfa.com ❚ 7




The Power of Color Y

our laminate floor is an integral part of your design and the foundation of the feeling that you want to create in your home. One of the unique things about laminate is just how many

options there are to choose from: wood tones, stone and tile — the list goes on. Because of the nature of the flooring, there are very creative colors, textures and patterns. Laminate is a great way to incorporate the look of some rare or exotic woods, as well. There are so many options


out there, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed... but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Your floor is the cornerstone of your home’s color palette and should work with all the colors of the rooms where it’s used. Typically, people are more likely to have the same floor-

Jeanette Chasworth, a.k.a. “The Color Whisperer,” is a color expert and interior designer based in Southern California. She’s a frequent guest speaker on various radio programs and is currently unveiling a new line of earthconscious paint called Nature’s Palette. For more color tips and guidance with laminate, please visit: thecolor whisperer.com.

ing throughout a home, as it provides some continuity. Your floor should not be the same color as your furniture, but should provide contrast. Many of today’s laminates have several different tones to provide interest and depth and blend with more different types of décor. The floor should enhance the colors of the rest of your furniture. When you are creating your home color palette, you are telling a story, as each color means something different. Your floor should enhance all the other colors in your home. Ideally, you should create the color palette all at once, but blending it as you go can be interesting, too. ❚ Grayed woods are very popular right now. Many manufacturers have a wide variety of grays with undertones of blue, green or brown. These colors create a sense of calm and stability. Grays provide a sense of strength and steadfastness. We find comfort and peace in the rocksolid strength of gray. ❚ Deep, dark wood tones can also be bold and beautiful in the right setting. Often they are used in more formal areas, and can be beautiful in modern rooms with clean sparse lines. It creates a dramatic statement and a sense of elegance. ❚ Light floors can make a room look bigger. They create a room that is light, bright and airy. This often creates a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. One caveat is that it may show wear more in high-traffic areas, but it’s worth it if you want this light and bright feeling. You will most likely have other light, bright and fun colors in your palette with this floor. What’s Color Got to Do With It? Jeanette Chasworth, ASID, who is an interior designer, color expert, author and speaker, wrote a book to help you take the fear out of selecting paint colors in your home — What’s Color Got to Do With It? Paint Color Ideas to Create Balance and Harmony in Your Home. To order your copy, go to www.fabulousfloorsmagazine.com.

8 ❚ Living on Laminate

❚ Midtone woods are the most common choices because of the flexibility and neutrality to work

patterns as well as color. Be creative with the patterns for something really unique.

with many different styles of furniture and colors.

Color is an intrinsic part of your home, and the

They can incorporate styles from the casualness of

flooring is one of your most important decisions. It

country, Craftsman simplicity, Victorian elegance or

is the foundation of your color scheme, and just like

modern restraint. These colors feel safe, comforting

foundation makeup, color should enhance all the

and traditional. There is great comfort in tradition.

other colors that work with it. Your home décor tells

Just as gray gives a sense of stability, there is comfort

your story and should make you feel good. Select sev-

in having something that reminds you of a better

eral colors and bring them home to try to make sure

time, even if it is romanticized. It makes you feel safe

that you get the right flooring for you. This is a deci-

and “at home.”

sion that will last many years; make sure it’s right. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional designer for help

Laminate isn’t just restricted to wood colors, but also

if it’s overwhelming. Your floor is a big investment

has many stone and tile colors, and you can play with

and a little help will reap many rewards. ❚

Left: Light floors can make a room look bigger — Quick-Step’s Rustique Collection, Bleached Rustic Oak Planks. Right: Gray colors create a sense of calm and stability — Armstrong Laminate’s Coastal Living in Patina

Left: Midtones are popular because of their flexibility and neutrality — Mannington’s Weathered Ridge in Fire. Right: Deep, dark wood tones can be bold and beautiful in the right setting — Mohawk’s Jasmine in Wild Sable Mesquite nalfa.com ❚ 9






GenuEdge Technology Brings Superior Realism to Laminate Flooring Chances are you have recently walked on or noticed a beautiful laminate floor without ever knowing it.


ohawk laminate flooring continues to set the

To keep your laminate flooring looking newly

new standard in unmatched design, pulling

installed, even in high-traffic areas, laminate floors

in the natural characteristics and textures found in

with GenuEdge technology have the added durabil-

today’s most popular hardwoods. Capturing the beau-

ity of ScratchGuard™ Advanced Finish Protection.

tiful look of hardwood floors goes beyond just the top

Designed with your active home in mind, Scratch-

surface. The edge and end treatments on laminate

Guard preserves your shining exterior by infusing

flooring complete the overall desired look of hard-

aluminum crystals into the top layer of the laminate

wood floors, creating an incredible visual. The new

planks as an actual part of the finish. ScratchGuard

standard in realism and maintainability, GenuEdge

gives you unparalleled surface defense against abra-

Technology truly captures the essence of hardwood

sion, providing increased resistance to micro-scratches

by allowing the gorgeous paper designs to actually roll

and outperforming other leading laminate brands in

over the edge of the laminate planks. Combined with

MAR (Micro Abrasion Resistance) Tests.

the best registered embossed designs in the industry,

Dulling and tiny scratches from everyday dirt and

Mohawk laminate flooring gives your home the natu-

dust are no threat to your beautiful laminate floors.

ral look of authentic wood floors.

Together, GenuEdge and ScratchGuard create spec-

GenuEdge™ is a life–saver in the cleanup department as well. Homeowners everywhere appreciate laminate flooring for how quickly and effectively it can be cleaned. The unique overlay design of GenuEdge prevents the build-up of dust and dirt between planks. Not only do your floors look amazing, they are now easier to maintain.

www.mohawkflooring.com 1-800-2MOHAWK (800-266-4295) 10 ❚ Living on Laminate

tacular-looking laminate flooring and ensure the finish will remain spectacular for years to come GenuEdge™ is so realistic and so close to hardwood, you can’t tell the difference! ❚ Jasmine in Natural Amendoim from Mohawk

GenuEdge Technology. The actual look of Hardwood with durability of Laminate Mohawk’s new GenuEdge™ Technology features the most realistic hardwood looks ever seen in laminate flooring. This superior visual effect is achieved through an innovative process that allows the paper to roll over the edges of the laminate plank, just like with real hardwood. This innovative process combined with gorgeous paper designs and Mohawk’s quality, direct pressure laminate technique makes these laminates the closest thing to real hardwood you will find!

Featuring Barrington

• True Hardwood Edge • Superior Realism • Easy Maintenance

nalfa.com ❚ 11


Creating the Look of Laminate P

rinted décor paper made by Schattdecor stands for dependability and trust all over the world. Use of our décors helps conserve the valuable natural resource of timber. Plus our

low-pollution production methods make an active contribution to environmental protection. Research, development and forward-looking innovation activities are the basis of our highperformance products and customer-oriented services. Thanks to our worldwide operations, we are firmly anchored in regional markets and cultures and speak the language of our customers. We also play an active role in the communities in which our plants are located. We are the makers of perfect décors — décors that create the stunning looks of laminate flooring.

12 ❚ Living on Laminate

What is décor printing? Décor printing is a process involved in the production of décor paper — paper printed to resemble wood or other materials and then laminated to a rigid substrate for use as the surface of worktops, cabinet fronts, furniture components, wall panels, windowsills and especially laminate floors. Décor paper designs can be divided into the following three categories: • wood reproductions • reproductions and interpretations of stone, fabrics, tiling and metallic surfaces • fantasy and abstract designs Décor printing is a form of rotogravure printing. At Schattdecor this printing technique involves use of a white or tinted base paper that facilitates further processing requirements, whereby tinted base paper is often used as an additional color component.
For environmental reasons, Schattdecor uses only water-based inks which incorporate organic pigments free of heavy metals. The inks are extremely lightfast and are optimised to the paper.
Today, décors are no longer regarded as reproductions or imitations, but as highquality originals in their own right!

Schattdecor Schattdecor was founded by Walter Schatt in 1985. Headquartered in Thansau, Upper Bavaria, in Germany, today it is the world’s leading producer of printed décor papers used in the manufacture of laminate flooring. The company has production sites in Germany, Poland, Italy, Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey, and the United States — in Maryland Heights, near St. Louis, Missouri. Concern for the environment is reflected by use of environmentally friendly materials such as water-based inks, organic pigments, and FSC-certified base papers, and through waste separation, wastewater treatment, and conscientious energy use. Schattdecor’s specialists monitor worldwide trends, and the company’s collection carries a wide variety of designs all available in trend-worthy colors. Domestic manufacturing, popular successful designs, design development and marketing, superior quality and a digital coloring system — these are all part of the service that Schattdecor offers its customers under the “Made by Schattdecor” label. ❚

Schattdecor Inc. Maryland Heights, MO 63043 [email protected] www.schattdecor.com nalfa.com ❚ 13




What’s Color Got To Do With It? JEANETTE CHASWORTH


eople get excited about new color trends to see what to buy and what to wear, but the trends are more than a suggestion for what is “hot,” they are also a reflection of what is

going on in our world around us, they tell a story of how we feel and what we think. Flooring colors tend toward neutrals because of their permanence and the need to “blend” with many rooms and styles. Paint, on the other hand, is more flexible. Colors can change from room to room, and the relative ease of repainting means that color trends change more rapidly. At any time, there is a much wider palette available, and more people are willing to take a chance on a color. The trend towards gray and lapidary neutrals continue to be popular. As our world has become more chaotic and filled with change and we are bombarded with information, gray reflects consistency, stability and safety. In a world that becomes more frenetic each day, the quietness of gray helps us to relax and feel more serene. Color trends in 2015 bring more earthy colors; olive greens and muted blues. Both are calming and healing colors and create a welcoming home that relaxes you after fighting work and traffic. The earthy colors are great at making you feel part of the outdoors and can be very soothing. We are also seeing some brighter colors like coral, violet, turquoise and amber. These colors are a sign of optimism in our lives, whether the economy, the world, or just our own individual spirits. Color trends change as they reflect the mood of the population, but you can use these color trends to create your own haven, and help you create the mood you want to live in. When you are looking at colors, choose the color that makes you FEEL good and use the power of color to create a home that tells YOUR story. ❚ 14 ❚ Living on Laminate

nature’s palette the conscious side of color

nature’s palette the conscious side of color

Now it’s easy to be green! Nature’s Palette Paint has been recycled from un-used or unwanted paint and gets “a new life” in your home, office or special retreat. Nature’s Palette is available in 24 earth-friendly colors that reflect nature and create an environment that is uniquely you.

Available from The Color Whisperer | www.TheColorWhisperer.com nalfa.com ❚ 15


The Rich Visuals and Charm of Vintage Reclaimed Hardwood Floors at an Attractive Price Quick-Step’s Reclaimé Collection


eclaimed hardwood floors are extremely

“I have used Reclaimé in many of my clients’

popular, adding an attractive level of style

homes,” said Valencich. “The level of realism, sophis-

and artistry to a room,” said Erinn Valencich, celebrity

ticated design and texture makes it difficult for a

designer, style expert and recent contestant on NBC’s

consumer to tell the difference between a Reclaimé

hit new design reality show American Dream Builders.

plank and real reclaimed, vintage wood. My clients

“The roadblock most consumers run into is that

love their Reclaimé floors!

real reclaimed wood is scarce, so reclaimed hardwood

“Three of the biggest trends in hardwood flooring

prices are high. An exciting solution is Quick-Step’s

right now are time-worn visuals, strong character looks,

Reclaimé Collection, which provides consumers with

and wide/long planks. Reclaimé satisfies all of these

the rich visuals and charm of vintage, reclaimed hard-

design preferences through a variety of rich décors on

wood floors at an attractive price.”

extra-long, extra-wide planks for expansive style: ❚ the charm of wood gracefully weathered by time and the elements; ❚ ‘skip-sawn’ textured surfaces reminiscent of wood originally hand cut in a bygone era ❚ the delicacy of vintage wood that has been white-washed by hand and ❚ the rustic elegance of planks featuring unique wood splits” “Reclaimé’s romantic reclaimed hardwood designs are offered in a palette of designer colors from rich chocolate to warm browns, natural tones, white wash and muted as well as striking grays.” “Quick-Step’s Reclaimé Collection is on pace with the hottest design styles and trends in the home decorating market,” said Valencich. ❚

Quick-Step, Reclaimé Collection, Heathered Oak Planks 16 ❚ Living on Laminate


It’s Not Faux Anything … It’s Laminate Flooring! I

f lifestyle or budget considerations preclude the

scraped, rustic, distressed and reclaimed. The sense of

investment of installing a hardwood or ceramic

texture helps laminates emulate natural, organic mate-

tile floor, you can choose a laminate flooring option that offers great visuals, incredible durability and easy upkeep on a budget.

rials, giving the floor depth. High-definition photography brings real-life imagery to the surface of laminates. Higher-end laminates

Laminate is a “picture” of real wood, stone, mar-

have a number of pictures that make up a style. This

ble or any pattern on a core of wood chip composite

helps recreate the color, pattern and texture variability

(medium- or high-density fiber board), finished with a

that informs a natural product. By choosing a lami-

wear layer to protect the image layer. A manufacturer

nate with multiple pictures per style, you’ll never have

takes many photos of $100 per-square-foot marble,

the telltale pattern repeat, and only you will know: Is

presses it into a laminate tile and makes the high-end

it real, or is it laminate?

style affordable. Laminate has so many benefits, it’s not surprising that it has gained such a wide audience:

Good to Know: There is a term in the laminate world called “AC” or abrasion class, followed by a number. It is a good idea to ask your sales associate for the rating of the products you are interested in.

❚ Affordability ❚ A large variety of colors, patterns, textures and sizes

❚ AC1 is suitable for light, infrequent traffic, such as a bedroom

❚ Durability

❚ AC2 is sufficient for general residential use

❚ Easy installation and maintenance

❚ AC3 is highly recommended if you have a busy

❚ Do-It-Yourself possibilities ❚ Allergen-free properties

household with kids and dogs ❚ AC4 is a commercial rating for boutiques or busy offices

Improvements in the technology of the printing

❚ AC5 is the highest rating, also for commercial

presses allow realistic textures to be embossed on the

applications, such as department stores or public

laminate, opening design options to include hand-

buildings ❚

nalfa.com ❚ 17




What’s in a Word? The Language of Laminate Acclimation | Adaptation of the floor to its surroundings Acoustical properties | How the floor absorbs and transfers sound Adhesion | A chemical process that joins together two materials Antistatic | Ability to limit the accumulation of static electricity Backer | A material bonded to the back of the top layer of flooring Balanced construction | When similar materials are bonded to both sides of a laminate panel Bond | The joining together of two materials Chemical resistance | The degree to which a material resists visual or physical degradation from exposure to various chemicals Colorfastness | The ability of a material to retain its original color when exposed to elements such as light Compact laminate | High pressure laminate that is 2 millimeters thick or more Continuous press laminate (CPL) | A manufacturing process where the laminate is formed on a continuous double-belted press Continuous laminate flooring A product created by permanently bonding a continuous press laminate to a core Core | The center of a panel between the surface layer and backing 18 ❚ Living on Laminate

Crook | A specific type of warp where the panel that was once straight on the edge curves from end to end Crowning | A specific type of warp where a panel assumes the shape of an inverted “U” along the length or width dimensions of the face Cupping | A specific type of warp where a panel assumes the shape of a “U” along the length or width dimensions of the face Décor layer | The decorative layer of laminate flooring Deflection | The bending of a material between supports Delaminating | Separation of the panel’s layer(s) Density | Unit weight per volume of a panel expressed in lb/ft3 or kg/m3 Depression | A dent in the surface of a panel Dimensional stability | The ability of a material to resist changes in measured dimensions. These changes are caused by environmental factors such as moisture or temperature. Direct laminate flooring | A product where resin layers are permanently bonded to the core Direct press laminate (DPL) A laminating process where the wear layer and décor surface are bonded directly to the substrate in a single step

Embossing | Giving a texture to the surface of the panel Equilibrium moisture content The moisture content at which material neither gains nor loses moisture at a given relative humidity Expansion gap | The space that must be left between fixed objects (such as walls and cabinets) and other material to allow for shifting Fiberboard | A core material primarily composed of cellulose fibers and synthetic resins or other suitable bonding systems. The materials are usually designated as low, medium, or high density Flame spread | Measurement of the flame propagation along the surface of a material Floating floor | Installation method where the flooring panels are connected together but not attached to the subfloor High density fiberboard (HDF) | A fiberboard with density greater than 800 kg/m3 High pressure laminate (HPL | A laminating process where materials are consolidated under heat and pressure exceeding 750 pounds per square inch High pressure laminate flooring | A product created by permanently bonding high pressure decorative laminate to a core Impact Resistance | Ability to resist fracture or damage from a falling object

Floating floor — Installation method where the flooring panels are connected together but not attached to the subfloor Inlay | A decorative effect in flooring that combines elements of the same material but with different colors or patterns Laminate | A product made by bonding together two or more layers of material Laminate flooring | A rigid floor covering with a surface layer of fibrous material, infused with amino plastic thermosetting resins. The product is normally finished with a backing. Its performance values are set by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA)/ American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) | A type of core material primarily composed of lignocellulose fibers combined with a synthetic resin or other bonding system; bonded together under heat and pressure Melamine resin | A thermosetting resin used in the creation of laminate Moisture content | The amount of water in the material, usually expressed as a percentage of the dry weight Moisture meter | A tool used to measure moisture content Overlay | A product of paper, plastic, film, metal foil or other material incorporated into the laminate flooring surface; provides wear resistance and protection

Panels | Finished sections of the laminate flooring, such as planks, tiles and squares Particleboard | A core material primarily composed of cellulosic materials (usually wood), generally in the form of discrete pieces or particles Pattern end matched | When the ends of the flooring panels, typically similar patterns, are matched end to end to create a continuous linear effect Peaking | Areas of laminate flooring at adjoining panel seams that have risen above the intended horizontal plane of the flooring surface Plank | A tile approximately five or six times longer than wide Pressing | A manufacturing process where material layers are consolidated using pressure Residual indentation | The difference between the initial and final thickness after performing the static load test Resins | A polymeric material used for impregnating and bonding layers of laminate flooring

Substrate | The core material of the laminate flooring Sub-floor | A pre-existing supporting surface in a structure Surface layer | The outermost layer of laminate flooring designed to be the visible side when installed; the wear layer Tile | A panel of geometric shapes such as squares or rectangles Thermo fusing | A process where resins are consolidated under heat and pressure to create a permanent bond Thermosetting resins | Resins that cure by chemical reaction to form bonds. They do not melt when exposed to heat. Underlayment | A material used between the laminate flooring and the subfloor Warp | A curve in the material Wear resistance | Ability of the laminate flooring surface to resist wear through its décor layer Wear Layer | Surface layer

Seams | A line where panels are connected together Stain resistance | When a material resists permanent discoloration from exposure to household items and/or industrial chemicals

nalfa.com ❚ 19


A Style Shift Underfoot: Today’s Laminate Flooring I

was first introduced to laminate flooring during my days as co-host on Style Network’s Clean House. It was a perfect solution for these

quick-turnaround makeovers: easy and fast to install, simple with little effort for the homeowners to maintain; with the array of colors and styles, the design possibilities seemed limitless. The floating floor installation is far more forgivable than other installation methods. Because the laminate boards attach to each other and rest on top of the sub-floor, a slightly imperfect sub-floor wouldn’t hold up production with repairs. And regardless of the construction of the existing floor, whether it was wood, concrete, tile or vinyl, laminate


could most often be installed right over it. Today, manufacturing gives laminates a similar surface treatment as to hardwoods, such as hand-scraped, distressed looks and even knots

An accomplished interior designer and TV personality, Mark Brunetz is a public face in the landscape of contemporary American design. Mixing elements both old and new, Mark creates streamlined, rich and architectural spaces; seamlessly connecting every home to its inhabitants. Maintaining a small studio that only takes a few projects at a time, Mark is currently at work on a select range of residences in the U.S. He also serves as the national spokesperson for the International Design Guild’s Designer Program. For more information, please visit www.MarkBrunetz.com.

and nail holes — all of which make for a more realistic look. This textural and precise replication is also found in laminate tiles, with a range of options from glossy, polished marble to matte, and aged slate. Plus, countless options for shape, width, length and edge detailing makes working with laminate just as creative as any other element of the room. In fact, I was recently working with a family living in a small ranch in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. We replaced worn vinyl tiles in the kitchen and 30 year old carpet throughout the house with wide, walnut stained laminate planks. Immediately, the laminate created continuity throughout the main rooms and the detail in the beveled edges made for a natural yet rich look. Needless to say, it’s perfect for a family of five, and they love it! Flooring creates immediate impact, so it often serves as the starting point when it comes to product selection. Today’s laminate is an ideal solution for clients looking to obtain a certain look when hardwood is impractical, such as high-moisture or high-traffic areas or if you’re under the gun with a 48-hour makeover on TV. With optimum durability and unlimited design versatility, today’s laminate is the way to go. ❚

20 ❚ Living on Laminate

Living on Laminate Flooring Y

ou walk on it. You dance on it. You work and

“Customers who are looking for affordability and

play on it. Yes, the flooring in your home is at the

top-notch performance are discovering that with lam-

heart of everything. You live on it!

inate, you get both,” said Bill Dearing, president of

You want a floor that is durable, something that

the North American Laminate Flooring Association

reflects YOU and your personal style… and something

(NALFA). “Whether you want a premium product or

that is affordable.

a mid-range option, there are countless choices with

In an economy where “smart spending” has become


the rallying call, laminate floors have answered. Laminate flooring is quite possibly the best all-

Tailor-made style

encompassing package for your decorating dollar

While many laminate floors simulate the authentic

and perfect for busy families who want low-mainte-

look of hardwood or stone, the possibilities for new

nance flooring.

styles and colors are limitless. A variety of color tones

Protected by a tough external layer and resin

and patterns enable you to match the floor with the

coating, a laminate floor is much stronger, and more

exact mood and style of your room, whether it’s rich

scratch-resistant, impact-resistant and longer lasting,

and elegant or cool and contemporary. We think you’ll

than any hardwood, vinyl or carpet. It’s virtually resis-

be pleasantly surprised by the availability, realism and

tant to dogs, cats, kids and even high heels.

quality of today’s laminate floor styles.

Now that you’re ready to decorate or redecorate

With laminate, the journey begins with tradition,

your home or business… Have you considered the

proceeds with innovation, and ends in undeniable


beauty. ❚

Laminate flooring is made from wood and wood by-products, and does not involve the harvesting of rare or endangered trees. Long-lasting, attractive and affordable, laminate is easy to install and available in an endless array of colors, patterns, textures and styles — the perfect option for anyone in search of consistent, beautiful quality.

Affordable quality Not only is laminate flooring generally less expensive than other hard-surface floors to start with, but when its durability and longevity are considered, it becomes a particularly economical choice. Ritz Collection in Magic Valley Ash from Shaw nalfa.com ❚ 21


Today’s Laminate Flooring Has Everyone Doing A Double Take Laminate is experiencing a Renaissance thanks to innovative technology and savvy styling harnessed by manufacturers like Mohawk, the world’s largest producer of floor coverings. Its new generation of laminate flooring precisely captures the look of authentic hardwood, and consumers can’t help but do a double take.


mage Is Everything. Our design experts follow and study the ever-changing fashion, design and color trends. Striking features such as wider single planks, bolder colors, authentic textures and never-before-seen species currently play a growing role in

Mohawk laminate’s hottest looks that surprise even the most discerning design eye. Incorporating trendy color tones like gray and technological techniques such as scraping and embossing are creating looks that are picture-perfect renderings of authentic hardwood. Character flooring is definitely the hottest trend in hard surface flooring. Two of Mohawk’s

Right: Jasmine in Caramel Bamboo from Mohawk Opposite: Jasmine in Natural Amendoim from Mohawk

22 ❚ Living on Laminate

Mohawk Laminate Flooring offers a wide selection of rich colors and authentic hardwood designs in several different grades and “embossed–in–register” designs most popular on-trend collections that capture the natural look of today’s most soughtafter hardwood are Barrington and Kincade. Barrington is a single-plank, rustic textured product that emulates the exact look of timeworn hardwood. The beautiful naturalistic features of Barrington include deep graining, saw marks and a heavier rustic texture which add a lot of contrast and enhance the overall dramatic visual. Barrington’s color palette consists of rustic grays and taupes representing the looks of driftwood and truly brings out the beauty of natural wood. Kincade features an “oil-rubbed finish” and captures all of the inspiring beauty found in today’s hottest furniture lines. Kincade is a single-plank collection featuring a much lighter textured scrape providing a softer, elegant visual. Kincade’s color palette consists of the most sought-after colors found in today’s hottest exotic species. In addition to color and texture, board width also affects how a floor will look. The popularity of wider widths continues. The wider width floors add visual drama and unique distinction. The Barrington and Kincade collections are available in 4 7⁄ 8" width. Mohawk Laminate Flooring offers a wide selection of rich colors and authentic hardwood designs in several different grades and “embossed–in–register” designs in which the surface texture exactly matches the image texture for the highly realistic look and feel of a real hardwood floor. ❚

www.mohawkflooring.com 1-800-2MOHAWK (800-266-4295) nalfa.com ❚ 23


Laminate Flooring and Your Décor L

aminate makes the improbable possible. And it has everything to do with imagination and ingenuity.

You can have the truly classic looks you’ve always desired — oak, cherry, maple and hick-

ory and elegant exotics like cypress, bamboo and tigerwood. Even species too rare and too fragile to cut for flooring are available in laminate — and you can have them at an affordable price. Burlwood. Spalted maple. Wide-plank apple wood. Original forest teak. If you have not experienced the new laminate, do yourself a favor. Go to your flooring retailer and ask to see some of the new pickings, which will include the latest in locking systems for a virtually seamless floor; moisture, mildew and bacteria resistance; and the absolute latest in sound reduction systems. And the detailing is remarkable. High-gloss or soft-oil finishes, beveled edges, tight joints, hand-scraped looks, distinct graining, knots, even mineral banding and other distinguishing character marks. New details like dyed ends and sides create a seamless, visually perfect floor.

Historic Oak in Ash from Mannington 24 ❚ Living on Laminate

Claremont Slate from Pergo

While you’re at it, ask to look at some of the prod-

❚ Rustic warmth — The more modern our world

ucts that turn your laminate floor into an example

gets, the greater our desire to return to our roots,

of craftsmanship… trim. There is a host of trims and

to a time where hard work and late nights could

accessories to match or coordinate with your laminate

create something truly beautiful. Laminate floors

for the kind of detail you want in your home.

in dark wood tones with hand-scraped finishes can

Any of these areas of growth can make laminate

transform your floor into that of an early Ameri-

an attractive choice for your home, but when taken

can cabin or even an old Manhattan townhouse,

together it’s obvious why interior designers are mak-

lending a homey, Old World vibe to the most

ing laminate an option for high-styling homes.

modern homes. ❚ French bleed edges — Calling to mind the dining

❚ Coastal white wash — Who doesn’t love a vacation

rooms of Provence or perhaps even Thomas Jeffer-

from real life for a few days, a chance to escape to

son, French bleed laminate planks are elegant and

a peaceful seaside? Laminate products that resem-

effortless. One of the most versatile trends on the

ble bleached pine or whitewashed oak are airy and

market, these wood-inspired planks—dark on the

beautiful, offering a sense of beach-inspired tran-

edges and light in the center — would look perfect

quility on the most hectic days.

in a formal dining room or casual living space.

❚ Uptown gloss — There are some rooms in the dining spaces that were created to celebrate life’s

Laminate textures are anything but flat

significant events and the calendar’s most festive

Thanks to the latest technologies, laminate flooring

holidays. With luxurious, high-gloss laminate that

can not only look, but also feel like real wood and

looks like glowing hardwood, every day can feel

stone. Different textures and designs can instantly add

like Thanksgiving.

warmth to your floor. Some trends to consider are:

house that call for a sense of occasion, living and

Chelsea Park in Bronzed Jatoba from Bruce Laminate

Terrawood in Kinabalu Teak from Torlys nalfa.com ❚ 25


Common laminate finishes

❚ Weathered wood — Laminate that has been saw cut, scraped or treated with deep ticking has a seasoned quality to lend character to your living area or bathroom. Look for earth-inspired pieces that are


natural and realistic. ❚ Modern graphic — Geometric textures added to wood, ceramic or even plastic-inspired materials give a modern edge to more utilitarian spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. Wood colors can be mixed and


matched to create bold patterns, while various sizes of tile can create stripes and borders. ❚ Natural stone and polished porcelain — The soft shades of slate, stone and ceramic tile offer eye-catching alternatives to wood. High-gloss


Palermo stone, sandy Peruvian slate, and weathered terra cotta call to mind visions of Italian piazzas and Irish castles — a touch of history for your modern home. Easy to clean and extremely durable, stone-inspired laminate is perfect for high-traffic areas that must look


fantastic at all times. ❚





Barrington in Bourbon Hickory from Mohawk 26 ❚ Living on Laminate

Visua lize You r La m ina te Flooring Step 1: Get the look Begin by turning everything you do into research. Trips you take, homes you visit, photos you see in books and magazines — these can all inspire the floor that you will put in your own personal space. Decide if you want to go earthy, modern, subdued or bright and vibrant. Do you prefer a surface that looks like wood and stone or a clean print?

Step 2: Pick your price Quality laminate is available at almost every price, offering wonderful options for the budget shopper as well as the person who wants to spend more for higher-end products. Do your research at local home improvement stores or online, and consult experts such as decorators or flooring installers. They can give you realistic quotes on material price and the cost of various installations.

Step 3: Put the plan in action Pick a few days when you can focus on just the installation of your new floor. Move furniture and other belongings into another room or storage space, and then turn it over to the installation crew. HGTV is a great resource if you’re looking for a step-by-step plan. Visit http://www. diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-install-lamiAt Top: The Reserve Collection in Hickory Auburn Spice

nate-flooring/index.html for more information. ❚

from Bruce Laminate. Above: Illusions in Flaxen Maple from Armstrong nalfa.com ❚ 27


Quick-Step: Beauty, Performance, and Value



“As a professional interior designer, Quick-Step flooring the gives me design freedom I demand — including a stunning variety of colors, styles and beautiful hardwood decors,” said Erinn Valencich, Los Angeles-based interior designer, style expert and recent contestant on NBC’s new hit design reality show American Dream Builders. “Quick-Step is a fashion-driven product line that is on pace with the hottest trends in home decorating.” Stylish and Durable

Erinn Valencich

“I believe that beautiful rooms are meant to be lived in. Of course your home should be

is a celebrity

stylish. But if you can’t enjoy living in it, what’s the point? Quick-Step offers the richest,


most sophisticated premium looks in tandem with durability and very low maintenance.

style expert

Quick-Step floors are extremely resistant to dents, stains, fading, wear, dulling, water and

and recent

scratching — so children’s toys, household traffic, everyday spills and mishaps are no

contestant on

match for beautiful, stylish Quick-Step flooring.”

NBC’s hit new design reality

Extreme Realism

show American

“The level of realism, natural texture and detailed hardwood design inherent in Quick-Step

Dream Builders.

flooring makes it hard to tell the difference between Quick-Step and a plank of real hardwood. Quick-Step floors make it easy and affordable to bring a high level of style into your home, at a price that fits nicely into most decorating budgets.”

Install In A Day — Enjoy For Years To Come “Quick-Step floors are also easy to install, because they feature the patented Uniclic glueless installation locking system. Installation is fast and easy. You can literally install a room in a day and enjoy it for years to come!”

Long Live Style “I believe in creating spaces that are fun, elegant and livable. That’s why I like Quick-Step. I know that Quick-Step floors will also stand up to busy lives, and stay looking great. No other flooring offers the beauty, performance and price/value of Quick-Step — making this modern flooring option a great choice for beautiful, livable flooring.” ❚ www.us.quick-step.com 28 ❚ Living on Laminate

Quick-Step, Modello Collection, Smoky Rustic Oak Planks

Reclaimé Collection, White Wash Oak Planks from Quick-Step

Quick-Step, Dominion Collection, Malaysian Merbau Planks nalfa.com ❚ 29


With Quick-Step’s FREE “Style My Floor” App, Selecting The Perfect Floor Has Never Been Easier! Quick-Step, the style, design and innovation leader in laminate flooring, has successfully developed and launched a revolutionary new digital shopping tool for consumers — “Style My Floor.” This is one of the very best “visualization” tools in the flooring industry today, making shopping for a new floor easy and fun. And it's free!

What Is Style My Floor?

How Does It Work?

Style My Floor is a free digital app for use on hand-

It’s easy and fun! In the same way that you would

held iPhones, iPads and Androids. The Style My

hold up your iPad (or iPhone or Android) to take a

Floor app lets you realistically see on your hand-held

picture of your living room, Style My Floor allows

device, in real time, what a particular Quick-Step

you to view your living room on the iPad screen.

floor would look like installed in any specific room

But, instead of your room’s current floor, your eyes

of your home. Using augmented reality technology,

will see the Quick-Step floor of your choice appear

Style My Floor displays a virtual Quick-Step floor

on the screen as the floor of your living room! With

over your room’s existing floor when viewed on the

simply a keystroke or swipe you can try out as many

device’s screen. This allows you to accurately envi-

different Quick-Step floors as you want to — in real

sion what your room will look like with the new

time. Quick-Step’s entire line can be viewed with

Quick-Step floor installed, before ever setting foot

Style My Floor. Selecting the right floor has never

inside a flooring store or making a purchase.

been easier!

30 ❚ Living on Laminate

Style My Floor is a FREE app. Compatible devices include Apple (iPhone 5, 5S, 5c / iPad Air / iPad 3) and Android (4.0 or above for optimal experience).

You can see in the above picture that her room has carpet in real life, but her eyes see a Quick-Step hardwood plank design as the room’s floor when viewed on her iPad using Style My Floor.

What Else Does It Do? Enabling a 360-degree view, the Style My Floor app shows exceptional details of each Quick-Step product. In addition, you can take photos, share images, find a flooring retailer and order up to five product samples of Quick-Step flooring free through the app. All with a simple keystroke or swipe on a handheld iPhone, iPad or Android in the relaxed comfort of your home.

Experience Style My Floor For more information or to personally experience Quick-Step’s new Style My Floor free app, go to https://us.quickstep. com/StyleMyFloor/. ❚

www. us.quick-step.com www.nalfa.com ❚ 31


Laminate Flooring Room by Room F

or centuries, the most beautiful floors in the world have begun with the patterns, colors and textures of nature. The skilled hands of artisans have shaped and refined them into

beveled stone, tightly mortared tile and softly oiled or highly lacquered wooden surfaces. New technologies and visionary designs now offer these traditional wood, stone and tile looks in laminate flooring, beautifully realistic, affordable, durable and environmentally friendly. The power of laminate to restyle an individual room or an entire home is a triumph of advanced technology and artistic imagination.

Ancestry in Moscato Wire Brushed from Shaw 32 ❚ Living on Laminate

Designers today are celebrating individuality. The exciting news is that laminate is especially customizable. It can be installed in numerous patterns — including herringbone, basket-weave or diagonal. Trim pieces can complement a floor design. A medallion can add a dramatic focal point, mixing with other design materials. Contrasting borders can define spaces or accentuate any room or hallway. Entire laminate staircase systems, from traditional to avant-garde, invite you to customize and integrate floor designs. Because design should begin and end with creativity and personal vision, feel free to start with the words, “Just imagine…. ” Laminate will take care of the rest.


Quick-Step Eligna Collection Tropical Koa Planks

nalfa.com ❚ 33


Picture-Perfect Floors: Armstrong Laminate Want something new? Something fresh? Something elegant and well-made? Then You Want Today’s Laminate Flooring


o ahead. Walk all over us. You may be surprised

and grain consistent with the design. One of today’s

by what you see — and feel.

most desired looks is reclaimed hardwood. The look

Armstrong Laminate Flooring looks like the real

of reclaimed wood flooring takes us places... From a

thing. Distinctive grain. Authentic textures. Realistic

cozy cabin or refurbished warehouse loft to a country

looks. Durable and affordable, yet uncompromising

cottage. Now it can take you home — in a beautiful

on quality, these floors can be installed anywhere in

new collection called Architectural Remnants. These

the home — that’s the real beauty of Armstrong lami-

floors — which have won numerous awards for design

nate floors.

and innovation — capture the distinctive look and

“People are renovating, not purely for resale

texture of reclaimed wood, at an affordable price.

value, but for their own comfort and pleasure,” says Armstrong Principal Designer Sara Babinski. “There is

Edgy: Armstrong laminate floors also offer on-trend;

a deep desire to have home be a sanctuary — a refuge

exciting designs that capture hard-to-get or expen-

and reflection of personal tastes and values. Our con-

sive materials like aged metal, cement and weathered

sumers want things to last. Our new laminate floors

wood. Our Coastal Living Patina Collection features

are timeless and extraordinary at the same time.”

wood, rustic metal and cement visuals that appear to be weathered by wind, sun and sea to add an unex-

Chic: Armstrong laminate floors capture the authen-

pected element of design into your home.

ticity and colors of real wood species, natural stones and ceramics. Beyond woods and stones, our laminate

Smart: Incredible, beautiful, realistic looks, yes; but

also can mimic unexpected materials like aged metals

Armstrong laminate is also durable, affordable and child-

and precast cement.

friendly and can be installed anywhere in the home.

Touchable Texture: Designers have known it for

Laminate flooring is incredibly durable, and with our

years, but the texture trend is catching fire with home-

VisionGuard® wear layer you will be protected against

owners and we have a feeling it’s here to stay. We are

scratches, surface spills, stains, fading, scrapes and wear-

taking cues from natural materials; raw wood, rough

through. It is the perfect choice for active households.

stone. We are using new technologies to create these

It is also easy to install with our patented lock and fold

incredibly genuine looks.

installation method and can be installed in any room

Our laminate wood looks feature everything

of your home. So if you want the latest looks in fash-

from domestic woods and exotics to reclaimed, dis-

ion and design, but are on a practical budget, rethink

tressed and hand-scraped looks, offering a texture

the possibilities of laminate flooring from Armstrong.

34 ❚ Living on Laminate

Armstrong has been providing beautiful, long-lasting flooring for more than a century. Our name is known and trusted the world over for consistent quality, innovative designs and incredibly satisfied customers. Visit your local Armstrong retailer to see our spectacular laminate collections for yourself. www.armstrong.com ❚

Left: New England Long Plank in Boston Tea; above: Architectural Remnants, skip planed in Blackened Natural, both from Armstrong Laminate.

Grand Illusions in Melbourne Acacia from Armstrong Laminate


nalfa.com ❚ 35


Storage, Utility, and Laundry rooms Utility rooms and laundry rooms tend to take the brunt of our daily living. Laminate is versatile. It can go just about anywhere in your home and installs easily above and below grade. Today’s laminate is the result of ingenious technological breakthroughs. It is impact, fade, stain, wear and moisture resistant, antibacterial, antimold, antistatic and sound insulating. Armed with the latest technology (and mindful of the budget), laminate flooring explores the terrain of the imagination.

Left: Amazone in Brazilian Cherry from Kronotex USA. Below: Georgetown in Canadian Maple Planks and Bellevue Tiles in warm white both from Mohawk.

36 ❚ Living on Laminate

Entryways You only get one chance to make a first impression! What’s the composition of this room to be? Do you want to create height, depth or spaciousness? Accent architectural details? Do you want drama? Now that you know the basics, let’s start with entrances and hallways. Here you make a warm first impression as people enter your home, and a lasting one as they leave.

>> Right: Mohawk Jasmine Bamboo Laminate. Below: Architectural Remnants

Spalted Maple

in Antique

from the


Revolutions Plank Collection by Mannington.

Historic Element in Milk Paint White from Armstrong Laminate

Traditional Clicette Collection, Carolina Acacia Blonde from Columbia nalfa.com ❚ 37


Kitchens No matter what you do, it seems that everyone sooner or later winds up in the kitchen. Warm. Active. Vibrant. It’s more the heart of your home than the crossroads. For that reason, and maybe because it is where so much nurturing goes on, that we invest ourselves and our creative spirit here. Like many things that go into your favorite recipes, laminate provides a world of ingredients that make this home YOUR home. Let laminate cook up your favorite look!


Manhattan Hickory Plank Architectural Remnants Global Reclaim Worldly Hue from Armstrong Laminate

Above: Elmhurst in Alabaster from Mannington. Right: Barrington in Nutmeg Chestnut from Mohawk 38 ❚ Living on Laminate

from Torlys

Kathy Ireland — Designing with Laminate Flooring Durability and Coloration Most of us in the design industry are impressed with the hassle-free maintenance of laminate flooring. Heavy traffic? No problem. Too much sun? Laminate flooring is fade resistant and will rarely discolor. Family and pets running in and out? Bring it on. Laminate is scratch and moisture resistant and unbelievably easy to care for. It is never necessary to wax, polish, seal or sand in order to maintain its longevity and beauty. It is absolutely durable. Laminate faux wood flooring is very popular, comes in endless colors, and is absolutely gorgeous. It is giving real wood flooring a run for its money. Concerned about termites? Guess what, termites do not find laminate flooring tasty. And because laminate flooring is so durable, you may enjoy your floor for years and years.

A Fashion Option


Laminate flooring is definitely a market expansion that is serving families in new ways. I hope you consider laminate flooring for your next design project! I’ll be honest, I didn’t always think of laminate flooring as a fashionable option when designing my favorite rooms, but it’s come a long way! Laminate flooring is one of the hottest flooring trends right now. It is designed with fashion in mind, it offers comfort and luxury, and it’s not going to break your budget. The choices of designs, styles and textures of laminate are very generous. These choices offer options to design a room that fits your

Kathy Ireland is CEO and chief designer of kathy ireland® Worldwide (kiWW®), a design and marketing firm. Forbes Magazine describes kiWW® as a “2 billion dollar business model.” License Global Magazine names kiWW® the 31st most powerfully licensed brand, globally. kiWW® offers designs in fashion, weddings, home, flooring, office and more...

personality and budget, and all with a luxury look. ❚

TIP! Invest in the purchase of 10 percent in additional laminate, so that if in the future you need to replace, you’ll already have the extra laminate! TIP! Choose beautiful area rugs to bring added softness and fashion flare into your home.

nalfa.com ❚ 39


Gathering Spaces and Living Areas Where is it written that family gathering spaces and living rooms have to be carpet or wood? For more than two decades, laminate flooring has been a popular flooring choice for many reasons… durability, certainly, plus self-confidence — and let’s not forget design-ability. Today’s laminate flooring options combined with one’s personal style mean no two floor décors are alike. Design for the way you live! The result has to be not only personal, but unique.

Grand Illusions in Cabrueva from Armstrong

Quick-Step, Reclaimé Collection, Old Town Oak Planks 40 ❚ Living on Laminate

Urban Distressed Metal from Pergo


Lexington Café Walnut Plank from Torlys

Jasmine in Natural Amendoim from Mohawk

Ledyard Applewood from the American Concepts Stone Harbor Collection by Kronotex USA nalfa.com ❚ 41



Enhance Rooms with the Look of Luxurious Hardwoods, Stones or Tiles for Less Money with Bruce Laminate Flooring “Come on in. Make yourself at home” might be the tagline for Bruce® Laminate Flooring. It’s a comfortable floor that’s designed to stand up to the demands of a busy family.


igh traffic, high heels, pets, work boots and


dropped china are no match for a quality lami-

Laminate floors are easy to install — even if you’re

nate floor. The ultra-durability comes from the finish

a beginner DIYer. All you need are basic handyman

and the way laminate flooring is made.

skills and DIY tools like a carpenter’s square, tapping block and pull bar.

Looks and Texture

Laminate planks are made with tongue-and-

Sophisticated technology allows Bruce to create vir-

groove edges that snap together using patented

tually any type of look for your floor. While wood,

Lock&Fold® Installation Technology. Lock&Fold is

stone and tile are standard, the newest laminate

the fastest and easiest installation system available.

floors offer exciting visuals in expensive or hard-to-

Perfect for DIY installations, it requires no glue or

get materials like reclaimed wood, exotic wood, aged

nails — simply lock and fold. For more information,

metals, precast cement and custom hardwood looks.

visit www.bruce.com. ❚

Advanced embossing techniques add textures to the surface of laminate flooring, to make it look and feel more realistic.

Easy Care Laminate is one of the easiest floors to clean and maintain. Unlike hardwood or stone, it doesn’t require special care. That’s one of the reasons busy homeowners like laminate — it suits their lifestyle. Just vacuum, mop and go.

Everything You Want With laminate, you get stylish designs, easy maintenance and excellent wear and stain resistance. It’s the flooring that gives you everything you want at an affordable price. Bruce Reserve Premium in Rough Cut Khaki 42 ❚ Living on Laminate

Above left: Bruce Achitectural Salvage Ship Sand Distressed Natural. above right:Chelsea Park in Mineral Forest from Bruce Laminate

Maple Select from the Reserve Collection by Bruce Laminate

www.bruce.com nalfa.com ❚ 43


Dining Areas Both fashionable and functional, laminate flooring is perfect for any dining area or eat-in kitchen. Whether they’re used for everyday family meals, formal dining or special occasions, dining areas get a tremendous amount of traffic. Laminate flooring offers a vast array of styles, formal or informal, to suit your taste. A good thing to remember is that dining chairs are moved frequently and chair feet can damage or scratch your floor. Use protectors on the feet of your chairs, or add a little more elegance by adding an area run under your table.

New England Long Plank in Boston Tea from Armstrong Laminate

Adirondack in Dusty Canyon from Mannington

Wilmington in Sumner Hickory from Kronotex USA 44 ❚ Living on Laminate

Veresque in Cargo Oak from Quick-Step

Bedrooms and Nurseries Dream A Little Dream… Install a laminate floor in the bedroom? Of course! From the master suite to the nursery, many homeowners are choosing laminate for the bedroom because they’re looking for an alternative to carpet or because they prefer the look of hardwood or ceramic tile for a fraction of the price. In addition, it’s an excellent flooring option if you have kids and pets.

Yorkshire Walnut from the Exotics Collection from Armstrong


Jasmine in Wild Sable Mesquite from Mohawk


Sawmill Hickory Natural from Mannington

Quick-Step Eligna Collection White Brushed Pine planks nalfa.com ❚ 45


An Out-of-the-Box Solution for Choosing High-Fashion Laminate Flooring Laminate floors have come a long way. Growing in popularity due to their tremendous fashion-forward styling with ease of care, these floors feature some of the most stunning visuals available today.


rom traditional classics and rustic, hand-scraped

buyer to make smarter choices based on household,

wood looks to gorgeous natural stone designs,

lifestyle and budget requirements.

laminate floors are pleasing a variety of audiences

As with the evolving technology that has dra-

from style-conscious urban dwellers to kid-friendly,

matically improved the look, wear and durability

pet-friendly families. But with so many styles and

of laminate floors, Flooring America is also using

brands available, how do you choose the floor that’s

technology to create a more enjoyable shopping expe-

right for you? Flooring America offers a solution for

rience with its new My Floor Guide in-store app. With

smarter decision-making that’s truly out of the box.

a tap on an iPad, the sales associate can provide real-

While you’ll find a few laminate choices lined up in boxes on the shelves of most home centers, the locally

time pricing options and estimates, as well as visuals for project inspiration and more.

owned, independent retailers of Flooring America

Of course, while some do-it-yourselfers will

have taken a more shopper-friendly approach. Its

choose laminate floors due to the promise of ease of

newest laminate selling system displays larger, easily

installation, Flooring America’s expert installers make

viewed samples. With a wide variety of styles, looks

installation even easier — and guarantee the results

and finishes from best-selling major brands and exclu-

and customer satisfaction.

sive collections, shoppers find it easier — and more fun

With its wide selection, consumer-friendly approach

— to explore selections for their new room. Compar-

and out-of-the-box shopping solutions for laminate as

isons and product information are also conveniently

well as other floors, Flooring America is proving that

accessible. Options from Good-Better-Best and ease-

it’s working harder to become the most recommended

of-care benefits to Flooring America’s industry-leading

flooring stores in North America. As evidenced by the

warranties and affordable pricing information are also

thousands of positive customer reviews it’s received,

easily viewable. This allows everyone from the most

Flooring America is Where Friends Send Friends™. ❚

discerning interior designer to the first-time home-

46 ❚ Living on Laminate

Finally, the solution to the age-old question:

How do I choose the laminate floor that’s right for me?

When it comes to laminate, choices today are plentiful. So we’ve made decision-making easier. Our consumer-friendly shopping solutions allow you to easily navigate choices by comparing: • • • • •

Good, Better, Best Options Variety of Natural Wood and Stone Looks Durability and Low-Care Benefits Stain-Resistant and Scratch-Resistant Features Industry-Leading Warranties and More

We’re working harder to become the most recommended flooring store. And that’s why our locally owned retail locations are always the best choice for all your flooring needs.

1-800-4-FLOORS I www.flooringamerica.com

nalfa.com ❚ 47


Playrooms Bring on the kids! Laminate flooring is up to the challenge. It can withstand whatever your little ones have up their sleeves. It’s also easy to clean — so paint, markers and crayons have met their match.

Laminate flooring is ideal for childrens’ play areas

Above: Kincade in Honey Blonde from Mohawk. At right: Burlwood from the Revolutions Collection by Mannington 48 ❚ Living on Laminate


BEAUTIFUL HOME INTERIORS BEGIN WITH FABULOUS FLOORS FABULOUS FLOORS Magazine goes far beyond pretty pictures and product descriptions. Our readers — mostly women — want home fashion and decorating ideas, ideas and answers found only in the pages FABULOUS FLOORS Magazine. FABULOUS FLOORS magazine is sold at newsstands, bookstores, retail chain stores and selected specialty outlets in North America. Check out our regular special promotions at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Hastings and other specialty chain outlets and design centers WE’VE GONE DIGITAL! FABULOUS FLOORS MAGAZINE is now available in digital format for your tablets and mobile devices. More than a page-turn PDF, Fabulous Floors Digital editions at MAGZTER.COM give the reader an interactive experience. Or get your copy at ISSUU.COM. We hope you enjoy “Living on Laminate” It’s everything you want to know about Laminate Flooring — and more! Special Publications Coming in 2015 Design and Resource Guide for Resilient Flooring • Come Home to Carpet

www.fabulousfloorsmag.com • Subscribe Online nalfa.com ❚ 49



TORLYS Smart Laminate Designed for Easy Living… Peace of Mind Assured. Smart Laminate

• Scratch-resistant finish

TORLYS Smart Laminates are stunning floors for any

• Real wood-like textures featuring natural designs

space. Beautifully designed in wood looks that are

• TORLYS Smart Core

virtually indistinguishable from hardwood, these lami-

• Backing provides a moisture barrier and added

nate floors provide the utmost in flexibility — creating


a statement for any room in your home and designed for easy living. TORLYS smart laminate flooring cre-

Starts Beautiful, Stays Beautiful

ate stunning floors with exceptionally hard-wearing

The result is a beautiful laminate floor created with

surfaces — laminate floors that are easy to care for

minimal environmental impact. TORLYS Smart Lam-

and will look amazing for decades.

inate floors are easy to install and maintain, and designed for long-lasting beauty.

Created to Fit Your Life TORLYS offers seven distinctive laminate flooring col-


lections, each created to fit your design taste, lifestyle

BulldogTM Easy Plank Replacer — A Laminate Floor’s

and budget. All on trend in the latest species, colors

Best Friend. TORLYS BulldogTM Easy Plank Replacer

and dimensions.

allows you to: • Replace a damaged plank, not your entire floor —

Why Smart Laminate? Performance!

just ask your TORLYS retailer to replace damaged

• A transparent overlay of extremely wear-resistant

or dented planks with the TORLYS BulldogTM Easy

melamine resin and aluminum oxide that is warranted for up to 35 years.

Plank Replacer. No glue. No nails. No staining. • Fix major mishaps quickly and easily.

• Patented Uniclic® Joint resists ugly gapping. No other joint outperforms TORLYS Uniclic Joint. ®

• TORLYS Smart Core is ultra dense and engineered to be extremely dent resistant.

• Renew your floor without sanding or refinishing. • Contact your TORLYS retailer for details. • Minor Fix-Ups — TORLYS offers touch-up kits for minor scratches on your laminate floor. ❚

• Move It and Re-use It — every TORLYS laminate floor can be disassembled and re-used in another room or home.

For more information please visit www.TORLYS.com DISCOVER THE RIGHT CHOICE You will not only find a great laminate floor, you will also discover why it can be the right choice. Our laminate floors are backed by the TORLYS Peace of Mind Assurance Program. For today and tomorrow. 50 ❚ Living on Laminate

Imagine the possibilities. Believe in the durability.

Designer tastes. Real-life strength. A Laminate Collection from the Only Canadian Member of NALFA

TORLYS offers you exceptionally beautiful and durable laminate flooring in the latest styles and designer colours. TORLYS scours the world for on-trend styles and then marries the look with cuttingedge technology for superior performance – an ultra-dense smart core, smart finish and Uniclic® joint technology. TORLYS is the only Canadian company certified by the North American Laminate Flooring Association – your one-and-only choice for laminate flooring.

torlys.com nalfa.com ❚ 51


The Unique Beauty of Mannington Laminate Flooring


oday’s laminate flooring offers great durability

French Oak is a subtle and elegant twist on a

— an attribute that is especially important for

European oak floor, right down to its wide plank

homeowners who don’t have a lot of time to spend

hardwood format.

on maintenance. Honestly, who wouldn’t love a floor that can stand up to everything a busy household can

Riverside is also a wide plank and has a natural,

dish out, yet look as good as new, year after year?

organic look that features a new finish designed to

So if almost all laminate floors have inherent

emulate the look and feel of a hand-oiled floor.

durability and performance, what’s the differentiator? Style, of course! And when it comes to style, no

Chateau has a weathered antique maple look, which

laminate collection has as many beautiful options as

is enhanced by a contemporary, high-clarity visual

Mannington’s Restoration Collection. The Restora-

with a smooth surface.

tion Collection marries the beauty of yesterday with the technology of today for unique and ultra-realistic

Sawmill Hickory has a subtle hand-scraped texture

looks not found anywhere else.

and authentic character and color.

Mannington’s in-house design team creates unique, detailed wood looks and colorations that

Each Restoration pattern is 12mm thick, for a

perfectly coordinate with today’s home fashion

solid sound and feel underfoot, and all are Made in

trends, including popular colors of furniture and

the USA at Mannington’s High Point, NC, manufac-

cabinetry. The variety of styles and colors in the Res-

turing facility. Learn more at www.Mannington.com,

toration Collection offers something for everyone.

or find inspiration on our Pinterest boards http://pin-

For example:

terest.com/manningtonfloor. ❚

Right: Restoration Collection Black Forest Fumed from Mannington Far Right: Restoration Collection Riverside in Natural from Mannington

www.mannington.com 52 ❚ Living on Laminate

Left: Restoration Collection French Oak in Nutmeg Below: Restoration Collection Sawmill Hickory in Gunstock

nalfa.com ❚ 53



The Brawn Beneath The Beauty L

aminate flooring continues to push the limits in quality and design. Laminate flooring is available at many price points. When purchasing a laminate floor, remember that quality

and price go hand in hand. With so many options in the market, it’s good to know the brands you can count on for a beautiful, premium laminate floor. But what about what lies beneath your beautiful laminate floor? Quality underlayments and other premium materials are designed to protect your flooring investment and keep your floor looking good for years to come, just like the day it was installed. Many laminate flooring and premium underlayment products have undergone rigorous testing to earn the NALFA Certification Seal. Underlayments provide the following features that keep working hard, long after the floor has been installed. ❚ Sound Absorption Reduces noise levels within and below a room. Helps eliminate hollow sounds and noisy floors. ❚ Moisture Protection Full moisture barrier with extra-thick pad protects floors from moisture and vapor damage. May be installed over all types of sub-flooring and concrete. ❚ Lasting Support Protects the structural stability of your floor and prevents it from sagging and buckling. ❚ Mold and Mildew Resistant Closed-cell technology and vapor barrier prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Make sure you ask your flooring retailer about premium materials and underlayments, or manufacturer’s recommended premium materials for your laminate purchase. ❚

54 ❚ Living on Laminate


nalfa.com ❚ 55






Radiant heat R

adiant floor heating installed under a laminate floor is a great way to add coziness and comfort to rooms in your home. Radiant floor heating can be used as either primary

heat or as supplementary heat. Distributing even, gentle warmth, radiant heat is dust, allergen and draft-free. It is also decorator-friendly — it does not call for any air registers or wall or baseboard radiators which could interfere with placement of furniture, window treatments or doorways. All radiant heating systems transfer heat in the same manner, from warmer to cooler objects. Radiant heat is a great “perk” in a playroom, kitchen, den, children’s bedroom, sunroom or any other space in a home where toddlers and young kids play on the floor. It is also a wonderful amenity under hard-surface floors, which can be very cool under bare feet. There are two types of radiant heat systems used in homes — hydronic, which is water based and has many components, and electric, which has fewer components and is easier to install. With hydronic radiant heat, water is heated by a boiler and pumped through plastic or composite tubing installed under the finished floor. This is a popular choice in homes where hydronic heating is used to heat the entire house.

56 ❚ Living on Laminate

There are two types of radiant heat systems used in homes — hydronic, which is water based and has many components, and electric, which has fewer components and is easier to install. Electric radiant heat uses three components — the heating panels (a film or a mat containing the heating elements), a floor sensor that is generally installed in the floor, and a GFCI thermostat installed on the wall that enables easy individual room control. It is a popular option choice for supplemental heat for retrofits, new additions, or rooms at the end of heating zones which are often just a bit too chilly even with the thermostat turned up. Both low voltage and line voltage systems are available. Manufacturers offer a variety of electric radiant heating products for installation under new hard surface flooring. One popular type features radiant heat elements embedded in underlayment that incorporates sound control and other attributes. Another type is radiant heat film that (typically) installs between underlayment and the finished floor. For example, MP Global Products’ Perfectly Warm™ Radiant Heat Film for Floating Floor is designed specifically to generate gentle heat

Perfectly Warm™ Radiant Heat Film

under laminate and other floating floor materials, including laminate

for Floating Floors is ideally suited for

and engineered wood. The roll-out line voltage system, which uses an

floating flooring materials like laminiate,

ultra-efficient wireless filament configuration, features gradual, evenly

engineered wood, hardwoods, Luxury

consistent supplemental warmth from low wattage resistance heating of

Vinyl Flooring and floating tile. Perfectly

ultra-thin, flexible radiant heat film. Perfectly Warm™ Radiant Heat Film

Warm™ Radiant Heat Film for Floating

for Floating Floor uses just 6 watts per square foot and conforms to war-

Floors will save you time and money

ranty requirements of many floating floors.

while easily enhancing the floating

Sporting an ultra-thin design (just .016" thick) and zero carbon foot-

floor products you choose to combine

print, Perfectly Warm™ Radiant Heat Film for Floating Floor is also

function and practical beauty in any

perfect for floating tile systems such as SnapStone, Avaire and Eclipse

living space in your home.

brands. It is available in four convenient rollout pad sizes that will accommodate almost any layout. Each mat has wires pre-attached for ease of installation, with only the final connection to the electronic programmable thermostat required to be done by a licensed electrician. Perfectly Warm™ Radiant Heat Film for Floating Floor can be installed over QuietWalk fiber acoustic underlayment for optimized performance of your new laminate floor. (www.quietwalk.com, 888-WARM PAD) ❚

MP Global Products Norfolk, NE 68702 (888) 379-9695 www.mpglobalproducts.com nalfa.com ❚ 57






Underlayment for Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring


aminate floors replicate the appealing and distinctive aesthetics of real wood, slate, weathered stone or metal at reduced cost and with quicker installation and less mainte-

nance. But beauty, alone, is not the whole story. For best performance of your new laminate floor, make sure your installation includes quality underlayment. Underlayment can go a long way to boosting the performance of the finished floor. Installed between the wood or concrete subfloor and the laminate or engineered wood planks, underlayment smoothes out little imperfections on the subfloor so the flooring planks lie flat. Underlayment also makes walking on the floor more comfortable and reduces leg fatigue. Most important, if designed to address acoustics, it can reduce the sounds of impact noise within the room and the transmission of voices, TV, stereo and radio to the room below. Any underlayment you select should be at least one millimeter thick and have compression resistance firm enough to support your new floor. Because laminate is a floating floor (not nailed down or glued down to the subfloor), underlayment can eliminate the click-click-click of footsteps that would otherwise occur in the void between the laminate flooring and the subfloor. The padding fills the space and absorbs the sound, enabling the floor, when walked upon, to sound more like real wood. Underlayment can also contribute to the overall R-value (insulating value) of the flooring installation and help keep the room warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather. Depending upon where it is used, underlayment should carry a water vapor transmission rating that matches NALFA recommendations. The vapor barrier provides protection against moisture migrating up from the subfloor to the laminate. Green-minded homeowners will appreciate that there are a number of underlayments on the market made from recycled materials and/or made without any VOCs. When installing eco-friendly floor58 ❚ Living on Laminate

Installed between the wood or concrete subfloor and the laminate or engineered wood planks, underlayment smoothes out little imperfections on the subfloor so the flooring planks lie flat. ing materials, look for third-party certification that substantiates “green” claims. For example, QuietWalk® from MP Global Products is a patented premium rollout acoustic underlayment, designed especially for installation under laminate flooring, that is certified made from 94 percent pre-consumer recycled textile content. It has just the right compression resistance to optimize performance of your new laminate floor — firm enough to support the floor yet flexible enough to smooth out little subfloor imperfections. QuietWalk quiets impact noise and footfall, dampens ambient sound in the room in which it is installed, and inhibits voices, TV and other airborne sounds from traveling to the room below. Plus, it is engineered to eliminate clicking noise and make laminate floors sound more like real wood. The underlayment also offers superior moisture protection and control, with a 3 mil vapor barrier that protects the laminate from moisture coming up from below. Other features include a generous insulating R-value of 0.5 and an extremely environmentally friendly, odorless, VOC-free and hypoallergenic composition that will help maintain a healthy indoor environment. www.quietwalk.com, 888-379-9695 ❚ MP Global’s revolutionary QuietWalk ® laminate floor underlayment smoothes out little subfloor imperfections while quieting impact sound and floor-to-ceiling noise. Not only does it dampen ambient sound in the room it is installed in, it also inhibits sound from traveling to the room below. The recycled fibers that compromise QuietWalk ® are randomly air laid, which offers the best costeffective foundation and premium sound control for laminate floating flooring in the marketplace today

MP Global Products Norfolk, NE 68702 For more information, call (888) 379-9695. www.mpglobalproducts.com nalfa.com ❚ 59







Laminate Flooring Underlayments from Pak-Lite PLI is a Georgia, USA based manufacturer of custom designed and engineered products. The company was originally founded in 1972 as a custom packaging provider. Today we supply a variety of industries including flooring, automotive, sound and industrial customers with an emphasis on custom engineered OEM parts and private label hard surface underlayment programs. Laminate Flooring — Underlayment Not Optional


quality underlayment provides cushioning under foot, joint stability, some leveling characteristics and minor sub-floor imperfection corrections.

The major benefits of an acoustic grade underlayment is sound control in the room; as well

as sound abatement to lower rooms when needed. But the most important benefit of a quality laminate flooring underlayment is providing water vapor protection. It will act as an essential protective barrier between the cement subfloor and your laminate floor. A laminate floor exposed to excessive water vapor molecules over time can cause your floor to swell. This could cause buckling or warping. Buckling or warping are almost always a result of moisture and/or water vapor damage. When installing laminate flooring over a concrete subfloor you need to read the manufacturers installation instructions very carefully. Those instructions will “call out” the maximum allowable moisture content of the slab. Most often it is indicated by pounds of moisture in the slab. Pounds of moisture in the slab can be measured using a calcium chloride test kit. The manufacturer may even specify that an RH reading be conducted using a probe that measures the relative humidity in the slab. A good quality underlayment equals or 60 ❚ Living on Laminate

Installing interlocking Floor Comfort ® underlayment

T h e SELIT Group exceeds the protection offered by a 6 mm moisture barrier, which is the industry standard in protection. PLI supplies the major OEMs and Big Box com-

The SELIT Group has been Europe’s largest manufacturer of interior insulating materi-

panies with a full range of underlayments to provide

als for more than 30 years. Our primary focus

a program to cover all levels of performance and all

is the production of insulating underlayment

price points.

for laminate flooring (both loose-laid and

PLI underlayment’s are third party certified by NALFA and recommended for all laminate flooring installations. ❚

pre-attached). SELIT has worked closely with the North American laminate producers to develop tailormade products to meet specific manufacturing needs and the needs of their retail customers. Material specifications of SELITAC foam: ❚ Available in thicknesses from 0.6 mm to 5 mm ❚ Different colors and imprints possible ❚ Outstanding acoustical properties ❚H  igh-compression strength with less creep (important for the protection of click-systems) ❚ Self-leveling of uneven subsurface ❚ Resistant to humidity and aging ❚ A “Green Product”(100% recyclable) ❚M  eets NALFA-certified underlayment

SolidBlack acoustical underlayment from Pak-Lite is the most technologically advanced flooring underlayment

requirements ❚ Excellent price/quality ratio

available. SolidBlack is acoustically superior to most underlayments and offers great protection from moisture, mildew mold. Condo, Townhome and Homeowners


Association Approved.


800-449-9460 nalfa.com ❚ 61




The Importance of Certification BILL DEARING, NALFA PRESIDENT


ccording to a Federal Reserve survey released in January, a recovering housing market partially helped boost the U.S. economy from the middle of November through early

this year. The Fed said 12 of its regional banking districts reported “modest or moderate” growth in the final weeks of 2012. Home sales increased in nine districts, and home building expanded in all but one. The number of building permit applications issued in November rose to a four-year high. This is all good news for those in the housing industry. From builders and developers to installers and inspectors, more work is sure to come down the pike in 2015 and beyond. The industry is poised to play the role of job creator, thus boosting the national economy. Many in this industry have spent the last few years barely getting by, so now that the market is picking back up, the jobs are going to go fast. Those with the proper certifications will be chosen first. Don’t get left out. You can’t afford to NOT be certified. The laminate industry specifically has also seen promising growth. The momentum for American-made products is continuing. Laminate manufacturers also are increasingly investing in new technologies such as digital printing — another sign that the industry is confident in its future. When looking to expand your workforce to keep up with increasing demand, you want to be sure that you are maintaining quality and your clients will be kept happy. Hiring certified installers will help ensure quality control. According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, overall there are currently more than 53,000 active certified technicians, many with multiple certifications, plus more than 6,000 Certified Firms. NALFA, the only trade association dedicated solely to laminate flooring and the authority in North America, holds four Advanced Installer Certification classes and four Inspector Certification classes yearly. Major manufacturers such as Columbia Flooring, Kronotex, Mannington Mills, Mohawk, Pergo, Quick-Step, Shaw, and TORLYS are among its members. Can you afford not to be certified? You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to do business, and if you’ve invested in yourself and gone through proper trainings, you have made yourself more marketable. Being certified opens up new doors for your career, provides other ways to increase your income, and can lead to other beneficial relationships within the industry.

62 ❚ Living on Laminate

NALFA offers two certifications, one for installers and one for inspectors.

T h e Va lue of th e Sea l — Wh a t Does NALFA Cer tific a tion M ea n to You ? As an educated consumer, you’re reading this

When you’re in these courses, you learn not only from a knowledgeable teacher, but also from each other, building a network of fellow craftsmen. You can profit from networking with some of the best flooring installers and inspectors in the industry. NALFA offers two certifications, one for installers

because quality and added value are important. That’s why it makes sense to only purchase laminate flooring that bears the NALFA Certification Seal. Certified Means Tested.
All laminate floors are not created equal. How do you know

and one for inspectors. If you decide to get certi-

what makes the cut? NALFA certified floor-

fied through NALFA, you may enjoy benefits such as

ing has passed 10 rigorous performance tests

increased business exposure by having your name

that include everything from how well it resists

and business listed as a Certified Laminate Floor-

water, light and stains to whether it can be dam-

ing Installer or Inspector on the NALFA website and

aged when a large object is dropped or a castor

increased credibility and income potential as a Certi-

chair comes in contact with the floor.

fied Laminate Flooring Installer or Inspector. As in any industry, there are constant updates and changes. An easy way to stay current is through certification classes offered through organizations like NALFA. You will also benefit from direct and privileged access to the technical support services of NALFA members and regular updates of all technical innovations in the laminate flooring world. For more information about certification options

Certified Means Proven.
NALFA uses independent, third-party testing laboratories to ensure that NALFA-certified laminate floors meet demanding performance standards. Certified Means Satisfied.
The NALFA certification seal means you are investing in high-quality flooring and will have the peace of mind to know you’ll enjoy it for years to come.

and details, you can visit nalfa.com.❚

nalfa.com ❚ 63




Inherently Green! I

t’s no secret that laminate flooring is inherently

with other wood fiber-based products. Some manufac-

green. It’s been touted for years, but what is so envi-

turers and consumers actually recycle laminate when

ronmentally friendly about laminate? Well, just about

they move homes by taking their floor with them!

everything. Laminate is a fascinating product because it

This is impossible with no other flooring type!

is environmentally friendly from start to finish — from

durable product that is easy on

No rare or exotic species are used in production.

your conscience. Here’s why.

Laminate simply creates the

its composition to installation to maintenance. It’s a quality,

look of a natural resource —

Laminate is made from a high-recycled content core that is rapidly renewable.

such as wood or stone — as

The core material in laminate

a wide range of looks from

flooring is comprised of fast-

exotic woods to rare or extinct

growth and/or in many cases

species, to more common types

recycled wood material. The

like maple. Laminate flooring’s

materials comprise upwards of

appearance is actually a high-

opposed to actually using it. Our members use state-of -the-art graphics to reproduce

70 percent recycled materials, including pre-consumer

definition photograph, so it can provide the desired

(post-industrial) wood waste. Reusing this waste keeps

look without the sacrifice of a natural resource.

it out of the landfill or from being burned and affectexcess material as a heat or power source, thereby fur-

Laminate design is often created with water-based, low-VOC ink.

ther reducing the environmental impact.

Many of our manufacturing members use water-based,

ing air quality. And some NALFA members also use

low-VOC inks in the design of the laminate product.

Laminate is bio-based and recyclable

These inks are safer for consumers and the environment.

As outlined above, the majority of the composition raw material. Unlike other flooring types which rely

No harmful glues are used for installing laminate floors.

primarily on petro chemicals, laminate uses an almost

The locking systems used for installing laminate

infinitely renewable resource. Add to this the fact that

flooring eliminate the introduction of VOCs from

when you replace a laminate floor, it can be recycled

installation glues and adhesives.

of laminate is wood fiber, a renewable and bio-based

64 ❚ Living on Laminate

Responsible packaging

Go Green with NALF A Cer tified Flooring!

Many of our manufacturing members use recycled materials for the packaging of their laminate products.

• Our Secret: When we say there is not a single tree used for visual, we mean it. None. All

No harsh chemicals are needed for cleaning and maintaining laminate floors.

NALFA members use state-of-the-art graphics

No harsh chemicals are needed for cleaning lami-

wood to maple and beech.

to reproduce a wide range of looks from exotic

nate floors. Sweeping and light mopping will keep

• Recyclable: In addition to using core mate-

the floors looking great. Also, the floors will not

rial comprised of fast-growth or recyclable

need to be refinished, therefore reducing the VOCs

wood material, some NALFA members also

in finishes.

use excess material as a heat or power source, thereby reducing environmental impact even

Laminate floors are long lasting, which reduces the need for replacement.

more. • Green Association recognition: In addition

Laminate floors are durable, and with the easy locking

to Floorscore and GreenGuard, some of our

system can be removed and reused in another part of

membership is also recognized by ISO 1400

the home or even donated to your favorite charity. In

for Environmental Management System, PEFC

fact, several of our manufacturing members encour-

and Green Swan.

age residential re-use of their products.

• NALFA Certified laminate floors are engineered to be long lasting. In fact, several

Green Association recognition.

NALFA members encourage residential re-use

NALFA member products are recognized by many

of their products. No other flooring surface

Green associations such as FloorScore and Green-

makes that environmental assistance offer.

Guard, ISO 14001 for Environmental Management System, PEFC and Green Swan.

• We back up what we say. Check out our website nalfa.com and review our ANSI/NALFA Standard LF012008. Our Environmental Stan-

All NALFA Certified products are CARB 2 compliant. NALFA production meets requirements set forth by the

dard is very much a part. • Finally, all NALFA Certified products are CARB 2 compliant.

California Air Resources Board (CARB). And because it is made of recycled components, laminate helps home

In a related subject, NALFA Certified lami-

and business owners meet Leadership in Energy and

nate floors are very much involved in indoor

Environmental Design (LEED) standards. ❚

air quality. No glues are required, and there are low VOC measurements. ❚

nalfa.com ❚ 65




Installation Q & A Since laminate flooring is usually designed as a

characteristic of this type of floor. It is important

floating floor system, when should it be glued to the

to keep this in mind during installation and allow

floor? What should installers know about working

adequate expansion space.

with laminate flooring adhesives? (Is it similar to installing engineered hardwood, or are there

What tools are required to install transitions

important differences?)

for laminate flooring?

Laminate should only be glued down when it is

The tools required to install transitions are a cord-

installed on stairs or small landings. There are no

less drill or Phillips screwdriver, a hacksaw to cut

laminate adhesives because the rest of the floors are

the track, and a saw to cut the transitions to length.

floating and not adhered to subfloors.

The track for the transitions should be fastened to the floor with screws. If installing the tracks on a

How important is floor flatness and subfloor

concrete substrate, drilling and inserting anchors into

preparation for laminate flooring installation?

the concrete may be required.

All laminate manufacturers have limitations as far

Is there anything an installer should keep in mind when

as subfloor flatness is concerned. If the subfloor is

working with laminate flooring transitions? Do different

not flat, having either high spots or low spots, then

types of transitions require different installation

the appropriate actions need to be taken to rectify

techniques? (T-molding, threshholds, reducers, etc.)

the situation. If it is a concrete substrate, then an approved flooring patch should be used to flatten the

Laminate transitions should not be glued to or

floor. If it is a wood substrate with high areas, then

nailed through the laminate floor. They should be

sanding may be required to bring the floor within the

installed with the accompanying track and inserted as

manufacturer›s required specifications.

instructed on the carton. All transitions are installed basically the same way, with the track that is provided.

Can laminate planks expand and contract similar

One thing to keep in mind is that the proper expan-

to hardwood? Is there any way to prevent this or

sion is required under the transition. The floor cannot

minimize the effects?

be cut tight to the transition track, which is the same as cutting the laminate floor tight to the wall. ❚

All laminate floors will expand and contract as a result of changes in environment, such as

For more information about installation, go to:

temperature or humidity. There really is no way to


prevent this. Expansion and contraction are simply 66 ❚ Living on Laminate

Getting Ready to Install Job site evaluation — outdoors Rain water management 1. Direct water away from the foundation.

How much floor? Laminate calculator Add 10% to square feet for waste and mis-cuts, 15% if on a diagonal.

2. Gutter and downspouts in place, clean and in good working condition 3. Spill guards at the bottom of downspouts 4. Lawn sprinklers direct water away from foundation. 5. Check that shrubbery and landscaping direct away from foundation. 6. Cracked or broken driveways — direct away from foundation. Crawlspace 1. Must be at least 18" from the ground to the bottom of the joist 2. If vented, no dead air space. Must have cross ventilation. 3. Ground covered with 6 mil poly

Installation tips • Follow manufacturer’s instructions. If tapping block is required, use the one designed for that floor. Some floors cannot be tapped. • Cut laminate with a carbide tip saw blade. • Examine each board carefully before installing. • Use t-molding at all door openings less than 4 feet • Check that the overall connected size of the installation is acceptable. Maximum floor size 1200 square feet or 30' × 40'. Each manufacturer is different. • Check for special instructions in wet areas, baths, laundry rooms, etc. — fill expansion space with silicone. ❚

Job site evaluation — indoors Concrete slab 1. Must be dry 2. Cover with 6 mil poly. (Use either a 2-in-1 product or separate foam and poly.) 3. Always remove organic material before covering with poly. Flatness for wood underfloor 1. Floor must be flat to within 3/16" in 10 feet. Grind down high spots or fill low spots. 2. HVAC up and running. Stable environment. 3. Check for moisture. Wood floor must be less than 14%. Concrete under 5LB MVER (moisture vapor emission rate).

nalfa.com ❚ 67




How to Clean and Maintain Your Laminate Floor Laminate flooring is naturally durable; learn how to take care of laminate flooring and keep it looking great while standing up to the toughest household conditions. Follow these routine maintenance guidelines to clean your laminate flooring. ❚ Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.

❚ For optimum results, we recommend periodically cleaning the floor with manufacturer’s cleaning products made specifically for your brand of lami-

❚ For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lip-

nate floor care.

stick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

❚ Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping,

❚ Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.

68 ❚ Living on Laminate

delamination, and joint-line separation, plus void the warranty.

❚ Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.

rollers to minimize the chance of indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector.

❚ Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors. ❚ For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be care-

 aintain a normal indoor relative M humidity level between 35% and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.

ful not to scratch the flooring surface. ❚ Heating season (Dry): A humidifier is recom❚ Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

mended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend

❚ A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming

to create very dry conditions.

schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.

❚ Non-Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heat-

Protect your laminate flooring to keep it looking like new

ing will help to maintain humidity levels during summer months. ❚ Avoid excessive exposure

❚ Entry mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and

to water during periods of inclement weather.

other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer

❚ Keep your pets nails

that might otherwise be

trimmed to prevent them

tracked onto your floor.

from scratching your floor.

❚ To prevent slippage of area

❚ Never try to slide heavy

rugs, use an approved vinyl

objects across the floor.

rug underlayment. ❚ A protective mat should be ❚ Use floor protectors and wide-load bearing leg bases/

used for furniture or chairs with casters. ❚

nalfa.com ❚ 69


Fashion Meets Function 1. W  hat makes laminate the flooring of choice for high-traffic residential areas? The great thing about laminate flooring is that it offers a wide range of styles that are not only beautiful, but durable as well. The layered design of laminate makes it a long-lasting choice for high-traffic areas of a home and its unique construction provides a host of benefits. The sturdy, moisture-resistant backing allows laminate to be installed in almost any room of a home, even in basements or bathrooms. The middle layer or core is made from highdensity, resin-infused fiberboard that provides strength and impact resistance. The image layer or photo perfectly replicates just about any hard-surface floor (stone, wood, concrete or even artistic


designs), and makes a great complement to any decorating style. And the durable, slip-resistant, top wear layer stands up to kids and pets and whatever else a busy household can dish out!

Taniya Nayak is a host and interior designer on HGTV and a featured designer on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. A native of India now Boston based, Taniya is known for designing many of New England’s hottest restaurants and lounges. You may also recognize her from appearances on Good Morning America, The Talk and The Rachael Ray Show.

Laminate is generally more affordable than hardwood flooring, easier to install than tile and durable enough to stand up to years of heavy foot traffic. These qualities have helped make laminate a homeowner favorite for years. Plus, some laminates are warrantied for 25 years or more, guaranteeing they will last!

2. Is it suitable for commercial applications? Why? Laminate flooring is resistant to dirt and liquids, making it a practical, durable and costefficient option for commercial applications. Another advantage of laminate flooring is that when exposed to sunlight on a daily basis there is little or no concern for fading or yellowing over time, making it a great fit for public areas with plenty of windows. And did you know that laminate also resists mold and bacteria, making for a more comfortable environment for those with asthma and allergies? When using laminate for commercial applications, I recommend reviewing the product’s AC (abrasion class) Rating. This universal grading system rates laminate from one to five on how durable it is and how much traffic it can be expected to withstand. Ratings of AC4 and AC5 are considered commercial grade and, while higher in price, they tend to last longer and have better warranties.

Laminate flooring is resistant to dirt and liquids, making it a practical, durable and cost-efficient option for commercial applications.

70 ❚ Living on Laminate

The great thing about laminate flooring is that it offers a wide range of styles that are not only beautiful, but durable as well. 3. H  ow does laminate stand up over time to scratches and indentations compared to other types of hardsurface flooring?

so it won’t break the bank when the times come to

Laminate flooring is a great choice for high-traffic

for the level of use expected will take you a long way

areas because it has a heavy-duty top layer saturated

in loving your laminate floor!

replace it. Like most everything in life, you get what you pay for, so finding a quality laminate with a rating suitable

with melamine resin that not only protects against scratches, scuffs and dents, but will keep the flooring from showing normal wear and tear longer than traditional wood flooring finishes.

5. W  hat laminate characteristics do you look for in high-demand applications?

Enhancing laminate’s indentation and chip resis-

For high-demand applications I would advise my

tance is the super-strong core that withstands dents

clients to purchase a commercially rated laminate or

better than most wood floors; it won’t crack like tile

one with an AC Rating of 3 or higher from a repu-

if something heavy is dropped on it. But what most

table manufacturer that offers a solid warranty. Also,

people love about laminate is that it’s easy to care for

look at the connection of the boards and how tightly

and never needs to be waxed, resealed or refinished to

they snap together and how level they sit when con-

stay looking great!

nected — a seamless, tight fit will last longer and stay locked over time. The design of the floor can

4. S  o, what’s the downside to laminate flooring?

also help mask minor wear and scratches in high-

There aren’t many, and it depends on how you look at

use techniques similar to hand-scraping and brush-

it. One issue that some people consider with laminate

ing of hardwood to add surface details and effects

flooring is that, unlike hardwood, it can’t be refinished.

that make the floor more realistic looking and for-

Once the top layer becomes worn or damaged, the floor

giving in high-traffic areas.

demand applications. Some laminate manufacturers

will need to be replaced. Given the strength and dura-

Last, it’s always a good idea to look for a third-party

bility of laminate, it is unlikely to need replacement or

endorsement or certification, such as NALFA-certified

refinishing for many years. Should a couple of boards or

laminate for added peace of mind.

tiles become damaged during the life of the floor, these

And here’s a tip to avoid misjudging quality: The

can easily be cut out and replaced. So a tip I always give

thickness of the floor is not necessarily an indicator of

my clients is to order an extra box of boards and store

quality. It may seem like a 12mm laminate is the better

them in case a replacement is ever needed.

choice than an 8mm, but without quality construction

And should you need to replace the entire floor, the good news is that it tends to be rather affordable,

and the appropriate wear-layer rating, you’re just paying for more fiberboard. ❚ nalfa.com ❚ 71


Why Should You Investigate the Lowest-Priced Laminate Flooring? Laminate flooring is one of the most economical flooring options available today, giving homeowners a beautiful wood look with amazing durability and virtually carefree maintenance.


ecause there is such a wide range of price points

to dangerous levels of indoor air pollution once the

to choose from within the laminate category, you

flooring is installed in a home.

may think that all laminate is made the same way, and

The best practice is to choose laminate flooring

that the higher price tag on some laminates is merely

manufactured in the United States. With a little bit

to cover the brand name. We caution shoppers to

of research, you can purchase high-quality flooring at

beware, and to realize that it is usually best to stick

a reasonable — but not rock-bottom — price. You

with the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” This

can find a list of products that have undergone rigor-

doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, but don’t

ous tests for quality by the North American Laminate

fall for the lowest prices, either.

Flooring Association (NALFA) at

With laminate, price is much


more than an indicator of style or

tified-products/. U.S. manufactured

innovation; it’s an indicator of how

product will provide the durability

and where a product is made. The

you need as well as the fashion-

how and the where can have serious

able designs, colors and finishes

implications for flooring that will be

you want. Plus, you will have access

installed in your home. Many retail-

to American customer service rep-

ers sell unknown brands of laminate

resentatives who can support you

flooring from unidentified manu-

throughout the buying and installa-

facturers for less than half the price

tion process.

of well-known, established brands.

Don’t let the temptation to save

These “generic” or unidentified ori-

a few dollars lead you to disappoint-

gin floors are often imported from

ment or compromise safety in your

foreign factories with lower quality control or safety

home. When shopping for laminate flooring, choose a

standards and less regulated manufacturing processes,

U.S. manufacturer with a history of quality and value,

which means they can use cheaper or highly toxic

and you’ll make a smart investment that pays off for

materials in their planks. These materials could lead

years to come. ❚

www.kronotexusa.com 866-334-9923 72 ❚ Living on Laminate

Introducing something revolutionary in laminate flooring.


• American made

Redecorating? Try a laminate floor that’s American

• American style and quality

made and made for Americans. With the quality

• American durability

and safety not always found in imports. And it’s a

• America’s healthier floor

healthier floor for your home and the planet. All at

• American sustainability

a fair and reasonable price.

©2014 KronotexUSA, LLC. All rights reserved.

866-334-9923 I [email protected]

nalfa.com ❚ 73


Laminate Flooring: Style, Performance, Maintenance and Price E

ver since it burst onto the flooring scene in 1994,

Size Up Your Options

laminate has taken the design world by storm and

Consider how the type of laminate you choose will

proven to be a great choice for active families. It offers

impact your room. Wide planks have a classic look

the same appeal as the most beautiful, upscale hard-

and appeal, while narrow planks effectively make a

surface floors without the high price tag and rigorous

small room feel larger. Light finishes will brighten

maintenance requirements. This unbeatable combina-

dark rooms, while darker floors can make your space

tion makes laminate one of the most popular floors in

feel more intimate.

homes across the country. Is laminate the right floor for you? See why we love it and why it might be perfect for your home.

Low-Maintenance From Day One Laminate floors can be installed quickly and easily. They can be placed on top of many existing floors

Choose Your Own Decorating Adventure

and don’t require adhesives — the planks or tiles just

Laminate is incredibly versatile. It’s available in planks

staining, and cleaning laminate can be as simple as

or tiles, featuring the look of authentic high-end wood

regular sweeping.

snap right into place. Plus, its wear layer prevents

or gorgeous natural stone. Whether you want classic elegance, vintage, hand-scraped rustic looks, or some-

Shop With Confidence

thing sleek, glossy and contemporary, laminate has

From design advice and floor selection all the way

you covered.

through installation, the team of experts at Flooring America/Flooring Canada can help you every step of

Here, There, Anywhere

the way. Plus, industry-leading warranties will give

Because of its exceptional durability, you can update

you total confidence in your new laminate floor. ❚

any space in your home with laminate. It’s resistance to scratches, stains and wear and tear is perfect for high-traffic areas like living rooms and entryways.

1-800-4-FLOORS I www.flooringamerica.com

74 ❚ Living on Laminate

Quality Flooring at Flooring America Flooring America offers you an impressive selection of quality flooring to meet your practical and aesthetic goals. We provide a spectrum of options for home flooring, featuring exclusive brands and styles that are suitable for every taste and budget.

Armstrong ® Laminate Collection

Armstrong ® Laminate Collection

Floorcraft™ Laminate Collection

Armstrong ® Laminate Collection

nalfa.com ❚ 75


You CAN Do It Yourself Perfect for Weekend Warriors

Effortless Installation

One of the most attractive qualities of laminate floor-

The introduction of glueless laminate floors revolu-

ing is the ease of purchase and installation. Not only

tionized ease of installation in the industry. In the

are flooring sections smaller, designed to interlock,

“floating floor” method of installation, the laminate

and easier to work with, but laminate floors can also

floor is laid or “floated” over the existing subfloor

be installed over most non-textile existing subfloors.

without being glued to the surface. This saves consid-

Moreover, the “floating floor” method of installation

erable time and installation cost. Moreover, laminate

means that no special glue or fasteners are needed,

floors are easy to un-install and replace quickly and

saving considerable time and installation cost.

easily when it’s time for a style update. ❚

With advanced planning (i.e., reading the installation manual and watching our instructional videos), the right tools and sufficient working time, your laminate floor installation will go quickly and smoothly.

Download NALFA’s Installation Guide nalfa.com/why-laminate/ease-of-installation/

76 ❚ Living on Laminate

NALFA Certified Inspectors When to hire an inspector The relationship between a consumer and a NALFA certified inspector can work one of two ways. 1) When the consumer notices a concern with the laminate floor, he or she can contact the retailer where the flooring was purchased or the product manufacturer and ask for claim to be filed. The retailer or manufacturer will send an inspector to the consumer residence or place of business to inspect the flooring. If the inspector is sent from the retailer or manufacturer, he or she is not supposed to provide or report their findings to the consumer — only to the company that commissioned him. 2) The consumer can hire an inspector directly, but this is not always recommended and could void the manufacturer’s warranty. Please double check the warranty and contact the manufacturer prior to hiring an inspector on your own. ❚

CANADA Darren Bote AB Canada 780-880-1718 Kevin Broadhead AB Canada 403-274-9560 Jim Craig AB Canada 780-910-6741 Forrest Malcolm Doucette AB Canada 780-714-4336 Chris Hystead AB Canada 780-743-8211 Troy Larsen AB Canada 403-346-7088 Kerry Mann AB Canada 403-343-7711 Clayton Nielsen AB Canada 780-743-8211 Michael Nurse AB Canada 780-271-1821 Nima Anbarani BC Canada 604-468-9399 Bill Blake BC Canada 604-298-8453

Andrew Calder BC Canada 604-395-2018

Kjell Nymark BC Canada 778-285-7410

Chris McRae ON Canada 905-731-4443


David Dudley CA 559-732-6927

Matt Deri BC Canada 250-756-9664

Ron Shukyn BC Canada 604-321-7991

David Polvanov ON Canada 905-761-9009

Billy Simmons AL 251-609-7906

Dennis Freeman CA 559-392-1226

Randy Dunn BC Canada 250-590-5605

Rocco Stracuzza BC Canada 604-421-0684

Gord Robertson ON Canada 905-612-8772

James McKeand AR 501-922-9348

Chris Godfrey CA 949-348-1997

Peter Eckert BC Canada 250-744-2004

Darren Barrett ON Canada 905-475-9582

Bojan Sehovac ON Canada 905-731-4443

William Blakeslee AZ 855-582-9747

Laurie Hartman CA 858-774-3104

Moe Haghnegahdar BC Canada 604-676-2323

Matt Butkiewicz ON Canada 647-884-0071

James Senter ON Canada 905-669-0607

Vincent Ferranti AZ 623-386-1575

Herb Hill CA 805-582-2844

Perry Hildebrandt BC Canada 250-763-1234

Ryan Daurte ON Canada 905-696-2379

Karen Gross AZ 855-582-9747

Zaim Islam CA 951-246-7343

Joseph Ho BC Canada 604-421-0684

Tom Elliott ON Canada 416-551-9504

Carl Sonego ON Canada 905-673-3650 x3755

Rick Sierchio AZ 602-329-1342

Richard King CA 530-671-5737

Feegus Kelly BC Canada 604-298-8453

Robert Hanna ON Canada 613-226-3830

John A. Wabeke AZ 928-639-3817

Efren Llamas Jr. CA 909-331-9829

Sharlene LaCroix BC Canada 604-421-6684

Drew Kern ON Canada 416-399-7944

Jim Betts CA 707-894-4657

Libby Longstreth CA 209-869-599

Kristopher Lassman BC Canada 250-756-9664

John Kirec ON Canada 416-931-5929

William Bonds CA 805-968-2696

Kenneth Miyamoto CA 310-541-8866

Al Negahban BC Canada 604-676-2330

John Labre ON Canada 519-570-3088

Timothy E. Chavey CA 916-967-0207

Irfan Murtaza CA 714-323-7171

Reza Nikbin BC Canada 604-288-1524

Roman Madeyak ON Canada 905-669-0779

Ray Darrah CA 1-888-407-9660

David Newman CA 760-732-5810

Andres Toro ON Canada 1-800-928-0470 Allan Tracey ON Canada 905-857-4500 Ron Peverill NS Canada 902-468-9634 Stephen Cascioli QC Canada 514-726-2012 Bob Keep SK Canada 306-668-4800

nalfa.com ❚ 77

LAMINATE FLOORING BUYER’S GUIDE Gerald Peckham CA 714-719-5023

Paul Dooley GA 770-447-5123

Dariusz Zukowski IL 773-775-8577

David Zack MI 810-229-4050

Joseph Villa NY 518-446-9164

Wayne Brown SC 251-626-8991

Allan Pollard CA 760-994-8869

Duke Martin GA 706-965-0829

Joseph Nevins IN 317-910-2305

Curtis R. Durand MN 612-298-5928

Charles Wiedrich NY 585-314-7198

Ricky Buner SC 843-397-5505

Glenn Revere CA 619-698-5458

Jeff Pope GA 770-664-1960

David Paal IN 317-538-1469

John Paro MN 612-384-7215

Marty Sures NV 702-804-1077

Eric Bunker SC 843-251-7454

Kirk Russell CA 562-760-9028

Richard Snow GA 706-509-9483

Dave Powell IN 317-442-4743

Kate Prock MN 651-646-7069

Don Alexander OH 330-323-7489

Raymond Servaes SC 843-838-7167

Thomas Smith CA 951-922-8484

Charles B. Stephens GA 770-480-7296

D. Kris Robbins KS 785-597-5110

Richard Olesen MO 573-446-1151

Greg Burns Jr. OH 614-406-4940

Selva Lee Tucker SC 864-984-5070

Joseph Szenyeri CA 714-448-2240

Brian Vandagriff GA 706-965-0823

Bret Whitehead KS 316-253-4154

Aaron Foulkes MT 406-581-8737

Tim Cole OH 419-722-8516

Dale Collins TN 931-707-9324

Roland Vierra CA 408-999-0922

Jeff Whittington HI 808-488-9949

Josh Wright KY 859-321-5664

Dallas Pottroff MT 406-375-0123

Peter Fahey OH 330-353-0180

Gaylon Bailey TX 817-481-0248

Richard Kass CO 970-376-2740

Rick Corbin IA 563-370-8214

Charles Brady LA 225-439-9616

Tom Hammond NC 704-574-5893

Andrew Fronczek OH 1-888-400-8721

Wayne Cooper TX 915-630-3356

Andrew Campbell FL 407-892-6555

Patrick Kenney IA 505-975-5766

Garieth Spear LA 225-935-0021

Steven Johnston NC 336-403-4274

Robert Kardasz OH 513-752-8210

Rusty Davis TX 817-831-2500

Joey Galasso FL 352-222-9722

Mike Martin IA 563-349-0688

David Buss MA 781-585-4141

Barry Flath ND 701-775-3648

Kathleen Sobb OH 419-885-4110

Steve Hume TX 281-286-5197

Martin W. Godell FL 772-215-7264

Gary Biancalana IL 847-902-9118

Kenneth Nguyen MA 781-380-0768

David Barkstedt NJ 845-246-4414

Jessica Violand OH 330-877-0661

Jerry Kuehn TX 713-722-2508

Ronald Gould FL 1-888-854-0946

Maria Coscia IL 1-888-854-0946

Mark Brown MD 410-465-6053

Leroy Gould NJ 240-476-1409

Samuel Zarcone OH 419-562-5939

Claudia Lezell TX 281-850-4336

Howard Grundland FL 954-914-3960

Joe Denman IL 309-824-1353

Kent Edel MD 443-324-5657

Brian Hayes NJ 732-785-7781

Cliff Doctor PA 215-750-9244

Richard Schumann TX 817-296-8150

Sue Krisha IL 630-606-9827

Richard Mabel ME 781-270-4819

Linda Lockwood NJ 609-660-1717

Keith Cotton PA 215-369-1731

Kermit Walker TX 903-521-8342

Richard Levey IL 847-253-2932

Mark Reagan ME 978-476-1936

Bruce Scott NJ 201-969-2252

Anthony Palandro PA 610-742-0525

Dean Johnson UT 801-363-4563

Michael Urban IL 847-885-0120

Marcel Bedard MI 616-292-7118

Michael Ginty NY 914-964-0969

Michael Quinlan PA 610-942-0267

Nick Vlahos UT 801-369-0891

James Zimmerman IL 815-514-9885

Anthony J. Hojnacki MI 231-856-9841

James D. Lewis NY 315-727-0579

Joe Shimborsk PA 267-614-5784

Mark Bisese VA 540-330-4485

Steven Rockfeld NY 516-807-1876

Martha Yanover PA 717-873-8157

Timothy Fobbs VA 757-822-1910

Ron LaDue FL 904-338-4407 Eric Bunch GA 678-825-7514 Gregory Burns Sr. GA 706-302-2815 Mark Cordle GA 678-232-5501 John Dailey GA 630-918-7632

Bill Zoetvelt IL 708-205-0040

78 ❚ Living on Laminate

Ken Howard MI 248-246-8004

Jerry Harman VA 540-487-8294, Wendy Harman VA 540-487-8294 Robert Middleton VA 757-566-7524

NALFA-Certified Installers

Norred Poindexter VA 757-547-0411

The training received at the NALFA Installer Certification School means NALFA-

John St. Clair VA 540-774-5436

ing installations. Every attendee leaves the program confident in his or her ability

Levy Sacdalan VA 757-689-0710 Richard Reed VT 802-862-9998 Keith Cudmore WA 253-479-3900

certified installers have the know-how to perform the highest-quality laminate floorto perform laminate installations to the highest possible standards. The curriculum has been developed for attendees with at least two years of experience as a flooring installer and covers installation topics from job site evaluation through the finishing touches. You can depend on a NALFA-certified installer for an expert and troublefree installation. ❚


Trista Hoxie WA 206-322-2200

Marek Dziedzic BC, Canada 604-377-7354

Elton Ko WA 503-922-2704

Stanislaw Waz BC, Canada 604-329-1947

Roy Leach WA 360-670-3508


Craig Pittman WA 425-316-3227 Thea Sand WA 206-322-2200 Gerard Guyette WI 920-251-5465 Paul Pleshek WI 920-731-0304 Ron Starkey WV 304-273-5425

Cesar Acosta CA 209-469-9055 Efren Llamas, Jr. CA 909-331-9829 Jason Hartsoe CO 970-739-1877 Joey Galasso FL 352-222-9722 Ron LaDue FL 904-338-4407 Brad Young GA 404-386-2896 Milton Harmon GA 706-581-0737

Adrian Hulea IL 773-430-9720

Richard Reckeweg NJ 856-491-0629

Jake Bouquet IL 708-712-8426

David Horan PA 717-991-3856

River West Smith LA 225-439-1078

Wayne Hyer NC 910-454-8930

David Garden MI 586-826-9447

David Lininger PA 717-264-1107

Marcel Bedard MI 616-292-7118

Samuel Lininger PA 717-264-1107

Bob Gillespie MT 816-847-7223

Anthony Palandro PA 610-742-0525

Leroy Gould NJ 240-476-1409

Shawn Sugden PA 717.608.0960

Albert Melendez NJ 908 821 7282

Bryan Artioli TN 615-598-5311

Joe Caprera NJ 609-354-8969

Dale Collins TN 931-707-9324

Jose Diaz NJ 856-577-5757

Osiel Betancount TX 855-744-8448

Robert Middleton VA 800-366-4204 ex 7524 Wade Wyatt VA 804-306-7275 Jesus Baez WA 425-737-0987 Marcus Mason WA 425-742-4144 Shane May WA 425-742-4144 Ron Starkey WV 304-273-5425

nalfa.com ❚ 79


Elevate Your Space Y

our home is a reflection of who you are. However, it can be a challenge to achieve the look you want on your own. Whether you need help with the vision, sourcing the mate-

rials or bringing it all together, there is a professional that can help. There’s no one better qualified to assist you in creating the space of your dreams than a registered interior designer.


An interior designer is more than a person with good taste — it’s a person who has made the commitment to design as a career. In addition to being creative and artistic, interior designers are knowledgeable and skilled business people. Not only do we create the vision for our clients, we use practical skills and knowledge of health, safety and more to develop design solutions. There are many decisions that go into choosing an interior designer — the first is making sure they are a registered interior designer. Registered designers have passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination, have earned a college degree in design, have a minimum of two years’ field experience, and participate in continuing education to refine their skills. Additional accreditation is also key. Look for designers who are members of the professional design organization called the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). This group helps to shape its field and provides the support members need to stay current with trends and best practices, codes, and issues impacting the health, safety and welfare of the public. Choosing a designer with an ASID membership gives you insight into their professionalism, skills, experience and ability to assist you with designing your project. The home design of your dreams is within reach. A registered interior designer will help you to tell your visual story and understand your functional needs — and with an objective eye that can save you both time and money. When looking for an interior designer, be sure to ask about their qualifications and their continuing education. ❚

Steve Patterson is a registered interior designer with 35 years of experience in the interior design industry. After receiving his education in interior design at the University of North Texas, he practiced design in both Texas and Florida, specializing in commercial projects. He has worked for Shaw Contract and Bentley Prince Street Commercial Carpets and Spectra Contract Flooring. Today Steve works for J+J Flooring Group as a strategic account executive. He has combined all of his experience to pursue helping his customers, fellow interior designers and the good people he works with to solve problems with a perspective that only a registered interior designer can have. Steve volunteers his time to TAID, IIDA, ASID and Metrocon 15.

80 ❚ Living on Laminate

Because Space Matters. Achieve the highest quality and smartest solution with an ASID designer. Creative consultant and problem solver, an ASID interior designer asks the right questions, analyzes the answers, and creates a personalized solution that delivers long-term value and design quality - the first time.




Visit www.asid.org to find a qualified ASID designer for your next project.

Design tip Contrast smooth and textured surfaces to add interest.

Family-friendly Durability The patented Uniclic® locking system helps prevent water damage and warping.

Quick Step floors deliver on style and modern performance. ®

Celebrity Designer and Style Expert Erinn V chose Quick•Step®’s Reclaimé™ collection to help warm up this contemporary interior “Rustic floors were once relegated to farmhouses and cottages. Now you see them in all kinds of interiors. I use them in many of my contemporary designs — they add warmth and texture. But while laminates like the Reclaimé™ collection look like vintage barnwood — they’re built using technology for better performance.” — Erinn Valencich, Celebrity Designer and Style Expert As seen on NBC’s American Dream Builders