Laminate & Vinyl flooring are very cost-effective ways to transform your home with a fresh look. It can set the stage with a traditional, contemporary or even exotic flare and today, laminates and vinyl’s offer many of the grain and wood-look qualities that real hardwood has. There is limitless design potential with today’s laminate and vinyl flooring. The wide variety of current and innovative product designs will create an atmosphere of beauty in addition to long-term durability (with an average 25 year product warranty for 12mm laminates). The versatility in laminate & vinyl’s, combined with a host of benefits, make them one of the most popular options for homeowners while being very affordable. Most WPC Vinyl’s have a highly desirable waterproof classification which makes them ideal for kids and/or moister rooms of the home like the kitchen and bathrooms. Always cover furniture with felt when dealing with furniture on laminate or vinyl flooring

Laminate Flooring Installation

The low cost is one of the most attractive qualities of laminate flooring.  Laminate floors are designed to be installed as a floating application, the planks interlock, thus making it easier to work with, and these types of floors can be installed over most smooth, non-textile existing subfloors; plywood, cement, or even on top of tile or vinyl as long as the floors are completely level. Because no special glue or fasteners are needed homeowners achieve considerable savings of both time and money.

Before the floors are installed, a foam moisture barrier underlayment is put down to protect your laminate or your vinyl from potential moisture that could come up from the subfloor.  Matching transitions are installed between rooms to allow for a smooth flow from one room into the next where other different materials currently exist. In specific situations when installing on a 2nd floor or above another room, especially in condominiums or apartments, an additional underlayment may be needed to reduce sound transmissions. Most commonly used is ¼” cork or ½” cork. The buildings commonly have a STC and/or IIC rating number which will need to be adhered too. Ariel Builders is available to answer any questions you might have regarding these situations and is fully equipped to assist you in getting approval from your HOA or building management. You should know that each city and building requirements may vary.

Vinyl Flooring Installation

Vinyl flooring material and installation fall in just above most laminates when it comes to pricing. Vinyl floors are also installed as a floating application most of the time due to their click joint manufacturing; the planks interlock just like laminate floors. These types of floors can be installed over most smooth, non-textile existing subfloors; plywood, cement, or even on top of tile if the floors are completely level. Also, as mentioned above, vinyl floors do not require glue adhesives thus saving money on installation costs.

Laminate Flooring Materials

Laminate flooring is a hybrid of materials fused together through lamination during manufacturing. Laminate floors range from very thin 7 mm up to 12.3 mm (we at Ariel Builders always recommend the 12.3 mm products). Today laminate materials are put through strict testing standards to ensure it has passed special environmental testing making it ideal for persons with allergen sensitivities. Here in California we also have all our materials pass CARB (California Air Resources Board) testing as well.

The following is a generalized description of the most common layers included in laminate floor planks:

  • The top layer is a transparent, scratch resistant protective wear layer (which comes in a variety of finishes –satin, semi-gloss or glossy) and is ideal for dogs, cats, office chairs and some commercial grade laminates are made for high traffic.
  • The second layer contains the visual aspects. The detailed and decorative simulation of realistic qualities found in hardwood. In fact, today colors and styles vary from different wood grains, distressed wood effects, hand-scraped effects, v-groove edging, beveled edging, and even marble or stone designs may be present.
  • The next layer down is made from a high-density fiberboard core (or HDF) material which offers an impact resistance, good stability and long-lasting durability.
  • Usually the bottom layer is comprised of a melamine resin which also offers additional structural stability and moisture resistance.
  • Lastly, on occasion customers may find some laminate materials that already have an underlayment (which may or may not be built into the laminate floor product).

Any laminate flooring installation must include an underlayment on the subfloor which while providing the necessary moisture barrier, is also 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.

Vinyl Flooring Materials

At Ariel Builders, we like to install a special version of vinyl flooring called WPC or Wood Plastic Core flooring. WPC flooring is phthalate free, thus environmentally friendly; it is actually a sort of hybrid flooring that combines the best qualities of both laminate and vinyl flooring into one plank. Vinyl plank has one really strong advantage over laminate flooring: its almost completely waterproof (let’s just say extremely water resistant). This makes this flooring great for kitchens and bathrooms or even play rooms for children. Water and food spills won’t harm this floor if left to sit for an extended period unless there’s a chemical in the fluid.  Of course, if a pet urinates on a floor or if a chemical is used on the floor for cleaning – it often can eat away at any finished floor.

Vinyl plank or has a special underlayment which makes walking on it softer than some floors, however different underlayment’s can be used like cork and foam as well for added quietness. This has been found to be easier to stand on for extended periods of time as well.

While even some Vinyl floors are 100% waterproof, they can be damaged of course during a flood but also by moving heavy furniture, dropping glass and leaving behind particles or even by a heavy gouging object. Repairs can only be made by removing the damaged planks and replacing with identical brand and color material planks. Vinyl will add some upgrade value to your home and adds tremendous value to someone with pets and or kids especially because of spills and potential scratches.

The ENVIRONMENT and Green Solutions:

Ariel Builders is committed to our customer’s health and safety. One of the biggest concerns people are talking about today is the manufacturing processes of flooring products.  All of our products comply with California’s strict emissions standards (CARB) complaint. We continuously audit our factory operations to ensure they meet regulatory requirements. The finished products are tested by (two) third party laboratories (both approved by the State of California).

Laminate floors do not retain allergens or dust mites, making them hypoallergenic. Because no waxes, polishes, detergents or abrasive cleaners are ever needed, laminate floors are an EARTH FRIENDLY product as well.

Laminate & Vinyl Flooring Overall Benefits

This flooring may be the best all-encompassing package for your decorating dollar and perfect for busy families who want low maintenance flooring.

Check out this impressive list of benefits:

Laminate flooring is extremely durable:    

Laminate flooring is protected by a tough external layer and resin coating that is stronger, more scratch-resistant, impact-resistant and longer lasting than most hardwoods, or carpet. It’s virtually resistant to dogs, cats, kids and even high heels

Laminate flooring is environmentally friendly

Laminate flooring is made from wood and wood by-products, and does not involve the harvesting of rare or endangered trees thus it has many sustainable benefits and is considered eco-friendly.

Laminate flooring is almost completely stain, fade, and moisture resistant (within reason):
Most laminate flooring manufacturers offer extensive warranty protection against stains, fading, and moisture damage (average 25 years to 50 years for warranty on 12mm products) (8mm products usually average around 10 years).

Laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain:
Laminate’s superior stain and tough surface layer makes spills and other messes easy to handle. This special surface doesn’t require waxes or varnishes to keep it looking great. ** It is important to understand laminates are not designed for HIGH moisture areas like enclosed bathrooms or outside patio areas and chemicals will eat away at the surface.

Laminate flooring is easy to install:
The introduction of glue-less / floating laminate floors has revolutionized the ease of installation in the industry. Although floating floors do click together easily, there is quite a degree of professional installation still required for this product: laminate floors will need precision cutting; specific spacing, verification of a level sub-floor, underlayment installation and required securement around walls must be adhered to, to ensure the floors remain stable, level, and tight. The design of the planks in also important to ensure the layout works looks great for eye-appeal too. Moreover, laminate floors are easier to un-install, even repair planks when necessary and replace quickly and easily if and when it’s time for a style update.

Laminate flooring is economical:
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.

Laminate flooring offers a variety of styles:
While many laminate floors simulate the authentic look of hardwood or stone, the possibilities for new styles and colors are limitless. A variety of color tones and patterns enable you to match the floor with the exact mood and style of your room, whether it’s rich and elegant or cool and contemporary. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the availability, realism and quality of today’s laminate floor styles.

Call us for a FREE, In-home consultation today! 

(866) 779-0701