Picking out the right laminate flooring for you home is more than just matching it to your decor! You need to take into consideration the environment of the room where your laminate is going to be installed- is it going into kitchen where is a lot of heavy traffic? Or maybe a bathroom where there will be more humidity? How many people live in the household? Are you installing the laminate flooring over concrete slab? These are thinks you need to ask yourself when looking at laminates.
Say you are putting it in a living/den area, over a playwood subfloor, and the traffic will be medium to heavy. You would need a floor that is 7mm or above, to avoid too much bowing and flexing between the two floors. You want to make sure the AC rating is AC3-32 or above, so it can take the wear and tear of a heavily used area. Is the room large or small? Smaller rooms can be made to look more spacious using lighter-colored floors and they will not show dirt and dust as much as on dark laminate.
The first thing you need to consider is the climate of the room. What is the temperature/humidity like? For example, let's say you would like to re-do a bathroom. First , is it a full bath or half bath? If there is a shower in the room, one that gets used on daily basis, laminate might not be the best choice. That kind of humidity, will cause damage overtime. But if there is no shower, or one that does not get used to much (say in a guest bathroom), then you would need laminate that is better-protected against moisture. Kronotex, the number two manufacturer of laminates according to Consumer Report, has several floors, that are made using a green-core- making them impervious to moisture. Classen has also taken steps towards protecting against water damage, with their patented ISOWAXX locking systems. Floors such as these are also ideal for kitchens and dining rooms, when spilling can be a common problem.
Another thing to think about is traffic! Are you living alone, or in a house full of kids, grandpa and grandma, and 5 or 6 pets :) Well...when looking at a laminate, always be sure to look at the AC abrasion rating. This system is an ideal tool for finding the perfect floor to stand up to the wear and tear of daily life. The AC ratings range from AC2(light residential -bedrooms, closets, etc.) up to AC5(heavy commercial applications). Here at IQtimers Laminate Flooring we guarantee that all of our floors are AC3 and AC4 - so that no matter which one you fall in love with, it can take the stress that your family will dish out.
Finally, what type of floor is this covering? Are you putting this down over existing tile, hardwood, plywood, or over a bare concrete slab? Laminates can be installed over any type of floor with exceptions of carpet, but different laminates are best for different sub-floors. If you have a plywood/hardwood floor, it is best to use laminate that is 7mm or more in thickness. Why? Because wood floors expand and contract with the climate and conditions of the room- and the laminate is no different. Using a laminate that is too thin creates a risk of damaging your lock system, causing them to break and seams to seperate. Concrete floors do not have this issue, so you can use 6mm laminate- but concretenfloors sweat and let moisture through. In this situation you need a vapor barrier underneath your laminate.