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We often want to know which is best before buying anything. Of course, the "best" one may not always be the right choice for you. It can be a matter of opinion as opposed to something that can be measured or compared. Sometimes the best product, may not be best for you personally.
Start with choosing a reputable specialist wood flooring company. It is important that they understand their products well, and are capable of explaining the pros and cons to you correctly. They need to ask you the right questions to be able to offer up the most suitable product. Often, DIY sheds are not able to provide this service and it can lead to customers buying unsuitable products which can be very costly. Good service can sometimes be the most important factor when choosing wood floors, and you can judge it by reading genuine reviews.
Our buying team will always try to choose the best laminate floor brands from around the world. When we choose a brand, we purchase directly from their factory to enable the very best prices. This requires a significant commitment to stock so we are very thorough with our suppliers. We will consider quality, environmental impact, installation, customer support, price and decor before we consider a laminate flooring brand. Each brand will have its own ranges which also vary in price and quality. Here are our own favorites, which we have personally selected to be part of our range :
Founded in 1961, this family business, manufacturers in the UK and Germany, using state of the art facilities. Egger use up to 80% recycled wood and PEFC approved managed forests for their products. With close attention to every detail, excellent decors, combined with outstanding value, Egger floors have become our most popular choice. Feedback from our trade and DIY customers who chose Egger, has been excellent. Egger offer both budget and premium products in their very large range.
Produced in Spain, in a smaller facility, Faus had always concentrated on a premium product for over 60 years. Faus has excellent sustainability commitments using only FSC approved raw materials. Faus have always concentrated on outstanding decors, and produce some of the most realistic laminate floor tiles in the world. While their products are often more expensive than other brands, their specifications are extremely high. They are the only supplier in the world to produce an AC6 rated laminate floor. This is independently awarded and is the highest resistance to abrasion available in laminated floors. All their products are also water-resistant floors, as standard.
A relative newcomer to the market, founded in 2005. However, they have made a big impact in a very short space of time. Lamett are another brand that manufactures only for the premium market so the prices are a little higher. But we think that they are very much worth it. Innovative decors, combined with excellent specifications and easy installation have made Lamett a contender to be one of the best laminates in the world. All of their laminates are 12mm thick, ensuring a robust installation. One of our favorite highlights of Lamett flooring is Attroguard, which adds extra waterproofing and reduces expansion.
Formerly known as Krono Flooring, this group separated to form multiple brands under the Krono name. You may have also come across Kronotex, Kronoswiss or Kronospan. It's a little confusing as they are now all separate companies, with very similar names. Swiss Krono flooring is made in Switzerland and is considered an excellent mid-range brand. They produce entry-level flooring and high specification premium laminates. We love the competitive prices and large choice to suit all budgets.
To start, it is important to understand the specifications of the laminate. This flooring has an endless number of specs to choose from, but most are more about marketing than practical use. Ignoring personal preferences such as how to choose the right colour of laminate flooring, the most important specifications to consider are :
The AC rating of a laminate floor is independently awarded and it will determine how much traffic (or abrasion) a floor can take before wearing through the lamination. Although this is not exclusively a scratch test, laminate floors with a higher wear rating will be harder to scratch. AC ratings will range from AC1 up to AC6. For most residential users, an AC3-4 floor will be more than sufficient. Here is a brief explanation of each grade.
The thickness of a laminate floor won't affect how long it will last, or how scratch-proof it is. That is solely determined by the wear rating. But it is still important in other ways. A thicker laminate floor should have a thicker click system and that will make it stronger. Fitting laminate flooring is simple enough, but sometimes you might need a little extra force. Having a thick and strong click system will be much less fragile when installing.
A thicker floor such as 12mm laminate flooring, will feel stronger underfoot. Having a robust plank to walk on is considerably more assuring and offers a more luxurious feeling when compared to a thinner board. It will also flex less than thinner 6mm laminate flooring or 7mm laminate boards which can be helpful when there is some slight unevenness in the sub-floor.