How to choose floor panels?
The choice of floor panels is not easy, but knowing just a few principles, you can face this challenge quite quickly. Above all, however, you should be aware of the huge variety of these types of products. In many cases, aesthetics and function are inextricably linked.
Floor panels can be made of very different materials, but laminated panels are still the most popular ones. It is worth noting, however, that depending on the class and quality of the laminate, their properties vary. Manufacturers prepare a series of panels that differ in their resistance to various factors.
- Floor panels with abrasion resistant top coating
They are finished with a specially hardened laminate coating. It is harder, which provides resistance to mechanical damage, which are the cause of abrasion. Of course, such panels are not indestructible, but when used as intended, they can be laid even in guesthouses and hotels, which is best demonstration of their durability.
- Laminated panels resistant to deformation
These types of panels are usually additionally stiffened. This is visible from the outside in the form of small grooves at the edges. Thanks to this embossing, the laminate is strongly pressed under it, which also prevents moisture penetration, which is responsible for changing the structure and deformation of the panels. Although they do not become waterproof, even wetting the floor when washing, could easily damage ordinary panels, will not have negative consequences here.
- Panels resistant to staining, discoloration and high temperature
Their laminate is additionally protected with various products, and the resistance varies depending on their types and thickness. They can be used in places exposed to dirt with medium power organic solvents, as well as where there is a high risk of contact with water dirt: mud, heavy soil, etc. Resistance to discoloration often allows panels to be placed in direct sunlight.
- AC1 has very poor abrasion resistance,
- AC2 has poor abrasion resistance,
- AC3 has good abrasion resistance,
- AC4 has high abrasion resistance,
- AC5 has very high abrasion resistance.
When choosing panels, not only their visibility is important, but also – or above all – the Abrasion and usability class. The first one is expressed in symbols from AC1 to AC5:
Even if we make very accurate measurements of the room, it may happen that we do not use all the purchased panels. If the room has an irregular shape (characterized by a large number of recesses and bends), it is worth buying about 10% more panels than indicated in the calculations). In this matter, it is worth following the opinion of the seller from whom we buy panels.
Unfortunately, many people forget about lacquer maintenance, limiting themselves to ongoing cleaning of the floor. Meanwhile, dust, sand, water and other chemicals accumulate on the surface of the varnish. These destroy the floor surface. We are not able to remove all impurities, especially dust in the air, on a regular basis. However, it is enough to protect the top varnish with a thin preserving layer. In this way we obtain an even coating resistant to water and other loads. It gives the floor a new glow, protects it against scratches, traces of use, abrasion or dirt that is difficult to remove.