How to choose a quality laminate flooring for the apartment

Currently, when choosing a floor covering, more and more people prefer laminate. This material can rightly be called an ideal example of the “price-quality ratio”. Its appearance is virtually indistinguishable from natural parquet, thanks to its high durability it is well suited for laying in places with high traffic, and the huge number of colors and patterns allows you to pick the model that will fit into the interior most ideal way.


  1. The best manufacturers of laminate – what company to choose
  2. Structure and application of laminate
  3. Types of laminate
  4. Laminate Flooring Selection Parameters
  5. Which laminate to choose?
  6. How much does laminate cost?
quality laminate flooring in the apartment

The best producers of laminate – which company to choose

The laminate market has been “divided” for quite a long time. The lion’s share of production is produced by world-known manufacturers who do not need advertising, the range of their catalogs can be found as budget models, and premium laminate, their properties are quite able to “compete” with the real parquet. Choosing laminate, preference should be given to the products of the following manufacturers:

  1. Kronostar
  2. Balterio
  3. Egler
  4. Alloc

Structure and application of laminate flooring

The structure of laminate

Laminate is a flat boards of rectangular shape, which vary in thickness from 6 to 12 millimeters. At the “heart” of it is the so-called load-bearing base – an HDF board made of pressed wood fiber. On top of the board is covered with a decorative layer, covered with a special transparent composition. Being laid in one piece flooring, for the uninitiated person laminate is almost no different from parquet.

The structure of laminate is a kind of “sandwich”, which includes the following layers:

  1. A waterproof layer is the bottom part of the board that prevents the laminate from getting wet from underneath;
  2. HDF-layer, which is the basis of the laminate, it is from him depend on the performance characteristics of a particular board;
  3. A decorative layer, which is usually a thin paper layer with a specific structure pattern that looks like wood, stone or another type of surface;
  4. Protective layer – a special transparent coating that protects from moisture, mechanical influences, as well as temperature extremes and direct sunlight.

In view of its excellent functional properties the laminate flooring is widely used in both residential and industrial applications: in schools, hotels and all kinds of catering buildings. With proper care and adherence to the laying procedure, laminate is able to retain its properties for many years.

Types of laminate

Despite the overall structure and similar manufacturing principle, laminate is usually divided into two separate classes, each of which differs in its characteristics, as well as having both positive aspects and disadvantages.

Laminate flooring intended for residential premises

laminate for apartments

An excellent choice for laying in an apartment or a private house. It is mechanically robust and resistant to abrasion, moisture and sunlight. The laying of such laminate flooring is carried out by means of special locks and does not require any special skills and knowledge.


  • Unpretentious in care;
  • Low cost;
  • Perfectly combines with underfloor heating;
  • A huge number of texture, color and shade options;
  • Excellent strength and mechanical characteristics;
  • Easy installation;


  • Lack of resistance to moisture;
  • In places with intensive flow of people quickly enough to wear out;

Laminate designed for office and commercial premises

Office laminate

The structure of this type of laminate is almost identical to the above-described type, but the main difference is not an exemplary higher resistance to abrasion. Many manufacturers give a five year guarantee against abrasion even for those models that are installed in hotel lobbies and conference rooms – places with a daily attendance of several hundreds of people!


  • Maximum resistance to abrasion and mechanical damage;
  • Long warranty if you follow the laying procedure;
  • Almost perfect joints;
  • It does not catch fire;


  • High cost;
  • Is afraid of water;

Laminate laminate flooring selection options

Laminate flooring selection options

The key features that should be paid attention to when choosing a particular model of laminate, quite a lot. Before you choose a suitable model, you need to determine the type of room, as well as the conditions under which it will be used. And only after that you can choose, paying attention to the following parameters.

Laminate grade

Laminate Flooring Class

The term is a composite parameter, which includes many different features. Worldwide methodology for determining laminate class includes more than ten independent tests, the results of which show the degree of resistance to external influences. One of the most important tests is the abrasion resistance test, called the Taber Test, the results of which are shown as the abbreviation AC, followed by a number. The higher it is, the more resistant the laminate flooring is to mechanical stress.

Based on test results, a particular laminate model is assigned to one of the following defined classes. It is denoted by a two-digit number, the first of which indicates the applicability (2 – for home or 3 – for office use), the second – the resistance to mechanical stress (it can be 1, 2 or 3).

  1. Laminate flooring class 21-22 is an excellent option for laying in rooms with few visitors;
  2. A coating of class 31 may be recommended for commercial premises with relatively low foot traffic. Under these conditions of use it is quite calmly will last up to 5-7 years without changing its properties and without losing its appearance;
  3. Laminate of class 32 is designed for commercial premises with an average load density. In normal domestic use, it can retain its properties for up to 20 years;
  4. The laminate of class 33 is much stronger. It is designed for use in rooms with heavy traffic. In these conditions it can withstand up to 5-7 years without changing its own physical properties;
  5. The 34th grade is considered to be the toughest. This type of coating can withstand, if not extreme, then close to it. In normal use, it can retain its qualities for up to 15 years. When laid in homes or apartments, such a coating will be truly eternal.

Laminate thickness

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that only the outer protective layer determines the performance and resistance of the laminate, the core HDF board made of hardboard plays the most important role. Its thickness can vary from 6 to 12 millimeters. The thicker a particular board – the better the sound and vibration insulation and the higher the resistance of the material to mechanical influences.

Chamfered edges

Edges of the laminate can be either flat or with a V-shaped chamfer. In the first application, the seams between the planks are invisible and the floor can be installed as a whole, which is not everyone’s idea of a good surface finish. Conversely, the presence of a small V-shaped chamfer, similar to that of natural parquet, looks natural and does not cause a negative.

Moisture resistance

Parameter, which reflects how well a particular laminate will resist the effects of moisture. During normal use this parameter recedes into the background, but where there is a high probability of prolonged exposure to high humidity on the surface, preference should be given to the most moisture-resistant models.

Type of connection

Type of laminate flooring joint

Connect with each other boards can be one of the following ways:

  1. C
  2. ck. Provides a special spike on one tile and a groove for it on the second. The board is pulled away at an angle of 45 degrees and inserted into the groove, and then clicks into place;
  3. Lock. Connects two comparable tiles on the long side;
  4. The glue method. Laminate boards do not have a lock and are joined with glue. The least convenient and functional way.


Currently on sale you can find a variety of laminate, imitating not only wood but also stone, marble and other no less aesthetic and beautiful types of materials. It depends on your preferences, style, and the function of the room.

Ecological class

Resins that provide moisture resistance and resistance of laminate surface to mechanical stresses, contain formaldehyde – a substance that can have an adverse effect on the respiratory organs. It is for this reason that many manufacturers apply such a concept as environmental class. It is denoted by the letter E and the number representing a particular class. For example, E0 is absolutely harmless laminate, it can be safely laid in children’s rooms or bedrooms. E2 is less environmentally friendly, but because experienced craftsmen are advised to lay it on balconies, loggias and other places, visiting which is not regular.

Which laminate to choose?

Which laminate to choose
  1. For the living room – children’s room, bedroom – it is best to use laminate 23 or 31 class, having a V-shaped bevel and belonging to the class of environmental friendliness E0;
  2. If the installation will be carried out in the hallway, you should prefer the model 32 class, which has increased resistance to moisture and relating to the environmental class E1;
  3. Office areas require the laying of the most resistant to mechanical stress laminate. Models of class 33, with a thickness of about 10-12 millimeters, with a V-shaped chamfer and relating to the environmental class E1 – the best option;

How much does a laminate flooring cost??

  1. Inexpensive models of class 22 or 31, intended for laying in the living space, cost from 500 to 700 rubles per square meter;
  2. Laminate flooring installed in the hallway or kitchen, places exposed to high mechanical stress, is worth 800-1200 rubles per m2;
  3. Office laminate 33 class will be a little more expensive, about 1000-1500 rubles per “square”;

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose the right linoleum.

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