The short answer is that there isn’t any laminate flooring on the market that’s totally scratch proof. It’s just a fact that any flooring material, from natural wood to engineered timber or hybrid flooring, can be damaged. However, there are a few factors that will determine how resistant your laminate is to damage.
Choosing a durable option
An AC rating is an industry standard that rates the scratch resistance of a product. AC1 is the most inferior rating, and it goes up to AC5, being the highest quality. Top rated floors are usually used for commercial purposes, where you have hundreds of customers or people walking on the floors daily. An AC5 rated floor won’t show wear and tear, but if you drop something heavy on it, it’s still going to scratch, dent or even delaminate.
That’s why at Karma Flooring we recommend you also look into the inner core of the product you’re planning on buying. A product that’s made using a medium density fibre (MDF) in the centre won’t be as durable as one with a high-density fibre (HDF) core. The denser the centre, the more durable it is. So with a high AC rating and a high-density core, you’re looking at a floor that’s unlikely to get damaged.
Another thing we take into consideration when we’re recommending a product is the finish of the top layer. Laminate floors have different finishes, and a matte, satin or gloss look is always going to scratch more easily than an embossed(textured) finish.
It really comes down to what sort of flooring will match your lifestyle and how much activity is happening in the rooms where you’re putting it. If your house is always full of kids and dogs, your best bet is a 12mm, HDF laminate floor that has an AC3 ratingor above. AC ratings are relative to your lifestyle. You don’t particularly need an AC5 rated laminate flooring at home because it’s not considered a commercial environment. If you are laying laminate floor into a commercial foyer ,then AC5 would be the preferred option. It’s all related to your lifestyle and the amount of traffic the flooring will receive.
You can also adapt some good habits to protect your floor. If your driveway is gravel, you may be bringing in small stones on your shoes that can damage it. Many customers choose to create a shoe station at the entrance to their home to prevent scratching from mud and dirt.
How to fix scratches
The key component of protecting your floors is to use flooring protectors on the bottom of your furniture. We recommend www.slipstick.com.au for all your needs.
Also use rugs/small mats in heavy traffic areas, such as entrance and near the kitchen sink. If you adapt these ideas, it will help immensely in the longevity of your flooring.
So what do you if you move a piece of furniture and it scratches your floor? You can fix scratches on laminate, but it depends on the colour and depth of the damage. Small tubes of floor colour fillers are available online, but be careful to buy a shade that matches your flooring. This solution usually works if it’s a minor scratch.
It’s a really good idea to purchase a few extra floorboards when you initially install it. These can be used to replace boards that are severely damaged over time. The products on sale change all the time, and the one you used may not be available down the line, so it’s a good idea to have a few spares packed away for a rainy day.
Some customers come to us to choose flooring for a particular room, with plans to laminate other places in the home at a later stage. Although it’s a more significant upfront investment, we recommend that they buy all the flooring they need for the future and store it until they’re ready. Trends, finishes and product lines change. You want the floors in your home to look consistent, and we can’t guarantee the same product will still be available when you return to complete the flooring in your home.
Cleaning is key
It’s also really important not to use any harsh chemicals to clean your floor. We get quite a lot of customers asking if there’s a product they can use on the surface to make their laminate really shiny. Well, you can’t. It’s as simple as that. Even though you might have a beautiful looking laminate floor, if you want that really glossy, high-gloss look, then you really need to look at an engineered timber where you can stain it up to the exact effect that you want. We definitely don’t want to put any chemicals on the top layers on laminate flooring and it doesn’t need it. The technology and material used to achieve a high rating of protection are already there.
We recommend www.bona.com.au for all your floor cleaning products and we stock a large range of their products. Please refer to our accessories page for more information.
Let us help you choose the right floor!
At Karma Flooring we ask the right questions. This includes the condition of your current flooring, what your lifestyle is like and the look you want to achieve. We’re genuinely interested in matching the right product with our customers’ budgets and needs. We only sell premium quality flooring, and as a factory direct seller of laminate flooring, we can also pass on the savings to you.
Come check out our range in our Bayswater, Epping, Carrum Downs and Traralgon showrooms