When buying new flooring, hardwood or laminate, it’s essential to know exactly what you’re getting. It is important to distinguish between the two because hardwood floors are typically nailed or screwed to the bottom of the boards, while laminate is typically glued or dipped.

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Look for stains and scratches on your floor. These are usually hardwoods and are susceptible to contact damage, so any leaks or bumps could be the smoking gun you’re looking for. Laminates are composed of several layers, with the core layer providing structure. Next layer is that of the image layer which is used to decorate your floorboards with the wood style of your choice. Finally, there is clear plastic protection. For more information on 12mm Laminate Wood Flooring, go to www.irwintiles.ie/wooden-flooring/laminate-flooring/12mm-laminate

The best laminates use 7 different printed colours for maximum realism, meaning the grain patterns are varied and realistic. This makes them more like real timber rather than inferior pieces with the same pattern repeated every 5 frames, which would be an obvious sign of their inauthenticity.

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Also check your product’s AC rating, as this indicates how strong it is. Laminate with an AC1 rating is ideal for areas with light traffic, while AC5 is great for areas with high foot traffic. If the company didn’t mention their AC rating, it’s best to avoid them – they may be cutting corners with quality and not being honest with you. Also, it is worth asking about the type of chemicals used, as these can irritate asthma sufferers and affect indoor air quality.

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