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FAQ

Frequently asked questions about laminate flooring

FAQs help those who visit our website to answer questions about laminate flooring and Krono Original®.

About vapour barriers

What are vapour barriers or moisture barriers?

Vapour barriers or moisture barriers are films made from synthetic materials (usually polyethylene, also called PE films) that should limit the penetration of moisture from the subsurface into the laminate floor. They need only be installed on mineral subfloors such as stone, concrete, asphalt, because under certain climatic conditions water vapour can precipitate as condensation and cause structural damage. The vapour barrier is laid trough-like or “floating”. The rows are laid next to each other with approx. 20cm overlap and affixed with masking tape (see installation guide).

The stone screed floor in the flat has already been heated for many years, is it still necessary to install a PE film as a vapour barrier? The screed floor surely no longer manifests residual moisture?

For mineral subfloors it is generally necessary to install a vapour barrier.

For S.A.S is the vapour barrier already built in or does an additional vapour barrier need to be installed?

For mineral subfloors it is generally necessary to install a vapour barrier. To find out more see www.laminat-installation.com

If I have underfloor heating, is it unnecessary for a PE film to be installed first?

For mineral subfloors it is generally necessary to install a vapour barrier.

How does the subfloor need to be constructed for laminate installation?

The substrate or subfloor should be constructed so that the laminate floor can be installed according to the installation guide from the manufacturer. For a laminate installation, mineral subfloors (such as stone screed, concrete, or asphalt) wood composite constructions and wooden floorboards are best. See more under www.laminat-installation.com.

What is recommended for uneven subfloor surfaces?

Subfloor surfaces with differences in the surface of more than three millimetres per running metre must be sanded down or spackled (according to DIN 18202). Unevenness in the subfloor is best determined with a straightedge or a long spirit level.

How is subfloor vapour caused and what can I do about it?

For mineral subfloors such as screed, increasing subfloor moisture has to be reckoned with. The moisture content should be measured with a CM-measurement device. So that increasing moisture cannot penetrate the laminate flooring, the use of a vapour barrier is a necessity. For subfloors made of wood, a vapour barrier may not be installed.

Does laminate floor with S.A.S. need to be laid directly on the floor screed or can an additional layer of separation be installed without influencing the effect of the S.A.S.?

A PE film alone is required for a mineral subfloor, no additional footfall sound insulation or underlay is necessary.

In order to even out small bumps in the floor screed can I simply install a sound insulation underlay?

For unevenness not exceeding 3mm, an additional sound insulation underlay will not level out anything.

Is that the same for laminate flooring with S.A.S. Sound Absorb System?

Technically it is possible, however to achieve the full effects of an S.A.S. laminate floor, it should be installed as directly as possible onto the subfloor (a PE film over a mineral subfloor is the only exception!).

Is an additional sound insulation necessary when using an S.A.S. flooring?

No, S.A.S is more than adequate for footfall sound insulation.

All about installation

Which installation direction do you recommend?

We recommend installing your laminate floor lengthwise in the direction of the main source of light and crosswise in the direction of movement. Often the observance of these directions is not possible, i.e. the door and windows might face each other. In such situations you must decide according to your own taste. Laminate can be laid diagonally or, with the appropriate transition profiles, in various directions. For a diagonal installation, you should expect more offcut waste and allow for between five and ten per cent more when you purchase your flooring. If the subfloor consists of wooden floorboards, you should lay your laminate panels transversely to the lengthwise floorboards.

Where can I find a good laminate installation guide?

Follow the laminate installation instructions on this website. Another good resource on the Internet can be found under www.laminat-installation.com

Should wall distance be taken into consideration during installation?

Laminate flooring elements manifest a predominantly wooden composite base. Wood is a natural construction material. One of the important features considered for the typical “floating” installation of laminate flooring elements is the so-called “working” of the wooden composite. The concept “working” implies the swelling and shrinking processes of the wood or the natural wood material; through these processes natural hygroscopic behaviour is caused, meaning the absorption and discharge of moisture.

In addition, the dimensional behaviour of the laminate flooring elements - as with all other building materials - is influenced by the heat/cold acting from above and/or from below.

For this reason it is important that the laminate flooring has room to “work”, in order to avoid subsequent damage. Damage can include: open joints, swelling up or buckling in the joint area with peeling and flaking design, rises in the floor (“mounds”). The distance between the laminate and the wall should be 12 – 15mm and should be fixed during installation by using expansion joints.

When do the expansion joints have to be taken into account in the laying (installation) process?

Expansion joints must be allowed for when the installation area measures more than 8 metres in length or width as well as when a laminate installation continuing from one room into another is desired.

Can I install a laminate floor in the bathroom?

No, a laminate floor is not suitable for damp rooms such as a bathroom or sauna.

Are laminate flooring tiles suitable for installation in the kitchen?

If the laminate installation guide is followed carefully, laminate flooring is also suitable for installation in a kitchen. You should also use Clickguard™ (for information about Clickguard™ see http://www.clickguard.de in English).

Is laminate flooring suitable for conservatories or winter gardens?

If the laminate installation guide is followed precisely, laminate flooring is also suitable for laying in a conservatory or winter garden.

Why is a carpeted floor unsuitable as a subfloor base for laminate flooring?

Carpeted floor is not a suitable substrate or subfloor for a laminate installation and must be removed completely before installing your new laminate floor. Carpet that is left underneath the laminate causes a springing movement when the laminate surface is walked over and causes excessive pressure at the edge areas. This will destroy the tongue and groove connection and lead to gaps between flooring joints. The carpeting should also be removed due to hygienic reasons (build-up of mould, mildew and odours). The subfloor must be level, dry, able to carry a load, clean and firm.

Can a laminate floor be installed on carpeting when sound insulation underlay is laid over the carpeting?

No, the subfloor must always be even, clean, dry and able to carry a load. Before installing your laminate floor you should make sure that the subfloor does not spring or bounce and cannot easily be pushed in when a load is applied. Carpeting is generally not a suitable subfloor for laying laminate and must be removed before you install your Krono Original laminate.

Is it possible to lay laminate flooring in half of the room first, then place the furniture on it and lay the second half?

Yes, that is possible: laminate flooring can be walked on immediately after installation.

About Care and Cleaning

What kind of laminate cleaner should I use?

When choosing a laminate cleaner, we recommend that you choose one that does not contain any waxes or oil. Oil and wax cannot penetrate the bonded laminate surface and thus they tend to lie on top of the laminate surface in a greasy film. This film causes smears during cleaning and leaves footmarks when walking across the laminate floor.

What is the proper way to clean laminate flooring?

Please note the instructions on the laminate flooring Care and Cleaning page on this website. Additional information can be found under www.laminat-installation.com

How can I polish my laminate flooring?

We recommend that you do not polish your laminate floors. Please follow the instructions on laminate floor care and cleaning on this website. Additional information can be found under www.laminat-installation.com

About Underfloor Heating

Are laminate floors suitable for underfloor heating?

Laminate floors are best designed for use over hot water heating systems. Please note the special instructions here regarding installation of flooring above hot water underfloor heating systems. All KronoOriginal ® laminate floors are also suitable for installation with electric floor heating systems. It is very important that the maximum surface temperature of the heating element not go above 27°C. This should be monitored and controlled by appropriate heating controls. Furthermore, one should never completely cover a heated floor surface as this causes rapid temperature rise due to heat accumulation.

What does thermal conductivity indicate?

Thermal conductivity expresses the quantity of heat in joules that are transported per second along the length of one metre at a temperature difference of one degree Celsius. The thermal conductivity is required to verify the quality of thermal insulation in construction elements. Due to their excellent thermal conductivity, laminate flooring is ideal for warm water underfloor heating.

Other Topics and Questions About Laminate

Are laminate floors suitable for wheelchairs?

Generally laminate flooring is suitable for wheelchairs. However we recommend the use of soft, rubber wheels. This is also our recommendation for office chairs.

Is there a Krono Original® factory outlet where I can buy laminate directly?

No, we do not have a factory outlet store. However, next to our laminate factory in Lampertswalde (Germany) there is a specialty laminate shop.

What does DPL mean?

DPL stands for “direct pressed laminate”. DPL flooring is the most common form of laminate flooring. DPL flooring is made up of overlay, decor paper, the substrate base and a backing. During manufacturing these four components are pressed together under heat and direct pressure and after a cooling phase, the panels are added to a profiling line. Here the panels are cut to the required panel size and the profiles are added.

What does HPL mean?

HPL stands for “high pressure laminate”. HPL flooring is made up of overlay, decor paper, several soda-Kraft papers, the substrate base and a backing. These are pressed together under heat and pressure in two stages. Following a cooling phase the panels are added to a profiling line where they are cut to the required panel size and are profiled.

What are utility classes and what do they tell us?

Utility classes serve as a guide to inform the consumer and for the manufacturer to classify their products. Laminates are classified in utility classes according to their abrasive durability and impact resistance. The utility classes help consumers determine which laminate is suitable for which areas (residential or commercial). The classification of laminates is done in Europe according to the European Producers of Laminate Flooring’s EN13329 standards.

How do I know which laminate flooring is the right one?

First you should consider where the laminate flooring is going to be installed. Will you be laying laminate flooring in a bedroom, the living room or on the staircase? Naturally the floor in the stairwell will have to endure more foot traffic than the floor in a bedroom, for example. In order to help choose the correct laminate you can consult the so-called laminate flooring performance classifications EN 13329. For residential areas, a differentiation is made between three classes of laminate: Class 21 is suitable for moderate use (for example, in bedrooms), Class 22 is suitable for normal use (e.g. in a living room), and Class 23 is suitable for heavy use (e.g. in a staircase). These classes are provided on the packaging of each laminate product with pictograms. Consult these pictograms when making your laminate flooring purchase or ask the specialist retailer for advice.

Does laminate emit formaldehyde? Is it damaging to the environment or bad for one’s health?

Due to the frequently held discussions in recent years about pollutant content, especially formaldehyde, in laminate flooring and other wood-based composites such as plywood, manufacturers including Kronoflooring are required to subject their products to third-party inspections, e.g. external testing institutes, to comply with the regulations of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV § 9, Para. 3).

E1 Classification

E1 is the abbreviation for the lowest European emissions class. Emissions classes designate wood-based materials according to the amount of formaldehyde they emit. A differentiation is made between classes E1, E2 and E3; whereby E1 is the class with the lowest amount of hazardous emissions. Decisions for the classification of these materials are taken in the testing room. Here a test specimen is left for a certain amount of time with air at a constant temperature. The emitted formaldehyde content is collected in distilled water and measured. The formaldehyde content in the air is measured in ppm (parts per million). In these classification tests, the formaldehyde content of the laminate panels may not exceed a value of 0.1 ppm in order to be deemed “practically contaminant free”. The emission classes are based on the guideline values recommended by the German Federal Health Agency. Kronoflooring laminates meet the standards for emissions class E1 and are certified by the Dresden Institute for Wood Technology (IHD).

Suitable for allergy sufferers and hygienic

Laminate floors are easy to clean. Dirt and dust can be cleaned away in no time. (Please observe the instructions in the laminate flooring installation guide!)

Even dust mites and deeper dirt doesn’t stand a chance. No wonder that Kronoflooring laminate flooring is so popular, especially among allergy sufferers and sensitive people.

Natural floors – our laminate floorings are made of 90% wood. This means that our flooring does not give off harmful emissions. They are chloride and PVC free and do not contain wood preservatives.

How does one dispose of laminate flooring? Can laminate be recycled or burnt?

Disposing of laminate is no problem at all. Leftover installation materials and other parts or old flooring can be disposed of in your normal household waste collection. Complete floors, which you wish to dispose of, on the other hand, should be taken directly to a local landfill site. Since laminate flooring consists of 80 per cent wood, they can be safely burnt or incinerated just like other wood products. Thanks to new technological processes, laminate flooring is even recyclable. Up to 85 per cent of the mass of laminate flooring can be put back into the manufacturing process in the form of wood chips or fibres.

If you have additional questions about laminate flooring that have not been answered here – just write to us! We look forward to helping you.

If you have additional questions about laminate flooring that have not been answered here – just write to us! We look forward to helping you.

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