How to tell apart good and bad quality laminate flooring

By October 30, 2017Flooring

What makes Quick-Step the most loved laminate floor, worldwide!

Quick-Step Flooring can be purchased from our Decomagna ltd stores in Nairobi, Kenya at exceptional prices.

But why Exactly is Quick-Step Flooring better than other laminate floors?

 

(Written by an experienced laminate installer)

The marketing fluff is fantastic and Quick-Step looks great on paper but let’s look at the real reason for its success in detail from the point of view of someone that’s been fitting it for so long..

It doesn’t matter to me which brand is the best. All I care about is how their products go together and how well they last.

If you’re the kind of person that likes to know exactly what they’re buying, then you should seriously read this article.

Before we look at why Quick-Step Flooring is so good, it’s best we explore the differences between a bad and good laminate floor, to give you a clearer picture of the difference:

 

1)      Low grade HDF core boards – Laminates with low grade core boards can be a nightmare for installers and clients. Trying to un-click a plank for whatever reason and watching the locking part of the laminate board fall to pieces is extremely annoying and once this happens, that part of the board is effectively useless.

Quick-Step floors are made from in-house made HDF (high density fiberboard). A quality HDF core is significantly resistant to water exposure (water spills, mopping, rain water through windows) and to falling objects. Generally HDF cores will be thinner than MDF cores but much more robust and resistant.

 

2)      Poorly machined locking mechanisms – You’ve found a laminate floor with a poorly machined locking mechanism when you have to pick bits of HDF from the laminate that seem to be doing nothing but flapping in the wind. A real nuisance and greatly add to the installation time. If not spotted, a poorly machined locking mechanism can prevent the laminate floor from locking together and often result in damage.

Quick-Step’s patented UNICLIC locking technology has become the standard for high end laminate flooring, a mechanism that has been adopted by most of the best laminate flooring brands across the world.

 

3)      Laminate surface misprints – On too many occasions I’ve pulled laminate boards out of the packaging to find a completely out of place misprint across the length and/or width of a laminate board, depending on where the misprint is. These can often result in a wasted and unusable plank.

 

4)      Surface coat de-bonding – Classically known in the trade as ghosting. A pale white or misty splotch on the face of the laminate surface. Nothing can be done with this and if found, lead to extended time taken to install the floor as you’ll need to be on your guard. If you’re unlucky and one slips through the net, you could end up living with an obvious pale patch in your new laminate or starting the arduous task of lifting the floor back up to replace it.

 

5)       Impossible to work with locking mechanism designs – The designers of the Quick-Step Unilin locking system (UNICLIC) where complete and utter geniuses!

 

6)      Edges that chip super easy – You’ll know these laminate floors because just as you take them out of the packaging, the friction generated between the movement of the board and air will cause such a force as to remove a small section of the laminate surface.

All ranges of Quick-Step floors, domestic or commercial have several layers of aluminium oxide coating on the surface to protect against peeling of scratching.

 

8)      Easily dent –  There is a huge difference between a low grade laminate that is catapulted out of a factory in a millisecond and one that has been made with care and a degree of pride!

The lengthy development process and testing performed on Quick-Step floors guarantees you a top quality floor that will last for a lifetime. 

 

9)      Low abrasion resistance – A floor is supposed to absorb a certain amount of abrasion. Some laminate floors are produced with such a weak surface coating that under normal use can look worn out in just a few months. Quick-Step floors are designed with the patented ScratchGuard® technology making these floors up to 10 times more resistant to scratches than other brands.

 

10)  Poor quality control – Several of the points touched on above fall under this category. However, there’s just something about a lack of quality control that exceeds what we’ve looked at. A lot of the issues mentioned can be down to low grade materials being used or poor machine maintenance. I’m really talking about extremely obvious defects that should never have been packaged up or sent further down the production line. Sometimes I even get the feeling they’ve been hidden deep within the packs just to add weight.

 

an installer selecting the choice floor

Ok, so now you’re expecting me to tell you that Quick-Step doesn’t come with any of the problems that I’ve just pointed out. Well, you’d be 99.9% correct!!

 

I’ve not really told you about why this laminate floor is so good. All I’ve done is pointed out the bad points of other laminate floors.

Let’s start with the core board. The grade of HDF used is exceptional. You can click the laminate boards together and un-click them as many times as you like (within reason of course!) and you won’t see an ounce of damage. Try that with most other laminates on the market and you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The locking mechanism is paraffin waxed. Now this sounds slightly gimmicky but believe me, it’s a true sign of a quality laminate floor. Paraffin wax lubricates the locking system, so any slight movement in the floor won’t see the locking mechanism falling to pieces with abrasion wear. The paraffin also greatly helps with the ease of installing the Quick-Step laminate floor as well as adds some protection against water damage. One day I hope to see all manufacturers use this technique but I’m not sure whether they’d want to put in the effort or cost.

The surface texture and strength of all the Quick-Step laminate floors exceeds pretty much any other laminate floor. When you pull a Quick-Step laminate plank out of its packaging, the quality is evident straight away. No chipping, plenty of plank patterns to mix into your floor giving it a unique feel, a good weight and a blemish free surface.

Quick-Step laminate does not require any glue what so ever! With Quick-Step laminate flooring, I’ll say it again just to be perfectly clear, you will not need any glue! Something that really annoys me with the way companies sell their products is what they don’t tell you. I understand we’re in a marketing world but I also think that unpleasant hidden surprises leave a bitter taste.

All these factors are why Quick-Step Flooring is better than other laminate floors! I have been a huge fan of all things Quick-Step for years and a big part of that reason is I’m often doing ten hour days on my knees, which in itself can be painful. Under such circumstances I want a laminate floor that isn’t going to fight me. I want a laminate floor that isn’t full of problems that I need to do extra work to sort out. I want a laminate floor that I know is going to perform, because the last thing I want is to be called back to clients homes to sort out a sub-standard laminate floor. All I want is Quick-Step Flooring!