Laminate Flooring for a restaurant

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2/29/2012 at 1:50:05 PM

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Hi. We manage a pub/restaurant with relatively high traffic.

Currently there is old carpet which needs to be changed. We are really interested in laminate flooring. Our only concern is how slippery the flooring is? Is there a rough laminate flooring out there which looks good and is non slip?

Generally how much does it cost per square foot?


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Date/Time3/1/2012 at 10:20:27 AM

Hi Shaun,

While laminate flooring is often attractive due to its price and stability, the good stuff is comparable in price to hardwood.

Laminate flooring is actually most commonly a photograph of wood laminated to a layer of HDF or High Density Fibreboard which makes it quite hard and durable, however if the sub-floor is not very flat beneath the installation, you will begin to have joints separate leaving unsightly gaps, but more importantly leaving a path for water or other liquids getting to the HDF and that is the start of the end of a laminate floor.

Another thing to consider with laminate in a restaurant setting that experiences high traffic is the top image layer can chip, particularly at the sharp edges at the joints. This reveals the often green HDF substrate and unlike hardwood flooring or Engineered hardwood flooring, it involves removing trim and all of the laminate from the nearest edge back to the damaged spot to replace the board. Also because the laminate floor is floating and has machined matching edges on all sides, you must replace the damaged board with on that is the exact size or you are left with a gap and edge that is not attached to the sub-floor and will quickly deteriorate.

Sorry about the bad news. I have seen it done but could never recommend it for a commercial high traffic application.

I would recommend Engineered hardwood flooring which is real hardwood above the tongue and plywood below. It is usually a little more expensive than regular hardwood but is far more stable (no expansion and contraction) which means that you do not get the unsightly gaps (and again the opportunity for moisture to get below the finish). It can also be sanded and refinished as much as solid hardwood (if you ever which to change up the look or refresh the look). It is also attached like solid hardwood to the sub-floor and you can easily replace a single board should it become damaged.

Hope this helps, best of luck.

Jason Irving

The Cedarbrook Group

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Date/Time3/12/2012 at 2:26:00 PM

Hey Shilen,

I wouldn't reccomend a laminate for a high traffic commercial setting, with the possibility of liquids being spilled constatntly as well.

Another viable option is a glue down comercial floor. They are very durable and you can find them in many malls around the gta. A good quality glue down application will run about $5-$7 / sqft material cost plus another $2-$3 / sqft installation cost. I believe it is a wise choice for any high traffic area, and will have a very realistic graining pattern on them that will rival many hardwoods.

Hope this helps!


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