Canadian Contractor

DMX Plastics Ltd.   

Breaking the laminate flooring sound barrier

Canadian Contractor

Keep the pitter-patter of little feet out of the basement!

There’s no arguing that laminate flooring has found a home in the basements of Canada. It’s much less expensive than solid or engineered hardwood floors plus fast and easy to install. Truckloads of laminate have disappeared down the backstairs of Canadian homes and into the Land-Below-Grade. Many choose laminates for its initial visual impact; for the first few moments, it almost looks real.

photo: Home Hardware

photo: Home Hardware

An underlay is good news for your ears
The opening giveaway however is the annoying characteristic of a floating laminate floor when simply laid over a concrete slab: the hollow ‘clickety-clack’ sound it makes when walked over. The advantage of installing an underlay like DMX 1-Step is the noticeable sound insulation improvement. An underlay will muffle that unnatural sound and perhaps not give your ‘little secret’ away quite so soon.

There are some other serious purchasing considerations when it comes to laminate flooring.

There is no wood
Laminate flooring contains no real wood; it’s basically a plastic or foil wood grain picture glued to a piece of compressed wood pulp. Its attempt at realism vanishes the moment you touch or look at it close up. Because of this thin top layer, scratches and dents show quickly and cannot be easily disguised.

Look ma! No wood! Laminates need an underlay to muffle the unnatural sound of footsteps

Look ma! No wood! Laminates need an underlay to muffle the unnatural sound of footsteps

Urea Formaldehyde: the silent killer
While the three little words ‘Made in China’ are ubiquitous in most departments of the local flooring specialist or big box outlet, red flags have popped up this past year regarding the flooring laminates coming out of China.

Lumber Liquidators found out the hard way. This giant U.S. retail chain with nine outlets in Canada sold millions of dollars of mis-labelled Chinese laminate flooring later found to contain urea formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and used in the gluing process,  far in excess of the legal limits of the U.S.A. The company now faces law suits both stateside and in Canada.

Mold: the unwelcome guest
As has been said before, it is important to put an underlay over the concrete pad before you install laminate or any other type of flooring on top in order to successfully deal with the moisture, mold and water issues that are unique yet common to most basements. Water and excessive moisture issues if left unresolved can literally cause laminate flooring to de-laminate.

An underlay like DMX 1-Step not only helps water move towards the floor drains but it permits ventilation of moisture from condensation, thus preventing mold.


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