European or Chinese – what’s the best laminate flooring quality?
In the search of the best laminate flooring, we’ve prepared a brief summary for you.
As with production in general, there are also many aspects of laminate flooring construction where it’s possible to cut corners and produce an inferior quality product.
Thankfully, the majority of European laminate manufacturers are obsessed with not only producing a beautifully realistic looking laminate but offering the best resistance against moisture, scratching and denting. Furthermore, you can be sure that the old continent made laminate flooring fully complies with the strictest European environmental and emissions standards.
By comparison, there are several common issues with Chinese made laminate flooring, including the following:
The cheapest laminate just cannot compete in appearance compared to the best laminate flooring from Europe. Especially laminate from the premium ranges available from manufacturers such as Germany’s Krono Original. Krono Original offer features such as Authentic Embossed laminate flooring, which produces a surface that is barely noticeable from the look of a real hardwood floor.
Toxic chemicals within the Chinese laminate flooring is a particularly worrying issue. On the contrary, you can be confident that European-made laminate complies with the strictest emissions standards, meeting the strict E1 standards. Recent lab tests carried out in Germany of a cross-section of European-made products available in the market, show very low emissions indeed.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Chinese made laminate. A recent scandal in the USA which was publicised on CNN and many other media outlets shone a light on high levels of dangerous to your health chemicals like VOCs and formaldehyde in Chinese laminate. If safety is a priority, then you should buy European manufactured laminate flooring only.
At first glance, the click-lock system should not be a source of worry. However, these rather simple looking systems that are designed to hold each plank firmly in place without glue are highly engineered mechanical systems that are crucial to the long-term success & durability of your floor.
You should always buy laminate that comes with a licensed locking system designed by Valinge or Uniclic, the global experts in flooring. While the manufacturer may re-name the system under their brand; it should still be technology licensed to one of those two companies. You are guaranteed that European made laminate flooring will feature a quality licensed locking system.
Chinese made laminate may or may not have locking systems designed by Valinge or Uniclic. If not, then the risks involved include the floor squeaking when walked over, or the locking system may break under high stress. It’s also possible that the planks will not fit together as perfectly as they should, leaving unsightly gaps between planks in some areas.
Lack of innovative technology.
On the contrary to Chinese laminate flooring, you can be sure that the European manufacturers lead the way in offering the new and innovative technology making it the best laminate flooring available today. For example, you can expect innovations such as the following:
- Heat-proof surface.
- Integrated aqua-stop system, to minimise damage from liquids.
- Perfect fitting; thanks to high-tech production.
- Anti-scratch technology.
- Anti-bacterial coating – this highly sought-after feature is available from Krono Original.
- Latest designs, which reflect current European interior trends.
The above is just a snapshot of the advantages of buying European made laminate. As you can see, there are many good reasons for choosing European made laminate flooring.