Laminate has established itself as a beautiful, moderately reliable and practical material. It can be used in almost any premises: residential, office and industrial. Laminate is used for interior decoration: ceilings, floors and walls.
The last option is not yet the most common. But the laminate is slowly replacing the materials of the past generation - MDF panels, lining and classic wall panels. In addition, its cost is lower, and installation is much easier.
We will try to find out which laminate on the wall is better than others and why, taking into account the advice of experienced builders and other experts in this field. Consider the advantages, disadvantages, types and features of the material, as well as the main methods and technologies of laying.
Advantages of laminate flooring
If we are talking about high-quality laminate for walls from European and domestic manufacturers, then these will be environmentally friendly products - completely safe for he alth. Also on sale you can find panels made of special hypoallergenic materials. Naturally, they will cost more.
If you follow the technology of finishing the walls with a laminate with your own hands, then the material will last a very long time. According to manufacturers, the figure fluctuates around 10-20 years. In some cases, experts even allow the installation of laminate flooring on walls. Here, the service life can already be safely increased by at least one and a half times.
It is also worth noting that the wall laminate has a variety of textures. Today's construction market offers a chic range of colors. So designers have room to roam when decorating.
And the last thing is the ease of installation. Laying a laminate on a wall with your own hands is much easier than mounting the same lining or MDF panels. Therefore, you can save on the services of specialists.
Disadvantages of laminate flooring
One of the most serious disadvantages of this material is its susceptibility to moisture. The latter can cause the laminate to swell and cause cracking of the exterior decor. Another weak point of the material is its sensitivity to temperature changes. Which also affects the decorative part.
Therefore, experts do not recommend laying laminate on the walls in the bathroom, on the balcony or in the basement. The local microclimate will quickly destroy the decorative structure of the material, and it will lose its attractiveness. In this case, it is better to use more classic solutions like lining or MDF panels.
On the market you can also find reinforced options with a high strength class, which have increased protection againstthe above problems, but the cost of such material will be much higher. We will talk about such classes below. Here you can safely put the laminate on the wall in any room.
How to choose panels
All materials of such a plan differ in lock systems, that is, in the ways of fastening to each other and to the wall. The choice depends on the type of room and some of your personal preferences. Each system has both advantages and disadvantages.
This type of material does not have special locks, so fixing occurs with a special glue for laminate. As the latter, liquid nails and other silicone sealants are usually used.
Fixation occurs as follows. Glue is applied to the end and back of the panel, after which the material is pressed against the wall. The next panel is processed in the same way and fixed to the first one.
After the wall laminate is laid, excess adhesive from the joints is removed with a rag soaked in vinegar solution. This type is rarely used, especially when laying on the crate due to the small area of contact with the surface.
Here we already have a full-fledged tongue and groove lock. This system allows you to lay the laminate on the wall without processing the joints with glue. For installation, you will need wooden beams or a special metal crate where the panels will be attached, as well as a stapler with staples for attaching the material to the surface.
This option proved to be excellent in facing not only walls, but also floors with ceilings. The technology of laying sheet pile panels is simple, and one person can sheathe the walls with laminate without outside help.
This is an improved version of the previous system. Here, a convenient lock acts as a latch, where the panels simply snap into one another. In this case, laying laminate on the wall becomes even easier.
No staplers needed here. Occasionally you have to lightly hit with a hammer for a more secure fixation. You will need glue to attach to the wall. It is also worth noting that the click type of laminate is characterized by increased strength and resistance to deformation.
Laminate laying methods
There are two ways to mount materials of this kind - crate and glue. The latter method does not require any serious financial costs. In this case, it is necessary to carefully prepare the wall: level it and, if necessary, plaster.
If you sheathe the walls with laminate without prior preparation, the material will be poorly fixed and look extremely unaesthetic. This is especially true for rooms with uneven walls.
The organization of the lathing significantly facilitates the process of laying the laminate. Here you no longer need to prepare the wall and fiddle with plaster or drywall. In addition, the crate allows you to insulate the walls and carry out sound insulation.
On the market you can findspecial systems for quick installation of the crate. This will greatly facilitate the whole process and minimize the time spent laying the laminate flooring. A good half of the experts in this field recommend the crate for beginners. It allows you to redo work if something goes wrong. While tearing off a panel glued to the wall is noticeably more difficult.
The classification of such materials is made by the European directive under the number EN13329. After testing products for moisture resistance, physical activity, abrasion and soundproofing qualities, two groups were distinguished. One laminate for commercial use and one for home use.
The strength class is usually denoted by two numbers. The first indicates the scope of application: 2 - household, 3 - commercial. The second is strength. The domestic market is dominated by products of the 3rd class: 31, 32, 33 and 34. A separate indicator of the wear resistance of the upper protective layer can also be added to the packaging. It is designated as AC and varies from 3 to 6. For example, a product of class 33 (AC5).
The strength class greatly affects the technology of laying laminate and its scope. So you need to pay special attention to this parameter.
Class 31 (AC3)
These products are suitable for home use, but they will not withstand heavy loads. If you strictly follow the instructions for use, then a laminate with this class will last six years. The cost of such panels fluctuates around 200 rubles per square meter. meter.
Class 32 (AC4)
It's alreadypanels for commercial use, but also for home use, they will fit perfectly. A laminate of this class adequately withstands daily stresses and, with proper care, can last up to 15 years (at home). Prices for such panels start at 700 rubles per square meter. meter.
Class 33 (AC5)
This material is able to withstand high and daily loads. Panels of this kind are laid, as a rule, in public places: restaurants, bars, dance floors and offices. With active use, the laminate will last about 10 years.
Some manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty on products in this class, provided they are installed in a residential area and not a commercial one. Outwardly, such a laminate is very similar to classic parquet. The cost of class 33 products fluctuates around 1,500 rubles per square meter. meter.
Class 34 (AC6)
This is the best this segment has to offer. The panels are able to withstand the most serious daily loads. Such a laminate can often be seen in gyms, car services, train stations and airports.
Only two brands are engaged in the production of such panels - Pergo and Alloc, using the most modern technologies. At maximum load in commercial areas, laminate flooring can last more than 10 years. The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty for the installation of such products in residential premises. But few decide on laying panels of such a plan at home, because the prices for class A34 laminate start at 2000rubles per sq. meter.
If you decide to lay the laminate with your own hands, you will have to take care of the accompanying tool. There are no specific devices here, so it is quite possible to get by with a classic set, which should be in the closet of every self-respecting owner.
Required installation tools:
- Medium sized hammer.
- Building level. Best of all meter and more.
- Hacksaw. For large volumes, it is better to find an electric jigsaw.
- A block of wood (not longer than a meter) and a hammer to tamp the panels.
- Stapler (for sheet piling). For large volumes, the best option would be an electric model.
Stages of work
First of all, you need to correctly calculate the required amount of materials. This is done quite simply. The height of the room is multiplied by the width, 10% of the costs are added to the resulting area, because there is no way to do without fitting and cutting the material.
If the adhesive type of laying was chosen, then the wall surface must be well prepared. It should be clean, dry, but most importantly - even. In the case of the crate, everything is much simpler. You can buy ready-made systems or fix partitions manually.
For this we need slats with a width of no more than 40 mm. They need to be attached to the wall with self-tapping screws at a distance of up to half a meter. Separately, it is worth noting that the rails are mountedperpendicular to the direction of the panels, not along.
Next you need to choose a starting point. It is best if it is an even angle (check with a building level). Do not start laying from the middle of the wall. The whole process goes from left to right, especially if the panels have some kind of original pattern. If horizontal laying is necessary, then the installation goes from top to bottom, where the lower part is closed with large skirting boards.
Now you can proceed directly to the installation of panels. In the case of glue, it is best to use special liquid nails for laminate. First one panel is mounted, and then another after it. Laying laminate from different angles so that later "meet in the middle" is impossible, because in the end you will end up with an ugly seam in the center of the wall.
In the case of battens and sheet piling, you will need a stapler. After laying the first panel, it is fastened with staples to the rails, and the next sheet is inserted into the grooves. And so on to the end of the wall.
After installing the laminate, it is necessary to lay skirting boards at the corners and places where the panels are attached to the ceiling and floor. There are a lot of products of such a plan on the market for every taste and color, so there are plenty to choose from. Experts recommend choosing plain skirting boards in the same color as the laminate. It is best to choose sizes above average. Such products are easier to mount, they will accurately cover all sections of the laminate, as well as other flaws that may have occurred during installation.