With so many flooring options available, it can be difficult to choose the right thing for your home. If you are looking for an affordable option with a similar appearance to hardwoods, you may be interested in laminate. Many people have heard horror stories about this type of flooring when it gets wet and may be scared away due to misinformation on the subject. While laminate can be sensitive to water (particularly in years past), it is still a very durable option and is less prone to fading/damage than its hardwood counterpart. Better yet, most modern laminates come covered in a waterproof layer to give extra protection for those with busy households making water damage a mute issue.
When installed correctly and cared for properly, laminate can be a hardy, long-wearing option for any room in your home. Read on to learn more about laminate flooring, so you can determine if this beautiful flooring option could be right for your home!
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a synthetic material made up of several layers of wood-based materials. It is designed to look like hardwood, but it is much more affordable and easier to install. The top layer of laminate flooring is comprised of a clear protective coating that helps protect the floor from scratches and fading. This layer also makes the floor waterproof so that it can be used in areas like kitchens or bathrooms without issue. The middle layer of laminate flooring is made up of high-density fiberboard, which gives the floor strength and durability. While the bottom layer is usually made from cork or foam, which helps to cushion the floor and make it more comfortable to walk on.
How Durable is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is resistant to scratches, fading, and staining, making it ideal for busy households with children or pets. The protective coating on the top layer also helps to protect the floor from water damage that earlier versions were prone to. Thus, modern laminate can be used in areas where there may be a lot of moisture without fear of warping. However, if you are considering laminate flooring for your home, it must be installed correctly to prevent water damage. Laminate flooring should be installed on a flat, level surface, with the right underlayment to ensure that it will last for many years without damage. It is also important to use the correct cleaning products when caring for your laminate flooring, as some cleaners can damage the protective coating. With the right care and maintenance, laminate flooring can be a durable and beautiful addition to any home for many years to come.
What Are the Advantages of Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is currently a popular option in the flooring industry. If you are shopping for flooring, you may wonder what the hype is all about. Consider the many compelling reasons to choose laminate flooring for your home below:
Laminate flooring is much more affordable than hardwood, making it a great option for those on a budget. It also comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, so you can find something that fits your home’s décor without breaking the bank.
2.) Quick and Easy Installation
Laminate flooring is also much easier to install than hardwood. It can be installed as a floating floor, meaning that it does not need to be nailed or glued down. This helps keep labor costs down when you have it professionally installed.
As mentioned above, laminate flooring is very durable and can be used in high-traffic areas. It holds up well in households of all kinds, even those with animals and children racing across the floors.
4.) A Greener Option
Laminate flooring can be a great option for those looking for an eco-friendly flooring solution as it is often made from recycled wood materials. However, to be sure that your flooring is truly green, look for an environmental certification before you buy. Ultimately, choosing laminate is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint.
While lower-quality laminates look less than authentic, due to recent technological advancements in printing, higher-end laminates now provide a more realistic appearance than in years past. As such, you can enjoy an authentic-looking product without the astronomical price tag associated with real hardwood.
Laminate flooring offers versatility in style, color, texture, and appearance to create the exact look you are going for.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Choosing Laminate Flooring?
While laminate can be a great flooring option, it won’t be right for everyone. As with most things, it has a few drawbacks, particularly when compared to more expensive flooring options. Consider these below:
1.) Laminate is not as durable as hardwood or tile. As such, if you are looking for flooring that won’t need to be replaced for many decades, you should avoid laminate and choose real wood or stone flooring. Although, take note that these options come with a much larger price tag.
2.) Laminate cannot be refinished like hardwood, so if it becomes damaged it will need to be replaced.
3.) Laminate is not as heat resistant as other flooring materials, so it may not be the best choice for areas that experience extreme temperatures.
4.) Laminate is more sensitive to moisture than other flooring options. This is especially true if the product is not installed properly as it will be prone to warping if it becomes wet.
5.) If you want to increase your home’s equity, laminate will not be as good an investment as real hardwoods or stone flooring options.
6.) If you are looking for authentic-looking flooring, laminate simply can’t replicate the appearance and feel of real hardwood. While laminate has come a long way since it was first produced in the 90s, it still can’t compete with the natural pattern and appearance of hardwood.
7.) Laminate flooring can be noisy when walked upon as it does not absorb sound like other flooring materials. However, this can be mitigated somewhat by adding the right underlayment.
After considering the pros and cons of laminate flooring, it is clear that it can be a great option for those looking for a durable, cost-effective flooring solution. While in years past, moisture was a concern, this problem has been remedied with the addition of a waterproof coating over the top of the flooring. Thus, issues of durability are no longer a reason to pass on the benefits of laminate. With its beautiful appearance and wide range of styles and colors, laminate can be used to create the perfect look in any home. Consider if laminate could be the right choice for your home!
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