Laminate flooring is a beautiful, cost-effective flooring option that has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re considering installing laminate floors in your home, it’s important to learn more about this type of floor in order to make an informed decision. And just like with any product, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Laminate flooring is very durable, more than hardwood, which makes it both pet and family friendly and a great option for high-traffic areas. To add to this advantage, it can also withstand exposure to sunlight for a long period of time and not fade.
Laminate is also super easy to clean. There are no special instructions or materials needed- dust and spills can easily be eliminated with a vacuum, broom or even a slightly damp mop. With this simple maintenance, you’ll get many long years of beautiful laminate flooring.
With technological advances, it’s now difficult to tell the difference between laminate and hardwood. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants the look- and even feel- of hardwood and other natural materials (even stone) but without the hard and tedious work.
Laminate wood flooring can look and feel like the real material, but without the high price. This makes it perfect for the budget-conscious homeowner. We could all go for an option that’ll save us some money, right?
Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it’s pretty much the easiest flooring to install for the typical DIYer. A lot of that is due to the fact that laminate forms a floating floor, meaning it doesn’t have to be nailed, stapled or glued to a subfloor. The other reason laminate is so easy to install has to do with how the planks attach together.
While laminate can be great for a DIY project, it’s also of course worth being safe and spending a few extra bucks to get it installed correctly by a professional.
At its core, laminate flooring is made from a composite material called high density fiberboard (HDF), which can be more susceptible to water damage than natural wood. Once HDF is exposed directly to water, it breaks down and expands. When that happens, a standard laminate floor would be compromised and will have to be replaced.
Traditionally, that fact has limited the areas where laminate can be installed, ruling out places like bathrooms where regular exposure to water is commonplace.
In response to this issue, manufacturers have developed water-resistant and fully waterproof laminate options. Water-resistant laminate is a great option for spaces where moisture is present and spills might occur, like in the kitchen. Waterproof laminate designs, on the other hand, hold up well in heavy moisture areas like the bathroom..
Hardwood can be refinished many times to keep it looking fresh and new. Laminate flooring is the opposite. Unfortunately, since it has the fiberboard core and thin wood-look (or stone-look) layer on top, you don’t have the option of refinishing it. Because once that thin layer gets worn out, the whole floor will have to be replaced.