Thinking about buying a laminate floor for one room or maybe your entire home? Here’s some important information to help you decide if laminate flooring is right for you.
Advantages of Laminate
Laminate looks great and is made to emulate the look of wood, stone or tile. It is durable and resists scratches and stains more than hardwood, vinyl or carpet and it is affordable. Laminate is protected by a hard external layer and resin coating, so it is suitable for homes of pets and children.
In addition, a laminate is easier to install than other floor types since the boards interlock and are easy to work with. This type of flooring can be “floated” over many existing floors, and clicked into place, thus this installation time is much shorter than flooring that needs to be glued, stapled or nailed down. It is also economical and less expensive than many flooring types on the market. However, it doesn’t fall short on form and function.
You can tailor your laminate flooring to your precise needs. For example, high traffic retail stores or businesses may choose to spend more on a thicker laminate with a higher AC Rating.
Laminate flooring is also available in a wide variety of finishes, colors, surface treatments, thicknesses, and plank styles. The majority of laminate floors also come with good warranties on wear, stains, and fade in which manufacturers guarantee years of use. It is also easy to clean, is moisture and stain resistant and no special cleaners are needed to maintain it.
Laminate is also environmentally-friendly since it is made from paper, it does not use harvested hardwoods like wood flooring and doesn’t contain significant chemicals which affect indoor air quality like carpet. In addition, since there are no places to trap dust and other particles that can cause allergies for some people, laminate flooring is a healthy choice and will not develop molds forming and sporing.
Disadvantages of Laminate
Laminates can’t be used everywhere such as a laundry room or bathroom where there may be wet objects or accidents with water are likely to occur.
They are built to be moisture resistant but not waterproof. If moisture gets underneath the surface layer or into the locking system, it can warp and swell.
Laminates are not solid wood so they sound and feel slightly differently underfoot. Also since laminates floors float rather than attaching to the sub-floor, a slight gap between the laminate and the subfloor make laminates sound different than wood.