Laminate flooring is made of a few layers of material fused together. The materials are highly dense fiberboard layers and topped with a moisture-resistant layer. The top layer is digitally rendered to mimic or imitate the look of real wood. The laminate floor is finished with a protective layer printed with a high-resolution image to resemble preferred imitate.
Laminate just like flooring has its own advantages compared to other wood floorings. Its easy-to-install, beautiful and attractive, durable as well as a good alternative to solid wood flooring. However, its prone to moisture damage has a fake appearance, hard on feet, hollow feel underfoot and it contains some toxic elements like formaldehyde that off-gas.
In this article, we will highlight pros and cons of a laminate floor.
What are The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring was developed decades ago, it came as a pocket-friendly alternative to real wood. However, the manufacturers have invested in better technology to provide better quality with dozens of wood species mimics like oak, hickory, heartwood pine. There are rustic and antiqued versions and even exotic species like tigerwood and Prado.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Cons of Laminate Flooring.
How much does laminate flooring cost? Laminate is inexpensive, costing roughly $4 to $9 a square foot.
- It’s an alittle bit cheaper than hardwood, in fact about 50 % less and cost-effective option for those on a budget.
- It cannot be repaired once damaged, you have to incur the actual damaged piece price.
- Can drag down the value of high-end homes.
- Has the lowest price point of any hardwood flooring because it is not actually hardwood?
- Best suited for apartments, and low to middle-value homes, or homes that are not to be sold soon.
- Cannot be refinished.
How many years does laminate flooring last? Does laminate flooring damage easily? These could be some of the questions that might be going through your mind.
- Laminate flooring is completely synthetic and considered more durable than engineered flooring. According to the measure for laminate flooring durability it varies between 1-5; higher AC = more durable). Laminate floor can serve you for about 15 to 25 years. However, the lifespan may be 10 or even 30 years depending on the quality and if it was well installed, or even if it is used in low or high traffic areas
- Laminate flooring is scratch resistance depending on specific AC hardness rating is a factor.
- If a single plank is damaged the plank can be easily replaced without ruining the other part of the floor.
- laminate is resistant to water
- Very versatile, yet similar to engineered and solid wood,
- Not suitable for wet locations or areas such as bathrooms (vinyl planks and porcelain tiles with wood be suitable instead).
- Laminate floor cannot be sanded.
- Even if it’s resistant it can suffer water damage thus shouldn’t be installed in areas with high water usage like a laundry room, kitchen or bathroom.
- Laminate doesn’t have the same resale value as a real hardwood floor, and unlike hardwood, it needs to be replaced after being worn down.
- Looks like real hardwood from a distance, but will not stand up to closer scrutiny. Actually, it is not a hardwood flooring at all. It is layered plywood, screen printed wood image and a protective clear wear layer?
- The most durable due to its thick wear layer.
Comfort and warmth
- Imitate or Mimics all traditional wood patterns and colors. This allows one to enjoy the comfort of his preferred design and patterns which could have been expensive or hard to afford or get. It allows one to get customized planks for flooring.
- Feels and sounds are quite artificial compared to engineered and solid hardwood. You would also feel quite hard underfoot.
Is laminate floor good or eco-friendly? This is one of the question asked by environmental enthusiast and in areas that want to meet green certification.
- Laminate flooring waste is far less recyclable than real wood. However, it is eco-friendly in the sense that almost no wood is utilized in its manufacturing process.
- Laminate flooring can also release formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals, which are a byproduct of the manufacturing process.
What are the best methods to clean the laminate floor? You only have to sweep and mop the laminate occasionally to keep it clean.
- Stubborn stains can be removed using acetone.
- Laminate, unlike engineered and solid hardwood, does not fade.
- Relatively simple to keep clean.
- Spills need to be cleaned up immediately
- Avoid using excessive water or soap based detergents.
- May need the use of protective floor pads for sharp and heavy furniture.
Installation and climatic suitability
- It is advised to install laminate flooring in climate-controlled areas.
- Easy installation as laminate flooring can be installed floating. Previous experience is not necessarily a must.
- The installation of laminate is relatively easy and inexpensive.
- Can be installed over any hard flat surface in general (e.g, wood, tile, linoleum, yet not over the et), Use an underlayment if installed right over concrete.
- Prone to swelling if water gets underneath the panels.
- Not suitable to use in high traffic areas or in highly moist areas like laundry room and bathroom.
- Poor installation may damage the panels.
- The laminate printed pattern would usually repeat about every 10 planks. Unlike hardwood where each plank is unique. This help to ensure you floor looks neat and uniform.
- The laminate snaps together and no nails or glue are needed.
- The sheets or planks are designed to fit together and they can often be placed over existing flooring.
- Its thickness is between 6mm – 15mm and dimension Length that ranges between47″-49″ with Width of between 5″-7″.