Laminate is one of the popular, durable, and dependable flooring. It’s an alternative to hardwood floors with even a stone-like option and a variety of designs to choose from. Laminate flooring is made from layers of material fused together. The flooring is a hybrid of particleboard or dense fiberboard base topped by a moisture-resistant and transparent wear layer.
Laminate is easy-to-install, beautiful, and attractive. It’s durable and a good alternative to solid wood flooring. However, its prone to moisture damage, has a fake appeal, hard on the feet, feels hollow underfoot, and contains toxic-formaldehyde ingredient, that off gas.
Laminate is made of waste wood product that is subjected to high pressure, heat, and binding chemicals to turn them into usable floor coverings.
Laminate flooring is made of four distinct layers fused together under intense high pressure, heat, and binding chemicals. Each of these layers has a very distinct purpose as discussed below. The laminate flooring layers include:
Wear Layer: This forms the top layers that you get to interact with on day-to-day activities. The layers are transparent and with shine luster. The layer is made from aluminum oxide that protects the floor covering from discoloration, staining and makes it water-resistant.
Design Layer: Also refered as decorative layer or print film layer. This the layer below the wear layer that contains the photographic mimic of either wood or stone. It`s made of high-resolution photograph and generally provide the desired unique look of the laminate floors.
Core Layer: This is the core of the laminate floor that makes it hard and prevents indention of the flooring board. The core is made from a high-density board layer above the bottom layer. The core layer has melamine plastic resins added to help improve the moisture resistance.
Back Layer: This is the bottom layer of the laminate board that lays above the subfloor of flooring anatomy. The layer is made of a melamine plastic layer that gives plank dimensional stability and protects it from moisture and humidity damage.
Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring has been around for some decades, as a pocket-friendly alternative to real wood. Currently, the manufacturers have invested in better technology to provide better quality with dozens of wood species mimics like oak, hickory, heartwood pine. Other rustic and antiqued versions or even exotic species like tigerwood and Prado are also available too.
Advantages of Laminate Flooring
Here are some pros for having laminate floor in your house.
The laminate flooring is cheap and affordable compared to other floorings such as hardwood flooring and luxury plank floors.
Variety in different colors and design
Laminate manufacturers have mastered the business of mimic wood and stone giving it various colors and designs to work with. The wood mimics almost all traditional wood patterns and colors. This allows one to enjoy the aesthetic of different designs and patterns which could have been expensive or hard to afford or get. It allows one to get customized planks for flooring.
Laminate flooring is some-how scartch resistant. The top layer has
The wear top layer is made stain resistant material making the laminate flooring cover good stain resistant.
Water & Moisture Resistance
Laminate flooring is water and moisture-resistant. The older version can allow you to address the accidental spill. Currently, there is even waterproof laminate that is being developed by a different manufacturers.
Read More on Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
Easy to Maintain
Laminate doesn’t require expensive cleaning and maintenance undertaking. Simple vacuuming and sweeping will make the laminate floor shine. You can remove the stubborn stains on your flooring with acetone.
Laminate, unlike engineered wood flooring and solid hardwood, doesn’t fade or discolor. It’s relatively simple to keep clean and maintain.
Easy to Install
Laminate is one of the best DIY-friendly installation-floating floorings. It`s wise to acclimate the plank before installing laminate flooring. The installation of laminate is relatively easy, inexpensive, and can be installed over any hard flat surface like wood, tile, and linoleum. However, it’s recommended you get a laminate underlayment if installed right over concrete.
Laminate flooring is completely synthetic and more durable than engineered flooring. According to the measure for laminate flooring durability, it varies between 1-5; higher (AC = more durable). A laminate floor can last from 15 to 25 years. The lifespan, however, may vary between 10 to 30 years depending on the quality, installation, and foot traffic.
Laminate flooring is scratch resistance depending on specific AC hardness rating is a factor. Where damage occurs on a single plank it can be easily replaced without ruining the other part of the floor. The laminate floor wear top layer is made of aluminum oxide and melamine resin which creates exceptional flooring durability.
For environmental enthusiasts, the laminate flooring meets green certification. Laminate flooring is eco-friendly in the sense that almost no wood is utilized in its manufacturing process. However, the flooring waste is far or less recyclable than real wood. The wear layer may contain plastic that doesn’t degrade even in landfills.
The laminate mimic layer is machine-printed which allows uniformity, unlike hardwood where each plank is unique. This helps to ensure your 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 uniform for almost all the planks.
Pet Friendly flooring
Laminate is durabilityt\such that it allows absorption of heavy traffic. This makes it an ideal flooring choice for homes with active families having kids and pets running around.
Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring
Here are some cons of laminate flooring.
Cannot be refinished and sanded
Laminate planks cannot be repaired once damaged, you have to replace the plank with a new one. Laminate flooring Cannot be refinished or sanded in case they are scratched or are old looking to restore its shine.
Prone to water damage
Laminate flooring is prone to water damage. Laminate will buckle separate and buckle in case it comes in contact with flooding water. Laminate plank board swells and split if water gets underneath the panels.
Not suitable for all areas
Laminate flooring is not suitable for use in extremely high traffic areas like factories or in highly moist areas like laundry room and bathroom. The laminate flooring shouldn’t be installed in rooms with sump pumps, floor drains, and basement areas, unless with appropriate underlayment installation. However, with proper preparations and cautions, it can be used in the kitchen.
Fake Wood Flooring
The laminate flooring remains a fake wood flooring however how perfet the wood mimic is done. The natural solid hardwood floor feel still lacks on laminate floors.
Slippery when wet
The laminate wear layer does get slippery when wet, although wet mopping isn`t recommended method for cleaning your floor. Accidental spills or flooding may pose a lot of danger to the kids and pets.
Off gas toxic fumes
Laminate flooring does off-gas toxic fumes especially the cheaper flooring types. The high-end laminate floor is better manufactured with reduced toxic products to meet the set standards.
Doesnt impove the resale value
Wood flooring is known to increase the house value, however, laminate flooring doesn’t add any value to your house. Taking flooring restoration in your house with the intent of selling may not an ideal step especially where you aim to maximize resale value.
Hard and noisy underfoot
Laminate flooring feels and sounds quite artificial compared to engineered and solid hardwood. You would also feel quite hard underfoot and echoes when you walk on it.
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