The numbers don’t lie.
Recent research reveals that the global laminate flooring market will grow by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% between now and 2023.
In a world that’s gone mad for modern farmhouse style, where hand-scraped hardwoods reign supreme, why does laminate flooring continue to have a stronghold on the industry?
The answer is simple: It’s always been functional and stylish and will continue to be long into the future.
In fact, as remodeling and renovation activities increase around the world, homeowners are opting for practical laminate over more precious materials when it comes to their flooring choice.
As growth in the construction sector collides with rapid urbanization, it stands to reason that this pattern will only continue. If you’re looking for a go-to option for your new or recently renovated home, this is an ideal option.
The best part? You’re no longer limited to the decor that graced your parent’s home. Today’s laminate flooring styles are more on-trend, sophisticated and luxurious than ever before.
Today, we’re sharing five reasons why this is one look that will stand the test of time, no matter how often interior design trends come and go.
Ready to learn more? Let’s step to it.
1. It’s More Durable Than Ever
Laminate flooring is comprised of pressed wood particles that are pressurized to form layers. On top of the layers is a photorealistic image of wood or stone that gives laminate its high-end appearance.
A thin wear layer covers this top image, giving laminate flooring its trademark durability. This is a thin, plastic sheet that shields the lower layers from moisture, scratching and UV rays. It’s the linchpin in the laminate construction process, and what keeps the flooring protected, even against the most rambunctious children and pets.
While most hardwoods are sturdy in their own right, they’re more prone to scratches and moisture damage than their laminate counterparts. They also show signs of wear and tear more readily.
In addition, as they adhere to the subfloor, they’re directly affected when the ground below expands and contracts and could buckle or snap as a result. Laminate flooring is floating, meaning that as the temperature and pressure in your home changes, the material can adjust without the seams opening up.
Though laminate has long been the top choice of cost-conscious homeowners, they may have questioned its resistance to household spills in the past. Today, however? Thanks to innovative waterproofing technology, it’s impenetrable.
The takeaway? Bring your sharp-clawed kittens, your rough-footed bar stools and your foot traffic galore. Laminate flooring can take it all in stride.
2. It’s a Low-Maintenance Dream
No one wants to spend a month of Saturdays scrubbing and mopping just to have their hard work erased in five minutes when the family pet comes bounding in with muddy paws.
One of the top advantages of laminate flooring is that it’s incredibly low-maintenance.
With hardwoods, you have to act with lightning speed to make sure splashes and messes don’t steep in and cause long-term damage. The same goes with carpet, which requires timely action to prevent against stains.
Conversely, you aren’t on as much of a time crunch with laminate flooring.
Running a vacuum, dust mop or damp mop over the planks can keep them looking good as new, no matter how messy they get. They’re also stain-resistant so you can cook, play and eat over them without a second thought.
Especially if you opt for a model that offers lifetime waterproof protection, you never have to worry about one spilled glass of water turning into years of creaks and squeaks. That said, it’s never wise to leave a puddle on any type of flooring for too long.
However, without the fear of water damage or staining, you’re free to live your life on your own terms without keeping upkeep top of mind. For added protection, you can even add an area rug over your floor in places that see a high level of traffic and activity. This can keep your laminate floors looking brand-new.
3. It Offers an Authentic Appearance
Natural stone and hardwood are attractive flooring styles that will remain classics. Yet, they come with a price tag and maintenance schedule that can be difficult for the average homeowner to swallow.
This is where laminate flooring shines.
Thanks to advanced imaging technology that’s more realistic than ever before, the top layer beneath the wear layer look like the real thing. That makes laminate hardwoods and real hardwoods almost indistinguishable. You can also find styles that mimic natural stone or ceramic flooring, making them ideal for even the most modern, minimalist home.
If you go the hardwood route, you aren’t limited to a single shade of wood. Rather, you’ll have your pick from darker tones, such as mahogany as well as lighter ones, such as pine, ash, or oak.
You can even find styles with intricate details, such as replicated hand-scraping, weathering, and distressing if a more rustic look complements the rest of your decor. This means some models are textured to the touch, making them even more believable.
This adds to their authentic appeal and allows you to choose a style that matches your personal style preference.
As such, homeowners with every kind of budget are opting to install laminate planks in lieu of their natural alternatives. Today, manufacturers are taking strides to blur the lines even more. Here are two creative ways they’re doing so.
One of the calling cards of traditional hardwood is its high plank count. Old-fashioned laminate models came in larger slabs, making them look inauthentic. Yet, today’s models come with more unique planks than ever before, making them as convincing as possible.
In addition, modern laminate planks are also more conveniently sized. Hardwood planks often come in lengths of either eight or 10 feet, and can even be longer. This offers an attractive and streamlined look, but it makes the planks difficult to transport and handle.
Laminate is most often sold in four-foot strips, making them easier to move, manage and install. If you’re installing this type of flooring in your bathroom, you may opt for planks shaped like square tiles, instead.
Modern laminate flooring is available in tongue-and-groove installation designs, ensuring a seamless fit. This makes them akin to hardwoods, as those boards also join together in a tongue-and-groove fashion.
Yet, while hardwoods often require professional installation, laminate flooring is simple to install and can even be completed by the homeowners themselves. You don’t even need to use a nail or harmful VOC-releasing glue to put them into place!
Yet, though this can be a weekend project, it’s always wisest to enlist the help of an expert! This professional can help steer you toward the best flooring option for your needs.
Whether you use a professional flooring contractor or decide to go the DIY route, you will install the boards as a floating floor, meaning that they do not attach to the subfloor.
You can install laminate flooring over any type of existing floor (except carpet) as long as there is a moisture barrier in place. This saves you money in the long run, as you don’t have to pay to rip up an older floor before you begin installing your new one.
4. It’s Affordable and Eco-Friendly
Put simply, one of the benefits of laminate flooring is that it costs less than most flooring options on the market. In fact, compared to all designs except vinyl, it’s one the least expensive ones.
Need proof? Industry data shows that you’ll pay between $9 and $12 per square foot of authentic hardwoods. On the other hand, expect to pay between $5 to $8 per square foot for laminate planks.
Not only are the material costs lower, but the installation cost is, too. The same data reveals that it costs 50% less to hire a professional contractor to install a laminate floor than a hardwood one.
Going Green with Laminate
In addition, though it’s become common practice for green home solutions to cost more than their synthetic counterparts, laminate flooring is the exception to this rule. When you have the look of hardwoods without demolishing forests to provide it, you’re doing your part to conserve the environment.
Most manufacturers make laminate flooring from pre-consumer recycled natural materials, including wood fibers and chips. A high-quality make and model will be made of sustainably sourced wood, meaning that the eco-system and the wildlife in the forests remain protected while the harvesting process takes place. Forests aren’t leveled, and when one tree is used, builders plant another one in its place.
Another way that laminate flooring is even more environmentally-friendly? You can recycle the planks in various ways! Most manufacturers will accept worn planks back from you. You can also use them in various places around your house, such as to create an accent wall!
Love the look of hardwoods but don’t love all the strings attached? Laminate flooring is an excellent substitute in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, hallway and more.
5. It’s Appropriate for Any Room
In years past, homeowners were limited in the type of flooring they could put in a given room. Hardwoods, for instance, have long been eschewed in moisture-rich environments such as bathrooms due to their propensity toward water damage.
Yet, interior designers and contractors alike often recommend laminate flooring as a top bathroom flooring option due to its unparalleled durability. Another reason it’s perfect here is its stain-resistance, meaning that if you drop a bottle of nail polish or spill a makeup palette all over it, you’re not stuck looking at the spot for years to come.
Laminate floors also look great in high-traffic areas including your foyer, bedroom, and kitchen. Want a more formal look for your entryway or an eclectic look for your sunroom? Today’s laminate models come in fun patterns, such as herringbone, mixed-width styles, and even diagonal planks for a unique design that’s all you.
Moreover, when you aren’t concerned with abrasion or discoloration, it becomes more apparent that these planks are appropriate in every area of your home! In the event that one plank does become damaged due to severe wear, you can swap it out for another in a snap.
All Day, Anywhere Comfort
Another advantage of laminate flooring that makes it functional throughout your whole house is its under-foot comfort. Have you ever felt strained from standing on hardwoods or concrete all day? This is because these flooring types don’t have any give to them.
Laminate flooring, however, is comfortable to stand on for long periods of time due to its underlayment. This makes them excellent choices for your kitchen, office, playroom or any other room that sees a heavy amount of traffic. That little spring you feel as you walk across the planks? It isn’t in your imagination.
Find the Best Laminate Flooring Styles Today
Are you ready to transform the look of your home? Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new build or dreaming up a renovation on an existing property, you can’t go wrong with laminate flooring.
While this idea can conjure up images of the too-obvious, faux wood flooring that dominated the nineties, take heart. Today’s modern laminate flooring styles look like real wood and stone, offering all the look with half the cost and upkeep.
Are you interested in taking a look at this type of flooring for yourself? We’d love to help.
We’ll put you in touch with a laminate flooring expert in your area who can provide professional the installation, maintenance and cleaning solutions you need. Request an estimate here at Empire today and take the first step toward designing the home of your dreams.
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Our team of professionals offer laminate flooring installation, repairs, and cleaning in Grand Rapids (MI), Columbus (OH), West Palm Beach (FL), Fort Myers (FL), Toledo (OH), and many other cities in the United States.