In the world of flooring laminate, is the new kid on the block. Despite having been around since its creation in Sweden in the 70’s, it wasn’t marketed in Europe until ’83. It didn’t reach the shores of America until 1994. Despite this, laminate flooring has become very popular with homeowners all over the world. It’s not just used in homes either.
You’ll find laminate flooring in offices, health buildings, and public properties. There are a few reasons why laminate flooring is in such high demand right now, beating the likes of carpet and stone. Cheap and cheerful, laminate flooring is also chic and contemporary with a stunning aesthetic that works well with the new focus on minimalist design in the home.
Laminate flooring could be considered the budget choice for those that want hardwood floors but can’t quite afford the cost. It has the aesthetic of hardwood floors but its base is actually plastic, and that’s the key difference. Before you commit to purchasing laminate flooring in your home, let’s explore some of the pros and cons to make sure that you’re making the right choice for you.
Laminate Flooring Pros
Super Simple To Clean
One of the biggest benefits of a laminate floor is how easy it is to clean. Vacuum it, sweep it, use a mop, the choice is entirely up to you, and you won’t have to worry about leaving any marks or dirt behind. With laminate flooring, there’s nowhere for dust, and dirt to get trapped and any mark can usually be removed with nothing more than water and maybe a little soap. That’s it, that’s all you need, and your laminate flooring will look as good as new!
We’ll discuss the cost of laminate flooring a little further down. But laminate flooring certainly provides a fantastic value for money. As already mentioned, it looks like hardwood so if that’s the style you want for your room or your home, you’ll get it. But it doesn’t come with the same price tag. That means that you can save a lot of money while still getting the floor of your dreams.
Easy To Maintain
It’s great to be able to say that laminate flooring is incredibly easy to maintain. You will have absolutely no trouble making sure that it looks brand new for a lot longer than another flooring. In fact, you can actually get some great ten year plus warranties on the flooring too. This shows how much confidence manufacturers have in the durability of the material. Of course, there’s a good reason for that. Laminate flooring has a wear level. What this means is that you don’t need to worry about dents and scratches. The photographic layer underneath is completely protected from issues like this.
As well as that, you’ll have no trouble cleaning off any marks that are made from footsteps or even animal prints.
Great To Stand On
One of the issues with hardwood floors is that it’s actually quite uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time. The problem is that there’s no give to hardwood floors, so it presses against your feet. That’s not the case with laminate. With this type of flooring, you have an underlayment. As such, you get a slightly springy feel underneath your feet. This is perfect if you want to make sure that you can stand on it for long periods of time.
Replicate Any Material
You might think that laminate flooring is only useful if you want to replicate the style and look of wood. This isn’t the case at all. Laminate flooring can provide the aesthetic of any type of wood, stone and plenty of other natural materials. Of course, natural materials are expensive, but laminate flooring isn’t. As such, you can get the dream look for your home for a lot less. There’s also the issue of maintenance. The real natural material is difficult and expensive to maintain, and that’s just not the case with laminate flooring.
Ideal For Moisture
You can use laminate flooring in most areas of your home. Kitchens are the top choice here where you will find topical moisture. Since the boards fit tightly together, there’s no way for moisture to get in between the cracks. As such, you will find that laminate flooring is somewhat water-resistant.
You might have tried laminate flooring before and not been thrilled with the results. But the great thing about this flooring choice is that it is constantly evolving and gets better all the time. For instance, the flooring that you buy these days has deep texturing and far better graphics reproduction. You also get micro bevels and combined this simply means that the flooring will look fantastic, feel great and far more effectively resemble hardwood or engineered wood flooring.
Laminate Flooring Cons
While laminate flooring does provide a number of fantastic benefits, sadly great resale value just isn’t one of them. Indeed, it’s been described as the ‘death knell’ if you want a high resale value. Unfortunately, despite the great look and feel this type of flooring has been associated with a cheap design that directly impacts the value of your home.
Don’t Get Too Close
While the flooring does look fantastic from far away if you examine the floor carefully, you will notice that it is not really hardwood, marble or stone. However, this is to be expected. A more problematic issue is the pattern. If you’re not careful, you can get two boards with the same pattern which will completely obliterate the appearance of the flooring. That’s why you need to be careful and make sure that the installation is completed correctly.
A Little Slippery
Yes, you can stand on laminate flooring for a long time and still feel perfectly comfortable. Unfortunately, though, the flooring is incredibly slippery, particularly if you’re wearing socks or even walking around in your bare feet. The flooring may also prevent static electricity which will give you a nasty jolt. All in all, you might want to think twice about laminate flooring in a home where children will be constantly running around the place. It is possible to get slip-resistant wear layers on laminate flooring. However, as expected this will cost you a little more.
While laminate flooring is more durable, it’s important to be aware that if there are dents or noticeable scratches then the flooring must be replaced rather than revarnished or sanded down. You can do this with hardwood flooring or engineered wood. You can’t with laminate.
Careful When Wet
You do need to be careful with getting laminate flooring wet for a couple of reasons. First, you can’t have pools of water on laminate flooring. It will get damaged fast if this is the case. As such, it’s not really suitable for the bathroom unless you mop up the water when left stepping out of the shower fast.
There’s another issue caused by water as well. If water gets into the cracks of laminate flooring, it can cause the boards to swell. As such, you will need to use a special laminate floor cleaner if you want to prevent any chance of this happening.
A Tricky Puzzle
One of the big benefits people often mention laminate flooring is how easy it is to install. But this isn’t quite true. Laminate flooring should click together when you lay it down, similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, though, problems can develop. You might find that it’s quite difficult to get the sides to slot into place and if you try to force them more issues can develop. You could end up curling the top layer. This is the layer that prevents signs of wear and tear.
Cost of Laminate Flooring
As should already be clear, laminate flooring is a cost-friendly choice for a home or room design. In fact, the entire idea of laminate flooring is that you can get the type of flooring aesthetic you want without the expensive price tag. You’ll typically find that laminate flooring is a lot cheaper than hardwood and stone while even coming in at a price lower than most types of carpet. Still, there are some issues that you need to consider when it comes to cost.
Installation may add to the cost a little particularly if you’re worried about fitting those boards together. If you want to guarantee that the wear layer doesn’t curl, it is best to hire an expert or a pro to lay it down for you. By doing this, you can make sure that there aren’t any cracks where moisture can slip through.
As well as this, while laminate flooring is nowhere near as difficult to maintain as something like hardwood it does still come with some issues. This means that you will need to invest in the right cleaning products and this will again add to the cost, though not to a significant degree.
Reviews of Laminate Flooring
Customer reviews for laminate flooring are very positive. Many customers are delighted with the modern aesthetic that laminate flooring gives their home. But it’s not just about making a home look modern. Laminate flooring also allows customers to add a luxury feel to their property. Whether they want granite, marble or wood, laminate flooring can give them the decor style of their dreams and bring an area of the home to life.
While customers are often slightly worried about the level of quality this flooring provides, they tend to be amazed at how well it endures even after years of use. You don’t need to worry about scratches, dents, and crevices with this flooring choice. However, even if a board does get damaged, it’s easy and cheap to replace.
Many customers tend to opt for laminate flooring to make their homes easier to maintain. If you are tired of spending hours vacuuming or cleaning your home each week, laminate flooring is certainly a smart choice. In minutes you can clean the floor of an entire room, and it will look absolutely fantastic. No marks or blemishes will be left, even after a quick clean up.
Concerned about the feel of the flooring? Those who have experienced the more expensive hardwood alternative are often thrilled with the level of giving that this flooring provides, ensuring that walking around the home or standing remains completely comfortable. As such, it’s a great choice of flooring in the kitchen, particularly if you tend to stand at the sink, washing the dishes or at the countertop preparing meals.