Laminate flooring does one thing really well above all else: it imitates wood flooring.
Developed decades ago as an inexpensive alternative to real wood. Today’s laminate flooring manufacturers have upped their game with better quality and dozens of types of wood species. You’ll find everything from American icons like oak, hickory and heartwood pine to exotics such as tigerwood and prado.
There are rustic and antics ones too, depends on if you want your home to look really old. Plus, many manufacturers throw in an increasingly varied portfolio of stone, tile and metal look-alikes.
All this variety of choices is made with a photographic process used to create the design layer of laminate flooring. a High-resolution image of actual wood that’s vividly realistic is choosen. The image is printed and glued to a core of fiberboard backed by a bottom layer then treated to prevent moisture damage. It’s all covered by a tough, clear top wear layer that resists scratches and dings.
With this vast array of choices before you, here’s the pros and cons you need to know:
- Laminate flooring comes as planks or tiles. The need to put in nails is not there. Why? Because the ends and edges snaps together. Making it a great DIY project.
- The laminate construction gives the pieces stability and prevents seams from opening up during changes in humidity.
- Because Laminate floors are installed with a easy snap in function and comes with a roll of combi-lay it makes a good candidate for installations over most existing flooring . With the exception of carpet thus eliminating the need for tear-out.
- Snap-together laminate flooring eliminates the need for VOC-releasing glues.
- Laminate floors an not made out of old and exotic trees.
- The wear layer of laminate floor is extremely tough, which makes cleanup and maintenance easy. Occasional sweeping keeps the surface free from abrasive grit.
The Not-So-Good News(cons)
- Even the best laminate flooring is susceptible to moisture damage. You should not install Laminate flooring in laundry rooms and rooms with sump pumps or there is a floor drain. Installations on basement floors and slabs should include a moisture barrier. So to consider to put laminate flooring in the kitchen is okay. Only if you diligent about cleaning up spills and splashes. Putting laminate flooring in the bathroom isn’t recommended unless all edges are glued during installation and the perimeter is sealed with silicone caulk.
- Laminate flooring can’t be refinished the way real wood can, so once it’s worn out, it’ll have to be replaced. Check the warranty of the flooring you’re thinking of buying; products with higher warranties mean better quality and longer life. Avoid cheap laminate flooring.
- It may look real, but it’s still a synthetic that feels unnaturally hard and can be harsh-sounding when walked on.
- The wear layer of laminate floor contains plastic that doesn’t degrade in landfills. Laminate materials are not all made with formaldehyde and other chemicals, but some are. Environmental experts say can release toxic VOCs, although stricter EPA guidelines have helped reduce VOC content in laminate flooring.
A Bit More Good News(pros and cons)
If you have your heart set on real wood but are attracted to the benefits of laminates, then wood laminate flooring may be the answer. It’s a laminated flooring product with real wood veneer instead of image and wear layers. It’ll take an occasional refinishing, depending on the thickness of the veneer.