- The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring: Is It Right for You?
- Is Laminate Flooring Right For You? Here’s The Rundown.
Laminate floors were first introduced in the late 1990s and revolutionised the flooring industry with its cost-effective solutions and durable nature. It has always been the go-to choice for those on a budget. But today, laminate is also being chosen for its ability to match the look of any natural material. You can achieve that old world charm of real wood or the modern flair of tile with laminate, at a fraction of the cost of real materials.
If you are considering laminate floors, you might wonder if it is right for you. The good news is that the pros thankfully, outweigh the cons. So, here’s a rundown on laminate floors to give you a deeper insight into this versatile material.
Highly affordable: Compared to real wood and tile, laminate floors are extremely affordable. Besides the cost of purchase, even installation and maintenance costs are lower in comparison to most flooring materials.
Durable: Modern-day laminate floors come packed with robust layers and can perform well under the heaviest of foot traffic. It can weather most everyday challenges, with scratch, burn and stain resistance, UV resistance and water-resistance embedded in. Making it perfect for busy households with children and pets, as well as bustling commercial spaces.
Sustainable solution: For environment-conscious individuals, it is easy to find laminate floors made out of recycled materials and some brands even offer environmental certification.
Design and customization possibilities: Today’s laminate floors offer you such a wide range of colours, designs and finishes that you would be spoilt for choice. Every type of wood or tile look can be mimicked to photorealistic perfection. Since laminate floor’s image layer has printed designs on it, it is even possible to customise your flooring. Beveling, embossing and gloss effects are also possible, making it a creative playground like no other.
Laminate’s versatility also allows you to experiment and play with different looks in every room of your home or office. A kitchen or pantry could sport ceramic tiles, while a living room or meeting room could flaunt a classic oak wood appearance.
Easy installation: Generally, laminate floors are installed as a floating floor, which means it can be laid right on top of the existing sub-floor. It usually consists of interlocking panels, which means no adhesive, nails or staples are necessary. This makes laminate floors one of the easiest to install and can even be taken on as a DIY project – saving you more money on installation costs. The installation requires only a few tools, most of which are normally around the house.
Simple Maintenance: Cleaning and care is a breeze with laminate and it takes very little effort, beyond the regular sweeping and mopping to keep your floors looking great for years.
Susceptible to water damage: While modern-day laminate floors come with built-in moisture resistance, oversaturation of any liquid can make the planks buckle, stain or break down completely if ignored for too long. Water-damaged planks or tiles must be removed and replaced entirely. Since laminate floors have a layered composition with a wear layer, it can never be refinished, like in the case of real wood.
Once damaged, laminate floors can only be replaced. Minor scratches, dents and tears can usually be fixed by using wax pencils or repair putty, but large amounts of damage means replacing the plank or board entirely.
It is important to remember that laminate floors are moisture or water resistant, not moisture or waterproof. A major spill or excessive water exposure could seriously damage your floor. With newer technology underway, some laminates are being developed with better waterproofing abilities. But until then, it’s best to install laminate floors in areas less susceptible to water or extreme changes in temperature.
The lack of authenticity: Despite the high quality and hyperrealism of laminate floors, they can never pass off as the real thing on closer examination. While the look will be the same as any natural material, the feel of laminate floor is very different from wood or tile. For those of you who prefer authenticity, laminate might not be the right choice.
Noisier than natural materials: When compared to wood or tile, laminate makes a hollow sound and can be quite noisy. But this is a problem that can be easily solved with proper underlayment. Thankfully, there are noise-absorbing underlayment options that will help reduce the noise of laminate floors.
To be or not to be?
If you are shopping for laminate floors, research brands according to your specific needs. If you’re looking for an affordable, durable floor with plenty of design options and an easy installation process, laminate flooring may be the right choice for you.
At Flooring Factory Outlet, you can find a huge clearance stock of bargain laminate flooring, all with significant discounts compared to high street stores.