The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring has taken the remodeling industry by storm, and this is largely due to new engineering that has dramatically improved its quality and look. Laminate flooring comes in endless varieties, such as hand scraped wood, traditional wood, stone, slate, high gloss, and no gloss. Are you still not sure if you want to go with this new faux floor trend? We’ve narrowed down the most significant pros and cons to make your decision easier.
- Easy to Install. One of the biggest advantages of laminate flooring is that it is so easy to install. You can do it yourself, quite easily, which is far from the case with wood flooring. Laminate systems tend to be designed like a jigsaw puzzle, to quickly and easily snap together.
- Durable Surface. Laminate floors get the nod here for being the most durable relative to scratches and wear and tear because of their surface coating technology. These floors are engineered to last for years and years. They are extremely resistant to moisture, stains, and fading. Laminate flooring is also not as susceptible to scratching and denting like traditional hardwood floors. Laminate flooring is approximately fifteen times stronger than hardwood flooring, and most come with a 10 or 15 year warranty. If something does manage to happen to your floor, it is usually very easy to fix with a kit sold by the manufacturer.
- Good for Wet or Moist Places. Laminate flooring has the ability to be glued together. The glued-in seams prevent water from getting in.
- UV Resistant. Laminate flooring has a high UV resistance which blocks the harmful rays of the sun and protects the design from fading. This benefit can save a lot of future maintenance that would be required to keep a real wood floor looking as good as laminate flooring.
- Easy to Clean. Spills and messes easily clean with a little soap and water thanks to the hard moisture and wear resistant coating. You can even make your own home made cleaner.
- Maintenance. Laminate flooring doesn’t require the maintenance of hardwood or carpeting. Hardwood floors have to be refinished every so often and carpets must be cleaned regularly.
- Resists Stains. Laminate flooring is more resistant to stains than hardwood or carpets. Each segment is pre-finished with a stain-resistant sealant.
- Environmentally Friendly. It uses less wood, if any, in its construction and is able to be recycled.
- Cost. Probably the greatest laminate flooring benefits is its ability to add a smart and sophisticated look to a room, with the cost being considerably less than what it would be if real wood flooring was used.
- Not Real Wood. Laminate flooring is a surface layer of two thin sheets of paper impregnated with melamine. This surface layer is a photograph of wood grain, not real wood and is usually covered by a hard transparent layer.
- Hard Under the Foot. Laminate flooring is hard under the foot, although a foam padding can help.
- Slippery. Most of the time laminate flooring has been very slippery. Recently, though, manufacturers have been developing slip-resistant wear layers.
- Lower resale value. Many people will renovate their flooring to increase the resale value of their home, and while hardwoods would increase the value, laminate flooring will not help the resale value of the home.
- Not sandable or refinishable. Laminate floors can’t be refinished or resurfaced because they are composed of a thin artificial surface mimicking hardwood grain or tile patterns.
- Repairs. Repairs are quite difficult for any do-it-yourselfer but experienced professionals armed with the proper tools can handle them in a snap.