Choosing floors for your home? We’ve already shared stone, hardwood, concrete, tile and some other flooring ideas and today I’d like to continue the topic with one more type: laminate. Just like any other material, laminate has its own pros and cons, let’s consider them to find out if they fit your home or not.
Laminate flooring is easy to install: there’s no other easier material. It’s also a floating floor that doesn’t require nailing, stapling, gluing to a subfloor. Laminate can be installed over just about any substrate, including concrete, wood, plywood, OSB, and previously installed vinyl flooring.
Laminate floors are durable and scratch resistant, they are also rather resistant to impacts, stains, and won’t fade when exposed to sunlight. The laminate construction gives the pieces stability and prevents seams from opening up during changes in humidity.
The wear layer of laminate floor is extremely tough, which makes cleanup and maintenance easy. Occasional sweeping keeps the surface free from abrasive grit.
Laminate looks similar to real wood, which makes it a nice option for those who love wood but can’t install it for some reason. There are many looks to choose from, so you will easily find a proper type for your home.
Laminate is eco-friendly: no old-growth or exotic trees are used to produce it.
Laminate is made from a composite material, which is more susceptible to water damage than natural wood: once it is exposed directly to standing water, it breaks down and expands. It limits the areas where you can use laminate: Installations on basement floors and slabs should include a moisture barrier. Laminate flooring in the kitchen is okay as long as you’re diligent about cleaning up spills and splashes, and as for bathrooms, I wouldn’t recommend that.
The second disadvantage is hard repairing. It’s easier to re-install the laminate while hardwood can be just refinished. Check the warranty of the flooring you’re thinking of buying; products with higher warranties mean better quality and longer life.
While installing laminate is rather easy, you will still need some skill to do that: for quality installation you may need professional skill, especially for the initial and final phase.
Laminate may look real, but it’s still a synthetic that feels unnaturally hard and can be harsh-sounding when walked on.
Some laminate materials may be made with formaldehyde and other chemicals that environmental experts say can release toxic VOCs, be aware of that.