Laminate Flooring Design 2 Build

Laminate Flooring Design 2 Build

Laminate Flooring

Lamina te wood can mirror the appearance of wood, stone, and other natural materials and can create a beautiful  look in virtually any room.   Laminate flooring is a hybrid- it can mimic the look of hardwood and stone but it is not.  Its not vinyl and its not engineered wood.  It is a combination of all of those things.  Laminate flooring is surface layer of two thing sheets of paper impregnated with melamine.  The surface layer is not real wood but a photograph of wood grain is typically covered by a hard, durable, transparent layer.  Underneath the wood-grain photograph lays a half-inch of wood-chip composite   Laminate can replicate practically anything because of the photograph, even expensive Italian Marble and is  cheaper than both hardwood and engineered wood and is more resistant to moisture and wear.  There are many benefits when using laminate flooring but before deciding what is right for your home, you must take into consideration both the good and bad aspects of laminate.

Easy to Install.  Newer types of laminate wood have a click-lock design which makes it significantly quicker and easier to install than the former design in which they pieces had to be glued next to each other.  The click-lock design often comes with a dry glue on the product and all thats needed to activate it is a swipe of water on a sponge or cloth.   Laminate can also be installed over basically any existing flooring with the exception of carpet.  Also, as long as a moisture barrier is in place it can be installed at any grade.

Cost.  Laminate flooring is significantly cheaper than hardwood flooring and less expensive than engineered wood.

Durable.  Laminate wood is very resistant against dents and scratches.  Real wood can dent but laminate wood has a wear layer to protect the photographic layer beneath.  This lead to longer use and some warranties on the wear layer are 10+ years.  The durability of laminate makes it ideal for areas of your home that hard high traffic.

No Bad Pieces.  Real wood comes with many imperfect pieces that cannot be used but laminate wood is free of defects.

Good for Moist Areas.  Laminate wood can handle topical moisture and therefore can be used in bathrooms, kitchens  and other places where slight moisture will be encountered.  Laminate, like engineered wood or solid hardwood, cannot handle standing pools of water and areas of heavy moisture require a surface like vinyl or tile.  Because the increased resistance to water that laminate has, if you desire wood flooring for you bathroom or kitchen, laminate is the best choice.

Easy to Clean.  Laminate does not require floor waxing and can be easily cleaned with a vacuum, broom, or mopped with a slightly damp mop.

Stain Resistant.  Laminate flooring has a tough surface that is very resistant of stains.  In the event you do get a stain, it is easy to clean and remove.  The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges that can discolor other flooring materials.  It is also resistant to fading from UV light exposure.

Health.  Laminate is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria and can be treated with a special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make it even more beneficial to health.

Accommodates  for Expansion.  Because the laminate is not adhered directly on the sub-floor the material can expand or contract with changes in pressure and temperature without buckling and snapping against the sub-floor.

Acclimation.   Compared to hardwood which needs to sit in the environment it will be installed in for 3-6 weeks prior to acclimate to the pressure and temperature, laminate can acclimate and be installed in as little as 36 hours.

Not Real Wood.  While this is not necessarily a con, some people are bothered by the fact that laminate is not real wood.  Technically speaking, some wood is contained in laminate flooring in the form of a wood chip base layer but despite the composition, laminate is not real wood.

Laminate Flooring Design 2 Build

Hard Under Foot.  Although this can be somewhat lessened with a foam under-layer, laminate wood is hard and unyielding on feet which can result in pain for individuals with poor backs, hips, legs, and feet, particularly so if they are standing on it for hours at a time.

Unnatural Feel.  Although laminate can simulate the look of hardwood, stone, or brink, once you feel the material with your bare hands you will be cognizant that it is not.  Embossing can create a textural surface for laminates the material has a man-made feel that makes it obvious that it is not a natural floor surface.

Sound.  Walking on laminate produces a hollow sound that makes the material feel manufactured.  This can be minimized to some extent by dampening underlayment material to help simulate the sound of natural hardwood.

Slippery.  Laminate wood tends to be quite slippery because it is moisture resistant and because it repels moisture it can become slippery when wet.  Ample time must be allotted for after washing the floor and any wet spills must be wiped up immediately   Additionally, laminate floors in kitchens are most susceptible to hidden wet spots therefore dropped ice cubes or splattered dish water can be a hazard if not wiped up immediately.  However, recently manufacturers have developed slip-resistant wear layers to minimize this.

Lower Resale Value.  Compared to hardwood or engineered wood, laminate wood flooring has a lower resale value when selling the property.  Hardwood and engineered wood will increase your homes resale value by considerably more than laminate.  If you plan on reselling the property, you may consider investing in hardwood.

Cannot Sand or Refinish.  This is considered by many to be the biggest disadvantage of laminate flooring.  When laminate flooring becomes heavily worn, or deeply scratched or grooved, it must be replaced.  Unlike solid hardwood, laminate flooring  cannot be sanded or refinished.


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