Would you consider laminate flooring?
While many people come into a flooring and tile showroom and expect to walk out with solid hard wood or natural stone for their home, there are many options other than the “traditional” materials. Laminate flooring is a great possibility for many areas of your home and here’s why we recommend at least considering this flooring option.
Laminate flooring is a resilient and durable flooring option. It is stain resistant, mold resistant, and in some products, even water resistant. It is a low maintenance product with easy installation and a long flooring life. While laminate is not the “real” material, it is created to be a replica to hardwood, stone, tile, and many more flooring choices! Laminate is created by a process of lamination, where different materials are bonded together by heat, pressure, and adhesive. There are 4 different layers to a piece of laminate; the top “wear” layer, the decorative layer, the core, and the back or moisture barrier layer.
The top layer is the protectant layer which is what makes laminate so durable and resistant to scratches or other damage. The decorative layer is exactly what it sounds like; it is the printed image of the hardwood or tile that you are looking to replicate. The fiberboard core gives laminate the structure and stability to hold up in a variety of climates. Last but not least, the back or moisture barrier layer protects the flooring as a whole from moisture. Keep in mind, it does need to be installed with an underlayment which is usually cork or foam rolls. Some products come with the underlayment already attached. This reduces the hollow noise that occurs when walking on some laminate floors.
Now that you know what laminate is, you’re probably wondering where can you use this product in your home. Essentially anywhere! Laminate is great in high traffic areas because it can withhold the scratches or stains that many other flooring options cannot. High traffic areas are going to be areas of your home that get the most foot traffic such as entryways, hallways, or living rooms. Because you can now get laminate manufactured with a water resistant top layer, you can also use laminates in water environments such as kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms.
Keep in mind, when it comes to any flooring, you really do get what you pay for, so we recommend that you carefully consider the pros and cons of a product prior to making your purchase. For example, some lower priced products can be extra challenging to install, don’t hold up well over time, may look “fake” or have limited warranties that won’t give you the protection.
The real question is can you (the average consumer) tell the difference between laminate and a solid or engineered hardwood floor? The answer is not really (assuming you purchase a high quality product). Laminate floors are created to have a good representation of the original product its trying to mimic. The next time you consider replacing any flooring in your home, look into laminate options and you will be surprised with the many choices you have!