The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring
Undergoing a laminate wood flooring installation project is the perfect way to add visual appeal to your flooring without the expense or intensive labor of hardwood. When replacing carpet, tile or aging linoleum, floating laminate flooring can be a great option for rejuvenating the look and feel of the space.
At the same time, laminate wood flooring has the same balance of benefits and flaws that any other commercially successful option does. Weigh your options carefully when deciding what you want by consulting this quick guide to pros and cons of laminate flooring.
The installation of laminate flooring is simple enough that you could probably do it yourself. Each plank fits together with the others like a puzzle. Rather than nailing them down or gluing them together, laminate planks are installed using the click/lock method. So it’s a floating floor. Furthermore, laminate flooring doesn’t have to be attached to a substrate and each plank can, therefore, be easily replaced if damage occurs.
Laminate flooring can be made imitate any type of hardwood, stone or tile. Thus, the options are practically limitless with laminate. You won’t get the same benefits and functions of real hardwood, stone or tile, but modern technology makes laminate flooring appear almost identical to the types of flooring that it’s imitating.
Laminate flooring typically costs around $4.50 – $5.00 per square foot. That’s significantly less expensive than other types of flooring, like hardwood, natural stone and ceramic tile. Therefore, some of laminate’s lesser qualities can be triumphed by its reasonable price.
Easy to clean
Laminate surfaces are multi-layered. One of those layers is a wear layer. The wear layer offers support and protection to the surface. It prevents scratches and the sudden appearance of seams. This way, the surface maintains its flatness. In the end, all that’s needed to keep laminate flooring clean is a broom and a vacuum.
Laminate flooring provides the realistic look of all species of wood, and even stone or tile.
Laminate flooring has lower material and installation costs than hardwood or tile.
Laminate flooring is extremely durable and harder to scratch than most other floors and is one of the best flooring options. A quality product should last 15 to 30 years.
Laminate flooring is easy for inexperienced craftsmen to install because it comes in click- together interlocking planks. Laminate flooring boards snap together without glue.
Some of the disadvantages of using laminate flooring include:
Not for use over carpet. If you use laminate tiles with interlocking edges for your installation, you generally should not install these tiles over a carpeted floor. The seams in the tiles may pull loose as the tile material compresses into the carpet. Max Tiles are yet another exception to this rule.
No chance for refinishing. Unlike hardwood, once this type of vinyl can wear out after several years, you cannot refinish it and return it to a like-new condition. Unless you have a floating laminate floor such as the Max Tiles, the entire floor will have to be replaced. In the case of Max Tiles, they are designed for repeat installations, so only the affected tiles would need to be replaced.
Different feel from hardwood. Some hardwood enthusiasts dislike the feel and sound of the synthetic vinyl in the laminate when walking around on it. However, you may still want to select laminate because of the low cost to buy versus hardwood.
Of the laminate flooring pros and cons, this one is perhaps the most important. Moisture can spell doom for a laminate floor if exposed to it for a considerable amount of time. It’s highly recommended to avoid laminate flooring in a laundry room or a bathroom. Any leak in these areas will ruin any form of wood flooring. The kitchen, however, can handle a laminate floor. You’ll have to be diligent with keeping moisture off of it, but moisture does not come about as often or with as much volume in a kitchen. The goal is to prevent moisture from reaching the core of laminate flooring. If it reaches the core then you’ll probably be needing a new flooring very soon.
Lower return on investment
Because laminate isn’t real wood or stone or tile, it will not add much, if any value to your home. Its shorter lifetime and interchangeability also prevents an increase in value. So, if you are looking for reliable, budget-friendly flooring for a home that you just moved into, laminate flooring is a great choice. If you need a new floor and feel like you may end up selling your home in a few years, you might want to consider a long-lasting, elegant type of flooring that can get you a great return on investment.