In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of laminate flooring, but first, lets talk about what laminate flooring is exactly. Laminate is made from intense heat and pressure that compress four layers of flooring together. Firstly, the four layers consist of a moisture resistant base layer. Secondly, a layer of compressed particle board is added. Thirdly, a “photographic image” layer covers the particle board, while fourthly, a clear top coat protects the photographic image from scratches or stains. This top coat acts as a “wear” layer. In other words, it keeps the laminate protected from daily wear.
Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring
Keep in mind that while no flooring option will be perfect, they all have their pros and cons. Learning about how they each perform in various elements will allow you to weigh all your options wisely and choose the flooring that best meets your needs. Let’s start with the benefits of laminate flooring.
Benefits of Laminate
- The compression of four layers makes this flooring one of the best flooring options for durability.
- Laminate flooring makes an excellent choice for high traffic areas or homes with children or pets. Scratch resistance is a key benefit of laminate flooring.
- It does not fade in direct sunlight.
- Laminate flooring is easy to install.
- It does not need to be nailed, glued or stapled down, as it is a floating floor and can be placed on top of an existing floor.
- Laminate is a great option for basements, bathrooms or kitchens, however, water spills need to be wiped up immediately.
- Laminate flooring usually costs about half or two thirds the price of hardwood flooring, which makes it incredibly affordable.
Negatives of Laminate
- Laminate flooring cannot be refinished or sanded.
- It is made up of compressed wood, therefore, it is not completely waterproof. If water damage happens, for instance, the damaged planks will need to be replaced.
- It can look fake, however, this depends on the quality you choose.
- It does not improve the resale value of your home, however, solid hardwood flooring does.
- Because laminate flooring is scratch “resistant”, it can still dent or even scratch if something is heavy or sharp enough.
In general, laminate flooring is an excellent flooring option. Above all, affordability and durability are the two main reasons people love laminate flooring. The quality and style of laminate has come a long way. Talk with your local flooring experts to learn about the various laminate products they offer and see if the benefits of laminate fit the needs of your home.
Read more about flooring: Which Hardwoods Stand the Test of Time?