Why Use Laminate Flooring?
Laminate floors have been growing in popularity over the years since their introduction to the United States in the early nineties. But the debate has continued to reign over whether laminate floors truly are comparable to their real hardwood counterparts, or if they’re just like any other knock-off: a cheap second-best. While many people still insist on real hardwood floors, the continually growing use of laminate flooring points out that it may just be as good as the real thing, if not better.
Many people do not realize that there are several benefits to using laminate flooring over hardwood floors other than just the cost. Yes, laminate flooring’s main objective is to provide your home with the highly sought-after, sophisticated look of hardwood flooring for a fraction of the cost and hassle, but a laminate floor can be beneficial in many other ways, as well.
Laminate Flooring Installation Benefits
Laminate flooring installation is in nearly every case much easier than installing real hardwood floors and unlike real solid hardwood flooring, which should really only be installed above grade, laminate flooring can be installed over virtually any flooring surface. It often goes without consideration that prior to installing a hardwood floor the hardwood must sit in the environment of your home for a minimum of three weeks to get acclimated, as wood can expand and change shape due to temperature and pressure. Laminate flooring can be installed in as little as 36 hours, and is much less likely to warp after being set. If you were a do-it-yourself homeowner, a laminate flooring project would be a feasible, cost-efficient and very beneficial one to attempt. Most laminate flooring only requires what is known as a “floating” installation in which the laminate floor-boards, by nature of their “tongue and groove” design are simply snapped into place, like puzzle pieces that float over the sub-floor of your home. Likewise, many laminate flooring manufacturers now provide glue-less laminate flooring systems making the installation process all the more faster and easier. No nails, no hammers, no glue, no fuss. Where hardwood installation often requires a lengthy process of sanding, staining, and finishing, laminate floors are typically pre-finished, and ready for use immediately after being installed. In the businesses of home owning, home improvement and home building, where time and efficiency are the most valuable of building materials, why not go with a flooring option that is as close to installing itself as it possibly can be?
Laminate Flooring Durability
Contrary to what might be expected, laminate flooring can actually be much more durable than real hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is estimated to be about fifteen times stronger than real hardwood and most come with a warranty that guarantee your laminate flooring for at least ten to fifteen years. Unlike real hardwood that typically doesn’t fare well in environments with a higher exposure to moisture and humidity, there are many types of laminate flooring that are water-resistant and waterproof and that can therefore be installed in areas of the home such as the kitchen and the bathroom. While hardwood floors are prone to getting scratched or indented and face damage under high amounts of traffic, laminate floors are much more enduring under these pressures. Laminate floors also hold up better against common household accidents such as cigarette burns and spilled bleach. Furthermore, laminate floors typically have a very high resistance to UV exposure, something that homeowners often overlook. Where hard wood floors can fade over time due to exposure from the sun, it tends not to be the case with laminate floors, and so they make a great option for rooms of the house that receive a lot of natural sunlight. Laminate floors are also renitent by nature to the growth of mold and bacteria in ways that hardwood floors are not and can, in that sense, contain some added health benefits, as well.
Caring for Laminate Flooring
One of the biggest concerns for a homeowner when choosing materials for his or her home is what the maintenance for those materials will entail throughout time. Advantageously, maintenance for a laminate floor is very simple. All that it requires is being swept over with a broom or damp mop on occasion; vacuums can be used on it as well to help pick up some of the dirt. Where hardwood floors might need resanding after a period of time, laminate floors won’t require this. If laminate floors do get damaged or eventually succumb to wear and tear, they can easily be replaced.
Added Benefits to Laminate Flooring
Although laminate flooring might be criticized for its small details that make it distinguishable from real solid wood, the truth is that many people really don’t notice the difference between the two. There is actually much to be appreciated about what laminate flooring can accomplish aesthetically. It is extremely versatile and can be made to look like any type of wood, in any stain or grain. In essence, laminate flooring is not limited to just the replication of hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring can also simulate various styles of stone and ceramic floors, as well.
There will always be arguments for why a laminate floor just isn’t the same as a hardwood floor, but if time and money constraints just don’t give you room for the real thing, treading on laminate flooring in your new home in the years to come, won’t be something you’ll regret.
Written by Megan Laddusaw