On the surface, laminate flooring can seem like the perfect option when deciding which floor type to get. It is easy to install and more affordable than real wood flooring; with countless designs, colours and patterns you won't be short of options when it comes to deciding what one will suit your home. There are many benefits to laminate, however, nothing is perfect and there are a few disadvantages to laminate too.
Pros of laminate flooring:
- Average life span between 10 - 20 years.
- More of an affordable alternative to solid or real wood flooring.
- Easy to install.
- Tons of colours and designs.
- Suitable for furniture.
- Suitable for under-floor heating.
Cons of laminate flooring:
- More slippery, less suitable for dogs and other pets.
- Likely to get damaged from water.
- Not as soft under the foot and louder than carpets.
Thankfully, laminate flooring is easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner or a brush. To mop laminate use a slightly damp mop or laminate floor cleaner. Avoid using excessive amounts of water when mopping as this could lead to water damage. The water could drip into the seems of the floor boards and cause swelling. Laminate flooring does not cope well with puddles of water and it is not recommended to install them in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens. For rooms with a high chance of water being on the floor go for the vinyl option as it is water resistant.
Installation of laminate flooring is fairly simple. Most laminates have an easy click to fit process when it comes to installing them. This makes it quick and easy to install and you don't have to faff around with glue. The easy fit process also means you save money on hiring a fitter to come and install your floors. Sometimes the fitter can cost as much as or even more than the product itself, so you could be saving a fair amount. Laminate flooring is known as a 'floating-floor' as you do not glue it down and it just lies on top of the subfloor.
How is laminate made?
Laminate is typically made from four layers, the backer paper, HDF core or board. decorative paper and the wear layer/overlay. These four layers are compressed together in one press at a high heat over 140˚C.
Laminate Flooring AC Ratings
Suitable for moderate traffic. Best suited to use in bedrooms or guest rooms.
Suitable for general traffic like Dining or living rooms.
Suitable for heavy traffic. Generally suitable for all areas, especially areas such as hallways.
Suitable for moderate traffic in commercial spaces. Think small offices, cafés or smaller retail outlets.
Suitable for heavy traffic in commercial spaces. Large department stores, public buildings and large offices.
With all of this said I hope you feel more confident in purchasing laminate floors or perhaps now you realise that laminate isn't the right path for you.
Blog written by SH Carpets and Flooring.