When it comes to flooring choice, homeowners in the United States, the UK and Australia go for laminate flooring. Durable, beautiful and versatile, this type comes in trendy designs that make it a popular choice, especially nowadays where there are more designs to choose from. These include ceramic, stone and reclaimed wood designs, among others. However, despite the popularity of laminate flooring, there are opposing views on whether this is the best flooring of choice. Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this type of flooring.
List of Pros of Laminate Flooring
Homeowners who prefer laminate flooring say that they go for this type of flooring because it resembles hard wood and other natural materials without having to go through a hard and tedious work. This is perfect for people who want the feel and look of hard wood in their homes without to worry about the damage real wood can have. Other designs of laminate flooring include stones, bamboos and different wood types in a variety of textures. Moreover, in real wood, not all boards are perfect and these defective ones need to be discarded as oppose to synthetic laminated floor where each and every board is of good quality.
2. Durability and Resistance
Proponents of the use of laminate flooring posit that this type of material will last longer than real wood. It does not dent and is resistant to scratches even if someone will key it. Aside from these, it can also take water spills and stains. Accidental water spills can easily be wiped dry and stains can be removed easily. Laminate flooring can also withstand impact and exposure to sunlight for a long period of time. It will not fade and moreover, most manufacturers and distributors offer warranties for wear and tear of the layer.
Another advantage of using laminate flooring is that it is very easy to install and fast. A 300 square feet floor area can have laminate flooring installed over the weekend. This is because there is no need to use nails to do so, unlike in real wood where nails are use to secure the boards on the floor. And with the types of laminates these days, planks can now fit together due to its click, fold or lock design. In terms of cutting the board for floor edges, utility knife or a handsaw can be used to do so. Moreover, it can be installed in areas with moisture, such as powder rooms or kitchens. On top of this, laminate flooring can be installed almost anywhere, in locations where installation of real wood is not an option. It can be installed over concrete, plywood, concrete, low grade installations and vinyl.
Laminate flooring can be installed with or without underlayment. With the inclusion of the latter, the boards become a but springy that make them easy on the feet and allows an individual to remain standing for a long period of time, say, while cooking or washing the dishes.
5. Variety in Design
People who prefer to use laminate flooring say that it is easier for homeowners to find the design of the flooring that will suit their taste and preference. This is because designs of this type of flooring come in different choices, texture and finish like ceramic tile and stone tile designs.
List of Cons of Laminate Flooring
1. Repair Issues
Critics of the use of laminate flooring say that repairing or refinishing real wood costs at least half of the expense you get if you have laminate flooring installed. This is because wood can be refinished numerous times and can still get back its luster and appearance. Conversely, laminates are very difficult to repair in case one decides to do this. Moreover, hardwood can be replaced board by board so you can control the costs.
Critics of laminate flooring argue that while this flooring type can be used in areas where moisture is present, it can fail with heavy moisture. Moreover, it cannot withstand too much water exposure and standing water like in a flooded basement or kitchen. If laminate flooring is soaked in water for a long time, it can expand and break down. Consequently, it will need to be replaced.
3. Installation Concerns
Even if installation of laminate flooring can be considered as a DIY project and is easy to do, critics say that no everyone can do it and it still needs skills to do the work the right way. Moreover, the first phase and the last phase are the most challenging steps in achieving successful installation, in terms of quality and finish. Although the click/lock and fold/lock design of laminate flooring was to ensure fast and easy installation, there can be issues along the way, particularly in joining adjoining sides. And if the installer is not skilled, there is a big chance of putting too much pressure on the board and this can result to curling up the layer on top. If this happens, the flooring will be prone to moisture.
4. Home Resale Value
For homeowners who plan to sell their homes, laminate flooring is not the best choice. This is because it is only synthetic. Potential buyers will go for hardwood floors because of its material and appearance. While laminate flooring can look like real wood, it is still not the real thing and this can affect the resale value of the home.
Another concern of those who are not into laminate flooring is the material of the older designs which can be slippery and can lead to injuries in case of falls. While the newer ones have anti-slip properties, not all can easily replace old laminate flooring that is still undamaged or worn.
Laminate flooring is still one of the popular choices of homeowners because of its installation cost and maintenance. However, there are also disadvantages of using this flooring material. In the end, the decision depends on the personal preference of the homeowner.