Pros of Laminate Flooring
When it comes to the benefits of laminate flooring as a building material, just about everything you’ve read or heard about laminate is true. In fact, it’d be hard to find a flooring material with a larger upside than laminate. Here’s a list of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you install laminate floors in your home.
Laminate flooring is very durable, more than hardwood, which makes it both pet-friendly and family-friendly and a great option for high-traffic areas. To add to this advantage, it can also withstand exposure to sunlight for a long period of time and not fade. The word durable now seems like an understatement.
- Easier to Clean
Need another reason to love laminate flooring? Good because we have one—it’s easy to clean! There are no special instructions or materials needed for maintenance. Dust and spills can easily be eliminated with a vacuum, broom or even a slightly damp mop. Isn’t that so easy? With this simple maintenance, you’ll get many long years of beautiful laminate flooring!
In the past, it was easy to tell that laminate was artificial wood. But today, with technological advances, it’s now difficult to tell the difference between laminate and hardwood. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants the look (and even feel) of hardwood and other natural materials (even stone) but without the hard and tedious work.
- It’s Cheaper Than Wood
That’s right! Laminate wood flooring can look and feel like the real material, but without the high price. This makes it perfect for the budget-conscious homeowner. We could all go for an option that’ll save us some money, right?
- Easy Installation
Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it’s pretty much the easiest flooring to install for the typical DIYer. A lot of that is due to the fact that laminate forms a floating floor, meaning it doesn’t have to be nailed, stapled or glued to a subfloor. The other reason laminate is so easy to install has to do with how the planks attach together.
While it’s great for a DIY project, it’s also of course worth being safe and spending a few extra bucks to get it installed correctly by a professional.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
And just like any material, there are also some disadvantages. But don’t worry, there aren’t many.
- Moisture Damage
At its core, laminate flooring is made from a composite material called high density fiberboard (HDF), which is more susceptible to water damage than natural wood. Once HDF is exposed directly to standing water, it breaks down and expands. One that happens, a laminate floor is compromised and will have to be replaced. That limits the areas where laminate can be installed, ruling out places like bathrooms where regular exposure to water is commonplace.
Laminate’s glossy top layer makes it resistant to spills, but it’s not recommended for wet areas like bathrooms. If water stands on the floor and is able to soak between the planks, it can cause the floor to swell and the layers to peel apart.
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. Therefore, it will need to be replaced.
- Can’t Be Refinished
Hardwood can be refinished many times to keep it looking fresh and new. Laminate flooring is the opposite. Unfortunately, since it has the fiberboard core and thin wood-look (or stone-look) layer on top, you don’t have the option of refinishing it. Because once that thin layer gets worn out, the whole floor will have to be replaced.