When homeowners initially begin searching for new flooring material, aesthetics are often a focal point. However, the flooring material in your home will affect everything from your pocketbook to regular upkeep chores and more. Laminate flooring continues to be a popular alternative to hardwood flooring, and it may also be used as an alternative to natural stone and other options. However, this material is not ideal in every space. What are the benefits of laminate flooring? The answer will help you to decide if this is a smart option for your home.
Comparing Laminate Flooring to Other Options
Hardwood floor, stone tile and other high-end options have undeniable and long-lasting appeal, but their downsides often block homeowners from installing them in their homes. Laminate flooring can be manufactured to look like any type of hardwood material, natural stone tile or other material that you may be interested in. However, its many benefits could make it a more appealing option to many homeowners.
The Many Benefits of Laminate Flooring
The last thing that you want is to install a cheap-looking imitation to high-end flooring in your home. Many years ago, laminate flooring was easy to tell from true hardwood, stone and other types of flooring because of mediocre design and manufacturing processes. The materials and processes have dramatically improved. Today’s laminate floors can show comparable grains and striations as real wood floors. They may have a smooth sheen or a hand-scraped look. Laminate may also be produced to look like slate, marble and other materials. In many cases, it is not easy to differentiate modern laminate and other types of flooring visually. This is only one of many differences that will impact your flooring decision.
Installation Cost and Process
Laminate floor planks are manufactured using composite wood, and most of these planks are designed to easily snap together for easy installation. Comparatively, the cost of materials and labor for the installation project can be substantially more affordable than the alternatives. If you intend to complete a do-it-yourself installation project, the ease of laminate flooring installation is a plus.
Maintenance and Repair Needs
A durable wear layer sits on top of laminate planks. This layer is resistant to damage from stains, scratches and dents. While laminate will not be damaged as easily as hardwood, hard force may still result in scratches and other types of damage. Laminate floors can tolerate the impact of dropped items better than stone and tile. Because laminate is comprised of composite wood, water that penetrates into the spaces between the planks can cause permanent warping. In the event an area of the floor is damaged, replacing the damaged planks is relatively easy to do. Laminate floor will not need to be waxed or polished. Regular care includes sweeping and lightly cleaning the floor with a slightly damp mop.
The longevity of laminate flooring varies based on the quality of the product that you select. Some laminate floors are sold with a 10-year warranty, so you can feel confident that your new floor will continue to look great in your home for at least a decade. Because of the considerable variation, however, you should carefully research the options before finalizing a decision.
Impact on Ambiance and Comfort
Laminate flooring may be installed on a hard subfloor or on a cushioned underlayment. When it is installed on an underlayment, it will be more comfortable to walk on. In addition, this added layer may buffer sounds slightly to improve ambiance. When properly installed, laminate flooring can mimic the look of other more expensive materials, so it can enhance the ambiance from an aesthetic standpoint.
What to Do After You Learn What Are the Benefits of Laminate Flooring
Now that you know more about the many benefits of laminate flooring, you can see how this material compares to other options that you may be interested in. Altogether, laminate flooring could be a smart option for your home. Spend time exploring some of the many laminate flooring styles today to envision the possibilities for your space.