While it’s not the classiest of flooring, many people are choosing laminate flooring over hardwood or stone flooring, as it is cheap and easy to install. If you are also planning to install it yourself, you should get to know the laminate flooring pros and cons so that you make an informed decision. Today an average homeowner has plenty of choices as far as flooring materials are concerned, unlike two decades ago when all you had were hardwood floors, carpeted floors and linoleum. These days you have the advantage of selecting from a wide variety, including tiles, cork flooring and laminate flooring.
Let’s take a look at the laminate flooring pros and cons:
Laminate flooring pros:
One of the main reasons why people prefer to install laminate flooring is the fact that installation is fast and easy. These days you can find laminate flooring that can fit together with a ‘click and lock’. So, that accounts for its fast installation. The fact that laminates are made from softwood means that they can be cut to the size of your choice with a handsaw – this is another reason for its easy installation.
To clean laminate flooring all you need is a vacuum. You can also use a mop and a regular cleaner to clean it. You don’t have to wax the floor out of fear that it will lose its sheen.
The best places to install laminate flooring include areas which do not have topical moisture, such as your bedrooms and living rooms. You can also install it in your kitchen as long as the boards are tight enough not to leave any space, else moisture may creep in.
The best part about laminate flooring is that it doesn’t dent or scratch. This is because there is a “wear layer” on the top of the floor that protects all the underlying layers. There are many companies that offer warranties of the wear layer. It is resistant to stains, which is yet again another factor that tempts homeowners to choose it. You can install laminate directly over your hardwood, concrete or linoleum floor – this feature gives it its popular name – “floating floor”.
Available in a wide array of designs, laminate flooring can be chosen according to your room’s décor. Laminate flooring comes with no imperfections, unlike hardwood floors, which have knots and other features.
Often manufacturers offer installation and include underlay. This gives a soft feeling to the floor when you stand on it. This factor is great for those who have to stand for a long time in the kitchen.
Laminate flooring cons:
Even with its click and lock facility, installing it may give problems. This is because if the boards don’t fit in naturally, and you try to push them to join them, there is a risk that the “wear layer” may curl up. This will enable moisture to seep in. At the same time, excess water may seep into the seams.
You cannot install laminate flooring in bathrooms or areas where there is likely to be pools of water.
You have to replace the laminate if it has been deeply dented or scratched. It can’t stand sanding or refinishing.
Laminate flooring tends to be very slippery. Even though manufacturers are constantly making innovations in the technology and trying to create slip-resistant laminate flooring, it still needs improvement.
The resale value of your home will not be as much with laminate flooring as compared to hardwood or engineered wood flooring.
So what is the general outlook?
Well, millions across the world enjoy laminate flooring. Because of the price and durability, the pros outweigh the cons. You can also save lots of money if you install it yourself.