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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Laminate Flooring

The durability of tile

If you’ve ever designed or renovated a home, you know there are hundreds of floor options to choose from. Choosing the floors for your home is a big choice, it has a big impact on the the entire interior design concept. While novels can be written about the millions of carpets, hardwood flooring, tile flooring, and vinyl flooring options, today we’re going to focus on a single aspect of the flooring industry– all of the laminate flooring ideas and possibilities available today.

Laminate flooring is one of the least expensive flooring options but can maintain a high-quality appearance for a decades. Because laminate flooring has the versatility of looking like almost any kind of flooring (except carpet, of course), there are endless laminate flooring ideas and possibilities for a home. Before deciding what type of flooring material is best for your home, here are the pros and cons of laminate flooring:

Pros of Laminate Flooring

  • Versatility. As mentioned previously, laminate flooring can be made to resemble any kind of hardwood flooring, premium stone, or ceramic tile. Laminate flooring can even be embossed so that they hold similar texture to their natural counterparts.
  • Cleanliness. Laminate flooring has a protective layer that prevents grime from being absorbed and makes it fairly easy to maintain. As long as your regularly sweep or vacuum and occasionally mop, your laminate floor will glisten.
  • Simple installation. Laminate tiles snap together like puzzle pieces, eliminating the need for strong adhesives. Installation of laminate flooring is so straight forward, you can do it yourself in a weekend if you’re a DIYer.
  • No demolition needed. You can install laminate flooring right over the existing flooring in your home, with the exception of carpet. This creates an added savings since demolition can be expensive and time consuming.
  • Suits any environment. Natural flooring expands, warps or cracks in extreme temperatures or moisture, while laminate flooring is more resistant to the elements. Also, laminate flooring resists growth of mold and mildew that sometimes occurs in wet conditions with other flooring types.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

  • Laminate cannot be refinished. Laminate generally comes with a 30 year warranty. However, if an unexpected accident damages the protective layer, it cannot be sanded down and refinished as with hardwood flooring. The damaged pieces would need to be replaced.
  • Unnatural feel. While laminate flooring can be made to perfectly resemble other flooring, you can tell it is a replica at the touch of it. Also, sometimes when you walk across a laminate floor, you hear a hollow noise that you would not get with a natural flooring type. The sound can be improved by installing a dampening layer under the flooring.
  • Hard underfoot. While its strength is one of laminate flooring’s assets, it also means that it doesn’t flex or cushion the foot while walking, as wood flooring does. As a result, laminate flooring can be hard on the feet after a lot of walking.

The bottom line: If you love the warm look of hardwood or the sleekness of slate, but don’t have the budget for natural flooring, the endless laminate flooring ideas and possibilities might provide everything you dreamed of, without having to sell a vital organ to pay for it.

What do you think? Do you have laminate flooring in your home? Do you love it or hate it? Please share in the comment section.

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