Perhaps the most exciting feature of laminate flooring is that it can imitate wood flooring very well. In fact, laminate flooring was developed to be a cost effective alternative to genuine hard wood flooring. Today, laminate flooring is made to mimic countless types of wood, including oak, heartwood pine, hickory, prado, and even tigerwood.
Not only does laminate flooring come in different types of wood finishes, but it also comes in different styles like antique and rustic. That means that you can make your laminate floor appear as if it has been there for centuries, or you could pick a modern design for a fresher look. Additionally, manufacturers have mastered mimicking the look of metal, tile, and stone in recent years.
Manufacturers are able to achieve this variety because of the unique printing process used in the creation of laminate flooring. Laminate designs are created by taking a high resolution image of the desired material, printing the photograph, and adhering it to a core of fiberboard. The image and fiberboard are backed by a bottom layer that is specifically treated to prevent moisture damage. On top of everything is a resilient, clear top layer that prevents scratches, dents, and dings in the laminate floor.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
- Laminate flooring commonly comes in either planks or tiles. These pieces are designed to snap perfectly together, which means that there is no nailing involved in laminate installation.
- The specific construction of laminate provides extra stability in the floor. This helps thwart seams from opening due to humidity fluctuations and changes in the weather.
- The lightweight laminate pieces are placed over a small foam cushion, so it can be installed over most types of floors (excluding carpet) without the need for a demolition tear-out.
- The snapping feature of laminate flooring requires no VOC-releasing glues.
- Laminate flooring is not produced from exotic or old-growth trees.
- Laminate flooring is remarkably tough due to the wear layer on top of the laminate design.
- Laminate flooring is low-maintenance. Light sweeping removes dirt and grit, which prevents abrasions.
Important to Consider When Choosing Laminate Flooring
- Laminate of the highest quality is still susceptible to moisture damages. For this reason, laminate should not be installed in rooms with floor drains or laundry rooms. Heavy duty moisture barriers are required for installation in basements and on slabs.
- Be mindful of spills and splashes if you are installing laminate flooring in a kitchen or dining area. Wipe all spills immediately to avoid damage to your floor.
- For bathroom installation, be sure to have all edges glued and the entire perimeter sealed using silicone caulk.
- Laminate flooring can’t be refinished like wood to revive a worn down floor. When laminate flooring is damaged or worn down, the only solution is to replace it. Familiarize yourself with the warranties of the laminate flooring you are considering. A longer guarantee or warranty period signifies a higher quality and potentially a longer life. Steer clear of cheap laminate flooring.
- Depending on the laminate style, it can feel hard and have an unnatural sound when walked on.
If you are trying to achieve a real wood look but are more interested in the benefits that laminate flooring solutions have to offer, come into the showroom and speak with one of our flooring experts today. We can’t wait to help you achieve the floor of your dreams!