Some of the Pros and Cons of laminate flooring are as follows. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind when considering laminate flooring for the kitchen.
Flooring is perhaps the most defining feature of any home. This may be because it literally covers the entire surface area. Or maybe it’s because your spend so much of your time in direct contact with it. Whatever the case, your choice of flooring is one you want to get right – especially in the kitchen, the hub of your home. There’s a dizzying array of flooring options out there. At the risk of making this post 100,000 words long, we won’t touch on all of them. In fact, we’ll cover just one: laminate.
Pros and Cons Of Laminate Flooring
Pros Of Laminate Flooring
Easy installation. No flooring material is easier to install than laminate flooring. Much of this 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. This means that your kitchen won’t be out of service for very long. Older types of laminate flooring required gluing, but today’s have a click/lock or fold/lock design that planks to fit together like puzzle pieces.
Versatility. Laminate flooring can be installed over just about any substrate, including concrete, wood, plywood, oriented strand boarding, and previously installed vinyl flooring. And since it doesn’t expand and contract like real wood does, it’s good flooring for use in areas where hardwood flooring isn’t an option.
Looks. Original laminates were photographic renditions of natural woods, meaning that each plank was identical in color and grain, rendering a visual that lacked the authenticity of real wood. Today’s laminates are truly more realistic in mimicking the random grain patterns, coloration deviations and character of real wood flooring. Laminates are also available in a tile format which closely resembles the real thing, whether ceramic tile or natural stone. Manufacturers have even developed a relief technology that adds noticeable texture to the surface like hand-scraped wood planks or well-defined grout lines in tiles. The resemblance to other products can be staggering.
$$. The obvious benefit to installing laminate flooring is the cost – and it’s a primary reason why laminate has become so popular with homeowners. Hardwood floors can be initially quite expensive, often selling for $8-$15 per square foot; laminate flooring can sell for as low as $3 per square foot. Of course, this all depends on the quality of wood and installation costs, but if affordability is your main priority, laminate could be your best bet.
Durability. Caveat: the durability of any flooring surface depends largely on the intensity of foot traffic it receives, as well as how closely a homeowner adheres to manufacturer recommendations for care and maintenance. With that in mind, the outer layer of most laminate floors is manufactured by bonding melamine resins and aluminum oxide at high heat and extreme pressure. The resulting surface is often harder than that of natural wood. Most laminate floors are highly resistant to moisture damage, staining and fading. In fact, many manufacturers offer 10-25 year warranties on finish.
Cons Of Laminate Flooring
Eco-friendliness. Laminate isn’t the most eco-friendly flooring option available. The wear layer of laminate floor contains plastic that doesn’t degrade in landfills. Some laminate materials may be made with formaldehyde and other chemicals that environmental experts say can release toxic VOCs, although stricter EPA guidelines have helped reduce VOC content in laminate flooring.
Repair. Unlike hardwood floors, a laminate floor cannot be sanded and refinished for a fresh appearance. Instead, a damaged or worn laminate floor needs to have its damaged planks removed and new ones installed in order to restore the appearance of the floor. However, while you may be able to replace individual boards, depending on the effects of sunlight and age, the new piece may not match properly.
Value. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future — or are simply concerned with upping your home’s value — consider that, as a less-expensive material, laminate will provide a lower return on investment compared with hardwood, tile or stone.
Keep in mind that this is general criteria; as with any list of this type, it’s all subjective. Every homeowner has different tastes, and every home has different needs. The trick is marrying these in order to get you the best flooring solution possible. When the time comes, we’d love to help you out in this area. Give us a call, or even stop in and find out how we can beautify your home.