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Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring Installations

For many, what comes to mind when they think of laminate is a cheap plastic covering on the floor — not exactly what you want when choosing a beautiful flooring option for your home. However, laminate deserves a second chance. It has come a far way over the years, design-wise! 

Now, laminate flooring comes in a variety of finishes and looks in a high-end way. Those who aren’t ready to splurge on hardwood flooring can still achieve a great look by choosing a laminate that mimics hardwood, or even stone and tile. But besides its looks, there are plenty of more reasons to choose laminate for your flooring.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate is not plastic at all, but rather a combination of wood fiberboard and resins. Laminate has four very important layers to keep your home looking great and resistant to wear and tear:

  1. Back Layer: The bottom-most layer of the flooring, the back layer protects the plank from moisture and also balances out the floor.
  2. Core Layer: Next up is a durable board that also protects the floor from moisture and also deters indentations. 
  3. Design Layer: This is the layer that is a print of the floor material, which can be anything like wood, tile and stone. The “photos” on this layer are high definition; a huge improvement from the old days.
  4. Wear Layer: Finally, the very top, clear layer protects the design layer from fading, stains and other damage. 

Cost of Laminate Flooring

On top of being durable and easy to install, it’s also one of the more affordable options when it comes to flooring, ranging anywhere from $1 to $12 per square foot. Not only are the materials inexpensive, but because the process is easy, it makes for a lower cost of installation by a professional. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a popular flooring alternative to hardwood

  • Durable

  • Eco-friendly

  • Versatile

  • Lasts 15-25 years

Benefits of Laminate

There are many reasons that laminate comes out on top in home projects, from cost and durability to style.

  • Easy to install: Laminate flooring comes in boards that snap together and don’t require any glue or grout. If you’d rather have a professional take on the task, it’s a project that can take a day.
  • Versatile: Since the image on the design layer is a print, it can be literally anything you’d like. Those seemingly out-of-reach materials can be yours.
  • Durable: Thanks to the four layers and the toughness of laminate, it’s a very durable material that can withstand a lot of food traffic and use. Pets and kids are no match for this flooring.
  • Antibacterial: Speaking of kids, parents with little ones who crawl around on the floor need not worry. Many laminates are made of cork, which is naturally antibacterial, and a coating is typically added to repel dirt and germs.
  • Eco-friendly: For some homeowners, keeping the earth in mind while choosing materials is of the utmost importance. Laminate is a great choice in this case, as it’s recyclable and the materials that make laminate flooring is biodegradable.

Additional Notes About Laminate Floors

No material is perfect, and laminate is no different. So while it’s cost effective, easy to clean and durable, there are some downsides to mention if you want to install laminate floors.

  • Not waterproof: Laminate will do fine in a kitchen, dining room and other high-traffic areas in a home, but it’s best to avoid installing it in places prone to standing water, like bathrooms and laundry rooms. The four layers of the laminate work together to be as moisture-proof as they can, but water can still seep between the seams and cause damage. 
  • Hard to fix: This is a durable material that can withstand a beating and minor wear and tear can be buffed out. But should there be excessive damage over the years, unlike hardwood, it can’t be refinished or sanded down. That area of the laminate will have to be replaced. With that said, do keep your manufacturer’s warranty — many cover repairs and replacements for decades!

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Additional Resources

Here are additional resources that homeowners found useful when considering a laminate flooring project.

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