All About Laminate Flooring
Laminate has been growing in popularity due to its affordability, but what else does it have to offer?
Laminate flooring was invented in 1977 by Swedish company Perstorp. They wanted to reuse wood waste products and make them more usable within the flooring industry. Don’t let the word “waste” worry you, though. The materials are treated with pressure, heat, and solutions to make them suitable for floor coverings.
One of the principal things that laminate flooring is known for is its affordability. While it may not always seem like the best idea to go with the cheapest option, laminate can be a great option for new families or for those with pets — especially pets that have the propensity to destroy flooring with their claws, nails, or general chaotic tendencies. I mean, who wants to spend thousands of dollars on beautiful hardwood only for it to be ruined a month later?
Laminate flooring can run as low as $.59 per square foot and upwards of around $5 per square foot. At these price points, there is a laminate option that fits everyone’s needs.
Because laminate is comprised of an imaging layer, the design possibilities are endless. Commonly, laminate comes in wood-look and stone tile.
Companies can create laminate that mimics all types of hardwood from European oak to more exotic types of wood such as bamboo. Especially when it comes to more exotic woods that are known to be less durable than other types of woods, laminate can be a great option for its durability. Laminate can also mimic more “expensive” looking hardwood customizations such as distressed wood; this can be great for giving a home a more rustic or farmhouse feel.
Similar to the way it can mimic hardwood, laminate tile can mimic different types of stone tile as well. From marble to the more standard Tuscan stone (that’s very popular in many kitchens), laminate flooring is very versatile.
Finally, with modern advances in design and imaging technology, laminate flooring has never looked more realistic. Some versions even come textured for a more realistic look and feel.
Similar to other flooring types such as Luxury Vinyl Plank, many people find laminate to be softer and more comfortable to walk on, as it absorbs pressure from each footfall. As a bonus, it also stays at room temperature, keeping your feet from getting cold during the winter months!
As for the installation process, laminate can either be glued down, or they have interlocking pieces that click into place. The interlocking pieces bring the individual planks closer together so that there is a tight seal, preventing moisture from getting under the boards.
Like other flooring types, you need a good subfloor when installing laminate. This helps with maintaining a comfortable walking experience as well as keeping everything even and level. Along with having a good subfloor, foam or felt underlayments are essential as well. In case you didn’t know (because I sure didn’t when I was first learning about flooring), underlayments are installed between the subfloor and the laminate.
To save further on cost, you can even DIY your laminate flooring installation! Many people prefer to have the pros take care of this, though, for the best results.
Laminate flooring is made up of wood particle board, and image layer, and a transparent top/wear layer. This transparent top layer is key when it comes to scrapes and scratches. While laminate is quite durable, there is still a chance that it could be damaged throughout its age. Having a transparent layer, though, can help disguise these flaws. For example, if you scratch hardwood, the natural wood color will show through as the wood stain is damaged, but with laminate, a scratch will not be as visible.
Similar to hardwood, laminate’s enemy is water and moisture. Because of this weakness, laminate is good for spaces that don’t see a lot of water or other moisture — bedrooms, hallways, and dining rooms, for example. If you’re not prone to spills, laminate can also be a great option for kitchens, however, many experts advise against using laminate in bathrooms as it can easily be damaged and warped due to spills and moisture in the air.
Care & Maintenance
Thankfully, if you do spill something, laminate is very easy to care for. Mopping and sweeping is usually sufficient. Because it is non-porous, laminate is very resistant to stains; they’re still possible, but if they’re treated immediately, they shouldn’t be an issue.
We here at California Renovation want our customers to be informed and empowered when making the choice to renovate their home. Laminate can be a wonderful option for many, but it’s important to consider all of your options before spending a lot of money on a project. If you are looking to start a home renovation, give us a call!