When considering new flooring, the most practical question would be deciding what type of floor you should install. Let us explore the concept of laminate flooring.
Laminate is a synthetic product that imitates wood flooring. It has grown in popularity over the last decade and has flooded the market with a wide range of choices and over 100 different brand names available in South Africa.
Although most of theses brands are of good quality and will give you great performances, there are unfortunately also some below industry standards.
Laminate floors are very affordable compared to solid wood floors, with most of the laminates looking very similar to authentic wood flooring.
Newer types of laminate flooring have a “click-lock” design which is often combined with a dry glue that is already on the product and requires just a swipe of a wet sponge to activate it.
Laminate flooring is almost impervious to dents and scratches. It has what is called a “wear layer” that protects the wood image underneath.
It can be used in almost any room, [not recommended for bathrooms or kitchens]. It is available in a wide range of colours, shade, style and textures.
Unlike solid wood, which comes with many imperfect pieces that need to be thrown out, there are no defects in laminate flooring.
It’s tough surface resists stains, but if you do get a stain, it is very easy to clean off.
Simply use a vacuum, broom or a slightly damp mop. No floor waxing needed.
As much as it might look and feel like real wood, it is not. For some, this fact may be a deterrent.
A foam underlay may help to dampen this feeling, but its still there.
Traditionally, laminate flooring has been very slippery. However, manufacturers have been developing slip-resistant wear layers more recently.
Solid wood flooring adds better value when selling your house.
If heavily worn, deeply scratched, or grooved, it cannot be sanded or refinished like solid wood and must be replaced with new laminate panels.
Most laminate floors are very susceptible to high moisture or water damage due the material it is made from. Ensure that there are no moisture issues before installing a laminate floor to avoid swelling.
In conclusion, should you decide on laminate flooring, ensure that you use the correct cleaning methods to extend the lifespan of your flooring and remember that it is very important that you use a quality brand and a trusted installer with references.