Flooring: Hardwood vs. Laminate
Everyone likes the beautiful, timeless look of hardwood floors. Elegant, yet simple, hardwood is stunning. But take a closer look. Is that hardwood scratched and dented? Are those stains and fade marks that you see there? Maybe that hardwood floor is not as nice as you originally thought.
If you like the look and the timeless appearance of hardwood floors but do not want the scratches, dents and fade marks that will come with it, then laminate flooring is a good option for you. Not only is is laminate more durable than hardwood, it is also less expensive and easier to lay down.
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a composite product that looks like a wood product. Laminate flooring is made of a high-density core with an image placed on the top layer and sealed with a laminate covering. Laminate flooring has a water repellent placed on it and good quality floors are infused with water repellent throughout the core.
What Kind Of Laminate Floor Should I Get?
When you are choosing your laminate floor you will need to take a few things into consideration. The first thing that you need to look at is where you are going to put the floor. Are you looking at a high traffic area that will see a lot of use? Alternatively, is the area that you are covering a smaller, low traffic area? If you are looking at covering a low traffic area, you will probably be able to get away with a laminate flooring that has a smaller core.
The core sizes of laminate flooring vary from around 6mm to 12 mm. The thicker the core in the flooring, the better the stability. In addition, if you have a thicker core it will stand up better to wear and tear is likely to last you longer than a thinner core. And, with a thicker core you do not get the hollow sound when you walk on it.
If you are thinking of moving to a different home in the next few years, you may want to go with a lesser quality of laminate flooring as well. Usually when people purchase a home, the flooring is the first thing that they change so there is no point spending a lot of money on a floor when you are going to change residences.
Most laminate flooring comes with warranties starting. Generally, the more expensive floor types will come with longer warranties. Be sure to read your warranties very carefully.
Can I do It Myself?
One of the biggest appeals of laminate flooring is that most people can install them by themselves. You can install most laminate coverings over sheet vinyl, concrete slabs, plywood underlay, existing hardwood or any other flat and level surface.
The glueless Pergo flooring is a very popular choice because it does not require any glue to install properly or any other special tools of any kind. Therefore, anyone can do it himself or herself. One of the biggest benefits to installing the floor yourself is that you can save thousands of dollars on installation fees.
What About In The Kitchen?
Laminate flooring is a good choice for the kitchen and bathroom because it is water repellent. The core of laminate floors have been infused with water repellent to protect from everyday spills that happen. However if you are looking at installing your floor in the kitchen or bathroom you may want to look at purchasing a floor that has been infused with a paraffin wax in the joints in order to further repel water and avoid swelling.
Unlike hardwood floors, laminate is a much better choice for kitchens or bathrooms. Because we all know that spills happen. Water and food spills can stain traditional hardwood floors. You will not get the same problems with laminate flooring.
Choose The Right Floor
Laminate flooring is available in many different styles, colors and patterns. There is something to suit everyone no matter what your style preference may be. When you go shopping for laminate flooring, you will encounter many different brands such as Pergo, Armstrong and Bruce. Laminate was introduced in 1982. You will be able to find laminate in many price ranges, so there is something to suit everyone's budget.