With so many different flooring options available on the market it can become overwhelming trying to decide which is the best for you. In this article, we’re going to focus on laminate flooring specifically so that you can get a better idea as to how it works, how long it is likely to last, and whether or not it is suitable for your home and individual requirements.
What is laminate flooring?
So, what is laminate flooring? Broadly speaking, laminate flooring is a type of floorboard that is composed of three key layers. They are as follows:
- At its core there is a base layer of plywood or high-density fibreboard which gives the material its strength and stability. This type of base is the same one that is used in many of the latest and greatest engineered wood flooring products – making laminate a highly durable option.
- Next there is a high-res photo realistic image layer. This gives off the aesthetic appearance that mimics wood. You can however, find stone and metal-look alternatives depending on your taste and preferences.
- Finally, there is a protective wear layer that provides the hardness and protection. This layer is incredibly tough and when coupled with the core base layer, makes laminate flooring one of the most durable flooring options available on the market today.
Is laminate flooring a good floor?
Is laminate flooring a decent flooring type? Is this an option worthy of making its way into your home? The short answer is yes. Laminate flooring is incredibly durable. That, and due to its hard scratch-resistant top layer, it makes laminate flooring ideal for high-traffic areas in the home, particularly if you have pets.
Laminate is far more resistant to scratching that timber, oak, and bamboo alternatives. While it certainly doesn’t quite have the same aesthetic charm as real wood, it makes up for it in durability and longevity. Additionally, laminate flooring is cheaper than natural hardwood alternatives so – if budget is a concern and you aren’t too caught up on having the perfect aesthetic appeal then laminate flooring is an ideal choice.
How long does laminate flooring last?
How long does laminate flooring last? This will of course, largely depend on the quality of the flooring and how well it was installed in the first place (for DIY floorboards, make sure you do your research and follow all of the necessary steps for an effective home installation – otherwise, call the professionals for a thorough finish). In any case, laminate flooring should last you approximately 10 to 25 years.
When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home, it’s more than just picking the right aesthetics that matters, but how durable and strong it is going to be. As a whole, 10 to 25 years is a very reasonable duration for flooring. In a low-traffic area and with regular maintenance you could look at 25 years or more. It really depends on how well you take care of it and, again, what kind of quality and installation you chose.
What happens when laminate flooring gets wet?
While laminate flooring can certainly last up to 25 years, it won’t last very long if you start getting it wet. Water damages laminate flooring significantly by soaking it through into the under layers. Once there is excessive moisture inside the boards it will cause them begin to swell up and warp out of shape. This can be incredibly unsightly and cause all manner of issues, including the floorboards to come un-joined. Further to that, water will weaken the glue holding them together and before long you will be left with loose boards that are bent out of shape.
Rest assured, the occasional minor spillage is perfectly fine as laminate floorboards are water resistant, so long as you clean up any mess immediately before any fluids are left to soak in, you won’t have any problems. However, if you plan to use laminate flooring in a bathroom or kitchen area where moisture is more prevalent, we would advise against it. There are better alternatives with 100% waterproof features (although they do have their own pros and cons to be aware of).
What are the benefits of having laminate flooring installed in your home?
What are the key features that make laminate flooring an attractive option?
- Manufactured to be highly durable (ideal for high-traffic areas in your home).
- Easier and cheaper installation (ideal if you would like to attempt yourself – and not so strenuous on your bank account if you would rather hire the professionals).
- Scratch and water resistant (perfect for homes with pets and small children with high-traffic, scratching, and the occasional spillage).
- Hygienic, easy cleanable surface (this is a great feature which makes keeping your laminate flooring in quality condition for longer, easier).
- Realistic design (while you certainly won’t have the same aesthetic as proper hardwood flooring, laminate can mimic the natural grain of wood to a very effective degree).
So, to recap:
- Laminate flooring is composed of three layers: a core base of plywood or high-density fibreboard, the high-res photo realistic image layer, and the protective wear layer.
- Laminate flooring is a very good flooring option with many benefits, including durability, longevity, and scratch-resistance.
- This kind of flooring can last from 10 to 25
- While laminate flooring is water resistant, it isn’t water proof. As such, if you spill water on it and do not clean it up, the water will soak into the lower layers which over time can cause warping and swelling, thus leading to permanent and irreparable damage.
- Laminate flooring is an affordable option that can mimic hardwood, with a number of other benefits as well – particularly scratch resistance and durability.
We hope that you have found this article helpful. Whether you are doing a DIY installation or hiring the professionals, we wish you luck with your home renovation project.