Laminate flooring has become recognized as an attractive and cost-effective alternative to solid and engineered hardwood flooring. This is because it rivals its counterparts in appearance and durability but is often easier to maintain and much less expensive.
The Advantage of Laminate Flooring
Laminate hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of simulated wood species, colors and styles. While they are designed to look like solid hardwood floors, they are actually rarely comprised of real wood. Instead, laminate flooring is made with four separate layers: the bottom layer, fiberboard core, the decorative layer and tread layer. These layers are laminated together with a process involving melamine resins and aluminum oxide, high heat and extreme pressure. As a result, laminated flooring surfaces are highly resistant to moisture, staining, and fading. They are often just as, if not more, dent and stain resistant than solid or engineered wood floors and consequently, many manufacturers offer extended warranties. What’s more, laminated flooring can be used in almost any location – including below-grade applications
Perhaps the most important factor is that laminate hardwood flooring runs roughly one-third to one-half the price of a solid or engineered hardwood floor, and even more for exotic woods and styles. Thicker laminated flooring generally equals a more durable, comfortable surface.
Care and Maintenance of a Laminate Floor
It is very important to keep laminate floors clean, as dust and dirt may scratch the surface over time in high-traffic areas. Because it is usually designed for light domestic applications, it may be less durable than more conventional flooring in certain high traffic areas. It is also important to keep laminate flooring relatively dry. Small household spills aren't a problem if they 're-wiped up quickly, before sitting for a prolonged period of time. Usually we recommend using small pads on the feet of furniture to prevent scratching laminate floors.
While some inferior glue-less laminate floor planks may gradually become separated and periodically require tapping back together, quality glue-less laminate floors use joining mechanisms that hold the planks together and prevent dirt from entering the joints.