Laminate Floors – Cost Effective and Easy To Maintain
Ever since it was first invented back in 1977 in Sweden, laminate flooring has grown in popularity. People are drawn to the flooring’s durable nature and typically inexpensive price tag.
Laminate usually costs less than many other types of flooring, including LVT or hardwood. It also can be made to resemble many other types of products, including stone and wood grain. Basically, laminate floors are made by applying the simulated product to a durable composite board.
A glue-less form of laminate is also available; this involves locking laminate planks together with only tongues and grooves but no adhesive. Speaking of which, laminate is sold in a group of these tongue and groove planks that can be connected to one another, sort of like a flat Lego set. On occasion, a pad comes attached to the back of the planks; this helps the installation to go faster and also helps the laminate absorb sound and moisture even better.
There are two main types of laminate flooring: high pressure and direct pressure. High pressure laminate (HPL) floors are usually manufactured with more than 1,300 PSI; this helps to create a thicker layer for the flooring. HPL flooring tends to be more durable and have better sound reduction and is generally offers a stronger construction. Direct pressure laminate (DPL)—which is what most manufacturers use to make their flooring—are usually made with 300 to 500 PSI and is not as long lasting or tough.
People who opt to have laminate floors need to be prepared to clean it regularly. Dirt and dust can cause the laminate to scratch, especially in areas that get a lot of foot traffic. Laminate must also be kept dry; even though some brands feature a water-resistant coating, if water or other spilled liquids stay on the flooring for long, it will cause the laminate to swell up or warp in the wet area.
Because dirt, dust and other debris can cause laminate to look dull and unattractive, the flooring must be vacuumed, swept or dust mopped on a regular basis. When necessary, a damp mop can also be used to clean the floor but again—since water tends to warp the flooring, people must be extremely careful to use as little water as possible and to go over the floor again with a dry cloth. Homeowners must also be careful with how they treat their laminate flooring, as it tends to dent fairly easily and it cannot be repaired or refinished.
At Cardoza Flooring, we recommend that homeowners spend a bit more money and go with hardwood flooring instead of laminate flooring. Hardwood flooring is also extremely attractive and durable and unlike laminate, it can be repaired and resurfaced over time.
Click here to return to the wood flooring overview.