Laminate Flooring has become very popular over the past few years. Many homeowners choose it because it is attractive, and also costs much less than natural wood, ceramic, or stone flooring.
The cost of laminate flooring varies greatly from one brand and thickness to another. Depending upon which type you choose, it is possible to save up to half on the cost of your floor, over the cost of natural wood flooring.
Installation of laminate flooring is also much simpler than that of natural wood or another type of flooring. Because it is possible to install laminate flooring over the existing floor, and because the pieces of laminate lock together like puzzle pieces, many homeowners can install it on their own. This can save significantly on the cost of new flooring. It is also possible to install your own wood and tile flooring, although not as easily as the installation of laminate. Stone flooring, however, usually requires installation by a professional. This can become very expensive.
When choosing laminate flooring, the homeowner has many different styles from which to choose. Laminate can resemble many different types of wood and stone.
However, laminate flooring is not wood. Unlike natural wood flooring, it cannot be refinished. Because wood flooring is usually about ¾” thick, and because it is not imitation, it can be refinished many times over the lifetime of a home. The inner layers of laminate is fiberboard, and moisture can damage it much more quickly than it can a wood or stone floor. Laminate will buckle if water soaks between the pieces. Wood floors, however, can be damaged by water as well, although not as quickly as laminate.
A benefit of using laminate flooring in your home is that it does resist stains and fading from the sunlight much better than natural wood. It also resists dents and breakage much better than wood or ceramic. Upkeep is much simpler on laminate flooring as well. You need only to sweep daily with a soft broom, and damp mop as needed. This can make it a very good choice for busy families with children or indoor pets.
Although laminate flooring is very economical on the front end, possibly saving the homeowner thousands of dollars on purchase and installation, it can be much less economical in the long run. Because it is an imitation, it does not improve the resale value of a home. Compared to all other types of flooring, wood adds the most value to a home when it is time to sell.
Laminate flooring will need to be replaced much more quickly than other types of flooring. The highest quality of laminate claims to last 15 years, whereas wood and stone can last for many years.
Making Your Decision
When planning the installation of a new floor, it is wise to take your time and consider the pros and cons of each type of flooring. Think about your future plans for your home. How long will you live in it? Do you plan to change your flooring in a few years? How much can you afford to spend? How much effort do you want to devote to upkeep? After thinking through these questions, the best choice for your home and family will be much easier to make.