Invented in Sweden in the late 70’s, Laminate Flooring's popularity has steadily grown until this very day.
Since then a number of new styles and ranges of Laminate Flooring have been produced and homeowners can’t get enough of it!
But why is Laminate Flooring so popular?
And what are some of the downsides to Laminate Flooring that you simply don’t get with other flooring options?
Well, that’s why we have put together this Ultimate Guide to Laminate Flooring to run you through all of the pros and cons so you can make the decision whether or not Laminate Flooring is the right flooring solution for your home!
Before we delve into the pros and cons of Laminate Flooring, it’s first important to understand exactly what it is to give you context for each benefit, and problem, that Laminate Flooring offers.
As its name suggests, Laminate Flooring is a result of a lamination process where several layers of synthetic flooring are fused together.
Essentially, Laminate Flooring mimics real wood flooring with a photographic layer visible under a clear protective layer.
Typically, the other layers underneath comprise of fiber board materials and / or melamine resin.
One of Laminate Floorings great benefits is its ease of installation.
In fact, you could probably fit an entire room with Laminate Flooring in just one day without much prior experience at all!
Whether you’re cutting your Laminate Flooring with a saw or your Laminate Flooring simply snaps together with a ‘tongue and groove’ system, it’s super easy to install.
If this all sounds too overwhelming and the thought of laying laminate around doorways and fireplaces puts you off, then you could even get a professional in to do it for you for a few hundred pounds.
Laminate Flooring is perhaps most popular in kitchens due to its durability and easiness to clean compared to carpets.
However, would Laminate Flooring be suitable for the bedroom, where you want to be warm, soft and cosy, or any other room in the house for that matter?
Well, Laminate Flooring can be a lot colder than carpet and that might be an issue for you if you’re living in a colder country on those bleak winter mornings.
Also, you have to consider the noise insulation that carpet provides and that fact that Laminate Flooring can be very loud.
Would this be an issue to you, your family members or housemates?
There’s always the option of throwing down a rug to keep in the heat and add some insulation but it’s an extra cost, albeit a small one, and they can sometimes slip and slide on the smooth Laminate Flooring.
As mentioned above, if you’re living in a cold area or desire Laminate Flooring in a bedroom where you need to be warm you’ll need a way of keeping it warm.
The classic rug option is a start and also has other benefits such as improving air quality and soundproofing.
However, rugs can bring with them their own problems such as being slippy and shedding fur or material all over your room!
Can you have underfloor heating under Laminate Flooring?
You sure can!
Whilst it may not always be feasible for every home and it will come at a cost, underfloor heating can be set on a timer like your regular heating system and keep your toes nice and warm.
Not only is underfloor heating expensive to install, it will also increase your heating bill so be sure to check your finances and set yourself a budget before making any decisions.
Put simply, no!
In fact, Laminate Flooring is famed for its affordability and is incredibly cheap compared to other flooring alternatives.
Not only is it easier and cheaper to install, it’s also much more durable and easier to repair than many flooring options.
One accusation thrown at Laminate Flooring is that what it makes up for in pricing, it lets down in style...
Today, Laminate Flooring can come in a range of styles and colours to suit every home.
Laminate Flooring aims to replicate the striking look and classy feel of real wood and the options available these days certainly do just that.
There’s no doubt that you can tell the difference between real wood and laminate on a close inspection but Laminate Flooring has become trendy in it’s own right and a must have for modern homes and younger homeowners.
It’s important to understand how durable your flooring option is, especially if you’re part of a large family or own several pets that are going to be running about on it all day.
Laminate Flooring is incredibly durable and unlike real wood, for example, it will hardly ever dent, scratch or get stained.
This is due in part to the wear layer underneath the photographic layer (the one which has the wood design you can see on it) which adds a layer of protection.
However, if on the chance you do get a dent, scratch or stain it’s almost impossible to repair without replacing the whole floor.
Paint is the perfect way to spruce up your Laminate Flooring but the process isn’t simple and there’s some pitfalls to be wary of.
Firstly, you need a specific paint.
For example, you need to make sure you choose flooring paint rather wall paint.
Also, bear in mind that if your Laminate Flooring is going to be laid in a high footfall area, you will not want to scrimp on the quality of paint you opt for.
Before you get paint happy, you will also need to prepare the room by moving furniture, ensuring your floor is properly sanded and cleaned of dust.
Laminate Flooring is an incredibly low maintenance flooring solution compared to wood and carpets for example as it does not absorb dirt and moisture to the same extent.
Whether it’s hair or fluff that you can hoover up, mud and dirt that you can sweep or spills that you can soak up with a sponge, Laminate Flooring is the perfect solution for a family home!
Let’s take a look at how Laminate Flooring compares to some of the most popular flooring alternatives.
When you compare the pros and cons of Laminate Flooring with Hardwood you notice that Laminate is cheaper and more durable but harder to repair.
Compared to Vinyl Flooring, Laminate has a higher resale value, is more natural looking than vinyl and is more comfortable to walk on but has less resistance to moisture and therefore is less efficient in damp areas.
Versus Tile Flooring, Laminate is cheaper, more durable and less noisy but less moisture resistant. Laminate can replicate the stunning appearance of Tile but if you want the real deal and are prepared to pay a premium, Tile is probably the one for you.
Taking a look at the pros and cons of laminate versus Engineered Wood Flooring, once again you’ll find that Laminate Flooring comes out as cheaper. However, Engineered Wood Floorings main bonus is its durability as it can last several decades more than Laminate.
If you’re unsure as to whether Laminate Flooring is the right option for you then hopefully this article has gone some way in making your mind up for you.
Now you have noted the pros and cons of Laminate Flooring you can check whether they align with your own priorities and what you desire from your flooring solution.
Are you on a tight budget?
Which rooms will the floors go in?
Can you install the flooring yourself?
Do you have pets or children?
For more flooring options take a look at our website or head over to our blog for more flooring inspiration, tips and ideas.