Hardwood floors are a natural material. They come from real trees, are cut, finished and sold. However, laminate floors are not wood “per se”, technically they are made out of wood, but it’s all man-made. These laminate floors can be made to look like anything. Do you want tiles? You got it. Do you want it to look like maple? Cool. You want it to look like stone? No problem. One of the most popular items for this flooring to look like, though, is the wood.
Laminate flooring is much cheaper and easier to install than hardwood, and although it may not keep as long as hardwood, it is so inexpensive that even if it is to be uninstalled and replaced in a few years, it’s okay, it won’t break the bank so to speak.
Over the years more and more options have become available for wood laminates, which is probably why they are becoming so darn popular!
Do you want to know more about wood laminates? Here are a few other things you should know or be aware of before making your final flooring choice.
When Was Laminate Flooring Created?
Laminate flooring might seem like a new material, but it isn’t. It’s not as old as natural stone like marble or natural hardwood, but it does date back to 1977. The company that first developed it, was called Pergo. You’ve probably heard this term before.
The renovation or construction marketplace is absolutely flooded with flooring brands that offer laminate flooring, but that doesn’t mean you should just trust any flooring brand. Though wood laminate flooring material is less “strong” than flooring which is made with real hardwood, it’s still a pretty good construction material nonetheless. Some companies out there might try to pull the wool over your eyes and have you believe you are buying a good quality laminate floor when you are not. Because of this, make sure that the laminate flooring is NALFA certified. When you buy a floor that is NALFA certified you can be sure about a few things. For example, the flooring will be installed without the use of glue. Instead, they will be click-together laminates. Also, if the material is NALFA certified you will know that it’s not only recyclable but that it doesn’t have formaldehyde in it.
Formaldehyde is a pretty nasty chemical that can cause all sorts of health issues. It’s a big no-no in the flooring industry and yet some companies still use it.
Really, What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is made from layers. The very top layer is a protective layer that makes it more durable, this is a transparent film of sorts. The second layer below that is a decorative layer with the detailed image of what you want your floor to look like, cost of laminate flooring is also a lot less than hardwood flooring which is why it is considered a cheaper flooring solution. Technology has now advanced so much that it can mimic whatever images you want and place them on your floors so the floors look like the image.
It sounds more confusing than it really is. The next layer is an HDF that offers stability, durability and impacts resistance. The very last layer is the underlayment. The underlayment may be already built into the wood flooring or might not, but either way, it’s required for installation. Some underlayments, for rooms like bathrooms, also have a moisture barrier.
Installing The Flooring In A Day?
Can you really install a brand new laminate floor in a day or a weekend? You can if it’s a floating floor such as laminates also known as floating wood tile and you may not even need flooring contractor so as long as the sub-floor, the pre-existing floor is not made of carpet and it’s in good condition and level installing laminate flooring is much easier than hardwood flooring installation for which you will need a professional contractor. As for installation of laminate flooring you can indeed snap the floor together, over the existing flooring and cutting laminate flooring is not that difficult you can rent tools from your nearby home improvement stores which can assist you with cutting. So, this means essentially that this could be a DIY project for homeowners who would like to become flooring installers for the weekend and save on flooring installation costs, which could save you a ton of money, but it also means, that yes, you can install an entire floor in a day or two. Pretty awesome, right!
Other Benefits Of Laminate Flooring
This all sounds awesome, but what about fading, stains, and repelling water? Well, because of the way that this flooring is made, it does resist stains and fading. But, just like any other wood material, it should stay away from standing water. However, when you spill something on it, and dab it up, you should be okay. Dabbing the water or liquid away, rather than applying pressure and pushing it down into the floor will keep it away from the seams and joints of the flooring. It’s always a good idea to buy 10% more of your laminates than you originally intended to for those ‘just in case’ moments.
Laminates are super easy to replace, but it’s better to have the same flooring on hand, in case they sell out or discontinue your specific type or color.