Laminate flooring is sturdy, inexpensive and easy to maintain. That is why this type of flooring is great for areas in your house with high traffic. Searching for the best type of laminate can be a little confusing because you may think laminate flooring is all the same, but quite the contrary.
There are two types of laminate styles: engineered wood and plastic. Engineered wood is made from layers of real wood glued together. Each layer is perpendicular to the one below and above, creating better stability. The layer at the very top consists of a high-quality hardwood coated with acrylic finish. On the other hand, plastic laminate is totally artificial. There is a layer of melamine on the bottom, a resin-saturated fibreboard centre and a wood grain print on the top. This top layer is protected by a layer of clear hard plastic.
Of these two types of laminate, there are some things to consider before choosing the right laminate.
Both of these types can come in packages of snap-together planks. Some may also call for a small amount of adhesive to be used. The type of installation determines the price because you can easily do these types of installations yourself, cutting costs. You can add things like underlayment which basically prevents the floor from clicking on the subfloor as you walk across it. Underlayment also makes the floor feel a tad softer and helps the planks to be easily installed because it evens out unnoticeable inconsistencies in the subfloor.
It is important to keep in mind how long your laminate floors will cost because that will let you know how often it needs to be maintained or replaced altogether. Laminate floors are impossible to refinish. If there are any signs of damage, they have to be replaced totally, which means more money later on down the line every time it needs to be replaced. Luckily you can do the replacement yourself since laminate flooring is very easy to remove even after it has been laid down for a few years.
Laminate floors have a protective layer on the top that keeps dirt and stains from seeping into its surface. This makes cleaning and sanitizing more doable. To clean a laminate floor, all you need to do is sweep, vacuum and dry mop on a regular basis. If a more intense cleaning session is called for, use very mild soap and water solution and gently scrub the area. Avoid forming puddles though as it can cause damage to your laminate floors.
Choosing A Finish
Choose your finish based on your lifestyle, not just how it looks. If you have children that will be constantly running around the areas where you will have laminate flooring, it might be best not to pick all white laminate, unless you are ok with constantly cleaning your floors. The same can also be said if you have pets or you have a lot of visitors.