The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring: Is It the Right Choice for Your Home

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Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring 1

Before discussing the pros and cons of laminate flooring and deciding if it is the right choice for your home, you must understand exactly what it is. Since most people call it laminate wood flooring, laminate flooring is commonly thought to be just another name for wood flooring, but that is not the case. Yes, laminate flooring has wood, but only pieces of it through manufacturing.

Laminate flooring comprises four layers, with the first being the one that you lay down on the flooring.

  • Back Layer: This is the bottom layer responsible for keeping the laminate floor waterproof and helping keep the floor level upon the subflooring underneath. It is usually made out of plastic, paper, or melamine.
  • Core Layer:  This layer makes up the central portion of the laminate flooring. It is a compressed, high-density board that protects the flooring from indentations and is another layer to protect against moisture. Depending on the brand and style, the core layer can also be made of compressed particle board mixed with melamine for moisture protection and strength.
  • Design: This is the image layer that gives the piece of laminate the method that you want. If you are looking to imitate Marble, for instance, the image imprinted upon the design layer will be of Marble, which gives the laminate flooring the look of the real thing without spending the time and money to find the perfect rocks.
  • Wear Layer: The top layer is called the wear layer because it is the one that takes the majority of the beating. It protects the entire laminate flooring against damage from everyday wear and tear and water and food spills.

Now that you have a good grasp on exactly what laminate flooring is, it is time to take a look at the pros and cons of it so you can decide if laminate is the flooring for your home.

PROS

CONS

Affordable

Susceptible to moisture

Easy installation

Hard underfoot

Stain resistant

Noisy underfoot

Easy repair and replacement

Repetitive patterns

Wear resistant

Some chemicals present

Easy to care for

Cannot be refinished

Non-allergenic

Not the real thing

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring 2

It boils down to that laminate floors are a great alternative to the real thing because they look great. Unless you absolutely feel like you need to have the real thing in your house, laminate pieces will more than do the job. 

Granted, a piece of Marble style laminate flooring will not feel or look like a piece of natural Marble, but it gives the same appearance at a glance. Plus, one of the biggest benefits of using laminate flooring instead of the real thing is that it is very sustainable compared to using a chunk of Oak that has to be cut down and processed. 

When this happens, a substantial amount of that tree is wasted to get you a few usable planks. Laminate flooring does not depend upon using specific pieces of the original tree or rock, which means that it will not be the reason so much waste is accumulated at the manufacturing levels.

Another great reason to use laminate flooring, which could be considered a Con if you wanted to add it to the table, is that laminate flooring is designed to put up with more abuse than natural wood flooring. Even though Oak and Walnut are hardwoods, constant foot traffic from animals and children can cause marks and dents in the wood. 

If that happens, it can be an expensive fix with natural flooring, but if you have a laminate plank, you can simply pop it out, put another matching piece in place, and that is it. It cannot be much more simple than that.

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