The laminate flooring of the past is no more! The once plastic and fake looking material can now be found with beveled edges and textured surfaces to better mimic a real wood floor. Laminates are designed to look like natural wood and they cost quite a bit less. Laminate flooring is an excellent option for the budget conscious and for those wanting easy maintenance. The “natural” look is achieved by laminating a decorative paper with a pattern printed on it to a layered construction of resin impregnated paper, medium to high density fiberboard, and a vinyl or plastic backing. An aluminum oxide coating is applied to the surface making your floor extremely durable. All of these layers work together to help your floor resist wear, indentations, heat, stains and moisture. Laminates are also one of the most scratch resistant wood look products so they are great for pets! In addition to this durability, Some laminates are now water proof. All laminate floors are easy to clean, they can be floated over existing floors with a simple “click” installation, and they come with excellent warranties.
Why choose anything else? Well, if you want the “real thing”, laminates are not right for you. They are synthetic and cannot be refinished. However, the once negative hollow sound associated with laminate floors is fading fast with the installation of sound reducing underlayments either already attached to the bottom of your laminate or purchased separately to be installed underneath.
When purchasing your laminate floor, figure out the square footage needed and then add 10-15% for waste. Check with your sales associate to see what extras are needed to complete the job, such as reducers, thresholds, and other trim moldings. If available through your laminate supplier, go ahead and purchase the manufacturer approved flooring cleaners as your only cleaner. And if you want to save more money, try to install this one on your own.