Laminate flooring was developed decades ago as an inexpensive and easy-to-install alternative to solid hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring manufacturers worked hard on improvements, and today’s laminate features better quality and appearance, with more options than ever available.
Being DIY-friendly, laminate wood flooring is also attractive, durable, and versatile, but is it right for you? Let’s discuss laminate flooring pros and cons to find out.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Let’s start with the benefits you’ll enjoy if you install laminate floors in your home.
Design and Appearance
Laminate comes in various colors and designs, so whatever your style, there will be an option for you. You can find fantastic options that mimic everything from exotic hardwoods to concrete to natural stone. And every plank is of consistent quality and appearance.
Do you prefer dark laminate flooring? Or maybe you want to install light wood laminate? There are antiqued and rustic laminate flooring versions, too, in case you want your floor to look as if it’s been there for centuries. Whatever your style preference, there is something for everyone.
Thanks to sharper high-definition imaging, deeper embossing, and a host of other innovations, contemporary wide plank laminate flooring has a more realistic feel. This makes it a great option for everyone who wants the look of hardwood and other natural materials without the complex and tedious installation.
Laminate surfaces are multi-layered, and one of these layers is an extremely tough wear layer that provides support and protection for the floor, preventing scratches and dents. It also makes laminate floors very resistant to stains. That’s why its maintenance is a breeze. You can clean laminate floors with a vacuum and a broom, and it’s easy to remove dust, dirt, or grime using a microfiber spray mop with a special floor cleaner.
Cheaper Than Wood
Laminate flooring looks and feels like the real material, but without the high price. That makes it perfect for budget-conscious homeowners. Laminate flooring can run about half the price of wood flooring, so why not go for an option that can save you some money? You’ll get all the luxury and rich textures of real wood flooring at a budget-friendly cost.
Easy to Install
Laminate flooring comes as planks or tiles. Their edges and ends are designed to snap together, so there’s no nailing. That makes laminate installation a good DIY project. A room can be done during a weekend by a handy homeowner. And because laminate planks are very easy to install, professional installation is not very expensive as well.
Durable and Long-lasting Material
A highly durable wear layer above the image layer is designed to withstand foot traffic, sun fading, scratches, dents, and stains. That’s why laminate is perfect for high-traffic areas such as the living room. But you should keep in mind that laminate flooring comes with an AC rating that defines how strong and durable the laminate is, and the higher the number, the more durable the floor is.
The lifespan for laminate flooring varies between 15-25 years. Still, some lower grade laminates may need replacing after around 10 years, and laminates with higher grade can potentially last around 30 years. And remember that if a piece of laminate gets damaged, you can often replace the individual plank.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
No floor covering is perfect, so laminate flooring also has some disadvantages. But luckily, there aren’t many of them.
Even the best laminate flooring is susceptible to moisture damage, so it shouldn’t be installed in laundry rooms. It is made of high-density fiberboard, which breaks down and expands when it is exposed directly to standing water.
But now, manufacturers have developed water-resistant and fully waterproof laminate options. Water-resistant laminate is a great option for kitchens and other spaces where some moisture is present, and spills might occur. And waterproof laminate flooring may be installed in heavy moisture areas like the bathroom. But for heavy moisture, you should look to a more impervious surface, such as luxury vinyl plank flooring.
You Can’t Refinish It
Hardwood can be refinished many times to keep it looking fresh and new. And laminate flooring can’t be refinished, so once it’s worn out or cosmetic damage shows, you’ll have to replace it. But laminate floors have a more durable surface and are also much cheaper to replace than other types of flooring.
Lower Return on Funding
While laminate flooring is perfectly functional and attractive, it doesn’t carry prestige. And it is not going to add much real estate value to your home as it happens with real hardwood flooring or stone tiles. If you want to get top sale value for your home, engineered wood flooring will give you better value.
Is Laminate Flooring for You?
We have discussed laminate flooring pros and cons, and as you can see, the cons of laminate are outweighed by numerous benefits laminate can bring to your home. Its practicality, affordability, and visually appealing design aesthetics make laminate flooring an increasingly popular option among homeowners. Consider laminate if you are looking for a beautiful and cost-effective flooring material for your home.