Who doesn’t love the warmth and beauty of a hardwood floor? The soft gleam of the wood adds something unique to the ambiance of any room. However, real wood flooring is costly. It was once a typical floor in traditional homes, but nowadays the deforestation of old growth trees has forced the price of such luxury flooring beyond most peoples’ budgets. However, there is a hardwood alternative: laminate flooring.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a wood imitation. The planks are constructed from composite wood that has been pressed together at exceedingly high temperatures. An image or fragile layer of hardwood flooring is then placed over the composite wood substance to make it look like hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring comes in a wide array of styles and colors. It typically costs 50 percent less than real hardwood flooring which is a substantial price cut. Also, it is far cheaper to install than real hardwood flooring.
Durability and Water Resistance of Hardwood Flooring
Laminate flooring is very durable. Also, it resists scratches and moisture better than traditional hardwood flooring which can easily scratch or develop watermarks from a spill that is left on the wood’s surface for too long. Most laminate flooring is moisture resistant so the liquid beads up on the flooring’s surface until you wipe it away. However, if the water is left on the laminate for an extended amount of time it can seep between the boards of flooring and cause the composite backing of the laminate to come apart or bubble. So, although laminate is marketed as ‘water resistant,’ it is not 100 percent waterproof, and you still need to quickly clean up spills to maintain the floor’s pristine appearance.
Maintenance of Laminate Flooring
Overall, laminate flooring is far easier to maintain than standard hardwood flooring. The wooden boards do not scratch or scuff as easily. In addition, it holds its shine well year after year. If a board of laminate is damaged, then you can replace it. The cost of replacing the flooring is typically far cheaper than repairing or refinishing real hardwood.
Sunlight and Flooring
Traditional wood is often at the mercy of sunlight that streams through a window. The wood area will bleach out and may even dry out. Laminate flooring has been treated with sun protection that protects the flooring from harmful UV rays, so your floor looks terrific year after year, even in front of large windows where the sun’s rays regularly fall onto the floor’s surface.
Climate and Flooring
If you live in an arid, desert location, then hardwood flooring often starts to dry out and shrink. This can cause cracks or gaps in the flooring. It also may lose its shine and luster due to the low humidity in the home. However, laminate flooring is not at the mercy of moisture and will continue to look beautiful no matter what the atmospheric conditions might be.
If you are a modern flooring that is affordable, then you should weigh the pros and cons of laminate flooring, which has become a trendy hardwood flooring alternative.