The term “hardwood laminate flooring” is actually a misnomer. All laminate floors are made from synthetic materials or a combination of real and synthetic materials. But the consumer can, indeed, obtain laminate flooring difficult to distinguish from flooring made from solid wood, depending upon the quality of the laminate flooring purchased.
Origins and What It’s Made From
Laminate flooring originated in Europe from the Swedish company, Pergo, a now-well-known flooring manufacturer in the United States, as well. Nowadays, scores of flooring manufacturers produce the material, which makes shopping around for the best price and quality a smart practice.
Made from a dense inner core with layers of fused or glued material added, the best-quality laminate that emulates hardwood resists staining, wears better, and fades less than the real thing. Plus the cost of “hardwood” laminate flooring is a fraction of what real planks of oak, maple, hickory, or other classic hardwood flooring material costs.
Ease of Installation
Another selling point of laminate floors lies in its ease of installation. Many of the top brands feature planks that simply fit easily together in a notched fashion similar to building blocks without the need for adhesives, nails, or staples. A foam or film underlayment is commonly laid beneath before installation to provide protection against moisture and to reduce noise.
Because of laminate’s moisture-resistant qualities, it’s ideal for damp areas such as bathrooms and in areas where water spills are apt to occur, such as kitchens. And unlike real hardwood flooring, laminate beautifully resists denting.
Hundreds of patterns, designs, and styles as well as every species of wood imaginable (just about) are now available as laminate flooring, which also comes made to simulate natural stone such as granite and marble. Laminate features extremely easy maintenance that entails little more than keeping it clean. In fact, sanding and finishing this type of flooring like one would do to revitalize a real hardwood floor would ruin laminate and is highly advised against. Nor is it necessary to apply wax or oil.
It’s Not Damage-Proof
Laminates, like any other flooring, are not indestructible, however. You can mar the surface of it by moving heavy furniture across it, walking on it in high heels, and the claws of pets repeatedly walking across it can cause damage.
You can also ruin a laminate floor with a constant pool of standing water on it for long periods of time. The good news is that with proper care and cleaning and no abuse like that mentioned above, laminate made from a reputable manufacturer can last for many years.
Hardwood laminate flooring can be an excellent choice for many homeowners. It costs less, wears better, and is easier to maintain than traditional, “real” hardwood floors. So check it out. But make sure you buy from a well-known supplier and if you are not installing it yourself, seek out reputable flooring installers with experience in installing this type of flooring. Your extra steps will pay off in a laminate floor you’ll be proud to show off most likely for the life of your home.