There’s no way to prevent spills, stains and heavy traffic. But you won’t have to worry about the damage anymore with new laminate flooring. It would be difficult to find a flooring product that’s tougher and more versatile than laminate. Laminate flooring is available in a variety of colors and finishes, and is extremely simple to install.
How Laminate Flooring Is Made
Laminate flooring shouldn’t be confused with engineered wood flooring. Both are made of layers of material laminated together for strength. Laminate floors use several materials, such as resin, wood fiber and kraft paper (materials vary by manufacturer) compacted under pressure to create the final product. The flooring is made into planks.
The surface of a laminate plank is actually an image, printed from film onto a thin decorative layer, which is then treated with a wear layer. The high resolution of the film allows an extremely authentic appearance. The finished material is similar in feel to a kitchen countertop. A variety of finishes are available from woodgrain to color.
Most laminates are coated with aluminum oxide, which is where it gets its strength. Laminates are known to be very durable, water-resistant and dent-resistant. They also resist wear better than hardwoods.
When it comes to choosing color for your laminate floor, there’s everything from oak to cherry to bamboo. As you’re thinking about a color, consider how your selection will work with your home’s furniture and cabinets. Keep in mind that darker woods tend to make a room feel formal whereas lighter colors create a more casual mood.
Laminate Flooring – Pros
•Very Durable Surface. Unlike wood, which can dent, laminate flooring is almost impervious to dents and scratches. Laminate flooring has what’s called in the industry a “wear layer” that protects the photographic layer underneath. Some manufacturers, DuPont in particular, give very generous 10+ year warranties on this wear layer.
•No Bad Pieces. Unlike real hardwood, which comes with many imperfect pieces that need to be thrown out or re-engineered, there are no defects in laminate flooring.
•Good for Moist Places. Laminate flooring can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and other places where you encounter “topical moisture” (as Mannington calls it). But it will not tolerate standing pools of water. However, let’s be clear that neither solid hardwood nor engineered wood can tolerate standing water, either. For heavy moisture, you need a very impervious surface like vinyl or tile.
•Easy to Clean. Just use a vacuum or broom. Mop with a slightly damp mop. No floor waxing needed.
•Resists Stains. Laminate flooring’s tough surface resists stains. And if you do get a stain, it’s easy to clean off.