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Should you refurbish with laminate flooring instead of wood flooring?

Home refurbishments often use laminate flooring to replicate the warmth and timeless look of wood flooring. It’s cheaper to use and easy to install, but may not be suited to your lifestyle and home. Here we discuss laminate flooring pros and cons. This should give you a better idea of whether to use laminate flooring as a substitute for hardwood flooring.

Laminate flooring – the pros

·      Laminate flooring costs less

This may be the biggest advantage of installing laminate flooring. It costs much less than hardwood flooring. Made from composite wood which is pressed together, it has an ‘image’ printed on it to give the appearance of hardwood flooring (and can also have other finishes, too). It’s also easier and cheaper to install.

·      Laminate flooring is tough and durable

Laminate flooring has a reputation of being tough, and it’s well deserved. It is scratch-resistant, less likely to fade in direct sunlight, and is also stain-resistant. If you are looking for a tough floor, laminate might be the way to go.

·      Laminate is easy to install

Laminate flooring doesn’t have to be nailed down. It doesn’t need glue to keep it in place. It simply clicks together. This means it is one of the easiest flooring types to install – perhaps the easiest.

·      Laminate is versatile

Laminate doesn’t expand in the way that wood floors do, and it can be installed practically anywhere. You can install it over concrete, plywood, vinyl, and even an existing laminate floor.

Laminate flooring – the cons

Its flexibility and versatility may be swaying you towards installing laminate flooring. Its cost is likely to be a big factor. However, before you make up your mind, it is worth noting that there are some downsides to installing laminate flooring, too.

·      Laminate is prone to moisture damage

Because of the products it is made from, laminate flooring is more prone to water damage than wood flooring. And if water should get into laminate floors, it is likely to cause irreparable damage – the damaged flooring will need to be replaced.

·      Laminate flooring is difficult to repair

As we touched on in the last paragraph, laminate flooring is difficult to repair. You can refinish a wood floor several times before it needs to be replaced, and providing you know what to do when your wood floor is gouged, you should be able to tackle almost any wood floor damage with confidence. Laminate floor is far more difficult to patch up. And that could be more expensive in the long run.

·      Laminate flooring is easy to install, but it’s easy to install it incorrectly

It may be easier to install than most flooring types, but this doesn’t mean it can be done error free. It takes experience to do a perfect job, and if you install it incorrectly then you’ll get a less-than-perfect finish and the manufacturer’s warranty could be voided.

How to choose laminate flooring

If you are considering laminate flooring, consider these questions before making the final decision:

  • Where will the flooring be installed?
  • What will the through traffic be like?
  • Will the floor be prone to excessive moisture?
  • Is it suitable for your kids and pets?

For help making the decision between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring, read our next article, “The pros and cons of hardwood flooring”, or contact Porter's today. We’ll help you answer the questions you need and find the best flooring solution within your budget.

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