The Benefits of Laminate Wood Flooring

Laminate wood flooring gets bashed a lot.  Many people don’t like the appearance, and think that laminated floors sound hollow and look cheap.  But although natural wood looks great, it’s not always the best choice, and it can be very expensive.  So there are time when laminate wood flooring makes more sense.

If you have big dogs, lots of kids, or heavy traffic in general — or if you’re planning to use it in a commercial situation — you should consider laminate.

These days, the better laminate floors look a lot like real wood, but they’re a lot more durable.  It comes in almost every color and finish, and if you like the look of a wide plank, you can get that too.  You can even find laminates designed to look like slate, tile, or stone.

The top layer is made from a melamine resin that’s extremely durable and resists scratches, stains, and fading.  The best flooring has a top layer that’s between 6mm and 12mm thick and has been treated with a water repellent.  The seams should also be treated with water repellent.

The thicker the core of the flooring, they more it will sound like natural wood.

The two main kinds of laminate flooring are Direct Pressure Laminate (DPL) and High Pressure Laminate (HPL).  HPL usually costs more because it’s fused together in a two-step process.  As a result, it wears better and lasts longer, so depending on your circumstances, it may be worth the extra cost.  In many cases, cheap laminated flooring will cost you more in the long run.  Better to go with something of a higher quality from the start and save you the hassle of having to remove and reinstall a better floor the next time around.

Laminate wood flooring isn’t glued or nailed down.  It’s just floated over the existing floor, so it’s really easy to install.  In fact, it makes a good do-it-yourself project.  You can install it over just about any smooth, level surface.

First, lay a thin padding over the existing flooring, then press the laminate pieces together using the tongues and grooves in the sides.   You can buy matching molding to finish the edges.  Installed laminated wood floors don’t require much in the way of maintenance.  All you need to do is clean them with a dust mop every once in a while.  They don’t need to be waxed or polished.  Learn about alternatives to laminated wood flooring here.

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