Have you got a floor that needs a new remodeling? Perhaps a better look, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on it? Something affordable but reliable? Something like a laminate floor?
Today’s laminate floors are inexpensive as well as sturdy enough to last you a long while. But should you go for laminate flooring? What are the pros and cons? How much does it cost? Would it be hard to maintain? Stick with us to find out.
- 1 Laminate Flooring – Pros
- 2 Laminate Flooring – Cons
- 3 Laminate Flooring in Basement- Pros & Cons
- 4 Laminate Flooring in Kitchen – Pros & Cons
- 5 Laminate Flooring in Bathroom – Pros & Cons
- 6 Laminate Flooring on Stairs – Pros & Cons
- 7 Average Cost of Laminate Flooring
- 8 Tips for Maintaining Laminate Flooring
- 9 How to Clean Your Laminate Flooring
- 10 Conclusion
Laminate Flooring – Pros
When looking for new flooring, laminate flooring is appealing because it is;
Laminate flooring is budget-friendly; it will cost you ⅓ of what you would generally pay for hardwood flooring. At the current price, it is a steal considering the benefits you get.
Keep reading for a detailed analysis of laminate flooring cost comparison with other materials.
Easy to Install
Don’t want others coming into your house to install something? Want to do it on your own to test your skills? Laminate flooring is straightforward to install. It has become easier these days as every DIY enthusiast uses laminate in their projects.
Modern laminate flooring does not even require glue or nails; there’s a convenient way to lock it in a place called fold-lock. So you don’t need any special skills or expertise to install laminate flooring in your basement, or anywhere for that matter.
Laminate flooring is highly durable. People sometimes refer to it as “plastic floor,” but it is not entirely made of plastic. There are some composite variants of laminate flooring which may contain plastic.
A basic laminate plank consists of four layers that serve a purpose each. Consisting of:
- Wear Layer – A transparent layer made up of aluminum oxide protects the laminate floor from fading, stains, and surface burns.
- Pattern Layer – The third layer is a high-resolution image or a design.
- Substrate Layer: The second layer is the most sturdy, made of a rigid high-density board that guards against moisture and indentations.
- Backing Layer – The first layer from the bottom has water-resisting qualities and keeps the board from swelling.
Laminate floors are very durable and robust. If you have a dog, its scratching will not damage the floor. You can walk on them with your stilettos, and you will not see a dent.
It does not require sanding and does not require being sealed.
Laminate floors are more sturdy than vinyl, wood, and bamboo. Other than that, it can also be further divided by its strength, such as AC1 to AC5;
- AC 1 – The least durable, but best for low traffic areas such as guest rooms or bedrooms
- AC 2 – Floors with this rating belong in living rooms or dining rooms.
- AC 3 – If there’s a fair amount of traffic, look for this type.
- AC 4 – A commercial-grade flooring best for offices or buildings with a healthy amount of flooring.
- AC 5 – The most durable, viable for healthy and heavy traffic.
Laminate floors require very low maintenance; thanks to its aluminum oxide layer, it is effortless to clean and maintain them. In addition, the top-most layer is already very protective against stains, lowering the effort needed to clean.
The design layer also sits beneath the protective layer; hence, stains and blemishes do not ruin the design as they are not directly in contact with the design layer.
This makes it very easy to clean and wipe off the stains from the protective layer without worrying about the colors on the design.
Laminate floors are covered with an aluminum oxide layer, a great flooring option for asthma and other allergies patients.
The hard surface is relatively easy to clean, does not leave behind any residue, does not moisturize, and does not trap microscopic triggers.
Since modern-day laminate floorings don’t even require glue, their installation and post-installation will not trap any sort of harmful chemical that would trigger allergies or asthma.
Laminate flooring has a diverse option. It can be made to look like wood flooring as well as any other material.
The choice is yours; you can go for a posh look or a casual look. You can also make it match the design and style of your home.
If anything gets through the protective layers of the laminate floor, you do not have to spend money on getting hired help to fix it. You can simply unlock it and dispose of it as a singular plank and sell the remaining/unwanted planks online.
Laminate floors can come with a warranty from 5 years to a lifetime. This is one of the strongest pros of having laminate flooring. Laminate flooring warranty covers;
- Manufacturer Defects
- Defective Planks
- Joint integrity
Below is a table of some companies and their warranty plans.
|Company Name||Minimum Warranty||Maximum Warranty|
|Pergo||5 yrs||Lifetime to residential customers, ten years for commercial customers|
|Polyflor||10 yrs||15 yrs|
Despite all of the pros above, laminate flooring has its cons.
Laminate Flooring – Cons
Here are some of the cons of laminate flooring.
Laminate floors are unnatural, unlike the natural wood flooring, which may increase your home’s resale value. Laminate flooring will increase the beauty of your house project but not its value.
Susceptible to Water Damage
Laminate flooring is susceptible to water damage. Any sort of leak in the basement would damage your laminate floor. Though there are four protective layers on your floor, it may start to expand due to excessive water.
Difficult to Refinish
Laminate floors are challenging to refinish as they are a single-use product. Original wood products can be refinished up to seven times. For instance, sanding can damage the protective layer of the laminate floor and damage its water-resistant qualities.
Can Get Noisy
If installed without a proper underlayment, they can sound hollow; if the installation is poor, they can get creaky. In such cases, laminate floors can snap and pop whenever you walk on them.
I’ve recorded this cracking sound. Listen this cracking sound below.
Besides this, laminate flooring isn’t really wood, stone, or tile. It doesn’t add value to your home.
Laminate Flooring in Basement- Pros & Cons
Laminate flooring in the basement would be a good choice because;
Compared to hardwood and other types of flooring, laminate flooring would be easier and more hassle-free to install, especially in a basement. You don’t need grouts, mortars as it’s a dry installation.
Don’t glue the laminates to the floor, laminates should float on the floor. Well, you should always glue the joints as they can be slipped with friction.
Not to mention, don’t install laminates on newer basement floors as the newer concrete floors tend to lose moisture for 60 days.
As mentioned earlier, laminate flooring prices are cheap for what they offer. They can go for as low as $2 without installation charges. Moreover, you can save on the cost of mortar, adhesives, and grouts.
Another advantage, as it’s cheap, you’ll save a lot of money in a Flooded Basement. Florida people can understand !!
Laminate flooring can easily be repaired with a repair kit; if the plank cannot be used anymore, it is easy to replace. Excess planks can also be sold online to gain back some of the value.
Plus, laminate floors are one of the cheapest floors to repair. On average, it costs $100 -$300 to repair a laminate floor.
Prone to Water-Damage
While laminate floors can withstand damage caused by water and moisture, continuous contact with water and moisture (from concrete) can swell the plank. This is one of the important aspects while picking laminate for basement flooring as the wet basement is a common problem.
In a nutshell, laminates can be used in basements. You need to have little extra budget for the insulation process.
Laminate Flooring in Kitchen – Pros & Cons
Should we install laminate on kitchen floor?
No, You shouldn’t install laminate flooring in the kitchen. One of the reasons is – it emits toxic formaldehyde, according to CBS. Well, if you’re going for quality laminate floors, yes, you can install them. However, don’t opt for cheap Chinese laminates.
Additionally, cheap laminates cant resist water and moisture.
The kitchen floor is a high-traffic area. We keep moving around the room frequently. Hence, consider buying laminate planks with higher thickness.
So, thick laminate is a great option for kitchen flooring.
Kitchen floor is vulnerable to flour dusts, grease splatters and curry spills etc. And these happens regularly. That’s why you need a floor that’s easy to clean. Thus, laminate floors are the best pick for this purpose.
Just regular wiping and moping work well to clean the floor. Apart from this, you can use store-bought chemicals to clean laminate floors. Typically, with proper maintenance, laminate floors last about 15-20 years.
Laminate Flooring in Bathroom – Pros & Cons
Should you use laminate flooring in bathroom?
While laminate floors can replicate the looks of a real wood or stone floor, let’s know it’s advantages and disadvantages.
Well, you can use but try to avoid laminate floors in the bathroom. Because it swells if the joints get wet for a longer period. PVA adhesives can stop wet joints. However, avoid, if you can.
Tile, Natural Stone are a better option for bathrooms.
However, if you’re still insist to use laminate on bathroom, consider below points.
- Use waterproof bathroom laminates which has PVC as core instead of HDF.
- Use bathmats and have proper ventilation in the bathroom so that the floor dries quickly.
- Also, proper ventilation prevents humidity – a nightmare for laminates.
- Finally, don’t forget to dry the floor after the bath.
Laminate Flooring on Stairs – Pros & Cons
Again, it’s a controversial question. Installing laminate on stairs totally depends on how you’re going to use it and the type of laminate you’re using. Let’s know the pros & cons.
It’s easy to install laminate and it doesn’t require nailing, grouts, and mortars. Furthermore, you can install them just by placing them like riddle pieces. Additionally, the installation process is fast and you can use them as soon as possible.
Tip: Always buy non-VOC laminates to keep your room air quality better.
Easier to Clean
Typically, laminate floors are easier to clean. These floors doesn’t accumulate dirt’s and greases. Regular mopping and vacuuming the floor is more that sufficient.
While not all laminates are slippery, some laminates are. Stairs with slipper floorings are a DANGEROUS idea. However, you can use a runner to overcome this problem.
In short, use hard wood floors on stairs if possible.
Average Cost of Laminate Flooring
The average cost of laminate flooring per square foot is anywhere between $2 to $5. You can get a hired professional to do the work and the material for $5 per square foot. Compared to this, installing wood flooring could cost up to $15 to $20 per square foot.
Here is an analysis of laminated flooring compared to other floorings.
|Material||Price per square foot|
|Real Hardwood||$15 to $20 with installation|
|Engineered Wood||$3 to $10 installation|
|Laminate Wood||$2 to $5 with installation|
|Ceramic tiles||$4 to $15 with installation|
|Polished concrete||$3 to $10 with installation|
|Vinyl||$5 to $15 with installation|
Prices may vary*
Tips for Maintaining Laminate Flooring
Take care of your laminate floor by
Preventing Dirt and Damage
Use doormats and sweep dry regularly to avoid dirt and damage to the floor.
Clean up Spills Straight Away.
Cleaning up the spills right away is essential, even though your laminate flooring is water-resistant. Excess moisture is a big no-no for your flooring.
Get a Repair Kit
Instead of throwing out your damaged planks, consider buying a repair kit to deal with scratches and scrapes. This will also be beneficial to you financially.
How to Clean Your Laminate Flooring
You can use a broom, vacuum, damp mop, or laminate floor cleaner to clean your laminate floor. Remember not to use too much water as it is not suitable for the floor. Excessive moisture can cause your laminate floor to expand.
We’ve learned that
- Laminate flooring is a steal for what it offers
- While it may have its cons, the pros are overwhelmingly worth it.
- The average cost of a laminate floor is cheaper than that of any other mentioned floor.
- Why laminate floors are a good choice for the basement
- How to maintain laminate floors