Way beyond mimicking hardwood, today’s laminate floors completely change a room's appearance, offering realistic patterns of exotic woods, stone, and ceramic tile.
Laminate floors can be installed simply over almost every surface and they are very easy to maintain. The advantages of laminate floors include durability, easy/inexpensive to install, simple cleaning, stain resistant, good-looking styles/designs, hypo-allergenic, and they’re great for families with children and pets.
If any of these advantages appeal to you, laminate flooring may be the way to go in your family’s home. Please read below for more detailed information on the benefits of laminates.
Beauty & Durability…
The most common laminate flooring designs have a good grain appearance; some are even made to look like stone or marble.
Laminates are designed to look good for many years with a minimal amount of maintenance.
Laminate flooring consists of a wear-resistant decorative surface made of resin-based melamine/aluminum oxide which is bonded to a moisture-resistant wood composition-based core.
A balancing backing is bonded to the underside of the core. On the top is a clear cap sheet of aluminum oxide, which provides
protection and stain resistance. Since the resin-filled wear layer is so dense, it becomes extremely difficult to stain, scratch, or
Laminate flooring will stand up to the wear and tear kids and pets can cause, and spills wipe up easily. All laminate floors offer good performance characteristics. Today’s laminates have a more durable finish to help protect your floor from scratching and chipping.
Factory-applied finish coats are more resistant to abrasion, and will not show swirl marks, hairs, dust and other imperfections
often associated with unfinished hardwood flooring.
Ease of installation is one factor that contributes to the popularity of laminate flooring. It uses a tongue and groove interlocking system, which can be installed without difficulty on top of existing flooring. Laminates can be installed over almost any subfloor that is flat and clean.
Plywood, concrete slab, sheet vinyl flooring, hardwood flooring or virtually any other flat hard surface is a suitable base for laminates.
Most brands of laminate flooring require that the joints be glued with specially-formulated, water-resistant glue placed between the tongue and grooves of every plank. However, several manufacturers today are meeting the demand of a glueless click-together floating floor that provides strong, tight joints without messy glue or special tools. These floors simply need to be cut to size, clicked together, and are immediately ready to walk. Most weekend do-it-yourselfers can handle this installation easily.
Because you can walk on your new floor immediately (no waiting for glue to dry), beautifying your home with new laminate flooring is truly a project you can do in a weekend.
Easy To Maintain....
Taking care of a laminate floor is very easy. Simply vacuum or dust mop regularly to remove loose dirt or grit to keep your floor looking like new and to avoid scratches. Chair glides or cushioned bottom protectors under chairs and table legs also help prevent possible scratching, and floor mats at all outside doorways keep dirt from coming inside.(More on cleaning below…)
Spills and messes easily clean up with a little soap and water mopping thanks to the hard moisture and wear-resistant surface coating. No residual stain or mess will remain and your laminate floors will continue to look brand new.
The Right Choice For People With Allergies...
The hygienic and healthy living qualities make laminate floors ideal for those who suffer from allergies. Dust is unable to collect on laminate flooring and therefore house-mites are unable to establish themselves, making laminates a great option for people who suffer from allergies to dust, dander, and other household contaminates.
With regular cleaning, laminate floors can provide a much cleaner and healthier living environment when compared to carpets. Less dust, pet dander, allergens and dust mites accumulate on the surface, and the laminate surface will not hold residual stain contaminants.
Laminate flooring designs are vast, with bigger and better ultra-realistic designs. Gorgeous faux wood and stone dominated this year’s laminate designs, recreating the look of hand-scraped or antique finishes and weathered stone that makes flooring look hundreds of years old.
The newest advances in laminates are embossed textures or authentic materials embedded in the finish (like coffee husks, banana fiber, or mica), and the finishes range from glossy to matte.
No matter what your décor or your lifestyle, you can find a laminate floor to fit your needs.
For budget-conscience consumers who want the look of a natural surface, durability, and the best quality for the money, laminates are an exceptionally good choice.
If you are looking for an economical DIY project, installing laminate flooring is considered to be easy enough even for a beginner.
Once you consider the costs of alternate flooring solutions over a typical laminate flooring lifespan it becomes an extremely economical solution.
The Best Flooring Choice for Families...
Laminate flooring was designed to stand up to the demands of a busy family household which has, therefore, made them extremely popular. Busy homes filled with kids and pets will have their fair share of stains, spills, and rips, which are difficult to get out of carpets and vinyl. Laminates can handle kids playing with toys, the dog’s muddy paws, wet shoes and spills. In fact, when compared to other types of flooring solutions, laminates easily outperform in almost every category.
Designed with a tough and durable wear layer, laminates are much stronger than most solid hardwood flooring, vinyls, and carpeting. Laminate flooring stands up much better to dents and scratches that the softer surface of solid hardwood floors, and is a much better surface with which to withstand heavy foot traffic, kids, and household pets. Best of all, it continues to look brand new even after several years of wear and tear.
Stain, fade, and moisture resistant…
Most laminate flooring manufacturers offer triple-warranty protection against stains, fading, and moisture damage for 25 years. In contrast, solid hardwood floors are susceptible to wood grain staining, fading in repeated sunlight exposure, and are not a suitable floor for areas with high moisture or humidity levels.
HOW TO CLEAN LAMINATE FLOORING
Firstly, we recommend that you always follow the manufacturer's directions. The following information may be used as a cleaning and maintenance guideline, courtesy of Shaw Floors, manufacturers of fine laminate floors.
As soon as spills happen, quickly mop them up using a damp cloth. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
For tough stains, such as lipstick, oil, ink, paint, markers, or tar: test a small area first using an acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue. If there is no visible fading, apply sparingly on the stain.
Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hardwood floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of
dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care.
Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent or any other water-based cleaning material. Cleaning with
these products may cause swelling, warping, delamination and joint-line separation and void the warranty.
Use only very little water. Excessive water can damage the laminate coating on the surface of the floor. Soaking the floor can
damage the paper backing. Moisture can get trapped under the laminate and damage the floor or cause the growth of mold, which is not healthy.
Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, strong ammonia or chlorinated-type cleaners.
Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine.
For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.