Laminate flooring: the pros, the cons, and tips for maintaining
Laminate flooring has become a popular flooring choice inside many homes thanks to the great benefits and classic design this flooring type boasts. If you’re considering a new floor, we’ll explore the pros, the cons, and tips how you can maintain laminate flooring, to help you in your choice.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a popular flooring option that has become widely used in both domestic and commercial spaces. As well as a favored home flooring option, laminate flooring is widely used in office spaces, education premises, and more!
But why is laminate flooring so popular? Despite being considered a cheaper alternative to luxury vinyl tiles, laminate flooring boasts excellent properties that have helped it to become one of the most popular flooring options.
It also provides a much cheaper and easier-maintained alternative to natural floorings, such as wood, stone, or tiles. Laminate flooring consists of a printed design layer (on top of a particle board base layer) which allows it to adopt naturalistic designs to match your aesthetics, including matching your wallpaper choice and decor.
More recently, other designs have started to emerge too, such as chevron, herringbone, and Moroccan-style designs. Patterned wood and wide planks are both hot flooring trends taking hold this year:
Despite only coming onto the market in the late 1970s, laminate flooring has become a staple in many living rooms, kitchens, offices, and other rooms. While original laminate flooring may have suffered on the quality front, there are no such worries anymore. Laminate flooring has a wealth of benefits!
What are the pros of laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring has a range of benefits that have helped it to become one of the most popular flooring options on the market. From its ease of fitting and installation right up to low maintenance, here are the pros of laminate flooring:
- Laminate flooring is a great alternative to other flooring options such as luxury vinyl tiles and is perfect for people with smaller budgets.
- Laminate tiles provide a top wear layer that helps minimize scratching, making it an ideal flooring for homes with children or pets.
- Low maintenance and easy to clean. The lack of seams prevents dust and muck from becoming trapped, making cleaning much easier. It also makes it a great choice for those suffering from allergies, such as dust or pollen.
- Quality tiles perfectly mimic natural-looking alternatives, helping to add character and appeal to a room.
- Tiles can come in a range of different thicknesses, improving the quality of the tiles and design. Thicker laminate tiles help improve the acoustics of a room and reduce echo.
- Laminate flooring can be installed over underflooring heating. Make sure to check first whether your laminate flooring choice can withstand the direct heat before making a purchase.
- Acclimatizing laminate flooring first can help improve the quality of installation and reduce slippage upon installation. Leaving your laminate flooring laid flat on the floor where it will be installed for at least 2 days allows the laminate flooring to adjust to the environment.
- Laminate flooring is quick and easy to install. For those do-it-yourselfers out there, it can provide a weekend DIY project! Laminate flooring tiles with a click system are much easier to install. Make sure you check your subfloor first though for any problems and ensure it’s flat for a higher-quality installation.
What are the cons of laminate flooring?
As with any flooring option, there are also drawbacks. Despite the great benefits laminate flooring provides, you should still be aware of the cons of laminate flooring when deciding on your next flooring option.
- Laminate tiles don’t hold up well in rooms with high moisture, making them unsuitable for bathrooms or rooms vulnerable to dampness.
- The top layer could become exposed to damage, particularly with excessive wear and tear. Even though laminate flooring comes with a top wear layer, it doesn’t mean the floor is indestructible. Damage, such as scratching and denting, can occur, particularly when moving furniture to rearrange a room.
- Prolonged exposure to moisture and water will damage the laminate tiles. As the base is made from particle board, prologued or excessive exposure to water will cause the laminate to expand and warp. Water damage can be minimised by ensuring all seams are correctly joined and a waterproof baseboard is trimmed around all the edges.
- Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause permanent fading to the laminate tiles.
- Cheaper laminate flooring may not be of high quality, from the strength of the wear layer to the quality of the design. With laminate flooring, you get what you pay for. The same goes for comfort underfoot too. Cheaper laminate flooring may not that comfortable to stand on for prolonged periods.
Tips for maintaining and cleaning laminate flooring
Even though laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain, there are some tips you should follow to keep your laminate floor looking as good as new! If your laminate flooring came with cleaning instructions, make sure you follow them. Here are some other tips for maintaining and cleaning laminate flooring:
- Avoid using large amounts of water as it can cause permanent damage. Always make sure you wring out your cleaning cloth or mop first.
- The same goes for wiping up any spills or dirt. Never use a soaking wet cloth.
- Water spillages should be wiped up as soon as possible.
- A microfibre cloth or mop is your laminate flooring’s best friend when it comes to cleaning. A floor cleaning solution should help to bring your flooring up nice! Just be careful how much you use and always read the label and check that it is suitable for laminate floors.
- Laminate flooring with curved edges will be much more difficult to clean. Always make sure no moisture is left in between the gaps as it can cause damage.
- There’ll come a time when something sticks like glue to your laminate flooring. The nightmare is trying to get it up without damaging the flooring. Use a small amount of ice first to harden any substances. Then, use a plastic scraper (not metal!) to remove any stubborn glue-like substances.
- Regular vacuuming will remove any loose dirt. Always pick up stones or gravel that have been traipsed in from outside as these can damage the laminate flooring. Sweeping with a soft brush is an alternative to vacuuming.
- Avoid using anything sharp or abrasive.
- Avoid using excessive water when trying to remove stains.
Laminate flooring provides so many great benefits that make it a top contender for your next flooring choice. Don’t forget to consider the drawbacks though when deciding or you could later regret it. Following the cleaning tips that we’ve covered will also help to keep your laminate floor looking in great shape for longer and avoid any unnecessary damage!