Hardwood floors are considered timeless treasures to have in our homes. Most people feel they are elegant and when brand new, they are indeed stunning. But when we look at hardwoods that are less than brand new we often find another story.
Our homes are meant to be lived in and as such, things happen. Natural hardwoods are easily scratched and stained and remedying these problems is not an easy task. For this reason, it is an excellent choice for many to consider laminate flooring instead.
Those who like the look and beautiful appearance of hardwood flooring, but want to pass up the difficulties of stains, fading from wear and the sun, scratch marks and indents, then a laminate floor can give you all the beauty and glamour without the headaches.
Another great reason to consider this type of flooring is price. Hardwood floors are expensive to buy, expensive to install and expensive to maintain. Laminate flooring is just the opposite. They are inexpensive to purchase and install. And much easier to maintain.
If you are not familiar with laminate, then you may be asking what it is. It is a man-made product that is made to look like hardwood flooring. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the different types so that you can make a good choice for the specific area you will be putting the flooring into.
If the area you want a new floor for is highly trafficked, then you will want one type of laminate, but if it is a low traffic area of the home then another type will be good enough. The laminate core determines its durability and so you will need a greater core for the more highly trafficked areas of the home.
12 mm core is recommended for those areas that get a lot of wear as this will be able to withstand the traffic and last longer while retaining its beauty. On the other hand, those areas with lower traffic can make due with a core of only six millimeters.
You will also want to consider how long you plan to stay in your home to best determine the laminate that will give you the best value. So if you are planning to move with-in a couple of years, then a less expensive lower core laminate may do well for you. But if you are planning to live in your home a long time, the investing a little more into a higher core laminate will be a better long term value, as it will with stand the wear and tear better for the long haul.
The majority of laminate floors will have a warranty of usually around ten years. For the higher core and more expensive laminate floors, they will often come with warranties that extend past that length of time. You will need to read it to make sure it covers what you need. In areas such as a kitchen or bathroom, the warranty may not cover as much or in some cases may be voided altogether.
Although the concern regarding the warranty should be checked, laminated flooring is often a very good choice for the bathrooms and kitchen areas. This type of flooring is specifically made to repel water. The laminate core is made to not absorb water to protect it from the accidents that commonly happen in the home.
Further considerations you may want to make when considering this kind of flooring for the bathroom or kitchen is to get the added protection of a special wax called paraffin that is made into the flooring to give greater protection against water absorption and can also prevent the floor from swelling.
Certain kinds of foods are prone to staining natural hardwoods which makes laminate floors more ideal for the kitchen and bathroom areas. With this type of floor the water or food will simple stay on top rather than being absorbed as it would be with hardwoods. This makes for quick and easy clean up.
If you are wondering what styles are available, then you will be glad to hear that you can get this flooring in all the same colors and types of wood looks that you would find with natural hardwoods. Even bamboo styles are available if that is something you are interested in.
For cleaning, it is the easiest you can get. Just sweep up debris and fine dust. Mop spills with a damp mop or hand clean with a damp cloth.
Because you can find laminate floors in all the many colors and styles you would find hardwoods, there is something for everyone. The prices are very affordable and are likely suitable for all.