FIVE REASONS TO CHOOSE LAMINATE FLOORING OVER HARDWOOD
Many homeowners appreciate the aesthetics of hardwood floors, as they add quality and value to living spaces and give homes a modern, refined look. It’s also made from real wood, so it’s built to last for many years and gives your home a gorgeous appearance. Laminate flooring is made to closely resemble hardwood floors but is not made from authentic wood. However, its many benefits make it an excellent choice for new floors. What follows are some of the benefits of choosing laminate floors over hardwood.
Laminate flooring is much more affordable than hardwood, as it’s not made from trees. Instead, composite wood is pressed together at high temperatures to create it, and then an image of hardwood is overlayed on top of the flooring. As a result of this process, the laminate flooring looks nearly identical to the hardwood at a fraction of the cost. Decent quality laminate costs about $38 Per sq mt, as opposed to hardwood floors. The installation costs of laminate flooring are on average 50 percent less than the cost to install hardwood floors.
Ease of Install
Laminate floors can be installed yourself. It requires no glue or special tools. Most laminate flooring that resembles hardwood floors is snapped together in modular pieces. This is easy to do yourself and doesn’t require a professional. Hardwood floors, however, are harder for people to install themselves because special tools and techniques are needed to do it successfully. Tools such as a floor stapler are needed and although they may seem easy to use, there’s a definite learning curve for how to operate them properly.
More Suitable Environments
Laminate flooring can be installed in rooms that are partially moist, such as bathrooms and kitchens. However, hardwood floors can never be installed in bathrooms because it will warp and crack in response to surrounding moisture. Some types of the laminate can even be installed below grade in basements. Hardwood flooring does not have this same flexibility because it can’t withstand the moisture buildup.
Laminate flooring is an ideal material to use for flooring in a house with pets. It provides great scratch resistance against cat and dog claws. In addition, by purchasing a thicker laminate floor at about 12mm, you can avoid the click-clack sound produced by a dog’s claws. Its naturally slick surface resists damage and dings. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, tend to scratch easily and ruin its surface.
If you plan to install radiant heating under your floors, definitely opt for laminate. You can’t install this type of heating with hardwood floors.
Hopefully, this comparison has helped inform your decision about which type of floor to install in your home. Give us a call today at iCustom Flooring to find out how we can help install your brand new laminate or hardwood floors.
How to Clean Laminate Floors – Less Water is Best
Cleaning laminate floors is a breeze with the right mop. This handy guide will teach you how to clean laminate floors effortlessly so you have more time to put your feet up!
To get started you will need 2 things:
#1 Microfiber Mop
First make sure you have the right mop for the job. The best way to clean laminate floors is with a microfiber mop.
Microfiber mops glide across the floor picking up dirt and pet hair effortlessly. The swivel heads make it super fast to cover large areas, they get under tables and chairs easily, plus they require less water which is best because laminate flooring warps easily if exposed to water.
#2 Cleaning Solution
You can either buy a manufacturer’s cleaning solution or make one yourself (scroll down to see my recipe for homemade laminate floor cleaner below). Either way you’ll need a spray bottle to squirt the cleaning solution onto the mop pad.
- dry mop with your microfiber mop OR use a vacuum on the wood floors setting to suck up big dust bunnies and hair tumbleweeds
- dampen the microfiber pad with warm water and spray on the cleaning solution of your choice
- mop the floor
- when the microfiber pad gets too dirty simply – rinse, replace and continue
- when you’re finished rinse the microfiber pad and put it in the washing machine on sanitary wash
Cleaning laminate floors with string mops or sponge mops will take you longer, leave streaky marks and because they use a lot of water will make it easier for moisture to sink into the cracks.
If moisture gets into the laminate core board it can warp the laminate floors over time.
No matter what the manufacturer told you about their floor having an airtight lock system, unless you’ve bought special waterproof laminate flooring with waxed edges I would never recommend using a string or sponge mop on laminate floor. The janitor in our office in Beijing used a string wet dripping mop and the flooring is warping after only two years of use.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to read my do’s and don’ts for caring for laminate flooring, plus bonus tips for removing exotic stains or stubborn marks.
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