I recently visited my flooring store with one of my customers to help her select a floor for her great room. She needed an affordable flooring solution that was durable, gave her the look of hardwood and was easy to maintain. Bingo – the answer was laminate flooring. I must tell you that I was amazed at how far laminate flooring has come. You can purchase this type of flooring to mimic the look of hardwood or tile. As we looked at the samples, we could not believe the richness of the detail.
Laminate flooring is a rigid floor covering surface layer consisting of one or more thin sheets of paper impregnated with resins usually melamime . It’s environmentally friendly in that it does not emit any harmful odors when installed and does not damage the environment when torn up for replacement. It is very durable and resistant to scratches, indentations, and moisture and is relatively easy to maintain. You won’t need to worry about cleaning grout grooves. Each manufacturer has its own cleaning recommendations for consumers.
The North American Laminate Flooring Association does not recommend using it in the kitchen or bathroom because even though it is resistant to moisture, large spills could be damaging. However, I have often seen it used in kitchens and have never heard of a problem. Since this type of flooring cannot be refinished, if damaged, it would need to be replaced.
Laminate flooring is installed as a floating floor. It has a special tongue and groove locking system that tightly joins the planks together. No glue, nails or staples are needed because this floor does not adhere to a subfloor. It is protected by a tough external layer which protects against scratches. When durability and longevity are considered, it becomes a very economical flooring option. Needless to say, my customer was impressed with the quality and affordability of this product and chose a beautiful light hickory wood-look floor to open up her great room. Since she has a dog and three young boys, I think laminate will meet her needs.
Information courtesy of Floorfacts.com, Free-flooring.com, and the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA)