There’s no doubt about it, the traditional look of beautiful hardwood floors is timeless and its luxurious beauty has given a sense of comfort and elegance to homes around the world for generations, but hardwood floors are expensive, not very hard-wearing and need a good bit of regular maintenance. Even with the most recent technological advancements in treating hardwood surfaces we have not been able to solve such issues as scratching, fading, denting and staining. This problem has lead to the development of laminate flooring with the look and appeal of hardwood floors without the problems of maintenance.
The laminate flooring industry has grown nearly twenty percent a year for over two decades now and is the fastest growing segment of the flooring industry. The popular appeal of laminate flooring is due to not only the way it looks like real hardwood, but also because of the durability and easy care that lends will to the busy lifestyles of today.
Laminate floors do not stain, fade or dent like hardwood and are much more resistant to scratches and water. Some laminate flooring companies offer warranties on their products of up to fifteen years. If you are using an entry level laminate you need to set realistic expectations of no more than five years if you install it in high traffic areas. To determine what grade of laminate flooring you should buy consider the area you are going to install it and whether or not you plan to stay there. If you plan on moving soon you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on a high grade floor because people usually replace flooring when they buy a home anyway.
When choosing a laminate floor pay particular attention to the thickness as a thicker flooring is much less likely to buckle and will sound like hardwood when walking on it. A good quality floor system will also be treated to be water resistant and will not swell easily due to excessive moisture. If you are placing laminate flooring in a bathroom or kitchen area be sure that the flooring has Paraffin Wax in the joints to repel water and keep any spills from getting to the core of the flooring.
Many of the laminate flooring systems of today come with built in locking designs so that the floor can be put down with no glue or nails! The introduction of these systems have made it so easy that even a novice can install a floor with just simple hand tools and save tons of money in labor by not having to hire a contractor.