The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

laminate flooring pros and cons

Is Laminate Flooring Good For Your House?

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring options. As everyone knows, over the last few decades, the number of flooring options has increased significantly. It emerged as the alternative to hardwood flooring and is known for its durability. The good thing about laminate flooring is that it increases the value of your home considerably.

If you are still stuck with the question of whether you should install laminate flooring or not, you are not alone. Every smart homeowner intends to buy what is best for their house. Although the final decision of choosing laminate floors or finding an alternative to them is unique to every homeowner, this post has all the laminate flooring pros and cons you need at this stage.

What are the Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring?

First introduced in the 1970s, laminate flooring is comprised of layers of synthetic material engineered to look like wood or stone. Just like every other thing, laminate floors have their pros and cons. Some of the most important ones are as follows. 

Pros of Laminate Flooring

1- Durability

Modern laminate floors stack up to the competition in durability. Although it cannot be refinished as natural wood, it is one of the most durable flooring options for its cost.

The good news is that there are varying degrees of durability and you can choose one that suits your specific needs. If you are purchasing laminate flooring for general residential use, AC2 material is a reliable choice.

The tough wear layer on it is designed to withstand heavy traffic, abrasions, and weight. If a certain plank is subject to extreme damage, it can be simply replaced. These features make it a very good option for the kitchen floor, cabinets, and countertops.

2- Inexpensive

The best thing about laminate flooring is its affordability. If you are looking to replace your house floors on budget, it should be your go-to option. It can run half the price of wood but you must remember that there are varying qualities of it too. The cost of installing a carpet is cheaper than the cost of laminate flooring, but laminate flooring has the advantage of being longer-lasting, easy to remove stains, and is far more durable than carpet. 

3- Easy Installation

What makes laminate flooring stand out from the rest is its ease of installation. It comes as planks and tiles which are designed to snap together when placed in perfect alignment. This feature makes it an easy DIY project for even the most inexperienced person.

It is generally installed over a thin cushion and can be fixed over existing floors except the carpet flooring. As there is no need to strip down the entire flooring, it is very easy to handle it on your own. Even if you opt for professional installation, the costs are significantly low as compared to hardwood floor installation.

4- Non-Allergenic

The snap-together planks eliminate the need of using VOC releasing glues. This makes it a non-allergenic flooring option. Laminate and vinyl plank flooring don't trap allergens like carpet and they're generally much easier to clean.

5- Stain Resistant

The wear layer on the laminate planks is tough and prevents the stains from getting absorbed into the photographic film. The clean-up and maintenance are easy. Regular sweeping can prevent it from abrasive grit. As it does not trap any dirt, it is good for people who have dust allergies.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

1- Prone To Moisture Damage

The laminate floors are prone to moisture damage and that makes them unsuitable for places with high humidity levels. Improved designs do have room for expansion and contraction of the planks but it is not a very good choice to install laminate floors in areas with a lot of moisture. It is not a good idea to install it in the bathrooms.

2- Does Not Add Long Term Real Estate Value

Hardwood floors are still so popular among homeowners because they add to the real estate value of the house. If you want to recoup a decent ROI, laminate flooring is not the right choice for you.

3- Fake Appearance

Despite all the technological advancements, the appearance of laminate flooring is not at par with original hardwood planks. Every board is of consistent quality and appearance but that’s what gives away is the truth of being fake. The pattern repetition in the planks makes it easy to identify.

4- Is Laminate Flooring Toxic

Unfortunately, due to the toxins and chemicals used in the wood-bonding adhesives laminate isn't the safest option for non-toxic flooring. The top layer of laminate floors contains and emits harsh chemicals like formaldehyde which can be quite bad for health.

How Many Years Does Laminate Flooring Last?

With light use, some laminate floors can last as long as 15 to 25 years whereas, with heavy traffic, the average life may drop to 10 years. There are several other factors that affect the durability of laminate floors, the three most important being the quality of material, traffic, and maintenance. Laminate floors can last for a long if you invest in the best quality product and look after it over the years.

What is the Typical Cost of Laminate Flooring?

On average the cost of laminate flooring ranges from $1 to $3 per square foot at big-box home centers. If you want designer products the cost surges up to $10 or $12 per square foot. The cost varies according to the thickness of the wear layer.

Nationally, the average price for a laminate flooring installation is only about $5 to $8 per square foot, inclusive of materials and labor. You can expect to pay $4,000-$6,000 to have 1,000 square feet of mid-range laminate installed. The cost also depends on whether you choose to install it yourself or pay a professional installer.

The Final Word

If you are not obsessed with the luxurious appeal of hardwood or wooden floors and are looking to replace your shabby floors, laminate flooring is more than good for you. Considering all the laminate flooring pros and cons we can conclude that with good maintenance, it can last for decades.