>> Jan 14, 2014
If you’re planning to build a home or renovate an existing one, you will find yourself spoilt for choices in home designing and décor are plenty. While there are innumerable choices in paints, lighting fixtures, kitchen designs and bathroom fittings, even flooring is something that has enough choices available. The current trend in flooring is laminate. This has its share of advantages and disadvantages when compared to hardwood flooring or the conventional concrete, tile or marble floors. Knowing some facts about laminate flooring can help make the right decision for your home.
· The first important fact about this is that it is a manufactured material. Though it looks like natural wood, it is just designed to be so. It is made of high-density fiberboard with a print that makes it look like wood.
· It comes in easy to fix planks with grooves and just need to be put in place. There is no need to nail or glue it to the surface. This also gives allowance for expansion and contraction with weather changes. Although it sounds easy to fit, it definitely requires some skill yet manageable by people who are game for a bit of do-it-yourself flooring job.
· The material is made resistant to stains and scratches and hence suitable for homes with pets and kids. It can take a fair amount of traffic too and is rather easy to clean and maintain.
· The previous versions of this flooring were highly sensitive to moisture. The slightest exposure to moisture or water leads the layers to swell. But with high quality moisture barriers and better technology in laminate flooring have addressed these concerns drastically.
· The material used is not affected by termites and does not develop moss and mildew even. Hence it is perfectly safe for indoor as well as outdoor use. This is one of the main disadvantages of hardwood floors.
· Another important fact is that it is not much affected by the elements. Hence there is no significant discoloration or damage even when exposed to sunlight. Hardwood floors can fade with wear and tear even indoors and would require periodic polishing and waxing to regain its appearance.
· The other major advantage of this kind of flooring is that it is cost effective. It is much cheaper to install and maintain this kind of floors and comes with a life span of 20 years though a lot depends upon wear and tear as well.
The major drawbacks of this kind of flooring include the fact that repairs and replacements can be difficult. Finding a matching replacement may just be impossible as the design may be out of production. Compared to hardwood flooring, laminate flooring has a lesser lifespan and of course a synthetic feel to it. Another major factor is that since these boards are usually made from formaldehyde derivatives; choose a brand that guarantees safety and health parameters.