Here at Floor Coverings International Southlake, we work to find the right flooring for our clients’ needs, preferences, and budget. Though traditional hardwood is a popular choice among Southlake homeowners, it may not be right for every home. Traditional hardwood is expensive, susceptible to moisture damage, and prone to denting and scratching. For homeowners who want the look of wood with a lower cost and easier maintenance, laminate hardwood flooring is an excellent alternative.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Unlike traditional hardwood, which is cut from a solid piece of wood, laminate flooring is constructed in layers. The bottom layer or “backing” helps protect from moisture, while the middle layer, consisting of high-density fiberboard, makes up the main part of the floor. On top of that is the photographic layer – a high-resolution image of the desired wood, pasted onto the fiberboard layer. This is covered by a thin, clear “wear layer” that protects the design from wear and tear.
Laminate flooring does a good job of mimicking true hardwood and other materials. It can be designed to replicate the look of almost any type of wood, and will often have realistic details like beveled edges. Laminate flooring also has a consistent, uniform appearance that is hard to achieve with real hardwood. This can also be a downside, however, as the laminate planks will have a certain degree of pattern repetition.
Durability & Maintenance
Laminate hardwood flooring is virtually impervious to dents and scratches, unlike true hardwood. Many manufacturers also offer generous warranties on their product’s protective wear layer. Laminate is also easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming will usually do the trick, but spills or stains can be cleaned with a light mop or laminate cleaner. Laminate flooring is also better at handling moisture than real hardwood. While laminate will warp if exposed to pools of water, it is appropriate for use in kitchens, laundry rooms, and other semi-moist areas.
When used with an underlayment, laminate hardwood flooring can be quite comfortable to walk and stand on. An underlayment will reduce noise and also add a springy feeling, which is easier on the joints than rigid hardwood or tile.
Ready to see laminate flooring samples in your own home? Give us a call! Floor Coverings International Southlake offers free in-home estimates throughout the Southlake, Colleyville, Keller, Grapevine areas.
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Photo Credit: Gary Glaser