The natural appeal of a hardwood floor is hard to beat when designing a room; however, a hardwood floor may not always be the best choice. There are times with a more durable material, such as laminate flooring, is actually a much better option for a room's floor covering. Laminate is tough, durable and easy to install.
Here are some important things to take into consideration when choosing between laminate and hardwood.
Laminate floor is made from very durable materials that resist stains and fading. However, while laminate floors do resist scratches remember that they are not immune to it, so some care must be taken when dragging heavy furnishings across it. When a hardwood floor sustains a scratch in its surface it has the advantage of being able to be buffed out, however, when a laminate floor is scratched, the scratch is there forever. When moving heavy furniture, make sure to use pads to protect the floor; and keep pet's claws trimmed to keep them from marring the floor's surface. With regular use under normal conditions, a laminate floor is tough and long lasting, and it will maintain its beauty for quite some time.
Where Laminate Floors Work Best
While a laminate floor can certainly be installed successfully in just about any room, there are some rooms that lend themselves to using a laminate floor better than others. For example, a sunroom or enclosed patio is a perfect application for a laminate floor, since the surface is quite resistant to the effects of sunlight, which would cause most other surfaces to fade. Laminate floors also work well in rooms that have a lot of activity such as a kitchen, family room, living room, dining room, bedroom or hallway. The surface is easy to maintain, and it never needs waxing or polishing. It also stands up well to heavy foot traffic.
Rooms where laminate might not be the best option are those where a lot of moisture present, because moisture can cause laminate flooring to warp or swell. Spaces like bathrooms, mud rooms and home saunas are not good candidates for laminate flooring. However, if a homeowner does opt to install laminate in a bathroom for instance, it is a good idea to apply glue to the tongues of the planks when laying the floor to make it more resistant to water. Always wipe up any liquid or spill immediately to keep it from causing problems.
Laminate flooring has become a popular flooring option, because it is quite attractive, mimics the look of hardwood flooring, and is easy to maintain. Usually a quick sweeping or dry mopping is enough to keep it looking sharp. There are specially designed cleaners that will work on the floor for a deeper cleaning. Protecting the surface from scratches with furniture pads helps to keep the surface looking like new. Laminate flooring, while it looks like hardwood, is not wood flooring, so it cannot be refinished if it does get a scratch. A good quality laminate floor, though, will offer years of durable beauty to any room where it is installed with very little maintenance.
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