The look of laminate flooring has improved as manufacturers have learned new techniques to replicate Mother Nature. In fact, today's options look so much like real wood that you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a machine-made flooring option that involves adhering multiple layers of particleboard or fiberboard together with resin. The top layer is a photographic reproduction of various wood species. Manufacturers are able to create a photograph so life-like that they can create the illusion of hand-scraped wood, knots, and other imperfections.
What are the benefits of laminate flooring?
First and foremost, laminate flooring is an inexpensive alternative to real wood. It is both cheaper to purchase the materials and cheaper to install it. Additionally, laminate flooring is durable. It does not dent or scratch like real wood.
How long do laminate floors last?
Laminate floors can last up to 30 years. This depends, of course, on many factors including which product you purchase, how well it is installed, and what the conditions are like inside your home.
Is laminate flooring waterproof?
Laminate flooring is not waterproof. It is still a product that is made from wood and it will be damaged with prolonged exposure to water. This means that while it is a durable product, traditional laminate flooring should not be used in wet areas, namely kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
That said, there is a new wave of laminate flooring coming to market that is reported to be water-resistant. Some manufacturers are coating the planks in a heavy, waterproof coating while others are replacing the interior particleboard with PVC plastic. Time will tell how well these products stand up.
How do you care for laminate floors?
While laminate floors are not waterproof, they still need to be cleaned. If you follow a few rules, cleaning your laminate floors can be easy. Mopping is too wet of a process and can allow water to run between the seams, potentially ruining your floors. Instead, use a soft-bristle broom to sweep your floors. For sticky residue, a mop that is only slightly damp can be used. Most manufacturers also provide detailed cleaning instructions with their products for you to use as a guide.
If you are looking for flooring that is durable as well as beautiful, laminate flooring may be just what you are looking for. Visit a store near you to see what laminate flooring they have available.