A laminate floor may be one of the best alternatives to traditional hardwood floors in terms of cost. These floors are easy to install, look and feel like real hardwood, and are highly durable. To choose the best laminate flooring, you need to focus on the material, manufacturer, installation process, and costs associated with the product.
There are a number of material options for flooring. Hardwood floors are made of traditional planks of wood. Another option is the hardwood-engineered floor, which is made from real hardwood dust and pieces meshed using a glue-based compound. A composite floor is made of non-wood based materials. Laminate flooring is made up of press board wood with a laminate finish over the top.
One of the initial considerations in laminate flooring is the look and texture of the product. Laminate is usually made to look like planks of wood, but is actually a solid piece, installed in sections. If you want the laminate floor to look like traditional hardwood, the appearance will make the biggest impact. Compare the texture, the wood grain patterns, and the color of the product before installing to find the look you prefer.
A variety of manufacturers produce laminate flooring. It is more important to consider the quality of construction and the durability of the product over a name-brand product. Compare the warranties on the product. Some companies offer 10-year warranties on laminate flooring while others offer a much smaller, limited time warranty. You may prefer one brand to the next, but there may be little difference besides price points.
It's also important to compare the installation process when buying laminate flooring. Flooring installation with laminate may be done using an adhesive, nails, or through a tongue and grove method. Some products are designed to be exposed to water, such as those for kitchens or bathrooms, while others are not. If you are installing the laminate in a basement, make sure the manufacturer recommends this for the flooring.
When comparing costs, a laminate floor will often cost far less than a hardwood floor. The durability of laminate is quite high, as is the overall appeal of its appearance. It holds up well in high-traffic areas, and often requires little maintenance besides cleaning. In addition, laminate works well in most areas of the home or in small businesses.
Each of these considerations is essential to factor into your decision, but most importantly, when selecting a laminate floor, consider your tastes and needs. The look and feel of the wood may be more important to you than the material make up of it. Factor in the benefits of the product with your budget, too.