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FAF Blog

Laminate Flooring - Advantages and Disadvantages

By FAF Staff Writer, (272 words) Posted in Laminate Flooring on September 22, 2009
There are (26) comments permalink

Laminate as flooring is becoming increasingly popular because of its versatility. But there are certain advantages and disadvantages to laminate floors that a prospective customer should be aware of.

Some significant advantages are:

  • Laminate flooring works out to half the cost of hardwood flooring in most cases.
  • Laminate floors are easy to install and can be done by a person with little or no construction expertise.
  • Some types of laminates are interlocking and snap together. These need no glue, staples, nails or cement.
  • Some laminates have a tongue and groove that has to be glued when joined preventing the ingress of dust into the joints.
  • A laminate floor "floats" on a sub–floor that rests on a foam/film underlayment intended to absorb sound and moisture.
  • Laminate flooring is designed to be fade–resistant and scratch–resistant. Most hardwood floors are vulnerable to both conditions depending on the type and species.
  • Laminate floors are suitable for installation in almost any room in the house above or on grade, over concrete or wood.

Some pertinent disadvantages are:

  • Laminate flooring is an imitation and not the genuine type of flooring such as hardwood or tile.
  • Some laminate designs are susceptible to water damage and spills. If the laminate gets scuffed, the base could show through.
  • Water and moisture may result in swelling and warping of the laminate floor planks.
  • Dust, dirt and sand particles can scratch the decorative surface of laminate floors in high traffic areas over a period of time.
  • Glueless laminate can sometimes become separated resulting in visible gaps between planks.
  • Certain laminates use melamine resin, a compound with a formaldehyde base. Formaldehyde is said to release volatile organic compounds raising concerns about air quality indoors.
  • Laminate floors are said to sound hollow without proper underlayment.
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Comments (26)

Kristin posted on: September 25, 2009

If you are in the market for a good laminate flooring brand, I recommend Columbia Flooring. They have a lot of realistic looks and they have a lifetime warranty to go along with it. The disadvantages to laminate listed in this article are some that you might see. However, if you take proper care of your flooring you will enjoy your floor for many many years. (I would go by the manufacturers recommendations for care and maintenance...so that the warranty stays valid)

Tony posted on: September 25, 2009

I am looking for two boxes of Clearwater Oak Honey laminate by Swiftlock. The model number is L6011081. Lowes has discontinued this product.

TonyD posted on: January 5, 2010

Now most of types of lamnate flooring are with locking system. It is hard to see laminate flooring with normal T&G on the market. Lamiante flooring is not suitable for the place where there is too much water or moisture. And it is very hard for laminate flooring to show through as the main materials of its first layer is AL2O3.

Amy posted on: January 30, 2010

I am concerned about the Formaldehyde levels in Laminate flooring but the cost is more in our budget. I am looking at buying at Lumber Liquidators and they don't list their Melamine resin/Urea Formaldehyde U-F levels. Does anyone have any information on this. I've been searching on the net everywhere but can't find anything.

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