What is laminate flooring and is it a good choice for your house?

Laminate floors weren’t heard of until 1977, when Swedish company Perstorp invented them. Decades later, they’re now a staple in millions of homes.

Laminate floors, originally installed primarily as a type of economy flooring, continue to hold their place as functional and inexpensive flooring. They’ve made their way into higher-end houses, where engineered or solid wood flooring would have previously been installed. 

With advancements like sharper image layers and deeper embossing, laminate floors feel, perform and look better than ever. 

However, if you want to reap these benefits in your home, too, it’s recommended to go with a superior product. Think of this upgrade as a long-term investment you’ll thank yourself for later. You know there are floors that scrunch, rattle, swell at the smallest drop of water and lose their lustre over time? This happens because they’re poor quality. Needless to say, they lower the selling price of a house and can break a home selling negotiation.   

Keep diving into this topic if all the popularity of laminate floors has begged the question, “Should I switch to laminate floors?

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a hybrid floor covering made up of a particle board wood base, an image layer and a transparent wear layer. They were invented from the desire to repurpose waste wood by subjecting it to binding chemicals, high pressure and heat. These are a popular type for homes’ living areas, such as:

  • Kitchens
  • Bedrooms
  • Hallways
  • Dining areas.

Laminate flooring is also an excellent option for persons who suffer from allergies, because it lacks any spaces that could trap dust and other pollutants. The laminate underlayment acts as a moisture barrier, preventing mould growth and protecting the flooring from damage.

Advantages of laminate floors

Laminate floor manufacturers have been working on improvements like graphics reproduction, deep textures and micro bevels. These advancements have brought these floors closer to the cachet enjoyed by engineered or solid hardwood. They remain a budget ground covering method, and because product quality varies greatly, so does floors’ life expectancy. 

A high-quality laminate floor can have more than 25 years, while a heavily used or poor-quality one may need to be replaced in as little as ten years. Here are some advantages to laminate floors, should you do some house redecorations one day:

–         Durability. Laminate floors are highly durable, especially if you choose floors with scratch technology that makes them more scratch-resistant than basic floorings. A resin coating and external layer will make your floors longer lasting, much stronger, and scratch- and -impact-resistant, all while being pet-friendly.

–         Everlasting lustre. The proper laminate floor will make spills and other messes a breeze – such surfaces don’t require varnishes or waxes to maintain their lustre.

–         Easy maintenance. They’re easy to clean and maintain, especially if you choose water-resistant floors. They look natural and resist surface moisture, so you’ll clean them better and more effortlessly. 

–         Resistance to moisture, stains and fading. It’s best to choose a laminate floor manufacturer that provides extended warranty protection against moisture, stains and fading damage.

Design options and lifespan 

Laminate flooring can replicate the law of natural materials, like wood and stone. Unlike real hardwood with imperfect pieces that must be trimmed or discarded, these floors have no defects, and every board is consistent in appearance and quality. Deep embossing also contributes to the illusion of wood grain. 

Here are some popular laminate floor trends homeowners adore this year:

  • Stain- and water-resistant laminate floors. Solid hardwood can be anything besides waterproof. Luckily, you can have wood-look flooring that handles moisture on a budget.
  • Rustic and hand-scraped wood-look laminate floors. Ingrained and long scrapes show in the finish, making the floor look rare and unique. This look can be costly in solid hardwood but significantly less expensive in look alike laminate.
  • Embossed in register laminate floors. This model creates indentations to imitate natural wood grains, thus allowing for realistic and beautiful wood textures. Your floors will have added texture and warmth at a fraction of the cost of solid hardwood.
  • Reclaimed wood-look laminate floors. Reclaimed wood is generally distressed naturally and replicates the look of your floor with randomised details like knots, burns and scrapes. It’s no wonder it’s taken off quickly because homeowners love how each plank tells its own story.


Laminate flooring shouldn’t be hard to install yourself, and with the correct tools, materials and project plan, you can avoid paying a professional installer for this service. Unlike ceramic tile, this type of flooring is dry, and you won’t need any adhesives, mortar or grout. You don’t have to nail it down as you’d do to solid hardwood; instead, you take a day off to put together this “large puzzle”. You will need equipment and tools such as:

  • Circular saw, jigsaw, or handsaw
  • Tapping block or pull bar
  • Underlayment and tape
  • Scrap wood spacers
  • Straightedge
  • Speed Square
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk box.

You start with a flat, clean, smooth subfloor. Then remove all baseboards and trim around your room’s perimeter. Sweep and/or vacuum the entire floor thoroughly. 

You then test the floor layout, and proceed with installing the underlayment. If you intend to install laminate flooring on a moist surface like concrete, the flooring manufacturer may advise you to use a vapour or moisture barrier to protect the flooring. You begin laying the first row of planks and plan rows as you finish them. You lay until the last one, and finally, you’re done!

Now, should you invest in laminate floors?

Look at life as unpredictable. It offers more living options, meaning it’s good to consider any possibilities. You or your children might want to move to a bigger house one day or switch your neighbourhood for a quieter one, so it’s best to begin increasing the selling price of your dwelling now.

Don’t forget that top-notch appliances are not enough to make your home valuable – homebuyers look beyond them and might charge you for the bad quality of flooring more than that of cabinets and furniture.



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