Is Laminate Flooring an Excellent Idea for DIY Home Improvements?
Kavisha Desai is a civil engineer by profession since 2017. She earned her B.Tech degree from SVNIT, Surat. She is a freelance content writer at GharPedia. She loves doing research and analysis on different topics. Aside from writing, she has keen interest in current affairs, reading, & music. You can reach her at LinkedIn, Twitter, & Quora.
In recent years, the scale and ambition of the average home improvement project has increased significantly due to the affordability and flexibility of new products and the wealth of supporting tools and information available to the average homeowner. Painting, window treatments, landscaping, and adding flooring are some common home renovations that homeowner mostly want to replace after some years. Flooring is one of the first things you see in your home when entering. It needs to withstand more wear and tear than other materials. As the flooring is the hardest working surface in your home, you need to choose the best flooring materials.
One of the most common home improvement projects that was far from common a decade ago is the installation of laminate wood flooring in one or many rooms. The old flooring can look ugly odorous, and can create health problems for family members and pets. Removing old carpets or vinyl, and replacing it with low-maintenance, easy to install, laminate flooring can transform your entire home in little time. This was once not at all common to see in standard homes, and if it did appear, it was generally only in the living room areas or a hallway. Nowadays though, laminate flooring is seen everywhere and has more and more frequently has even been installed by the homeowner.
Also Read: Laminate: All You Would Like to Know
Before moving ahead, first let’s understand what is laminate flooring and why it is a good flooring option.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a cost-effective option amongst all the types of wood flooring. Unlike solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring, which uses real wood, laminate flooring uses a decorative paper with an image of wood adhered to a medium density fiberboard. Due to its appearance, versatility, ease of installation, and cheaper price, laminate wood flooring is gaining popularity over other types of wood flooring.
Where can Laminate Wood Flooring be Installed?
Laminate wood flooring can be installed in any room such as living room, bedroom, and dining room at any grade. If a proper finish is applied, it can be effectively installed in kitchen areas and in basements. Laminate swells in the presence of moisture, so it is not advisable to install it in wet areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Components of a Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring consists of four basic layers. The top transparent layer is called wear layer or overlay, which protects the floor from scratches and stains. The second layer is called a design layer which is a photographic image of wood. The third layer is the core layer, which is a medium-density or high-density fibreboard. Lastly, a backing layer is provided for resisting moisture and balancing the floor.
Dimensions of Laminate Floor
Laminate Flooring is available in thickness ranging from 6 mm to 15 mm. They are available in various sizes. The length of plank ranges from 20 cm to 200 cm, while width ranges from 6 cm to 25 cm.
Features of Laminate Flooring
Now, here are some of the reasons that laminate flooring could be a good home improvement idea for you.
01. Variety of Options Available of Laminate Flooring
Laminate floor comes in varieties of styles and colors to meet your budget and lifestyle. Every laminate flooring offers different wooden textures, plank styles, etc. It offers an amazing look and functionality to your home. Recent technology has enabled manufacturers to design laminate planks that replicate wood and natural stone.
02. Durability of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring can transform a room suffering from a worn-out floor into a brand-new floor. It does not fade, not wear out, and stain resistant. Most laminate floors are even chemical and fire resistant. Laminate floor can withstand heavy foot traffic also. If a proper finish is applied, laminate flooring can last for 25 to 30 years. Laminate wood flooring has to be replaced if it is damaged.
03. Ease of Installation of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring installation does not need to be a difficult task and if it is not something you are confident about doing, it wouldn’t cost a lot of money to get a joiner. The lift and click modern laminate wood flooring are probably the easiest to lay and even those with the most basic DIY skills will give this a go. If you purchase the “all in one” toolkit then the tasks become even simpler and you are guaranteed to have all of the tools required to complete the task effectively.
04. Laminate Floors are Easy to Clean
Laminate wood flooring is easy to clean. The surface of laminate does not hold onto to dust and dirt unlike carpets and other materials do. It avoids the build-up of dirt, grime, and allergens that can be found in nearly all carpets. Unlike wooden flooring, high glossy finish laminate flooring requires no waxing, polishing, or refinishing. Your new laminate flooring will continue to look and feel exactly the way it does on the day it is installed.
05. Maintenance of Laminate Flooring
If you opt to install laminate wood flooring, then one of the positive things about this is the maintenance attached to this. Compared to carpets, there are very little things that you are required to do in order to keep the flooring in a good condition. If you are looking to clean the flooring, then it can usually be done with most modern vacuum cleaners. These can have their suction amended to suit flooring and be more intense. To keep it nice and shiny, you can go for the specific floor cleaning buffer machines that do not cost a lot of money. If there are stains, then clearly this is far easier to clean up than a carpet which may need specific cleaning agents.
06. Pricing of Laminate Floor
People immediately think that laminate flooring is an expensive option compared to carpet, but this is a bit of a misconception as costs are comparable. Make sure, you keep an eye out for a good laminate flooring sale as these are common with many retailers. These laminate flooring sales will not always be restricted to the flooring, but will often include some of the tools that you would expect to use as well. If you don’t want to do the installation on your own of course, you call a professional, but this will clearly impact the overall cost.
07. Safe for Your Family
You are probably worried about the safety of laminate flooring. Flooring has an impact of health of our family. Laminate flooring does not absorb dirt and germs like carpet and other flooring options. Your children can play safely on laminate flooring, and if they happen to decide to use their crayons to draw a picture on the floor, it takes only a moment to clean up.
Before you install laminate flooring in your home, you need to also know about its properties.
Here are the basic properties of laminate floor:
Properties of Laminate Flooring
01) Versatility: As it uses a photographic image of wood, any pattern, color or texture of wood can be printed. Even custom-made designs can also be printed and used in flooring.
02) Dimensional Stability: As it does not uses real wood, laminate flooring is not susceptible to atmospheric changes, making it dimensionally stable.
03) Resistance to Moisture: The backing layer provides good resistance to moisture, thus laminate flooring can be used in kitchen and basements.
04) Resistance to Scratches and Spills: The wear layer provided on the top of the flooring gives protection against scratches and spills.
05) Noise Reduction: Lamination helps in reducing noise. Thus, laminate wood flooring produces less noise upon walking as compared to solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring.
Precautions to be Taken when Installing Laminate Wood Flooring
- It is important to keep the flooring clean, as dirt and dust may scratch the surface.
- It is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth for mopping the laminate wood flooring. The use of wet cloth for mopping must be avoided.
- Laminate wood flooring swells less as compared to solid wood flooring, so expansion joints of about 10 mm has to be provided for every 12 m in length.
- It is advisable to order 5 to 10% extra laminate planks for future repairs and cutting waste.
To spice up the home and make a simple but lasting change on your home, placing laminate flooring within the identified room is something that should be considered. The quality of laminate flooring is improving due to the advancement in technology. It is clearly not expensive, easy to do and once installed, simple to maintain. Beauty, durability and cleaning make this the best time to buy laminate flooring for your most beneficial home improvement project.
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