Benefits and Drawbacks
Laminate flooring has become very popular in recent years. A big reason for this is its low cost in comparison to wood or other natural flooring products.
But can laminate be considered a "green" flooring option for your home? What are the pros and cons of laminate flooring? What types are available?
Laminate Wood Flooring
Imitation wood flooring is probably the most popular type available today. Of course, it is not really a wood product, but is engineered to have a similar look to wood.
Several companies offer this kind of laminate in a large array of colors and styles. There are also some pretty impressive warranties offered by some of the manufacturers.
Let's take a quick look at a few of the popular brands...
Dupont Laminate Flooring
Dupont is a well-known company that manufacturers flooring as well as countertops in laminate. Home Depot carries the Dupont Brand.
It is always a good idea to go to the individual websites and compare features, manufacturing process, and warranties. Home Depot will also carry information about the Dupont Label.
Mannington Laminate Flooring
Mannington is another leader in the flooring industry. Currently, they feature a 25 year wear and stain warranty. Their laminate product also features a glue-less installation procedure.
Quick Step Laminate Flooring
Quick Step flooring is a brand that features a UNICLIC system. It is designed for easy installation. Because laminate is a preferred product for many do-it-yourself-ers, simple installation is a strong drawing card.
IKEA Laminate Flooring
IKEA is a Sweden based company that manufactures numerous furnishings as well as floorings for the home.
IKEA touts their own special click system that requires no adhesive for installation. This is beneficial because glues often contain the potent carcinogen
which creates numerous health concerns.
IKEA is also well-known for their strong warranty - this company claims they will give you your money back if you have trouble laying the floor!
Wilsonart and Alloc are two other popular alternatives.
Of course, many of these companies offer varying shades of flooring, designed to imitate the actual wood you wish to substitute.
Oak laminate is quite popular, as is maple laminate. You may even find a Brazilian Cherry Wood imitation, as well as beech or pine.
The palette of colors is quite expansive.
Laminate Floor Pros and Cons
How will you decide if laminate may be right for you?
Of course cost is nearly everyone's top-of-the-list priority, but are there any concerns about this product from a green, healthy standpoint?
- Less expensive than wood or stone
- Less concern with fading with sunlight exposure
- Easy to clean
- May be installed by do-it-yourself-ers, saving in labor costs.
Many of the potential drawbacks have everything to do with the individual manufacturer of the product. That is why it is so important to do your homework before deciding on your purchase.
- How is it made? What products are used in the process?
- Is a formaldehyde-based adhesive used?
- Are there VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the Sealant?
- What quality of Manufacturing is present?
- What type of warranty is offered?
- Flooring may de-laminate if not sealed correctly
What damage prevention measures are taken when processing this product for sale and installation?
Laminate is an imitation product. There are numerous options to imitate wood, tile, stone,
and other natural products.
Although you may be fooled from a distance, laminate does lack the look and feel of the "real thing" - especially when close up. It lacks the warm look and feeling underfoot of wood. It has
a kind of plastic-like feeling.
If you decide to go with laminate for your floor, you will want to consider a quality underlayment to prevent a "clicking" sound when you walk.
Comparing laminate to wood is sort of like comparing Tupperware (plastic) to a solid wooden bowl. You will definitely notice the difference. Your decision will come down to what you prefer, what your budget will allow, and hopefully - what is good and green for your home.
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The time is NOW. The future is HERE. The color is GREEN.