Could laminate flooring provide a cheaper alternative to hardwood?
While retail figures for June showed that the UK was still stuttering along at the bottom of a recession, there are indicators that people are willing to spend a little extra cash in one particularly important part of their lives – their homes. The housing market is flatlining, and homeowners are less likely to spend money moving and are more inclined to pump it into improving their current homes. So while the high street is suffering one of its worst periods ever, home improvement is a massive growth industry.
One of the key investments you can make in your home is your flooring, and wooden floors are more popular than ever. We all want that perfect parquet or warm wooden floor boards, but it’s no job for an amateur and having an entire floor replaced can cost a fortune. The result is that laminate flooring is becoming a very popular ‘economy’ choice for many homeowners who want all the advantages of a beautiful wood floor, but have a very limited budget to spend on it.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is actually a bit of a cheat – it is in fact a layer of paper that has been covered with a very strong and resilient protective film. This ‘sandwich’ is then glued together and pressed onto a high-density backing board. At first glance, the result is a great looking floor that could easily be mistaken for the ‘real thing’. The beauty of laminate flooring though is the cost – it is far cheaper than a hardwood floor and is also quicker to install.
Laminate flooring is something that could be tackled by a competent DIY enthusiast, and go into any DIY store and you’ll find plenty of choice when it comes to laminate flooring. But as with any type of flooring you do need to ensure that the surface you’re laying the laminate floor onto is in good condition, so before making any flooring decision it is always best to get the opinion of an expert. Floor sanding experts will be able to prepare the floor beforehand properly to ensure that your laminate floor fits correctly and is even too.
Apart from the price, what are the advantages?
Laminate flooring is very low maintenance. Whereas hardwood floors will need a certain amount of care and attention to keep them looking pristine, laminates very rarely require any maintenance other than a quick wipe over with a mop! This makes them ideal for high traffic areas and for environments where there is the chance of spills, such as kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms.
And that’s one of the key advantages of laminate flooring – it’s tough. So if you’ve got a young family scurrying around the house and you don’t want the worry of them scratching a hardwood floor, a cheaper, tougher alternative such as laminate may be the answer.
However, one disadvantage with laminate flooring is that it won’t add the same level of value to your home as a genuine hardwood floor. So if you’re intention is to invest in your property to make it more desirable for when the property market finally starts to pick up, a hardwood floor may be a better idea.
Laminate flooring does offer a cheaper alternative to hardwood flooring, and in a time when everyone is watching the pennies it’s a good option to consider. If you’re wondering whether to go for genuine hardwood, engineered hardwood veneer or a laminate floor and can’t decide which is right for you, talk to floor sanding expert and they’ll be able to recommend a floor that suits your home, your lifestyle and your budget.