Laminate floors have gained wide popularity in the last 20 years. Thanks to its easy installation, its competitive prices and its simple maintenance it is normal that every day add new defenders of this trend that has come to stay. This is due, fundamentally, to the fact that they have become an optimal alternative to the traditional parquet that loses positions, although it is still the preferred option for those who seek to give their interiors the unmistakable warmth that wood brings to environments.
In this book of ideas we review the main advantages that can be found in laminate type floor , but also some of the disadvantages that this type of floors presents. In addition, we elaborate a classification of the main types that exist, as well as the tips to keep it clean and taken care of. If you are thinking about installing this type of flooring in your next renovation, take a pen and paper and do not miss any of the points that we describe below.
Advantages of laminate floors
As with any other material used for flooring, there are lights and shadows. The chapter of advantages and disadvantages of laminate flooring is broad, so we will start with the main benefits they offer. The most popular are:
– Wide catalog of models: If something is characterized by laminate floors is to present the same number of wood alternatives found in nature itself. To this we must add that many of these imitations also have multiple models, which further extends this catalog.
– Easy installation: To install a laminate floor it is not necessary to remove the previous floor, but it can be placed on top. In addition, it is not necessary to stab it as it happens with the parquet, nor to varnish.
– It is economic: Although prices vary depending on the type and model selected, laminate floors have very low prices. You can find floors of this type for less than 6 euros per square meter.
– It is resistant: Despite the erroneous belief that laminate floors enjoy little resistance, there are models as durable as traditional parquet floors.
Disadvantages of laminate floors
Regarding the disadvantages that these types of floors have, they are mainly:
– Weakness in joints: It does not always happen but it is important to perform a correct installation to avoid this problem, more usual than you would like.
– Change of patterns: From time to time the patterns of the laminate change. It is important to keep backup sheets in case any incident occurs. Otherwise, it will be really difficult to replace the damaged part.
– Electrostatic electricity: It is common for laminated floors to produce electrostatic charge, caution should be used when touching something metallic or touching another person. This problem is usually very frequent in low quality materials that do not include an antistatic treatment.
Types of laminate floors
As we mentioned at the beginning of this book of ideas, one of the most important characteristics of laminate flooring is its wide range of finishes. This makes their classification really complicated. The simplest thing is to make this separation following three factors: its appearance, its durability and the treatment that the material carries. As for the colors that we can find in the market, the classification would be as follows:
– The light tones: In this classification they are from the catalog of targets to the gray and beige tones.
– Dark tones: Perfect for cutting-edge homes. They range from jet black to darker browns.
– The natural tones: They are the most common and requested and are those that more closely mimic the tones of wood. The most common are those laminate floors that imitate woods such as oak, pine or beech.
There would be a fourth typology for those laminate floors that seek to imitate other materials such as stone or metal. They are more extravagant and expensive than the previous ones.
Durability and treatment
Following the different typologies, in terms of durability there are four types of levels: from the basic, which would have a resistance of 5 years to the most advanced that can reach to resist 20 or even 30 years, depends on the manufacturer.
Finally, the classification of laminate flooring can be done depending on the treatment it contains. Among the most common treatments that can be applied to laminate floors are:
– Antibacterial: It is perfect at home with animals, prevents the soil from receiving colonies of bacteria from the hair of pets or from the shoes themselves.
– Antistatic: It was mentioned previously. This treatment avoids the annoying discharges of static electricity. It also reduces the accumulation of dust, very common in laminate floors.
– Anti-scratch: It gives the floor an extra resistance and durability against the scratching of furniture, chairs …
– Non-slip: It is very useful if the laminate floor is going to be installed in rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom where it is frequent that the humidity is higher.
Laminate floors in kitchens and bathrooms
It is common to dismiss the idea of installing laminate flooring in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. This happens due to ignorance since, traditionally, wood has been a vetoed material both in the bathroom and in the kitchen. However, today there are alternatives that allow this possibility with very good results, both durability and design.
Before considering the idea of installing a laminate floor in the kitchen and in the bathroom, it must be taken into account that they are rooms with different needs.
The bathroom usually has a degree of humidity much higher than the kitchen and, therefore, the treatment of laminate flooring must be different. PVC slats are usually a good option to avoid future headaches. On the other hand, the kitchen is continually exposed to splashes and, consequently, the resistance of the floor must be much greater. To solve these doubts and have the best result, the ideal is to be advised from the first moment by expert in the field. These will guarantee the best choice as well as the most optimal installation.
How to clean laminate flooring has no greater mystery than cleaning a parquet floor. It is best to spend a mop on a daily basis. It is advisable to discard the idea of applying furniture products in the mop. These contain silicones that will make the footsteps more noticeable and the joints of the boards darken. It is best to buy specific products for laminate flooring that always keep it protected.
Once a week it is advisable to scrub it with a cleaning agent indicated for it. If you have had a mishap and some sheet is somewhat deteriorated, it is best to buy a repair kit for laminate floors. These kits give very good results if the damage is not deep, if so the blade should be removed and replaced by a new one.
Wood or laminate floors? Which one do you prefer?