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Laminate Hardwood Flooring: 5 Myths Debunked
Laminate Hardwood Flooring | Debunking 5 Common Myths
There are a lot of people out there who have a lot of misconceptions about laminate flooring- but as time and technology have changed, so too has the process of making laminate flooring. In many instances, the untrained eye wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between laminate hardwood and the real deal. With comparable maintenance needs, equal style and more, we take a look at 5 of the most common misconceptions about the installation and upkeep of laminate hardwood flooring.
1.) Myth: Laminate Flooring = Linoleum or Vinyl Flooring
This myth is pretty common, and often times prevents people from considering choosing laminate flooring because, generally speaking, people tend to associate lower quality with linoleum, and vinyl. It is important to keep in mind that when we discuss laminate hardwood flooring, we are talking about something entirely different. Below is a diagram of how laminate hardwood floors are generally composed:
Compare that to Linoleum. Which is simply a sponge later with a printed layer on top.
Why does this matter?
This matters in the way that each type of flooring looks after installation. That brings us to our second myth:
2.) Myth: Laminate wood flooring doesn't look as good as engineered or solid hardwood-
Of course, aesthetics are a matter of opinion, and as such there isn't really a quantifiable answer to this. However, it is true that the untrained eye generally won’t be able to tell the difference without a very close inspection. We can try that now. Look at the image below and at a glance, decide which one you believe to be the laminate floor, and which you think is the hardwood floor.
Did you guess?
Now let's check the answer:
As you can see- the visual difference between the two is very minimal. Especially if you go with a higher end laminate flooring, the difference in appearance is almost nothing.
3.) Myth: Laminate floors can't be repaired, they must be replaced
Another big misconception surrounding laminate wood floors is that there is no way to spot treat problem areas or spills, and this simply is not true. I believe this myth stems from the confusion between a laminate floor and a linoleum floor. Laminate hardwood floors come in planks, unlike vinyl or linoleum which come in sheets. Because the laminate flooring is sold in planks, each plank can be replaced individually if need be. However; replacement is only necessary in extreme cases! Often times minor to moderate scraped and scratches can be repaired with a wax pencil, or a repair kit (which you can get at any big box home improvement retailer). Even in cases which do require a plank to be replaced, the laminate planks are not adhered to the subfloor, so replacing individual planks is a relatively simple process
4.) Myth: Laminate Floors are noisy to walk on
We must concede that laminate floors do not absorb sound as well as hardwood does; however, walking on laminate hardwood floors is no louder than walking on tile or marble. If you can stand the noise of walking on either of those two surfaces, then you should have no problem with the noise of walking on a laminate wood floor.
It is said that walking on laminate wood floors makes a hollow sound- and while this may be true (and is open to interpretation) the sound does not occur at a volume that is any higher than its tile, marble, or stone counterparts.
5.) Myth: Laminate Floors Won't Add to My Home's Resale Value
While no one can say for sure what will add value to a specific home (since every situation is different), it can be said that generally speaking, people tend to actually avoid houses with carpeting. Many people in today's market simply do not have the time or energy to deal with the maintenance of carpet flooring. With the constant need for vacuuming to avoid trapped pollen, dirt, and other allergens, and its lack of resistance to stains and spills, carpet is simply out of style.
Buyers are simply more inclined to purchase a home with minimal to no carpeting.
Does adding laminate wood flooring add as much value as say, solid hardwood flooring? No, but that is due, in large part- to misconceptions such as the ones covered in this list. What once was thought of as the "cheap" kid brother of hard wood, laminate hardwood flooring is making a comeback, and more and more often is showing up in homes than other alternatives (even including solid hardwood!).
Laminate hardwood flooring gets a very undeserved, often less-than-pleasant reputation. As times and technology change, it is up to consumers to get the word out about these products and be proactive in finding the solutions which best suit their lifestyles.
Bottom line- don't knock it before you try it! Laminate hardwood flooring is beautiful, durable, easy to clean, easy to fix, far cheaper to install than solid wood floors, highly customizable, better for the environment, and is in every way just as good a product as its solid wood