Laminate floorboards are a good options for many floors.
Laminate combines layers of different timbers to produce a final product that is better than the sum of its parts. It has a top layer of fine quality timber for the sake of a pleasing appearance, with several layers of strong timber material underneath to provide rigid durable support.
Laminate has several advantages over solid timber planks.
- It is moderately priced.
- The top layer is genuine timber, and looks like solid wood.
- The compressed top layer is quite scratch resistant.
- It is fairly easy to clean. Just vacuum, sweep, or damp mop.
- The boards are cut to a very high spec, so they lock together very tightly.
- The installation cost is lower (about 50%) then standard hardwood because the pieces fit together so easily.
- There is almost no issue with laminate timber boards warping or expanding under normal conditions.
- Laminate has some degree of water resistance as long as spills are cleaned up quickly.
- A damaged board can be replaced without too much fuss, so repairs are moderately easy.
- Laminate floors cannot be re-sanded. This is often not necessary.
- Laminate cannot be left wet for too long. No wet mopping.
- No steam cleaning on laminate or any timber floors.
- Not really suitable for bathrooms.
Laminate is ideal for floating floors, which are fitted above regular floors without being directly attached. This allows a complete change of floor appearance. It also allows sound or thermal insulation to be put under the laminate floor.