What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring, often hailed as the closest alternative to hardwood, boasts a construction of compressed wood fibers and resin, resulting in a robust and durable pressed wood board. While replicating the look and feel of hardwood, laminate comes at a fraction of the cost, often even more affordable than carpeting. Its resistance to fading in sunlight, scratch resistant coating, and stain resistance add to its appeal. Notably, the tongue and groove edge construction facilitates a hassle-free installation, making it easier to install than hardwood.

Invented in 1977 under the name Pergo, laminate flooring has evolved, with Pergo now a subsidiary of Mohawk Flooring, one of the many companies manufacturing laminate today. Although not genuine hardwood, laminate shares numerous benefits with hardwood, LVP, and vinyl, making it a versatile flooring option.

Pros of Laminate Flooring:

  • Versatility: Laminate offers an extensive range of grain, natural stone, and ceramic patterns.
  • Realistic Appearance:Laminate provides a superior photo representation of natural materials compared to LVP and LVT.
  • Improved Waterproofing: Initially criticized for susceptibility to moisture damage, laminate has witnessed significant enhancements in water resistance. Many manufacturers claim their laminate products can withstand full submersion for 48-96 hours without damage.
  • Easy to Clean: Maintenance is a breeze with laminate flooring. Regular vacuuming, dust mopping, or sweeping is sufficient to keep it clean, making cleaning a straightforward process.
  • Healthy: Resistant to mold and bacteria, laminate floors contribute to a healthy indoor environment. For added protection, they can be coated with allergen-resistant materials.
  • Stays in Place: As a floating floor, laminate expands and contracts with temperature and moisture fluctuations, ensuring it won’t buckle or snap at the seams when installed correctly.
  • Ease of Installation: Among the easiest wood flooring substitutes to install, laminate is DIY-friendly for simple applications.
  • Installs Over Anything: Laminate can be installed over almost every flooring material except carpet, including real hardwood flooring.
  • Resists Stains and Smudges: The outer coating resists stains and smudges, ensuring easy cleanup with a damp cloth.
  • Sustainable: Easily recyclable, laminate is a more eco-friendly choice than LVP or LVT, offering a low-cost and sustainable flooring option.

Cons of Laminate Flooring:

  • Not Identical To Hardwood: While laminate excels in mimicking natural hardwoods, close inspection does reveal it is man-made origin.
  • VOC Emissions: Laminate flooring contains higher VOCs compared to alternatives like hardwood and linoleum, releasing fumes into the air.
  • Replacement Only: Once the wear layer wears through, laminate cannot be refinished and must be replaced, which can be a tedious process due to tongue and groove edges.
  • Not 100% Waterproof: Despite technological advancements, laminate floors are not as waterproof as their vinyl counterparts (LVP and LVT). Promptly cleaning up spills is essential.

Considering these factors, laminate flooring remains a foundational and enduring choice in the flooring market. 

Warehouse Direct Flooring has served the Monterey Bay and Silicon Valley areas for nearly 40 years – our knowledgeable project managers are ready to assist with any laminate-related queries. Budget-friendly, versatile, and visually appealing, laminate flooring might be the ideal solution for those seeking an affordable alternative with lasting charm. You can check out some of our previous laminate flooring projects here.