You’ve always wanted hardwood in your kitchen, but you’ve never heard of the nightmares that can be encountered when dealing with food splatters and drink spills? If you have, you might quickly change your mind. Well, if the wood look and feel still is the choice, but you also want to actually be able to cook in your kitchen and not be a worry-wort 24/4 you do actually have another option available to you; wood laminate. This is a material that looks and feels quite like wood flooring, and yet it has a much lower price tag than its cousin the hardwood floor. Also, you might want to weigh your options before choosing among the two.
However, as one would assume, even though this is an amazing material, it does have some disadvantages too – for one, it can’t be sanded down over time. For two, it doesn’t gain character over the years like regular wood does. However, it has many benefits and these benefits just might outweigh the cons for you.
Let’s take a look at this ingenious little material and get to know some important information.
The Things You Need To Know about Laminate Floors
It’s Durable: It has 4 layers. The first layer is a wear layer, the second layer is the high-resolution photo that can mimic different materials; like wood, the third layer in a dense core board and the very last layer on the bottom is a backing layer.
Is It Tough, Though?: This is not only a durable material for walking on, but it can also withstand drink spills, food splatters, pets paws, kids toys, and pretty heavy traffic depending on the rating you get.
Is It Easy To Clean?: Yes! If you clean up splatters and spills immediately with a damp rag, you can keep stains from forming. You can also dust and sweep it daily and once a week or once a month depending on how much you cook, you should also be using a damp microfiber mop to clean it throughout. If you keep the floors free from dirt and sand-like granules that can scratch the floor, you can easily keep this floor looking beautiful for years to come and because it’s made with wood material it’s naturally anti-bacterial.
Features and Options For Laminate Floors
Color: Laminate flooring comes in an impressive range in just about every color you could or would ever want. From blondes and browns to blacks, grays, and whites and everything else in between. You also have the ability to make your laminate flooring looks like a certain type of hardwood flooring that you really love in terms of style, color and little markings like knots or grains in woods like Cherry, Oak, and Maple.
Installation: Installation of laminate flooring is pretty easy. You can choose from 3 different kinds of systems. The first one is an interlocking system, which means the pieces fit together almost like a jigsaw would. No nails or glue is needed for this. The second option is to add your own glue – no interlocking pieces, just glue as an adhesive to keep it together. The third option is a pre-glued construction. You would simply need to moisten the adhesive to activate it properly. These floors can be installed on your own or you can call in an installer and see how much it would cost to get it done. For the most part though with some careful planning and some homework on your end, you should be able to install the interlocking option on your own. If you choose the other two options, it might be a good idea to get a professional in to do it for you. But, look at it this way, even if the installer costs money, you still save tons of money on the flooring, so, in the end, it’s still less expensive than if you went with a more expensive material like real hardwood or engineered hardwood!
Low to No Maintenance: Beyond the aforementioned care that’s needed above, you don’t need to do any waxing or oiling over the years either. Instead, if you want to shine it up, consider using a microfiber cloth – dry, when you mop the floor with this material it can easily shine up.
Texture: The high-resolution photo doesn’t just slap the image on the wood and that’s that. You can also choose from textures that you would like the laminate to have so that it not only looks like real wood, but it feels like real wood too. You can choose from a natural look, distressed, handscraped, exotic and more.
Shape: Most of these laminates come in planks, but you can also find tiles as well. The planks can be customized even more in terms of length, but also width so that you can match it up to your home decor style.
Finish: You can also choose from different finishes. This is really less about durability and more about looks; high, medium and low gloss are all available.