By Perceval Huet. Laminate Flooring. Published at Friday, May 17th, 2019 - 18:55:59 PM.
Laminate vs. Hardwood. Tough decision, but it's ultimately up to you. First, let me say that I always tell potential buyers that it doesn't matter what your neighbor thinks or what your bridge partner thinks — it is what you want. Do not let anyone influence your decision based on their likes or dislikes. There are 100 different flavors of ice cream for a reason. I am shocked by how many people actually fall in love with a color or style. Then they say, ”Let me keep it a couple of extra days so I can show my kids.” They then return the sample and either buy nothing or completely change the product from the one they initially chose. It is you who will be looking at the product every day and it should be you who makes the ultimate choice of what you want to see. Now we move to the discussion of laminate vs. hardwood flooring. I always say to people that hardwood will actually increase the value of your home. Laminate flooring normally does not. With that said, let's discuss what makes sense. If I install hardwood and laminate into an average active American household with 3 children, there's a fair chance that in 5 years my hardwood may look worn, but the laminate should basically still look good. Now which home really held its value? Yet, I can refinish the hardwood and immediately replace the value. But remember, that refinish will cost money. So we are kind of going around in circles. Laminate flooring is much more difficult to scratch, will not fade from sunlight, and is more water resistant than hardwood. Water is not a friend to laminate flooring by any means, but water can ruin hardwood flooring also. Laminate flooring is a snap to repair; and when you repair the board, you will never know it was repaired as it does not change appearance over time. Hardwood is more of a tedious repair and you may notice the repair was made until it blends in with wear. Pet urine can hurt both products. Your pet's claws will be much more disturbing to the hardwood finish. It takes a lot to scratch laminate flooring, but it can be scratched and it is not bulletproof. No matter what the finish on a hardwood floor has, abrasions will be noticed. The scratches normally do not get to the wood, but will disturb the finish coat layer. I have hardwood flooring and my big boxer dog does occasionally put a mark into the wear finish. Another option of hardwood is a distressed or rustic look. Hand scraped or rustic products will not show these abrasions and actually add to the character. If you have a major scratch in the finish, you simply rub some Old English into the scratch and it will basically vanish. The results will not be the same with a smooth or more formal finish. Laminate flooring will take a lot of abuse, but it is an image of a hardwood and tries its best to imitate a hardwood or tile floor. It will not sound, look, or smell like a real hardwood. Hardwood is genuine and can be harvested from different parts of the world. Exotic woods are now controlled by what is called the Lacey Act. Manufacturers today must comply with the act assuring that hardwood foresting is done with a prioritized concern for the environment. This has eliminated illegal foresting in other parts of the world which has translated into higher exotic wood prices. Hardwoods come from real trees giving the product unmatched beauty and elegance. Laminate flooring on average is less expensive than hardwood flooring. A good solid local retail flooring store should be able to show you the differences between laminate and hardwood flooring which should allow a much better decision on what is best for you and your family. But remember, it is ultimately up to you.
If you have a wood sub-floor then you will need a belt sander to smooth the surface. You might need to rent a jamb saw if you don't want to purchase one also. The jamb saw will be used to cut the door jamb and other trimmings so you have enough clearance for the flooring. A trowel will be used to smooth the leveling compound. The tools for preparation should cost you less than $100, including the cost for renting the saw. You will need many tools for the installation of the kitchen laminate flooring also. These tools include a backsaw and a miter box for cutting angles in the flooring. A circular saw is for straight cuts with a carbide tipped blade and a saber saw with a laminate blade will be used for cutting curves. You can rent saws from hardware stores if you do not want to purchase them for around $20 to $30 a day. The basic tools you will need for the installation of your laminate flooring in the kitchen will run you under $100.
Maintaining laminate flooring – Laminate flooring is very durable and not that hard to keep clean. All you have to do is regularly sweep or vacuum with a soft brush. Damp mop the laminate wood floor using a bit of ammonia or vinegar and water being careful not to flood the work panels as you can damage them this way. Some products that are not recommended for your laminate floor are soaps, scouring powder, floor polish or steel wool as these may damage the laminate wood flooring. Always test a product that you are unsure of in a low visible area. If you have to remove a stain use the recommended laminate floor cleaner and mop up to keep any water from entering the joints. Also make sure you use a damp mop and not a wet one.
Armstrong likes to tout their SwiftLock laminate flooring which, like Quick Step laminate flooring, is marketed on ease of installation. Both companies seem to be betting on lots of people peforming their own laminate floor installation. Pergo is quite proud of their walnut laminate flooring, though their maple laminate flooring is also quite popular. Because of the myriad of choices available to them, buyers often become confused when trying to pick the correct laminate floor for their needs. AC Ratings and various groove and tongue systems make decisions even harder. As laminate floors have not been around for all that long, the options will surely expand and become even more confusing as time goes by. No matter how complicated it gets, though, there will always be someone willing to attempt their own laminate flooring installation.
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