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Most people who buy laminate flooring do so because they want hard flooring, but cant afford wood.
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Most people who buy laminate flooring do so because they want hard flooring, but cant afford wood. But how does laminate flooring compare to wood? Is it a good alternative, or a case of you get what you pay for?
Well, that depends on whats important to you. The biggest advantage of laminate flooring, apart from its attractive price point, is that it is so easy to install: you can do it yourself, quite easily, which is far from the case with wood flooring. Laminate systems tend to be designed like a jigsaw puzzle, to quickly and easily snap together.
Laminate flooring is also often sturdier than wood it is very hard wearing, to the point where a cheap shop like Ikea can give a much longer guarantee on their laminates than most wood floor shops can. It wont fade or dent easily.
While its no easier to clean that wood, its worth mentioning that its an awful lot easier to clean laminate that it is to clean carpet, if you were also considering putting that on your floor. Between the quality of wood and the cheapness of laminate, its hardly even worth considering carpet as an option these days.
However, there are also quite a few disadvantages to laminate flooring. The first is the look and sound of it: it looks fake, and it sounds hollow. While the sound can be fixed with an underlay, the look will never be as unique as wood, as wood is naturally formed on a tree and every floor is different. Laminate flooring is basically like sticking a bunch of repeating posters to your floor with a picture of some wood on them hardly the same.
Also, laminate floors will often curl up and get spoiled if you drop water or other liquids on them. This generally makes them unsuitable for bathroom and kitchen use, unless they have been specially treated for it.