There is no such thing as a perfect flooring material that ticks all the boxes, but laminate flooring probably comes closest to finding the ideal balance between price, environmental impact, durability, flexibility and aesthetics.
Here are some of the benefits of choosing laminate:
Laminate flooring is ideal for households on a budget, coming in at around half the price of a hardwood floor and even cheaper than most carpets. Treated well, there is no reason why a laminate floor should not last as long as either of these alternatives which would make laminate flooring among the most economical flooring options on the market. Since most people can install a laminate floor themselves, there is rarely a need for professional fitters, saving you even more money.
If you’re concerned about the impact of wooden floors on the environment, particularly the old forests where some hardwoods come from, then laminate flooring provides a green alternative. The HDF core-board of laminate planks are usually formed from sustainable woods like pine and wood waste, while the veneer coat is made from a thermoplastic called melamine.
Advances in modern manufacturing technology has revolutionised the production of flooring, with companies now able to create high-resolution patterning that mimics thousands of species of natural hardwood; and unlike some types of wood, there is no sensitivity to UV light so you won’t find your floor fading over time. In addition, Embossed in Register (EIR) processes can create very realistic texturing. Laminate can even be created that simulate other types of flooring, such as stone or ceramics.
Installing laminate flooring in your Cardiff home is something that is within the capabilities of most people with a modicum of DIY ability. A sophisticated tongue and groove mechanism means that planks are simply lined up and snapped into position. Laminate flooring is a type of floating floor which requires only an underlayment. It can be laid straight over most surfaces (with the exception of carpet), even some types of underfloor heating, and since it is not fixed it won’t buckle or crack on expansion or contraction. Even the packaging of laminate flooring is designed for convenience with planks supplied in four foot strips or small tiles as opposed to the eight to ten foot planks needed when laying a solid wooden floor.
Cleaning and Hygiene
The way laminate flooring fits together combined with its plastic coating means that dust never becomes ingrained, bacteria doesn’t get a foothold and dirt is easily mopped away. To make your floor extra hygienic there are special anti-allergen and anti-bacterial coatings that can also be applied, which are a good idea if you have young children with hands that like to get into everything. Providing you sweep and vacuum regularly, you should be able to keep your Cardiff home looking presentable for many years to come.
Laminate flooring is a very durable type of flooring, relatively scratch-resistant and able to absorb more than a thousand pounds per square inch of pressure. This makes laminate flooring ideal for heavy traffic areas, providing certain precautions are taken. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to sand or otherwise treat the melamine veneer layer, so it is important not to wear it away. If you have pets, consider a product with a thicker veneer layer and keep claws short to increase the longevity of your laminate.