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6 Reasons Not To Choose Laminate Flooring

Are you looking to install new flooring? Usually, choosing the best floor for your home or office can be a tricky decision given the variety of options available on the market. One popular type of flooring today is laminate floor, a relatively new invention that has gained recognition due to its versatility, easy maintenance, fair durability and reasonable price. But despite the many benefits of this flooring style, it has a number of drawbacks such as high noise levels, susceptibility to moisture and an unnatural feel. Before deciding to spend your money on laminate, you may want to consider other flooring options.

6 Reasons Not To Choose Laminate Flooring

Reasons not to choose laminate flooring 

1. No refinishing and sanding 
Compared to hardwood flooring, this type of flooring can neither be refinished nor sanded. It comes with only one wear layer, and if this becomes damaged, the whole piece may need to be replaced. The layer on the entire floor will, over time, degrade and have scratches all over on the surface. And when this occurs, you might have to replace the entire floor.

2. Has an unnatural feel 
Another limitation of laminate floors is that they do not have a natural feel. It is true that they are made to simulate the appearance of hardwood, stone or even brick, but the illusion fades when you feel the material with bare hands. Even if embossing can give laminates a more textural surface , the material itself retains a man-made feel and anyone can quickly realize that it’s not a natural surface.  

The unnatural feel of the floor can work against you if or when you decide to sell your house. Most buyers can easily differentiate faux from natural materials and they might not give it a second thought. Additionally, the floor surface can be very slippery. If you’re buying this flooring for your home, be sure to look for the slip-resistant laminate flooring.

3. High acoustic level 
During installation, it’s normal (and actually recommended) for small spaces to be left between the laminate and subfloor .But this comes at a cost. Walking on the floor can lead to more audible, annoying footfalls, although this is heavily dependent on how sensitive one is to that kind of sound as well as how the acoustics of the floor space itself help or hinder sound transmission. 

Installing an underlayment may help reduce the "noise” to varying degrees according to the kind you choose. You can also go for an acoustic undercoating although this may come at an added cost. However, neither of these is going to completely get rid of the clicking’ and clacking’.

4. Susceptible to moisture 
While the core layer of the majority of laminate flooring on the market is moisture resistant the floor is usually not recommended for use in areas with high moisture levels or where water is likely to splash every now and then, such as the bathroom and laundry room. The floor’s surface layer may help to keep moisture problems at a minimum, but as soon as the moisture gets along the edges and below the layer, the results can be devastating . Your floor may warp and swell, and probably require to be replaced sooner rather than later. Installing a moisture-protecting underlayment may help minimize this.

5. Relatively short lifespan
Another reason not to choose laminate flooring is because it’s lifespan is relatively short (25 years) particularly when compared to hardwood flooring (up to a 100 years). Of course the actual lifespan of your floor will depend on the type and quality of material. Most of these floors come with a warranty, but you need to read the terms and conditions of the warranty carefully before you buy. Additionally, you should take some precautions during and after the installation process to avoid damaging the laminate.

6. Environmental concerns
There have been some concerns over laminate materials made with formaldehyde compounds. Some environmental experts claim that a floor made with these materials can emit organic chemicals with time, which might have negative effects on the quality of air in the surrounding room.

If you’re thinking of buying laminate flooring, then make sure you don’t only look at the good. Try to understand the bad as well so that you can make an informed decision. Overall, this type of is a good choice if you wish to have a wood-like floor but are unable to make that investment now.

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