Monday, May 28, 2012

The Benefits of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring offers many advantages, especially for homeowners who want to install floors on their own. Similar in style and appearance to hardwood floors, laminate can provide elegance to any room of your house without the expensive and difficult installation often associated with wood floors. Using 12 mm laminate adds further benefits, since its thickness can also help with noise reduction.

There are many advantages that laminate flooring has to offer. Some homeowners argue that the number one benefit of laminate is ease of installation. The click-lock design of modern laminate makes installation almost foolproof, so that it is relatively easy to put in 300 square feet of laminate in a single weekend. Another advantage of laminate floors is their durability. Laminate is essentially scratch, dent, and fade-free. The upper layer of the laminate---the layer that is walked upon---is called the wear-layer, and many manufacturers are so convinced of the durability of their product that they offer guarantees on the wear-layer of up to 10 years.

Laminate flooring is also extremely easy to clean. It does not require the polishing that hardwood floors often do and is stain-resistant in most cases. If it does get a stain, it can usually be cleaned using water and a mild detergent. This presents a huge advantage over wood floors, which can be difficult to clean and stain rather easily. Laminate also has the advantage of being essentially free of defects. Whenever you buy it, you can be confident that there will be no faulty pieces that have to be reshaped or thrown out. Real hardwood flooring has the advantage of being natural, but this also means that it will have all of the flaws, blemishes and defects that natural wood can have.

Laminate floors come in different measurements, and if you are new to the world of laminate flooring, you may not understand what those numbers mean. What, for example, is the difference between 10 mm Red Acacia Glossy Laminate and 12 mm Hickory Butter Hand-scraped Laminate? In essence, the difference between Acacia and Hickory laminate flooring is one of appearance, while the difference between 10 mm and 12 mm is one of thickness.

Laminate thickness is measured in millimeters, and 12 mm is the thickest one would reasonably expect to find for residential use. Thicker flooring is usually more desirable for sound absorption, though it does not mean that the laminate will wear better. Eight, 10, and 12 mm thick laminate will all wear equally. However, since laminate can produce a loud sound when walked upon, the greater thickness does make it a more attractive option for some people.

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