Laminate flooring is generally a more cost-effective option if you want the look of wood (or other surface types). However, as with every type of flooring it has its pros and cons.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of laminate flooring compared to wood:
Cost. Laminate is a budget-friendly option and generally more cost-effective as it is not made from a single piece of wood.
Easy to install. Laminate flooring is DIY friendly and the installation requires only a few tools, most of which are normal household items.
Durability. Laminate flooring is scratch and stain resistant which can make it a good choice for busy households with children and pets.
Easy to clean & maintain. A light sweeping, vacuuming or damp mopping is enough to keep laminate floors clean. There are also maintenance products on the market which help to protect its surface.
It’s not the real thing! This is definitely the biggest con. While wood flooring is a natural product made of solid wood, laminate is a composite wood material that is pressed together to make a plank. It is made of several layers, the top two being a special kind of printed paper (to replicate wood, tile, stone, etc.) and a protective layer.
Sustainability. Laminate is extremely durable but can't be sanded and refinished like solid wood. Any damage to laminate flooring means it having to be replaced.
Water sensitive. Laminate flooring is not moisture-proof and excessive water exposure or spills can lead to serious damage and warping. This inevitably means the affected planks or even the complete floor having to be reinstalled.
Noise. Another disadvantage of laminate flooring is the noise factor. Laminate flooring can be noisy and make a hollow sound if proper underlayment has not been installed.
General maintenance When it comes to maintaining laminate and wood flooring, the techniques used are basically identical. Daily Use a microfibre dusting pad and mop or a vacuum to pick up everyday dirt and debris. This is the first line of defense, as these particles, if left to accumulate, can scratch/wear down the protective surface of laminate flooring. Weekly Use a ready-to-use laminate floor cleaner to refresh and revitalise your floors. Avoid DIY laminate floor cleaners, as most of these involve the use of large amounts of water. Water and laminate don’t mix! Monthly Deep-cleaning and/or polishing your laminate floor from time to time will help extend its life and beauty. Again, it's recommended to use a ready-to-use specially-formulated laminate floor polish to avoid issues that may lead to spots, streaks, or other unwanted blemishes. Bona offers a complete range of ready-to-use cleaning and maintenance products for laminate flooring that also works on stone and tile.