Replacing the flooring can be one of the most expensive things you do so you should weigh your options carefully. There are many resources that you can use to find the best materials for your home.
Laminate is a versatile option that can be used in any house, where you have children, pets, or even live in a humid climate. It looks like the real thing, but is much easier to maintain, and can last longer.
Synthetic flooring offers the look of hardwood or stone, but without the expense and required maintenance. The materials are usually made from high-density fiber or wood particles, with a laminate overlay that is designed to look like wood or stone.
A clear, hard layer is placed on top, giving the floor its durability. Synthetic flooring has become a popular way to update the look of a home without having to pay the high price of organic materials.
The most noticeable benefit of this material is its price and easy installation. Synthetic material is cheaper and easier to install than hardwood.
Prices range from about $ 1.50 per square foot to $ 3 per square foot, but you can find better deals from wholesalers and from online distributors. Laminate can be placed on top of almost any existing floor, except carpet, and several manufacturers offer a glue-free, tongue-and-groove system.
This allows any homebuyer to install everything themselves, without having to worry about ripping out the old materials and potentially ruing the subfloors. The interlocking planks make it an easy installation for weekend handymen and it can be uninstalled without damaging the laminate or the original flooring underneath.
This type of material works well in high-traffic areas and houses with pets. It is scratch-resistant, durable and easy to clean.
You can clean most messes with just a dust mop or a mop dampened with water. Most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty on their product as well.
Synthetic flooring can also add to the resale value of your home. Most home buyers are looking for hardwood floors instead of carpet, but sometimes putting in wood floors to sell your house is not really a viable option.
Synthetic gives you the wood look for less and can make your home look more open and modern. It also is environmentally friendly because it uses less wood – if any at all – in its construction.
There are some disadvantages to using this synthetic material, but they are far outweighs by the benefits. One of these concerns is the noise level.
Laminate does not absorb sound well and can have a hollow sound when you walk on it, particularly in high heels. Using an acoustic underlay will help reduce the noise, but it still may be a nuisance.
Synthetic also lacks the visual warmth of other materials, including hardwood. There are many different colors, looks, and feels that you can choose from to get the right look for your house, however.
Although laminate floors will increase a home’s value compared to wall-to-wall carpeting, real hardwood will increase it even more. Buyers generally can tell the difference between laminate and hardwood or stone, and they prefer natural materials.
Another drawback is that the look of the flooring is set by the manufacturer. Color and sheen cannot be customized so choices are limited, and a buyer may not like your selection.
Another problem could be warping. The materials in synthetic flooring are moisture resistant, but the floors can warp in high-moisture areas.
There is a debate over whether it should be installed in kitchens and bathrooms or other rooms that are exposed to heavy water or steam. Most manufactures warn that materials will be damaged by standing pools of water.
This is true of other materials as well, but hardwood floors may be able to be sanded and refinished. Homeowners thinking about buying laminate floors should visit a few stores before making a decision.
Talk with a store associate and research the different manufacturers. Some companies use different materials or construction methods.
Terry Daniels has been cleaning and installing carpets in model homes for nearly 16 years and he knows that sammamish carpet cleaning is the only way to go.