More about this material
Wood laminate flooring is a cost-effective approach to having a wood floor at your home or place of work. The material is made up of a few different things. Unlike solid wood flooring, laminate flooring construction is made of an MDF backplate with a tongue and groove interlocking system with either a printed image or a veneer of wood applied to the top surface with a clear protective lacquer applied over the top.
The lacquer makes the material temporarily water-resistant to spills, whereas natural wood would be watermarked unless a seal is used (something we always recommend)
Laminate is laid down on a foam underlay and gives a slight amount of give underfoot, making it quieter underfoot, while solid wood is glued or nailed down and is much firmer. The difference is a personal preference.
Laminate is a great cost-effective choice instead of wooden flooring, but natural floor wood may still be the better choice depending on your needs.
- NCheaper installation
- NCheaper to purchase
- NMore resistant to water
- NSustainable material
Suitable application of this flooring
- NLiving Room
- NDining Room
- MWalk-In Shower
- MSports facilities
- MCare & Nursing homes
Cheaper to install
While natural wood has some advantages like the ability to refinish the wood extending its usable lifespan, laminate is more durable to water and scratches and a lot cheaper to install and purchase.
While natural wood flooring has some advantages, where laminate truly shines is its cost savings. Natural wood floors need to be pinned and glued to every plank, and it is a long process and costly. Laminate flooring uses a tongue and groove system, which is far quicker to install and cheaper.
Don’t discount laminate as an inferior product, just a different product. It’s more resistant to water and highly durable,
Resilence over Endurance
Wood laminate is very resilient to damage, surprisingly more resilient than natural wood. The Lacquer/Laminate offers a high level of protection from scratching from table and chair legs. We would still recommend soft stops on the feet, but you get a higher level of protection with laminate if the floor is marked, though it is unlikely to be replaced entirely.
The other property of laminate wood flooring is its ability to handle water spills. Because the laminate seals the surface, it can take getting wet, only temporarily, but it gives you more time to mop up the water. Natural wood floors get watermarked almost immediately due to the open surface of the wood and then need extensive work to repair.
The cost of ownership
When you consider natural wood or laminate, you need to weigh up whether you are likely to replace your flooring every few years or whether you plan to have the same floor and refinish it every 5-10 years. If you are more likely to change your style, laminate may be a better choice.
If you look after laminate, you can get similar wear as natural wood and make the cost of owning a wood effect floor much cheaper than a real wood floor. The disadvantage is that if the laminate is damaged, you will probably need to replace the whole floor, natural wood has far more repair options, but the floor is expensive compared to laminate.
One of the best things about laminate flooring is it is made up of recyclable materials. The laminate and wood print can be broken down, as it’s a small fraction of the material. The backing plate and stability board are made from MDF which is effectively wood sand dust and an adhesive compound. This part can be broken down to dust and remoulded into new boards or into other industries.
If you are looking for renewable sources of flooring to create a low carbon home. Laminate should be your choice.