Quality laminate floors are extremely resistant to surface damage, unlike hardwood floors. You need to look at floors with a substantial aluminum-oxide surface with a very dense core. You can pound on a very dense laminate floor with a hammer and not damage it. You certainly cannot do that to hardwood. Some of the higher quality laminate floors are warrantied for installation in bathrooms where topical water may be present.
Laminate flooring can range in price from $.80 per square foot to $4.00 per square foot. In the case of laminate, the cheaper selections don’t look or feel like more expensive choices. They also don’t perform like the quality laminates and are very susceptible to “joint puckering” when moisture invades. Many quality laminates have a raised, wood grain finish making them look very similar to hardwood.
Most laminates, or floating floors, are now made with an interlocking, tongue and groove system for easy installation by either an installer or the homeowner. The locking systems on cheaper laminate floor do not perform well and often separate at butt joints or even on lateral joints – beware.
Another advantage of choosing a laminate floor is there is seldom a need for any extraordinary floor preparation. It can be installed directly over vinyl and any other hard floor because it is not attached to the sub-floor – it “floats.”
Laminate is easy to maintain, durable, attractive (many look like wood), and it can be installed by the homeowner who has a few carpentry skills. We also offer exceptional installation if you don’t want to tackle the project.