What is Laminate Flooring? [2021 Guide]

What is Laminate Flooring? [2021 Guide]

Laminate flooring was first introduced by a Swedish company as a method of reusing waste wood for economical and ethical reasons. Buyers were found to favour its significantly cheaper price while being able to retain an authentic look, just like a real hardwood flooring.

This guide will provide you all the pros and cons about laminate flooring so you can decide whether or not it’s for you.

What is Laminate Flooring Made Of?

Laminate flooring is first created by deconstructing wood to make it into a pulp, and then fusing them together in order to create a synthetic core. The three primary layers are:

  1. Wear Layer – A thin layer (Usually 0.5mm) constructed mainly of aluminium oxide coating on top of the plank. It provides UV protection, scratch resistance, as well as moisture resistance.
  2. Print Layer – Advances in embossing technology allows us to replicate the texture and features of real timber. At FloorVenue, we stock over hundreds of different designs, so you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice!
  3. HDF Core – The distinguishing layer is made up of recycled wood chips and general timber waste, the end product being high density fibreboards, providing a stable base to build upon.

Lastly, laminate flooring are floating floors which feature a click-lock system. It relies on gravity and friction to hold them in place which makes these planks easy to install without the need for smelly adhesives or glue.

Below are some popular colours chosen by our customers. Notice that they are almost indistinguishable from real timber flooring, thanks to improvements in print and embossing technology. You can browse our full laminate flooring range here.

Blackbutt Oak Grey Oak Natural Spotted Gum
Luxflor 12mm Hugo Blackbutt Flooring Luxflor 12mm Hugo Oak Grey Flooring Luxflor 12mm Hugo Oak Natural Flooring Luxflor 12mm Hugo Spotted Gum Flooring

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

Advantages of Laminate Floors

Reasons for choosing laminate flooring go beyond saving a few dollars. Laminate floorboards have a number of advantages to make sure you get bang for your buck. These include:

  1. Durability – Laminate flooring is very durable, known for it’s very high scratch and dent resistance. It is even more abrasion resistant than the strongest hardwood species, making it perfect for high traffic areas.
  2. Laminate floors are economical – As one of the lowest priced flooring options, laminate flooring can accomodate for even the tightest budgets at $20-$50/sqm. Bring the authentic timber look into your home for half the price!
  3. Laminate floors are easy to install – Laminate flooring has a simple click-lock system which makes the installation process efficient and effortless, without the need for adhesives or glue.
  4. Water resistant – Laminate flooring can be water resistant, which provides protection against accidental spills as well as helping your peace of mind.
  5. Variety – Experience a seemingly endless choice of colours and styles to suit your taste. Whether you want to replicate an authentic, natural timber appearance or create your own unique design, with laminate flooring there is something for everyone.
  6. Low maintenance – Laminate flooring offers moisture and stain resistant surfaces to make spills and messes easy to clean up and handle.

Disadvantages of Laminate Floors

Even with all its benefits, there are some things you need to consider before buying laminate floors. These include:

  1. Laminate floors fear water – Although there are water resistant laminate ranges, they are still made up of wood, and will be susceptible to water damage if left in moist environments for extended periods of time. Laminate flooring is not recommended for kitchens or laundries.
  2. Laminate floors may be unreliable – These planks can have a large variance in quality. Be careful of very cheap laminate floors, some are poorly made, affecting durability and potentially offsetting savings made when buying this floor in repair costs. Cheaper floors may also have repetitive patterns giving it a fake and artificial look.
  3. Laminate floors aren’t real timber – Although it may look exactly like real oak floors, there are bound to be discrepancies in the feel. Many prefer the natural feel of solid timber underfoot rather than a manufactured version.

Which Areas are Laminate Floorboards Suitable For?

Laminate flooring is hardwearing and sometimes water resistant, which makes it a versatile choice and will be a great flooring for your home, as well as in commercial areas. Furthermore, its floating floor capabilities allow for an easy and quiet installation process. This is especially perfect for people living or working in high rise complexes who have to be considerate of their neighbours in regards to noise level, particularly in buildings with strict strata policies. Best of all, laminate flooring provides a vast range of designs to suit your taste. Whether the aim is a professional and serious tone or a bright, unique statement, laminate flooring has it all.

We have a definitive guide to laminate flooring – definitely a great read if you are deciding whether or not its the best for you!

How to Clean and Maintain Laminate Flooring

The most important thing to keep in mind when cleaning laminate flooring is to use tools that are not abrasive.  One clean every week should be sufficient to keep your floor looking brand new. Mopping, vacuuming and sweeping are all great methods to cleaning laminate flooring. Here are some quick tips for cleaning and maintaining laminate flooring, so you can keep them beautiful for many years to come:

  1. Felt Padding – Laminate floors are very strong, but heavy furniture can still scratch the surface if moved without care. The easiest may to remove this risk is by applying felt padding to furniture legs.
  2. Rinse The Mop – Since the vast majority of laminate floorboards are not waterproof, it is important to avoid using excess water when mopping. Rinsing the mop will help reduce the risk of flooding the floors.
  3. Trim Pet Nails –  If you have pets which love to play around, it is advisable to regularly trim your pets’ nails to minimise the amount of scratch accumulation.

If you want to learn more, we have an entire guide on how to clean laminate flooring.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Vinyl flooring ranges are 100% waterproof, whereas laminate flooring is water resistant, meaning excessive water exposure will damage the floor.
  • Laminate flooring also does not need to be installed with glue, unlike vinyl planks. This makes the installation process of laminate floors much easier.

Overall, it is more about what the aims for your floor are, taking into account individual circumstances in order to make an informed decision between the two floor types. Feel free to contact us if you ever want advice!

The majority of laminate floors are water resistant, meaning that accidental water spills can be left on the floor for a short period of time without any consequences. However, excessive water exposure for a prolonged period may result in the surface layer peeling away. As such installing them in areas of high moisture such as the kitchen or laundry is not the best practice, in case of a leakage under the floors.

FloorVenue is currently developing 100% waterproof laminate flooring!

Of course! Every floor needs a clean every now and then to keep it looking shiny and new. However, it is important to keep in mind that too much water (such as an excessively wet mop) may damage the planks. Make sure that the mop is wrung out before starting to clean.

Many manufacturers will have specific instructions concerning maintenance of laminate floors which can help guide you on the best cleaning methods. You can also check out our guide to cleaning laminate flooring here!

Thanks to its stain and moisture resistant surfaces, laminate flooring does not require huge efforts to keep it looking brand new. Giving the floor a gentle mop every month should keep the planks looking just like the day they arrived.

If you are looking to learn more, our guide to cleaning laminate flooring can definitely help! 

Contrary to the misconception, laminate flooring is not made of plastic. This myth was born due to early versions having a fake “plastic” look. However, improved technology has now allowed replication of hardwood designs to an extraordinarily intricate level. Laminate flooring is made up of high density fibreboards, which is wood based.

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular options on the flooring market today due to its excellent scratch resistance, low maintenance and authentic hardwood flooring look. On top of this, they are very affordable and definitely give good value for money. It is all about choosing a laminate floor from the right company which can install it properly in the correct environments.

If you want to learn more, we have an entire article on whether or not laminate flooring is any good.

 

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