Although most Laminate flooring is made up of wood and wood fibers it would be false to say it is fake hardwood. Some even term it “engineered hardwood laminate”. This term is completely inaccurate. Laminate flooring does not claim to be wood at all. Most laminate flooring, of course, do mimic various species of hardwood looks and finishes. With today’s advanced digital technologies some laminate flooring materials even mimic other flooring materials like natural stone and ceramic tiles, not just hardwood flooring.
Laminate flooring finishes can also mimic the texture of the wood species material it is representing to make the whole experience more realistic.
Myth #2: Laminate flooring is cheap.
Laminate flooring’s prices depend on various facts. They can predominantly be summed into 3 different factors. The technology used to create the finish can range greatly from brand to brand. Most of the lower end brands/manufacturers don’t have sophisticated technology to make the final look of the laminate all that realistic. You can liken this to taking a picture with a phone camera versus a sophisticated high end professional camera in ideal lighting and controlled environments.
The second factor that determines the pricing of your laminate flooring depends on the core itself. As described in the Laminate Flooring Construction, whether you’re getting a high pressure or a direct pressure constructed core, greatly affects the quality, performance and longevity of the laminate flooring that you will be walking on. In addition some of the better brands’ core give you a rating for swelling up after being immersed in water. This is the biggest determining factor about a high quality laminate and one that is of average quality.
The third factor is the locking mechanism that is used to keep the laminate flooring pieces together. This locking mechanism determines how the laminate holds up to the every day mishaps that could occur, such as water spillage or even regular cleanups. It also plays a big role in the humidity level changes that naturally occurs with the changing of the seasons. The Uniclic’s patented locking System is considered to be the best locking system in the industry and it is used under licence by a few of the laminate manufacturers in the world, the most notable being Torly’s Floors and Quickstep Laminates.
Aside from design and texture, other factors that can contribute to laminate’s high cost includes the top layer’s AC grade – the lowest one being for home-use and the highest, an industrial grade. The installation – like if it needs a moisture barrier or the laminate flooring itself has a backing installed together with sound-absorber and adhesive much like most of Torly’s and Quickstep laminates that we present at Canadian Home Flooring.
Myth #3: Laminate flooring is not durable.
Compared to hardwood flooring, laminate flooring has better resistance to water and a higher tolerance to moisture. It is not affected by climatic changes that much and is not prone to cupping or decay.
Further, the top finish is designed to withstand not just daily foot traffic but some also have protective UV protection to ensure that the printed images and the rich details and color on the flooring will not fade easily.
Myth #4: Laminate flooring is easy to install.
Despite claims of laminate flooring being a favorite among DIY enthusiasts because its “easy” to install, don’t buy into it that easily. While it is true that laminate flooring is easier to install compared to other flooring materials such as hardwood floors, there is a certain amount of skill and of course tools that are definitely required in order to get a professional looking result. Other factors include how to deal with the floor underneath the laminate, the type of material, the amount of leveling that may be required, the proper underlay to use for the proper situation etc.
If you are going to be living in the home in which you are considering putting laminate flooring, it is best to hire a professional to do it.
Even for the DIY person we encourage you to get some advice from any of us at Canadian Home Flooring. Just get us a cup of coffee next time you’re in the neighbourhood and we’ll call it even!