Laminate is always a great go-to option for those who want to install something themselves or those of us who just want an affordable, durable, and stylish floor.
Often overshadowed by vinyl and hardwood floors, laminate offers many options and benefits that cater to the specific needs of homeowners. It might be the best choice for your situation, and we are going to examine the options and things to consider when buying laminate!
Table of Contents
- The Benefits
- Laminate v. Hardwood
- Laminate v. Vinyl
- How Much Does It Cost? What About Installing It?
- Need More Info? I Got You
There are plenty of benefits to laminate, but there may be potential downsides to be aware of as well. Laminate resembles real wood flooring, making it a great choice for those of you who are looking for something that gives the hardwood look without the hardwood price tag.
It remains a popular choice for all of you landlords and property managers out there because of its easy installation and inexpensive prices.
Installing a new floor in your property is an important investment that requires all your bases covered and all options analyzed. So, Beware the Short Answer!
What can you get out of laminate?
- The price is a great selling point for many property managers and homeowners looking for a specific yet inexpensive product.
- It is one of the easiest floors to install! Just lay it and click it in place!
- It looks like the real thing! Laminate can look just like real hardwood and comes in plenty of varieties for the consumers to pick and choose exactly what they want.
- The maintenance required for laminate is light work so that anyone can do it! Sweeping, mopping with manufacturer recommended solutions, and vacuuming hard to reach corners will keep it look good as new! If a plank gets damaged somehow it is super easy to replace, just lay a new plank down.
Let’s start understanding laminate by comparing it with its idol, hardwood floors. As I mentioned, laminate offers a great alternative to hardwood flooring.
The value of laminate is seen with its incredible scratch resistance, decent (emphasis on the decent) water-resistance, and affordability.
However, the finishes that are used on hardwood are made with aluminum oxide which holds up well with scratches. When it comes to scratch resistance, laminate always wins.
Hardwood, provided it has a strong finish, can last the lifetime of the property if taken care of properly.
But if you are a homeowner looking for a simple floor for your basement or you’re a landlord/property owner looking for something affordable and easily manageable, laminate could be the best choice for you!
Vinyl’s versatility and affordable durability has made it one of the most popular flooring choices.
However, just like the Laminate v. Hardwood debate, it really depends on what you need.
Vinyl offers a fantastic middle ground between hardwood and laminate. Hear me out:
- Vinyl offers the style of everything from wood to tile looks. The selection of design allows you to choose just the right look for your home.
- Vinyl is super easy to install and maintain. Just like laminate, vinyl can be click-locked into place and laid down on top of some existing floors.
- When it comes to moisture, vinyl beats out hardwood and laminate everytime. Hardwood can’t handle much moisture if any at all while laminate is only water-resistant from the top down. Meaning, if water gets underneath the laminate, it will be absorbed into the cork core where it will sit and potentially grow mold/mildew. Vinyl, specifically SPC, is 100% waterproof no matter what.
- Hardwood is also on the bottom when it comes to scratch-resistance. Although the finish it comes with does well protecting it, laminate beats it out (along with vinyl) every single time.
I was under the impression that the incredibly durable finishes of hardwood and the impact-proof nature of vinyl both surpassed laminate. But on two separate occasions, I was proven wrong. In a showroom, a friend and I tested put laminate to the test against hardwood and vinyl and both times laminate won by a landslide. It is as durable as it gets!
Laminate continues to be the best choice for simple projects, especially for the landlord type consumer. The same for those who prefer something inexpensive they can handle themselves for a simple project!
Laminate sits within the $1.50 to $6 per square foot range. Crazy, right?!
For all of you DIYers out there, laminate continues to be one of the easiest types of flooring to install by yourself.
You could walk into a store and buy all the laminate you need for your 200 square foot basement for roughly $600, a tapping mallet for $8, or save the $8 and use your fists (don’t do that, but it can be that easy), go home, turn on some Netflix and spend the evening installing your new laminate.
Let’s have a quick review of some comparisons we made between laminate, hardwood, and vinyl:
If you want the ease of installing something yourself,
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option for your basement or other property,
Laminate could be the right choice for you!