When you need to choose new flooring for your home, you want to take your time and learn everything you can about your different options. This is because your home's flooring needs to last for years, be durable yet easy to clean and look attractive! Since these are a lot of demands for flooring, note a few common misconceptions people have about laminate floorboards so you can determine if this popular option is right for your home.
Laminate versus hardwood
Some people assume that laminate flooring is a type of hardwood; however, the word laminate itself refers to attaching layers or pieces of some type of material together, making laminate flooring very different than solid wood. A laminate floorboard usually starts with a melamine resin layer that keeps the plank in place, followed by a thick layer of high-density fibreboard, which provides cushioning and strength to the floor. A decorative layer is placed over these; this layer is actually a type of photograph or print. A protective layer is last, and this protects the decorative layer from damage, while also providing a bit of shine.
Appearance of laminate
One reason that many people confuse laminate flooring with hardwood flooring is that its decorative print layer often resembles wood. However, since this layer is a type of photograph or print, it can actually look like stone, ceramic tile or any other solid surface. The colour of laminate floors can also be tinted any shade; if you prefer a honey oak colour for your wood-look floor, you can achieve this easily with laminate, or you can opt for a greyish tinge for a modern home. The print can also include lots of grain and knots on a wood print, making the flooring look very rustic, or it can be completely uniform if you prefer a cleaner look to the flooring.
Cleaning and maintenance
Don't assume that a laminate floor needs to be sanded like wood floors; if the top protective layer of laminate flooring gets damaged, or the floor gets scratched, dented or chipped, you may need to have that section of flooring replaced. You also don't want to use waxes and polishes meant for wood, as these can just build up on that protective layer. You can use a damp cloth or mop on laminate flooring, which you should avoid with hardwood. This can actually make cleaning laminate flooring easier than cleaning hardwood floors.