Get your favorite look at a fraction of the price
Easy, economical and exquisite are three words that describe laminate flooring. The great advantage of laminate flooring is that it can take on the appearance of any other type of flooring, from an exact replica of hardwood to natural stone or tile. The product doesn't require any of the material it's mimicking because a high resolution image of the material is bonded between several other layers. On the bottom is a moisture-resistant layer and high density fiberboard (HDF) and on top is a hard, clear coating.
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While it's certainly versatile, laminate flooring shouldn't be chosen for areas where it may get wet, such as bathrooms. Long-term exposure can cause laminates to warp.
Laminate flooring is a popular choice among homeowners because it is:
- Versatile – Do you wish you had a hardwood floor but can't afford the cost? Laminate flooring may be just the thing for you. It can mimic the look of hardwood (or stone) for a fraction of the cost.
- Durable – Vinyl flooring is scratch resistant, fade resistant and low maintenance. It can last up to 15 years.
- Cheap - In most cases, laminate flooring is about half the price of traditional hardwood floors. If it's a rare type of hardwood, the savings may even be more.
- Easy to install - A click locking system on many laminate floors makes them the perfect choice for do-it-yourselfers. Some can be snapped in place by hand, while others require light pressure with a mallet. Before attempting to install laminate floors in your home, make sure to read all directions and become familiar with the floor's locking mechanism. Quick-Step is one company that offers flooring without the need for glues. A "Uniclic" system allows the floor to be installed and used immediately after. Quick-Step offers a variety of wood and tile styles - from exotic mahogany to vintage oak to Indian slate. Other companies, such as Faus, sell products that are independently certified as having low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.