Everything you need to know about laminate floors
Once seen as a cheap solution for DIYers, with the finish quality to match, laminates have progressed to being a very popular choice in Australian homes for their look and durability over a long lifespan. Unfortunately, the way we still think about laminates comes from these early days, even though much has changed.
If looks are important to you, laminate flooring will look more realistic than vinyl, but both have luxury options that can make your space look stylish. Nowadays, laminates along with hybrids, are seen as one of the best choices for young families, renovators and first home builders needing a durable floor with the timber look.
How realistic is the timber look for laminates?
Almost indistinguishable. In the past, texture and imaging was used to achieve the timber look, modern laminates have variations in finish, bevel, treatment as well as texture and imaging to achieve a realistic look, no matter what style of floor you’re after. Using the latest flooring technologies, laminate floors are now produced to such a high quality, it can replicate the look of hardwood floors or natural stone to the point where it’s very difficult to tell the difference. The quality, and low repeatability of laminate flooring now available in Australian species is unrivalled. Laminate flooring brings practicality and style to any home or office space.
Do laminate floors wear?
Apart from the look, innovation in laminates has impacted how floors will wear. With a pressed timber core, topped with the laminate image and wear layers, early laminates were susceptible to cupping (where edges rise up where they meet) and other effects from changes within the core over time. Because of this, while original laminates were visually more appealing than their vinyl cousins, they could not be used in wet areas of the house, like kitchens, laundries and bathrooms, because their wood particle components were susceptible to moisture, swelling and drying. Laminate flooring handles heavy foot traffic areas with ease and has indentation and scratch resistance, which means it can suit the hectic lifestyle of young families.
Finally, laminate flooring is a little greener than it’s vinyl counterpart, if this is important to you, it’s core being made up of wooden materials and some manufacturers have recycled content products. But be aware that the wear layer is still a plastic surface layer. It’s not as environmentally friendly as engineered timber, but with 90% wood content, it’s definitely got the leg up on the vinyls.
Not sure if laminate is the right choice for you?
Floorworld’s laminate flooring range is made by the biggest brands including Premium Floors, Quickstep, Clever Choice and Godfrey Hirst.
Pop into a Floorworld store today where you’ll get the very best advice from our flooring specialists who can help you choose the right flooring for your needs, organise installation and recommend the appropriate sub floor for your flooring choice.
Floorworld staff are highly passionate and are trained to assist you with all your flooring needs. With great knowledge of our extensive range, they’ll make it easy to choose the right type of floor for your space. Take a look at our range of laminate flooring up close and find your nearest Floorworld store here.