Laminate flooring is a popular choice for those who love the aesthetic beauty of wood grains minus the premium price and cost of maintenance. While the natural beauty and texture of natural wood is in a class of its own, with the advent of technology, many laminate flooring brands do a good job of mimicking the look of varying species of wood grain while offering the added advantage of many good features, such as a scratch resistant protective layer, termites resistance and cigarette burn resistance, to name but a few, and at a more affordable price too.
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Are all laminate flooring the same?
Although the general makeup of many laminate flooring are similar, product performance may vary from one brand to another. While product features can be used as a general guideline to gauge product quality, often, actual performance can only be determined by a detailed review of the product technical specifications (assuming that full information is made available to you) with the help of someone technically inclined, backed by actual use of the product.
Why is that so? That is because most listed features of the product has a performance range. For example, if a product claims to be scratch resistant, just how scratch resistant is it? Is it mildly scratch resistant or highly scratch resistant? Whether the product performance lies in the lower end or higher end of the performance scale, it still falls under the umbrella feature of ‘scratch resistance’.
So how do you choose?
There are a few things you can consider while shopping for your laminate flooring:
1. Tried and Tested
Have you noticed how our parents or grandparents used to go about purchasing many of their personal and home supplies, and continue to do so even today? Yes, we are referring to recommendations here. Don’t know anyone who had laminate flooring usage experience to talk to? No problem. Speak to a reliable flooring contractor (like us, for instance 🙂 ). Often, a reasonably experienced contractor will have a few brands to recommend based on their own good experiences with them, as well as from customer feedback.
Another thing you can look into is product warranty – does the laminate flooring of your choice come with any warranties? This is another way to gauge product performance. While it is not full proof, it does illustrate, to some extent, the brand’s own confidence in its product performance that is of, at the very least, at an acceptable level. Most will be drawn to the product with the longest warranty period, automatically assuming that the product must be the most durable. However, that may or may not be true. As the saying goes, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Let common sense be your best friend here.
3. Protective Features
Seek advice from your contractor about the protective features of the laminate flooring of your choice. Does your choice of laminate flooring offer protective features that help slow down wear and tear from daily use? For example, certain laminate floorboards do have a water resistant layer that is more tolerant to mopping than others. Then there are those with a waterproof WPC core instead of a HDF or MDF core, and may be a good option for areas of the home that are frequently damp or exposed to water such as the kitchen or outside a bathroom. Whichever option you end up choosing, knowing how to properly maintain your laminate flooring will help keep it in good condition for the years to come.
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