Updating the flooring in a new space can easily have the most visual impact, and is usually a top request for remodeling. The look of wood flooring, but with easier maintenance, has become a big seller and we’ve implemented the products in our own properties as well as in client’s remodels. Three of these common materials are laminate, vinyl, and engineered hardwood flooring:
The biggest sellers of laminate flooring are lower cost, ease of installation, and low maintenance. Laminate is sold for less because it is mostly synthetic, and can be mass produced using low cost materials. It uses a click and lock assembly for installation – this means no nails, no glue, and it can float over existing sub floors. The clear coat over the top of the laminate makes it easier to care for, but is not necessarily the best for rooms with water like kitchens and bathrooms.
Vinyl and laminate flooring have a lot of similarities in terms of look, installation, and longevity. Laminate will still be the cheaper option, but the biggest difference between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring is the amount of water each can handle. As said above, laminate is great for general use but should not be used in rooms that may have standing water or leaks. All vinyl flooring is acceptable for wet locations, and some styles are completely waterproof. When installed correctly, the chance of any water seeping through to the subfloor is extremely rare.
Having the most in common with hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood is likely to be the most expensive option out of the three, but is still worth a consideration. Unlike laminate or vinyl, engineered hardwood has more longevity because the thick wood layer allows the floor to be refinished or recoated, similar to hardwood. Engineered hardwood is also the most realistic looking of the three options, and still easy to install. With engineered hardwood you have the option of gluing and nailing it down, or floating it like the others. Depending on your budget, a mid-range engineered hardwood could be at a similar price point to high-end laminate flooring.
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