One of the largest markets in South Africa is laminated flooring , although there are various qualities of lamented flooring lets see how good German quality flooring stacks up against the competition.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Floors

The main benefits of laminate over other types of home flooring, and the reason it is so popular, are affordability, ease of installation and low maintenance.

Laminate is cheap because it’s a largely synthetic flooring that’s easily mass produced using low cost materials. It’s easy to install because most laminate uses click and lock assembly which means no nails or glue and can be installed over most existing sub floors that are level and flat. And finally it’s easy to clean and care for because of the thick and clear wear layer that covers the surface of the flooring.

So why not just lay laminate floor throughout your home? Well many people do, but in certain situations its worth taking a moment to compare laminate flooring advantages with other flooring types. Laminate is a great mid-priced flooring option but there are times when a more expensive hardwood floor or a cheaper vinyl floor could be a better match for your home.

Laminate Vs Hardwood Flooring

Laminate vs wood flooring can be summed up pretty simply in two words… price and style! We think laminate floors look great, there are some exceptional products available, but laminate doesn’t look the same as real wood and that’s a fact. In a dining room or master bedroom where style is your main concern you might want to consider spending more on a quality hardwood floor.

Laminate wood flooring is perfect in a functional setting where practicality is your priority. In a child’s room, in the family areas or parts of the house where you have dogs running around laminate flooring just makes sense. It’s attractive, quickly cleaned and hard wearing too. In these situations real wood flooring seems rather impractical and expensive. The same is also true when comparing laminate with bamboo flooring.

Also remember that real hardwood is soft by nature, can stain, is vulnerable to intense sunlight. If stains and extreme weather conditions are a part of your day to day life then laminate flooring is the smart choice. When it comes to the pros and cons of laminate flooring there are plenty of reasons to choose laminate over real wood or bamboo flooring, but its fair to say they are of a practical and cost nature.

Laminate Vs Luxuary Vinyl Flooring

Laminate flooring does a great job of imitating more expensive surfaces like real wood and it’s also got a good long life span, so why would you ever consider vinyl flooring over laminate?

Well, please don’t lose sight of the fact that laminate floors aren’t completely waterproof. They do contain a core layer of dense fiberboard and, despite the plastic top wear layer and further protective melamine resin layer, laminate flooring will react to standing water in the same way as real wood flooring. For instance laminate is fine for kitchens as long as you keep spills to a minimum and/or clean up immediately, but you should think twice about laminate in a bathroom or kitchen enviroment that regularly experiences standing water. In these instances vinyl flooring would be a much smarter choice, vinyl itself is waterproof and as long as it is installed properly the chance of any water getting through to your subfloor is negligible. Although vinyl is the seems like the perfect choice for its moisture attributes, flexibility and hard wear layer there are some issues that you face with this choice. Prep work in your subfloor is costly, good quality vinyl is more prickly than a laminate and vinyl needs to be kept out of direct sunlight with uv shields on windows and curtains/blinds.

Laminate vs Tile Flooring

The biggest difference between laminate flooring and tile or stone flooring is installation. Laminate installation is a breeze compared to the prep, skill and time required to install tile.

You can’t beat tile when it comes to durability and longevity. Tile is also the best choice for very wet conditions which is why it’s so common in kitchens and bathrooms, if you have any worries about excess water/moisture in your home then tile is a much better choice than laminate. It is worth mentioning that tile is harder and colder than laminate (by about 7 degrees) and so many homeowners report that laminate flooring provides more comfort. That’s why it’s fairly common to install tile in the kitchen and bathroom and laminate in other parts of the home.

Both types of flooring are quick and easy to clean, just be aware that if you go with a light/white tile you will find yourself needing to mop far more often than with darker floors, white tile shows up everything and, take it from us, with young children that gets very boring very quickly!

Laminate Vs Carpet

When trying to decide between carpet or laminate your final decision will ultimately come down to comfort and cleanliness factors, for you, your family and your pets.

For price low to medium range options are pretty similar, you can buy both carpet and laminate at nearly the same prices. Obviously high quality carpet price can go much higher than most all medium commercial laminates do.

Of course laminate is a harder, more resilient surface so will last longer than a carpet, but only if you purchase a decent product and take good care of it. Carpets can be a pretty long term option if there are just two of you in the house and foot traffic is low.

If you have pets (or toddlers!) then you have an interesting decision to make. Carpets are much more forgiving, warm and comfortable for both pets and children, but a nightmare to clean or take care of if your pets or kids are badly behaved. The number one advantage that laminate has over carpet is ease of cleaning and keeping clean. Even with regular hovering and steam cleaning, carpets can be a haven for dust and dirt; anyone with dust allergies should definitely consider laminate or stay on top of their carpet cleaning.

Finally, carpet is undeniably more comfortable, warm and quiet than laminate. So if you’re trying to choose between the two perhaps think about installing carpet in rooms where comfort is more important (bedrooms/living rooms etc) and laminate where practical, hard wearing cleanliness is more important (hallways/entrance halls, dining rooms, home office etc).