Laminate is a popular floor covering that mimics natural materials like stone and wood. Laminate flooring is just as strong and scratch resistant as vinyl and much more resilient than the wood and stone it mimics. Like every floor covering, laminate has its pros and cons. So, let's talk about some things to consider when buying laminate flooring.
Pros: Laminate designs are printed in high definition, allowing it to capture a stone or wood look almost perfectly. Laminate comes in many different plank sizes and often costs less than real wood or tile. It’s resistant to wear and won’t fade from direct sunlight or any kind of artificial light. Due to its durability, most laminate has a warranty of 15 to 30 years. Installation is easy with a locking system that is nail and glue-free. It can be floated over any non-textile sub floor or existing floor, even concrete. Laminate is a breeze to clean, and in general just requires regular sweeping and dry mopping. For a deeper clean, we recommend a cleaning solution like Bona Hard Surface Cleaner that won’t leave a filmy residue.
Cons: Even with its foam underlay, laminate is hard under foot. It also doesn’t insulate a room like carpet or cork flooring would. If damaged, laminate can’t be sanded or refinished like the hardwood it mimics. The damaged planks have to be replaced. Laminate is not as moisture resistant as other floor coverings. Wet spills should be cleaned up immediately so your floor isn’t damaged, unless you purchase a laminate like Mannington's line that's available with SpillShield technology. This product is moisture resistant up to 72 hours.
Think about the specific needs and lifestyle in your home when considering laminate. If the pros outweigh the cons, laminate might be just right for your home.
LVT and WPC flooring categories are rising steadily in popularity. Both types of flooring offer wood and tile looks but with entirely different compositions and advantages. We'll take a good look at both and hopefully help you decide which is right for you.
LVT stands for luxury vinyl tile, also know as luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). LVT is a vinyl based flooring that mimics the look of stone and wood. Let's take a closer look and see why LVT might be the right floor covering for you.
LVT consists of five layers. First is a finish that protects from light scratching and shoe scuffs. Second is a clear film that protects against rips and tears. Third is the design layer--this is your stone or wood print. Fourth is the core, which gives it structure. And finally, the fifth layer is the backing.
LVT captures the realistic look of wood and stone designs with the use of photographic technology. The design options don't stop at color though. LVT also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Square pieces range from 12x12 to 24x24, and rectangle piece come in 12x24. You can even get LVT in hexagonal shapes!
Besides its design advantages, LVT has many practical angles. Unlike the stone and wood that it mimics, LVT is very water resistant. In fact, it is pretty much impervious to wet spills. While stone is susceptible to cracks if something heavy is dropped on it or if not installed correctly, LVT is very durable, giving it the stone look without fear of it cracking. Tile is beautiful, but many don’t like its cold feel—something that LVT does not have. LVT is very easy to clean: damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT. Because it is very durable, it is not uncommon to see 20 to 25-year warranties on LVT.
WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite) shares many similarities with LVT, but at the same time, they do have some differences. Let's take a look at why you might consider WPC for your floor covering.
There are many different versions of WPC. While the “W” in WPC stands for wood, the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today don’t contain wood. These kinds of WPC are often called enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl, and water proof vinyl. We’re going to focus on the features of these types of WPC.
WPC is like LVT in that it is vinyl based and mimics stone and wood. The core is made of plastic/polymer, which is the same material PVC pipes are of made. When this kind of core is used in WPC, it is totally water proof. WPC can be installed in places with high exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms and basements. WPC’s core is rigid, thus hiding imperfections in the subfloor. The rigid core also allows for longer and wider planks. Like LVT, WPC is very easy to clean and has a lengthy warranty.
If you would like the look of wood or stone but with added durability and protection, LVT and WPC are both excellent flooring choices for your home.