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When remodeling a kitchen and deciding on flooring I have had a number of clients concerned with installing laminate flooring. I’d like to first explain the layers of the planks to give you a better understanding of how they are made. The top layer is the melamine wear layer; this comes in varying thicknesses for residential vs. commercial and the thicker the layer the more protection. The second layer is the high resolution photo that makes the planks resembles real wood. This photo is adhered to the third layer, the dense core board. The core board is the largest part of the plank and is comprised of multiple layers of wood in different angles pressed together with extreme pressure. The last layer would be the melamine backing layer, and some also have sound proofing below that.  A couple tips and tricks to help maintain your flooring would be to use an experienced installer, and use a moisture barrier especially in a place like Florida. 

Pros:

  • Resists fading. In places like Florida with intense sun this is important
  • Easy to clean
  • In expensive to install
  • Withstands water better than an engineered hardwood
  • Harder to chip or scratch than tile
  • Less prep work than an LVT
  • Offers some different thickness wear layers

Cons:

  • Cannot be re-sanded and refinished like an engineered hardwood
  • Slightly louder than tile
  • Most susceptible to warping should standing water be left for long duration of time
  • Slippage factor- some collections may be highly slippery when wet like a tile.