Deciding which flooring material to choose for your home is not always easy. With a variety of attractive options available these days, weighing up the pros and cons of each type of material can be a daunting task. One popular choice to consider is laminate flooring. The unique feature of laminate to mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood and stone is one of its many advantages, plus it doesn’t hurt that laminate is also economical and highly durable.
Laminate is a type of synthetic flooring engineered using four layers. The bottom layer or backing plate ensures that it does not bend or shift after installation. For stability and moisture resistance, each piece of laminate floor consists of a strong HDF core. The top consists of a photographic layer simulating the look of wood or other natural materials, produced through high-definition printing.
To further enhance the durability and resistance of laminate floors, the decorative layer is treated with a resin film for protection. The high-end production techniques used today make it more difficult to distinguish between laminate flooring and natural materials; hence making laminate flooring an even more excellent option.
Benefits of laminate flooring
Here are the practical advantages of choosing laminate flooring:
- Laminate floors are suitable for any room. You can add extra protection to make laminate waterproof and use it in high-moisture areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. Laminate floors don’t trap dirt and dust and are therefore suitable for living rooms and bedrooms. If your home features radiant floor heating, laminate floors are compatible as long as you are using the right subfloor.
- Extremely durable. Laminate floors are naturally scratch resistant and durable. Laminate flooring can hold up well to regular wear and tear which is why it is also a popular choice for commercial spaces.
- Easy maintenance. If you have a busy lifestyle, you will appreciate floors that are easy to clean and maintain. Laminate floors don’t require regular sanding or staining. All you need to do to keep it in top condition is to wipe it clean with a damp cloth or use mild cleaning chemicals.
- Fast installation. Laminate floors are easy to install using the click and lock system used by most manufacturers. The floating floor feature of laminate allows for quick installation, and there is no need for you to wait before you can use the floor. Laminate is popular for DIY, but it is always best to have an expert do it for you.
- Lifelike appearance. Advanced manufacturing techniques produce laminate flooring with a lifelike appearance closely resembling natural wood, stone, and ceramic.
With these benefits, it is easy to understand why laminate floors are fast becoming the flooring material of choice for many homes.
Choosing the best laminate flooring colour for your home
Flooring colour can be a focal point in a home’s interior design. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of styles and colours. Here is a guide to some of the popular laminate flooring colours you can choose from.
- White laminate flooring. One of the reasons why some people choose white floors is that the colour does not take away from the other design elements in a room. You can select elegant pieces of furniture which will stand out against stark white floors.
- Grey laminate flooring. Grey is popular because it is versatile enough to complement rustic and modern interior designs. Similar to white, a light-coloured floor makes for an excellent backdrop for furnishings and accessories.
- Blonde laminate flooring. Light or blonde laminate floors look more traditional and classic. They also help create the illusion of more space which makes it a suitable option for small apartments.
- Red laminate flooring. The warm tones of auburn laminate flooring lend a rich foundation to any area. It is quite a dramatic colour and complements rich and plush furnishings well.
- Chocolate brown laminate flooring. Brown or chocolate is always a sophisticated colour choice. It is best used in combination with neutral walls. Dark floors also make bright colours pop which means you have more room to experiment with selecting furniture and other accessories.
Choosing light or dark-hued laminate flooring is all about personal preference. Because more people today prefer contemporary interior designs, light floors are making a comeback. As such, we will look further at white laminate flooring and its advantages.
Why is white flooring a good match for your home?
White floors are often associated with creating a minimalist look for interior spaces. White laminate specifically exudes freshness which is easy on the eyes. Designers also recommend white if you want to enhance an area and make it look more open. White also creates a blank canvas allowing for more creativity in design.
White laminate floors match any style, universally. If you prefer shabby-chic, beachy, rustic, or industrial décor, white floors are versatile enough to match any of them. Another excellent benefit of white floors is that they make any space look cleaner, airier, and brighter. If you want to maintain a peaceful living space, you don’t need to add much to white laminate floors. Simple furniture with clean lines and light-hued upholstery are perfect choices to complement white floors.
White laminate floors also help showcase artwork and furniture. You can paint the walls a dark colour to make a bold statement and counterbalance the stark whiteness of the floor.
Reasons not to choose white laminate floors
Pristine white laminate floors are indeed a feast for the eyes. But no matter how attractive white floors are, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing white floors. In general, laminate floors are easy to maintain and clean, but white can be challenging to keep in prime condition if the space is subject to heavy foot traffic.
If you have young children and pets at home, you may want to be extra careful with scratching, spills, and stains. White laminate floors stand up well to regular wear and tear but will eventually show signs of use. The fact is, it is easier to hide wear and tear if the floors are of a darker colour.
It is also essential that you choose the right hue when installing white laminate floors. Certain shades of white can create a bright glare which is tiring to the eyes. To make the right choice, think about these factors and decide whether you are choosing white not only for its aesthetic appeal but also because it is a functional choice for your home.
White laminate flooring DIY installation
White laminate flooring is a DIY-friendly option for those who want to save on the cost of professional installation. If you have experience with floor installation, you can follow the steps below to install laminate flooring.
- Prepare the subfloor. The subfloor needs to be smooth and even. Any adjustments to the subfloor need to be done in advance so that it can dry properly. You also need to make sure that the floor is clean before you proceed with the installation.
- Choose the right underlay. The right underlay affects the overall finish of laminate flooring. Underlay enhances insulation and also adds soundproofing and prevents moisture from damaging the laminate.
- Plan and sketch the pattern. When you are installing laminate, you need to pay attention to the pattern. Laminate flooring usually comes with instructions which you can use as a guide while you install. It helps if you measure the space and create a sketch of the pattern. Pre-planning the pattern will help minimise waste produced by cutting laminate planks as you install.
- Use your senses to feel as you install. Once you’ve cut the pieces to size, it is time to fix the planks. This is the easy part because you just need to click the laminate tongue into the groove. But there are times when dirt and debris can get caught in the tongue which will produce resistance as you click the pieces together. Clicking together planks of laminate should be smooth and easy and should never be forced. If you are having trouble clicking the parts together, clean the planks first and try again.
- Measure the planks right in position. Although some might use a tape measure to cut planks to size, it is easier to measure planks in place.
- Install laminate under door trims. You can create a seamless look by cutting underneath the wall and door trims to install laminate underneath. The resulting floor will appear more natural and less like it has been merely laid on top.
DIY installation can help you save money, but experts recommend that you only tackle a project of this magnitude when you have some knowledge of construction. Laminate flooring may be quick to install but ensuring the integrity of the resulting floor depends on many factors. Overall, laminate flooring in white or in any colour is an excellent choice for homes of any style, or design. Laminate flooring has come a long way and the variety of options available today make it a practical choice for residential homes and commercial spaces alike.