Laminate flooring, while often considered second-rate to real wood flooring, can be an alternative worth considering for many.
Laminate flooring is far more economical than hardwood flooring and because its made to look like wood (and sometimes tile or slate) home owners can expect a more uniform and more predictable look. But perhaps the number one advantage to laminate flooring is that it’s very environmentally friendly. In fact, it’s estimated that laminate flooring is 90% green.
Because laminates are printed, you can achieve a highly customized pattern that can’t be accomplished with wood.
Laminate flooring is also stain and fade resistant and can repel some water. However, because the printed pattern is only on the top layer of the floor, it can show scratches and it can’t be refinished.
Unfortunately for the reputation of laminate flooring, the market has been flooded with cheap laminates that neither look particularly good nor do they last very well. The installation of the cheap floors requires glue, which can emit a noxious fume. Quality laminate floors will “float” over an existing surface and the pieces will be snapped together.
Another advantage to laminate flooring is that since it’s not glued to the floor, it’s easy to redecorate without too much cost. Some complain about a hollow feel to laminate flooring but with a quality floor, few people will know.
While laminate flooring is close to 100% environmentally green (the majority of its core board is formed from recycled content), the top is generally printed from décor paper. A new technology that’s not yet on the market might eliminate the paper. A patented process uses wood powder to form the top layer, which will look even more natural and be more durable. It will also enable the pattern to be embossed very deeply, which will make scuffs and scratches much less noticeable.
However, the technology is yet to be introduced to North America and experts aren’t sure that it ever will. For now, there are plenty of floors which offer the beauty you’d come to expect from Amber Flooring.