Both laminate flooring and hardwood floors offer distinct characteristics in terms of usability, durability and are both suited to varying applications. The question is, which one is best suited to your needs?
Although more expensive, hardwood flooring offers certain benefits over laminate floors in terms of longevity, character and overall appeal. When making a decision, certain key factors must be considered which will ultimately determine which flooring should be installed in different areas of your home.
The greatest advantage of laminate floors is that they are so well suited to today’s active lifestyles. Traditionally, installation meant glueing the planks together. And with glue, there are always hassles related to correcting mistakes. Snap together bypasses all of these issues, making it a dream for DIY customers.
Laminate floors, like hardwood utilize a tongue and groove locking mechanism which is used to attach the planks together resulting in a seamless floor. Unlike hardwood however, the tongue and groove on a laminate floor does not require any adhesive or other forms of fastening in order to keep the boards in place; instead the tongue and groove are designed to snap into place thus locking the floor together.
Laminate floors are designed to be installed using the floating floor method, thus the integrity of the locking mechanism is an important factor when evaluating the durability of the floor. Locking mechanisms are rated at pounds per square inch and are built to withstand the weight of ordinary household furniture. For items that are considered beyond the scope of ordinary due to their exceptional weight, one can consider a floor that comes with an aluminum locking mechanism that offers a higher level of joint integrity and is designed to withstand abnormally heavy furniture. Additionally, a good quality locking mechanism should be treated with some form of waterproofing such as Paraffin wax, which will prevent topical water spills from penetrating to the laminate core.
The laminate core must be constructed of good quality High Density Fiber(HDF) board, and should be treated with a water repellent chemical which prevents swelling and disintegration should the floor be compromised with water or excessive moisture. Thicker cores generally denote better quality products and offer a higher degree of dimensional stability as well as a reduction in noise levels when walked upon. Great deals for laminate flooring can be found at Floors Direct.
Hardwood floors are timeless. Their beauty enhance the warmth of any home and complements the decor of any room. Hardwood is inherently a porous product, containing air pockets that weaken the structure, making it easy to stain, dent and scratch. Manufacturers apply various surface as well as impregnation treatments to hardwood to make it more durable and withstand the rigors of every day life. State-of-art technology coupled with continuous research and development has resulted in hardwood floor treatments that offer a product which maintains its natural beauty while being tough enough to adorn the buildings of commercial establishments that are subjected to the heaviest foot traffic on a daily basis, and still look good for years.
Today, most hardwood floors are treated with urethane which makes the floor more durable in terms of scratching and staining. Additionally, most modern day urethane finishes contain particles of Aluminum Oxide which increases the abrasion resistance of the wear layer. Wax is the oldest and probably still the best finish. Wax finishes penetrate the hardwood structure and offer a high level of durability, and are also the easiest to apply, maintain and repair.
When selecting a hardwood, consider the amount of foot traffic in your home, as well as the floors intended use. Floors that are subjected to heavy foot traffic need to have a higher degree of scratch and dent resistance. This can be achieved through the use of a species of hardwood that consists of a less porous structure, thus making the wood harder. The Janka hardness test measures the relative hardness of numerous species of wood and can assist you in selecting a hardwood that is less porous, making it less susceptible to denting, staining and scratching. Note that the Janka hardness test must be used as a guide only, as the region a particular species is grown will also affect its hardness.
When considering the durability of hardwood and whether it is the correct choice for your home, keep in mind that aged hardwood floors add character to a room and in fact people pay a premium for new hardwood floors that appear to be aged. Also, minor scratches can be easily remedied through the use of the numerous scratch repair kits that are available to the consumer.
Bamboo is a grass not a wood. As a grass bamboo regenerates faster than wood. In fact, bamboo is typically harvested within five years of sprouting, making it a truly renewable resource. Its use can provide a positive impact on the environment. Bamboo has emerged as a new material for the commercial design market. It’s unique look and earth friendly properties has made it popular.
Advances in technology have resulted in the re-invention of vinyl. The new look new feel vinyl is now more durable, less maintenance and available in a range of design choices that will fit any decor.
The strong parallel lines of vinyl woodplank collections are accentuated by bevelled edges and a natural woodgrain texture, providing floor installations with a highly prestigious finish. A classic collection of popular timber designs with a textured wood grain surface which have a unique highly textured, rough grain finish, which gives a traditional ‘aged’ appearance.
The tile Collections feature various sizes of tiles. An authentic 18″ slab size in ‘weathered’ slate or ‘classic’ marble, plus a collection of 12″ tile designs from mythical mosaics to contemporary metals. The bevelled edge is deeply emphasised when installed with a colour co-ordinating feature strip, adding to the design features of the product.
Transform you decor with the distinguished character and grandeur of granite. Knight-Tile Granit replicates the enduring integrity in a duo of colour options, enhanced by feature strip that authenticates the appearance.
The enduring popularity of marble is continued within the new style vinyl ranges. Enhance the clean lines of these three atmospheric tones through the use of feature strip and decorative borders, or combine colours to create the classical chequerboard effect.
Do you spend a great deal of time on your home decor making the room look just right? Your home decor is like the fashion for your home and your carpets and rugs are a very important part of that decor and look. You can have a contemporary room, a friendly room, a cheery room, a quiet room, or whichever room you want.
But there’s more to carpets than tossing them on the floor and walking on them. Different carpets do different jobs and work better in different situations. So if you are in the mood for a little home remodeling and your giving your home decor a face lift don’t forget the most important part. Your carpets.