Over the last few decades laminate flooring has become more and more popular. It is being installed in both residential and commercial settings for a number of reasons. It has many advantages over other materials for certain budgets, including its low cost and ease of maintenance.
It also has a number of styles from which to chose, mimicking a number of natural materials from wood to stone. One of the great ways to buy it is to read laminate flooring reviews. But, how do you discern a good review from a bad one, regardless of whether or not a review is favorable? Here are some points to make sure a laminate flooring review covers that will make it the most useful to your project.
The first point to be sure is in place when judging laminate flooring reviews is whether or not it talks about durability, especially as it relates to overall look. Laminate products come equipped with an extremely tough outer layer that protects it against scratching. Laminate flooring features this tough outer layer in order to produce the effects it is supposed to, which is to mimic a natural surface (more on that below!) .
If something penetrates the outer layer, then that laminate flooring plank is damaged forever, as is that effect you’re looking for. It is not possible to sand out scratches and blemishes and refinish it, as it is with real wood. So, any review that doesn’t talk about surface durability like this should cause you to seek a second (or third!) opinion of the product in question. At very least, it’s a good conversation to have with us at BuildDirect, or whichever seller you’re dealing with.
Ease of installation
Another vital point that any review should cover is around how easy (or not!) the product is to install. The best laminate floors are laid out in interlocking pieces that are very relatively easy to install by nearly anyone, no matter their skill level with home improvement projects.
There is bound to be some variance when it comes to reviews when it comes to ease of installation, based on the skill levels of the installer who’s writing it, which are often not that obvious. As such, comparisons between reviews on this score are going to be necessary.
Surface detail and patterning
When reading laminate flooring reviews, this is another vital aspect to pay atttention to. The wide variety of styles available is one of the principal advantages of laminate flooring. It can mimic many different styles of stone, including granite and marble. It can also mimic any kind of wood in existence, including oak, pine and walnut.
But, not every laminate product is created equal. Some laminate floors feature higher resolution imaging than others, which makes them more convincing as a replacement for a natural surface. Some products feature special embossing that match the photographed grain pattern. Reproduced color variation from board to board is another aspect of surface detail and patterning that not every product reflects. Any helpful review should mention this, especially when you’re buying laminate flooring online, and are thinking of ordering a sample.
Due to the thick outer layer that protects laminate flooring, most styles come with very good warranties. Usually the warranty that comes with it is five years, which is around the amount of time that the protective coating usually stays thick enough to ably protect the material underneath. Good laminate flooring reviews mention this as a practical concern.
Ease of mainteance
The ease of maintenance is another reason laminate flooring reviews are great resources to seek out when narrowing down your options. Laminate floors by nature are very easy to clean and maintain.
Due to the protective coating, the simplist cleaners and cleaning methods (like white vinegar and water solution on a damp mop) can be applied to it for the best results. But, some laminates are more prone to damage than others. Checking the product’s AC rating is going to be an important step in your process of narrowing down your options, and a good review of the product will mention it.
Of course, the principal benefit in most people’s laminate flooring reviews is its extremely low price, when compared to other types of floor covering. But, this is where your discernment over laminate flooring reviews should kick in, with all of the other criteria above. Generally speaking, you’re looking to install a floor for the long term. Price should be one of many considerations, to help you avoid having to pay out for another floor too soon.
Your own opinion is the missing link
When reading laminate flooring reviews to help you decide on which product to invest in, it can feel like information overload. The best way to help you cut through all that, apart from looking for the above issues in every review you read, is to get samples of the products in your hands.
Your own experience will not only be helpful when it comes to choosing the right floor for you, but it also may result in you writing a helpful review for someone else.