Laminate flooring can be a beautiful and budget-friendly for your new home or remodeling project. However, popular opinion often considers it cheap and low quality. While those stereotypes have been disproven by years of continuous improvements in the process of creating and designing laminate, the material does come with other drawbacks.

Here at Gateway Design & Home Center, we are dedicated to helping you find the perfect flooring for your next project. In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing the disadvantages that come with laminate, but if you are considering this material, make sure you review our previous posts on all its advantages to make the best decision! The team here at Gateway is also available to give you all the information you need to narrow down the wide array of options we offer. Feel free to contact us to schedule a personal consultation, and stop into our Loveland showroom for a closer look!

Repetitive Design

As we have discussed in a previous article, laminate is made with several layers of durable material, with a printed image or picture protected by an outer wear layer. Modern printing technology can help you replicate the look of almost any material, and many homeowners choose laminate as an affordable – and realistic – alternative to real stone or hardwood. However, printing does come with some downsides.

Because laminate is made with an image, it can lead to a repetitive design. A single panel of laminate will realistically look like a plank of hardwood, often even under close inspection, but each panel will look exactly the same. You lose the diversity inherent in natural hardwood, and if not handled with care, this flaw in laminate flooring can lead to an appearance as low quality as its reputation.

Susceptible to Water

If you have read the other installments of this series on laminate, then you know that we cited water resistance as one of its strengths. It’s true that laminate flooring stands up to moisture far better than other materials, like hardwood, but it is not impervious.

Laminate flooring is not waterproof, and therefore should not be used in high-moisture areas like bathrooms. Also, if some installation mistake or defect allows water into the seams between panels, it can cause swelling in the floor. If you are considering installing your own laminate flooring, this is an important factor to keep in mind.

Prone to Chipping

Another warning to those who are thinking of do-it-yourself floor installation: laminate flooring is prone to chipping, especially in the important tone and groove sections. Compared to other materials, laminate is very DIY friendly, as it’s often available in a click-and-lock design that fits together like a puzzle. However, if you try to force boards into place, you can break the material and cost yourself in repair or replacement measures.

Limited Lifetime

Laminate flooring is undeniably durable, but once it’s worn out, it’s done. Other types of flooring can be refinished or recoated to make them last and look new for decades, such as solid hardwood and even engineered wood flooring. Laminate, however, can’t benefit from the same kind of treatments. The outer layer is highly resistant to damage and wear, and the image underneath is protected from fading for years, but it is almost certainly beyond repair once that outer layer is too damaged or worn down.

Are you considering laminate flooring for your next project? Don’t let this post discourage you! It has many advantages, like affordability and durability, and it may be the perfect choice for what you need. A specialist at Gateway Design & Home Center can help you make that decision. We are dedicated to matching you with the right flooring for your home, wallet, and lifestyle, and we can help you through every step of your reflooring project. Contact us today to learn more about our flooring services, and schedule your personal consultation at our Loveland showroom!