Laminate in direct comparison with other floor coverings

Laminate flooring has become a very popular flooring option. In many houses laminate is used as flooring in most rooms. Read about how laminate works in comparison to other floor coverings and what it looks like with durability, dirt sensitivity and the impact on the living environment.

Construction of laminate flooring

Laminate is composed of three different layers:

  • support plate
  • decorative paper
  • overlay

The carrier plate consists in most cases of an HDF or MDF plate. The decorative paper is a thin layer of paper applied to the backing plate on which the pattern of the laminate is printed.

Above it is the so-called overlay, a protective layer of paper soaked with melamine adhesive to make it transparent. In some cases, it may also contain corundum.

High quality laminates often have additional layers, such as a so-called "underlay", another layer of paper between the support plate and decorative paper for higher strength of the laminate.

Below the support plate, another layer may be attached, the so-called Gegenzug.

Cost-effective flooring

Laminate is one of the most cost-effective floor coverings on the market. Laminate prices start at around 4 EUR per square meter. This makes laminate much cheaper than other floor coverings.

But high-quality laminates can also cost up to ten times this price.

The laying of laminate can also be done easily by reasonably skilled do-it-yourselfers, so that the installation costs can also be saved.

Comparatively, tiles cost about 20 EUR per square meter, plus the installation costs. Only PVC is as cheap as laminate.

durability

The durability of laminate is below that of many other floors. While a tile floor can last for several decades without showing any signs of wear, laminate has an average life of about 10 years.

Then the floor has to be replaced. A renovation, a grinding or re-stratification is not possible with laminate. But given the low cost, this is usually not a big problem.

sensitivity to dirt

Laminate is very sensitive to moisture and can swell due to the effects of water and be completely destroyed. However, compared to other soiling and abrasion, laminate is usually quite insensitive during its lifetime, depending on the quality.

Cleaning and care costs

The cleaning of laminate is easily possible. The care required is low and is essentially limited to regular cleaning.

In contrast to sensitive cork floors, laminate is therefore clearly classified as very easy-care and robust. In terms of cleaning and maintenance, it is as unpretentious as a tiled floor.

Living environment and living health

Although laminate is applied to a carrier plate made of compressed wood, but always cold. Depending on the design of the impact sound insulation, the sound insulation capacity of laminate varies.

On the one hand, the very bad life cycle assessment of laminate, on the other hand, the numerous pollutants that can exude laminate: formaldehyde, volatile organic carbon compounds, sometimes toxic substances from the adhesive used. All of these substances can affect your health.

Video Board: How to install Laminate Flooring on Stairs