Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, synthetic flooring product composed of melamine resin, fiber board material and an outer, photographic, applique layer that simulates wood. It is a recent innovation and has become a popular alternative to hardwood or engineered wood flooring as it is versatile, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced.

Here, I have described the characteristics of hardwood floor along with my rating. The overall rating will help you compare Laminate flooring with other floor options.

Composition: It is a synthetic material and not comparable to natural products like solid hardwood floors.

Occurrence: Laminate is man-made. * 6

Physical Characteristics: Laminate is not as strong as solid hardwood floors or engineered wood floor. *6

Seamless flooring: Laminate has a seamless appearance and can simulate the look of hardwood, stone, or brick perfectly. * 8

Porosity: Laminate has a protective, clear layer and is partially impenetrable to water. * 7

Scratches: Laminate is not as durable and scratch resistant as Engineered wood. * 6

Stains: Laminate is stain-resistant. *7

Choices: More range of colours, patterns, textures is available in Laminate than in solid hardwood. *8

Cost: Laminate is cheaper than  solid hardwood floors or Marble and Granite. * 8

Maintenance: Laminate is easy to maintain because of the protective layer and shiny surface. *8

Green rating: Engineered wood is not a green option and environmentalists have expressed concerns that harmful, volatile, organic chemicals may be released in the room . * 6

Convenient Packaging: Unlike  solid hardwood, laminate planks are sold in convenient 4 foot strips or in tile form in varying sizes.

Versatility: Laminate flooring can simulate the look of different natural hardwoods, natural stones and ceramic flooring materials.

Easy to clean: The laminate floor has a protective surface that is easy to clean and maintain.

Installation: of a laminate floor is very easy - just roll down a sheet or snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another.

Change existing floor: Laminate flooring can be installed over any existing floor without having to remove the old flooring.

Does not fade: Laminate flooring is resistant to UV light and does not  fade easily.

Anti allergen: Unlike carpet, laminate flooring is allergen-free.

Allows for expansion: Laminate flooring is not stuck directly to the sub-floor, instead all the pieces of the floor are interlocked which allows it to expand or contract, due to changes in pressure and temperature, without buckling.

Acclimatisation: Laminates do not nee acclimatisation, unlike solid hardwood which needs 3-6 weeks to acclimatise to the temperature and pressure of the area.


Refinishing: Laminate floors cannot be refinished as it has a single wear layer.

Sound: Walking on laminate floors produces a hollow, fake sound, quite unlike the sound of natural solid hardwood.

Unnatural Feel: While laminate can simulate the look of hardwood, stone, or brick perfectly, the material feels different.

Hard: Laminate flooring is quite hard and unyielding under foot.

Environmental Concerns: There are concerns that laminate materials release volatile organic chemicals that can have harmful effects on the room air quality.

Lifespan: The life span of a laminate floor is definitely less than most other flooring options especially if it is a cheaper brand.


Laminate flooring has become very popular because it is easier to install, costs less, is reasonably durable and hygienic. However, it is made of plastic (melamine resin) and is less durable than engineered wood flooring, with a lifespan of less than five years. In comparison linoleum lasts longer and costs much less.

For information on other types of floors, go to:

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