When considering wood flooring options, laminate wood flooring can be a great low-cost alternative to traditional hardwood. Much more versatile than many hardwood flooring options, laminate can be installed in almost any room of your home.
Many people often characterize laminate wood flooring as a cheap wood flooring alternative, however, there are many reasons to choose this wood flooring option for your home.
Here are a few things that should be considered when purchasing and installing laminate wood flooring:
The Laminate Wood Flooring AC Rating
When choosing which laminate floors to buy, it is important to consider the needs of the room you are planning to install it in. Laminate that is installed in the kitchen or bathroom will need stand up to a higher degree of moisture, whereas in a bedroom or closet, this would be less of a concern.
In order to help buyers decipher which product will suit their needs, the durability of laminate flooring is classified by an AC rating. The general AC ratings are:
- AC1 Moderate Residential: This rating indicates that wood flooring option is intended for light use and suitable for bedrooms and closets.
- AC2 General Residential: The AC2 General Residential rating is intended for moderate use and is often used in dining and living rooms.
- AC3 Heavy Residential: This AC rating indicates a stronger laminate wood flooring option that can stand up to high-traffic residential rooms or light-traffic offices.
- AC4 General Commercial: This rating is the most durable laminate wood flooring option for residential homes, but is also suitable for high-traffic commercial spaces.
- AC5 Heavy Commercial: The AC5 Heavy Commercial laminate rating is the most durable option overall and is suitable for even the busiest commercial spaces.
Laminate Wood Flooring Aesthetics
Once you decide on your durability needs of your home, you can move on to the aesthetics. Another benefit of laminate wood flooring is the wide range of color and texture options, making it easily customizable for any space. When choosing a color and texture, you may want to take a sample home and see it in the actual space as the lighting on a sales floor can be very different from the lighting inside your home.
In addition to color and texture, you also have to consider how wide you want the boards to be. Smaller width boards (3 to 4 inches) are typically used in small spaces to make them appear larger, but larger width boards (more than 6 inches) have increased in popularity. Regardless of which width you choose, you will also have to consider the edge type of the boards. The most common laminate wood flooring option edge types include:
- Square edge
- Deep bevel
- Rolled bevel, and
- Painted bevel
Laminate Wood Flooring Option Extras
When installing laminate flooring, there are a number of additional features that can be added to further customize it for your space. Some of these include:
- Underlayment: An important feature for soundproofing.
- Water resistant core and wax impregnated edges: A consideration for rooms with higher levels of moisture.
- Scratch protection: A great choice for homes with kids and/or pets.
Laminate flooring is come a long way since the days it was considered a cheap wood flooring option. If you’re looking for a beautiful wood flooring option, laminate wood flooring is the way to go! It provides the look and feel of hardwood, but with a lower cost and high degree of versatility.