If you plan to invest in a laminate floor for your home, you may be wondering: how long will they last? Any quality laminate floor should last up to its manufacturers’ guarantee – and beyond if you take good care of it. This resilient material is built to stand up to the rigors of everyday use.
Exactly how long it will last will depend on the where in your home it is installed, the product’s quality, and the foot traffic in that particular area. In general, the average lifespan of laminate flooring is between five and 10 years.
What is Laminate Flooring?
If you want a floor that mimics the look of stone or wood but at a lower price point, waterproof laminate flooring is a great alternative.
Laminate features many layers of materials that have been compressed together. Those layers are then laminated with a transparent protective layer. Under those layers is a decorative design that can mimic the look of other materials such as wood, metal, or stone.
You can choose from a variety of finishes, such as smooth, matte, natural wood, oiled wood, hand scraped, and high gloss finish.
Laminate flooring varies in thickness between 6mm and 14mm. The thickness will determine how durable that particular laminate is, as well as its cost.
The thicker the laminate, the more durable, easy to install and expensive it will be. Laminate tends to be stronger, more scratch-resistant, more impact-resistant and longer lasting than hardwood, vinyl, or any other hard surface. It can withstand abuse by dogs, cats, kids and high heels.
It also happens to be stain, moisture and fade resistant. Compare that with hardwood floors that can experience wood grain staining, fading, scratching and denting.
Location and Wear
Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant and durable with standard use and wear. But how well your flooring performs will depend on where it is installed. If you install it in a high-traffic area such as the kitchen or bathroom, it may start showing damage like gaps and scratches sooner than if it were installed in a low-traffic area.
Also, if you install it in the kitchen or bathroom and water continually drips onto the floor from the dishwasher or sink, this can damage your laminate flooring. Moisture can get trapped under or in between the boards, causing swelling over time. How you care for your flooring will also affect its lifespan. If you use harsh cleaners, this will reduce overall lifespan. HGTV advises using a gentle cleanser to spot-clean dirty areas, following up by wiping the floor with a dry yet absorbent cloth.
If you leave spills to accumulate and don’t mop up messes right away, this will also detract from lifespan.
You could see a decade of life from your laminate floors if they are located in an area with minimal water exposure, average footfall and low-to-moderate wear.
Installation and Age
Quality and proper installation is key to enjoying a long lifespan for your laminate floors. This type of flooring usually uses a glue-less system, which means they have to be correctly fitted by a professional for the best results. If you DIY this project or hire a sub-par installation contractor, your floors will not last as long.
As your laminate floor ages, the paper may start peeling off or the tiles may start warping. This is a sign of age, and you will have to replace them.
Key to a long lifespan for your laminate floors is partnering with a laminate flooring expert like NYC Floor Pro. Call us today for a free quote on installation!