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14mm KronoSwiss Origin Wide Plank Laminate

6 Laminate Flooring Myths Debunked: Get the Facts

Laminate flooring has been around for years, and people love it for its realistic visuals, durable wear layer, and budget-friendly price. But a long history also means that a lot of laminate flooring myths have developed over time.

This can lead to confusion when shopping. Do you really know laminate, or have you fallen for the myths?

Today, you can find out! We know all about laminate flooring, so we’re debunking six of the most common myths!

Related Content >> Laminate Flooring Buying Guide

Myth 1: Laminate Flooring is More Toxic than Other Flooring

12mm Hillside Hickory Waterproof Laminate

Expert Opinion: False

FDA and EPA guidelines have ensured that many floor options, including our laminate, are made of low-VOC materials. 

In the past, there have been some concerns about the health effects of laminate flooring. It’s true that some lower-quality laminate can off-gas VOCs (volatile organic compounds), but that’s not the case for all laminate floors.

Flooring retailers and manufacturers are also taking the initiative to supply sustainable lumber sources. To ensure you find non toxic laminate flooring, look for products that are FloorScore certified to meet FDA and EPA guidelines. 

Pro Tip: If you are interested in our products but unsure of the VOC certifications, contact us to speak to a flooring expert who can help. 

Related Content >> Best Laminate Flooring Options

Myth 2: Laminate is Easily Damaged

10mm Antique Craft Waterproof Laminate

Expert Opinion: False

Some people think that laminate flooring is flimsy and that even the slightest drop or scratch will damage it. But in reality, that’s not the case. This is very durable flooring that can last for years with proper maintenance.

These days, laminate is designed with a high-density core that provides durability and stability,  and it features a protective finish that resists scratches, wear, and stains.

Pro Tip: Laminate flooring comes with an Abrasion Class (AC) rating, which determines how much traffic it can handle. To find the best laminate flooring for your space, always check the AC rating

  • AC1: Good for closets and bedrooms
  • AC2: Good for dining rooms, living rooms, and family rooms
  • AC3:  Good for high traffic areas in your home and light traffic in commercial spaces
  • AC4: Good for any residential application and medium traffic in commercial spaces
  • AC5: Good for high traffic commercial spaces

Myth 3: Laminate Looks Cheap or Ugly

14mm KronoSwiss Origin Wide Plank Laminate

Expert Opinion: False

Some people think of laminate and imagine a flimsy product with an obviously fake image layer that peels up on the edges. Of course, nobody wants that in their home.

Fortunately, laminate has come a long way from the stereotypes from decades ago. Advances in technology have led to highly realistic visuals and textures. Laminate is embossed in the register, meaning that the texture matches the wood grain visual. It looks so real that sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s real wood or laminate just by looking at it. 

Not only does laminate look realistic, but it also follows some of the most popular wood-look trends. You can find laminate with gray tones, light wood tones, high color variation, wide planks, and more.

Pro Tip: Discover the latest styles with our laminate flooring trends guide. Keep up with the hottest colors, textures, layouts, and more.

Myth 4: Laminate Floors Can’t Handle Water

12mm Mohawk Sawmill Ridge Waterproof Laminate

Expert Opinion: Somewhat False

Laminate flooring has a reputation for not handling water very well, and it has been known to absorb water and swell easily. In the past, just one leak could lead to headaches and water damage. But all of that is changing. 

New waterproof features are proving to be a game-changer in laminate flooring:

  • Waterproof seal: The surface is coated in a water-repellent seal that keeps spills and moisture from the core.
  • Watertight joints: Each plank locks together tightly to prevent water from seeping through. Some waterproof laminate flooring features bevels that wrap over the plank’s edges for even better moisture protection at the joints.
  • Water-resistant core: The core layer is made of compressed high-density fiberboard (HDF) with resins. This makes it less susceptible to swelling and ensures better water resistance.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant Vinyl

Not all laminate is waterproof. You can still find laminate flooring that isn’t designed to handle moisture, or that isn’t completely waterproof. 

For example, some brands will use the term “waterproof” to describe their products while others will say “water-resistant.” So what’s the difference?

  • Water resistance: Water-resistant laminate is waterproof on the surface, so if you spill something on it, it won’t be damaged. However, the backing is still vulnerable to moisture, so if water seeps up under your floor, that can be damage. 
  • Waterproof: Waterproof laminate resists moisture both from the top and the bottom. Even if water seeps up from under the floor, the floor won’t fail.

Pro Tip: You can also improve your laminate floor’s water resistance during installation. Some manufacturers include instructions to finish the laminate floor installation with silicone sealant around the perimeter and under the baseboards for more water resistance. We also recommend using an underlay with a vapor barrier or adding a vapor barrier if the laminate already comes with a preattached underlay.

Related Content >> Waterproof Laminate Flooring Buying Guide

Myth 5: Cleaning Laminate is Difficult

12mm Mannington Palace Waterproof Laminate

Expert Opinion: False

You might have heard that laminate flooring is tough to clean, and that introducing too much moisture while cleaning can cause damage. 

Truthfully, you can run into some issues if you frequently wet-mop your floor. For non-waterproof products, water can seep into the seams and make your floor swell or bubble. Fortunately, this problem is very easy to avoid once you know how to clean laminate floors the right way! 

First of all, you don’t need to mop frequently. Mopping is only recommended every two months or so. For weekly cleaning, you just need to sweep away dust and dirt with a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum without a beater bar.

When the time comes to mop, we suggest using cleaning products rather than mopping the floor with water. Bona and Swiffer have both made solutions that are great for laminate. 

Pro Tip: For more tips on how to clean laminate flooring, check out this in-depth guide.

Myth 6: Laminate Flooring is Expensive

10mm Mohawk Castlebriar Waterproof Laminate

Expert Opinion: False

Because it can look so realistic and have such a durable wear layer, some people think laminate flooring is expensive. 

But budget-conscious buyers don’t need to fear! Laminate flooring provides excellent value without breaking the bank. 

According to HomeAdvisor, the lower price range of laminate flooring is an average of $2.70/sqft. That’s much more affordable than an average of $5.00 to $8.00/sqft for solid hardwood flooring.

Pro Tip: When creating a budget for new laminate flooring, don’t forget to consider extra costs, such as installation fees and removal of your existing flooring.

Related Content >> Laminate Flooring Installation Cost Guide

Conclusion

Finally, these myths are busted! Now you’ve got the facts about laminate flooring, and you can shop with confidence.

To learn more about laminate flooring, check out our buying guide, or order some free samples to experience it yourself!

Order Free Samples Shop All Laminate Flooring

About Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt is a Phoenix-area writer with a specialty in flooring. She grew up obsessed with interior design and DIY projects, and that never went away. She joined Flooring Inc. to teach people about flooring and help them find exactly what they want for their home, garage, office, and more.

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