Laminate flooring in Westchester. When does laminate make sense?

By
Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

When does it make sense to install laminate flooring?

laminate flooring when does it make senseAs background, I really prefer hardwood flooring over laminate, and most of my Westchester customers have a strong preference for hardwood floors.  But, there are some circumstances when laminate flooring is just more practical...from a budget stand point and a usage stand point.  Also, everything needs to be put in context of the home - are you living in it or will it be rented?  Are you selling the house or staying in it?

 

1.  Laminate flooring is a great trade-up option for rental apartments (rather than carpet).  Generally, carpet needs to be replaced between each tenant while laminate flooring will survive through many tenants.  And, since more people in Westchester prefer hard surfaces (and some need this for health reasons), it expands your pool of renters and amount you can charge for rent.

2.  Laminate floors are practical for busy kitchens - when you are concerned about scratching from kids, pets, chairs.   Hardwood scratches while laminate flooring is very scratch resistant - at least when it comes to the normal wear and tear of pets, chairs, heels, running, etc.

 

laminate flooring westchester3.  When you have a concrete subfloor and/or tile on the floor, laminate flooring can provide a more cost effective solution.  Laminate flooring can be put on top of these surfaces, while regular solid hardwood requires a plywood subfloor.  Engineered hardwood woods can be glued or floated on top of concrete, but laminate flooring will still be less expensive.

 

4.  When short term cost is the main consideration, laminate flooring is a great option.  Generally, the material and labor are less expensive for laminate (vs. hardwood).  Sometimes you can even place it directly on top of the existing floor without ripping it up (e.g. if it's vinyl or tile and in good condition).  And, when you have a concrete subfloor and/or tile on the floor, laminate flooring can provide a more cost effective solution.  If you are selling your come, laminate could make sense in some circumstances, especially as a better alternative vs. laminate.  (But, please recognize that if you are in an upscale neighborhood, many buyers may look down on this surface - it's best to consult your realtor or stager here).

 

dark laminate floors - does it make sense5.  When refinishing your hardwood floors is too inconvenient, laminate provides an alternative solution.  If you live in a small apartment that has hardwood throughout most of it, sometimes, the prospect of refinishing your hardwood is just too overwhelming given the amount of furniture/stuff you have.  Clearly, refinishing the hardwood will be much expensive that installing new floors, but sometimes customers don't have a place they can stay while this is being done or nowhere to put their furniture, so laminate provides an alternative solution while you are living there.  (and it can be removed later when you are selling your home).  Note: you could do the same idea with an engineered hardwood or carpet, too.

 

6.  When you need a sound barrier, laminate flooring allows you to add a sound muffler.  Here in Westchester, there are many apartments - condos, co-ops and rentals - that "require" that 80% of the floors are covered with carpet.  The reason for this is to that muffle the sound for the neighbors below you.  However, many customers prefer hard surfaces - either because they like/prefer them or because they need to for health reasons (e.g. allergies, asthma).  So, if you add a laminate floor, underneath, you can use a cork underlayment (or other types) that will muffle the sound and achieve the same objective.  Please note that this can also be done for an engineered hardwood that is floated on top of the floor.

 

When to avoid laminate flooring:

laminate flooring 1.  Places with lots of moisture or water.  Laminate does not do well with water as it is made with recycled hardwood and it isn't waterproof.  So, if you have a moisture issue, lamnate floors a poor choice.  (please read Is laminate flooring waterproof?  Believe it or not, in humid locations such as basements, engineered hardwood holds up better than laminate - laminate is like a sponge and will absorb all the moisture. But, if you have a basement with moisture issues, I would avoid both laminate and hardwood.

 

2.  Laminate does not do well when your floors are uneven.  Unlike vinyl (which is a flexible surface), laminate is hard and just floats on top of your floor.  So if your subfloor underneath is uneven, the laminate floor will move and not be secure. It will noticeably move (and make noises) when you walk on it.  If your floor is uneven, you either want to level it out or find a different type of surface that can tolerate the indiscrepancies (e.g. vinyl or carpet).

 

Related posts on laminate flooring:

 

When you're looking or laminate flooring in Westchester County (or if you would like to better understand the pros/cons and costs vs. hardwood), give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.


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Laminate Flooring. When does it make sense?

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Rainmaker
2,302,616
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Debbie: You clearly spell out the reasons why and when laminate flooring makes sense.  Very good information for consumers everywhere!

Dec 29, 2012 11:43 PM #1
Rainmaker
2,672,457
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Anita - Thank you so much!

Dec 29, 2012 11:46 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,497,666
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good Morning Debbie, Great information on hardwood vs laminate flooring.

Dec 29, 2012 11:48 PM #3
Rainmaker
568,100
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Thanks for the info Debbie, you gave me information I can pass on to my clients when asked! Would you consider a kitchen to be a place where moisture is a concern? Especially around the sink area. 

Dec 29, 2012 11:54 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,672,457
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Beth - Thank you so much!

Fred - Glad to hear it will come in handy.  Most of my customers do not have issues w/ water in the kitchen, but I definitely recommend a mat around the sink area.  Also, if people are concerned about water for a kitchen, luxury vinyl that looks like hardwood is also a great option (and completely waterproof).

Dec 29, 2012 11:58 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,765,571
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Great examples of when, and when not to, consider installing laminate flooring Debbie.

Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2012 12:02 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,173,663
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Debbie, You're right that there is a market for laminate floors and the best example is in a rental. So many people are allergic to carpeting that this is a great alternative!

Dec 30, 2012 01:26 AM #7
Rainmaker
2,346,102
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

As always, great information Debbie.

Dec 30, 2012 02:16 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,846,540
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Very good discussion and instruction Debbie, as usual.  I warn people who have that in their kitchens saying not to put the dog bowl there without protection!

Dec 30, 2012 04:21 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,672,457
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Tom - Thank you so much, and ame to you.

Larry & Sheila - Yes, laminate flooring is perfect for rentals.

Roger - Thank you so much.

Jay - Yes, great advice. They should put some sort of protection underneath the water bowls.

Dec 30, 2012 08:46 PM #10
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Rainmaker
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Debbie Gartner

The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
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