When it comes to choosing flooring material, many homeowners choose laminate flooring because of its durability and resemblance to real wood. High gloss laminate flooring is a particularly attractive option because of its high shine finish. However, this type of flooring is not without its drawbacks. Before you visit your nearest big-box home improvement store, consider both the pros and cons of high gloss laminate flooring to decide whether it is the right option for your home.
Compared to traditional high gloss hardwood flooring, high gloss laminate flooring is a much more budget-friendly option. Several companies make this type of flooring so homeowners can shop around to find the best deal. However, the best quality high gloss laminate flooring will typically always be cheaper than its hardwood counterpart, so homeowners get the look of a real wood high gloss finish without paying the steep price.
Pro: Easy Installation
High gloss laminate flooring is appealing to many homeowners because of its easy installation. In fact, do-it-yourselfers may want to take the job on themselves, which may help save additional money on the flooring. Many types of high gloss laminate flooring fit together in a tongue and groove system, so they snap together like puzzle pieces. You usually do not have to add any adhesive because the glue is already applied to the pieces, and it is activated simply by adding water. As a result, high gloss laminate flooring can be installed much more quickly than a traditional hard wood floor.
Pro: Low Maintenance
In general, high gloss laminate flooring requires much less maintenance than high gloss hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring does not require regular waxing as hardwood does and can be cleaned with a regular broom, vacuum or mop. Because its top layer is veneer, high gloss laminate flooring does not stain easily. Hardwood, on the other hand, can absorb liquids and develop stains if not maintained.
Con: Shows Wear and Tear Easily
Like any product with a high gloss finish, high gloss laminate flooring is unforgiving when it comes to showing signs of wear and tear. Scuff marks, scratches and other marks are much more obvious on this type of flooring because it reflects light which can emphasize marks on the surface. As a result, high gloss laminate flooring may not be the best option for areas that receive heavy foot traffic.
Due to its slick, smooth surface, high gloss laminate flooring can be very slippery, especially when wet. Homeowners who live with children or elderly relatives may prefer a matte or semi-matte finish for their laminate flooring instead.
Con: Not the Real Thing
Despite its similar look and feel, high gloss laminate flooring only contains a small portion of real wood. As a result, while hardwood flooring may increase the value of your home, high gloss laminate flooring does not have the same effect. If you are considering selling your home in the future, you may want to consider adding high gloss hardwood flooring instead of laminate.