We live in interesting times. The earliest humans had one option when it came to home flooring solutions: the cold, sloping surface of their cave. Fast forward to today and we are quite literally spoiled for choice!
Natural hardwood, porcelain tiles, engineered wood, hybrid, bamboo, cork, PVC, marble, ceramic, linoleum, polished concrete, rubber, and carpet (to name but a few).
The list goes on and on and despite how wonderful it is to be presented with so much variety, it can also seriously complicate the process of deciding on the best option for you – which is infuriating.
Fortunately, we’re going to simplify the process and focus on just one flooring type: laminate.
If you’re looking for an all-rounder, laminate flooring is a great option. However, how long does laminate flooring last? Is there a weight limit for laminate? And what happens if you get laminate flooring wet?
Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…
How long does laminate flooring last?
OK, so how long does laminate flooring last? One of the most important considerations when choosing a flooring type is longevity. You don’t want to have to continue replacing your floors every few years so it’s always worth investing in a flooring solution that you can rely on.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the installation process, the quality of the product, and how well you look after it.
For example, a low-quality laminate with a poor installation will likely give you 10 to 15 years. Now, while that might seem very appealing to some, the fact is, when executed properly, laminate can last far longer!
If you opt for quality laminate flooring and hire a professional to install it for you, you can easily get a good 20 to 30 years out of it before it needs replacing!
Of course, if you are to get 30 years out of your laminate then that means taking excellent care of it. This means being conscious of the following considerations…
Is there a weight limit for laminate flooring?
One thing that is often overlooked by homeowners considering their new flooring options is there weight limit. When you’ve got heavy furniture items, it’s always worth making sure that your flooring can comfortably accommodate them without bending and buckling underneath.
So, what’s the ideal weight limit for laminate flooring?
As a rule of thumb, laminate flooring can support anywhere between 350 and 500 pounds of weight per square inch (with 350 being the recommended average).
Anything over 500, laminate planks will begin to crack, separate, and break apart.
If you aren’t quite sure how much your furniture items weigh, you’ll find plenty of flooring weight calculators’ online. In any case, the average weight of a sofa is around 280 – 350 pounds so you shouldn’t have any issues.
Just be mindful of large fridges, grand pianos, and any other especially heavy appliances before committing to a flooring type. It may be that in certain rooms and engineered hardwood is more appropriate.
Is laminate flooring ruined if it gets wet?
What happens if you get your laminate flooring wet? Is it ruined? This all depends on the quality and type of laminate flooring you choose.
Traditional laminate floors are water resistant, not waterproof.
For regular laminate flooring, if you spill water over them and clean it up immediately, you shouldn’t have any problems. This is because the upper protective layer is water-resistant. However, if you leave the water, it may permeate through this layer and cause damage. The same applies to any water that spills off and falls through the cracks in the boards.
You can, however, invest in higher-quality waterproofed laminate flooring. These are finished with water-repellent chemicals, ensuring that no water seeps through the wear layers and into the click & lock system.
It’s always worth speaking to the professionals before making any commitments and having your new flooring installed. That way they can advise you accordingly on the limitations of your chosen flooring type.
Is laminate flooring easy to clean and maintain?
Laminate flooring is relatively easy to clean and maintain – provided you go for the quality. It only really needs the occasional sweep and dust with a dry cloth. Deeper brushing may be required when dirt gets in, but other than that, laminate is fairly easy to keep looking nice and clean.
You shouldn’t use anything wetter than a damp cloth when cleaning standard laminate flooring. A wet mop will ultimately soak the material and water can seep deeper into the lower layers – thus leading to warping.
Avoid using scrubbing pads or any cleaning product that is particularly abrasive. Only soft-bristled brooms and micro-fibre cloths are required.
Over time your laminate flooring will invariably lose some of its shine, however, you can easily retreat the floors as and when to keep it looking pristine.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Depending on the quality of the laminate and the installation, laminate flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years.
- Laminate flooring can support 350 to 500 pounds of weight (with 350 being the recommended number).
- Despite having some water resistance, excessively wet laminate flooring will warp over time and lose its shape. It can also start to rot in the lower layers.
- Laminate flooring is relatively easy to clean and maintain. The important thing is that you use the appropriate cleaning tools and materials so as not to damage the protective layer. The better you care for your floors, the closer to the 30-year life mark they’ll be.