Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons: Right Choice for Your Home

Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons

Laminate flooring, although a staple in the world of interior design for decades, still surprises homeowners with its durability and aesthetic versatility.

This cost-effective alternative to traditional hardwood has been a game-changer in home renovation, allowing property owners to achieve their dream design without breaking the bank.

However, like any other home improvement choice, laminate flooring has its own pros and cons that need careful consideration.

In this discussion, we will delve into the key advantages and disadvantages of choosing laminate flooring and hopefully guide you in making the best decision for your home.

Pros of Laminate Flooring

1. Durability

One of the things I love about laminate flooring is its astonishing durability. I remember hosting a big family gathering a couple of years ago.

Between the kids running around, the adults getting slightly clumsy after a beer or two, and the almost constant furniture movement, I was sure my floors would be a mess. But, to my surprise, my laminate floors emerged from the event unscathed!

This strength comes from laminate flooring’s incredible resistance to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas at home.

The secret lies in the protective top layer. This layer is designed to withstand impacts, scratches, and stains, extending the floor’s lifespan significantly.

So whether you have playful kids, pets, or frequently host parties like I do, laminate flooring is a reliable and long-lasting option.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Another reason why I’m a huge fan of laminate flooring is its remarkable cost-effectiveness. When I was renovating my home a few years back, I was taken aback by the steep prices of traditional hardwood flooring.

I wanted that high-end look but also needed to stay within my budget. That’s when I discovered laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring offers the same stylish aesthetic as hardwood but at a fraction of the cost. Depending on the brand and style, you could save several dollars per square foot by choosing laminate.

The lower cost doesn’t stop with the actual product, either. Installing laminate flooring is a breeze, especially if you’re the DIY type.

I recall tackling a DIY laminate installation project over a long weekend. I had a friend with some handyman experience to guide me, and we completely transformed my living room.

Opting for a DIY installation saved me a significant amount on labor costs, making the overall project even more affordable.

So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly flooring option that doesn’t compromise on style or durability, laminate flooring is a stellar choice.

3. Easy Installation

The ease of installation is another major advantage of laminate flooring that I can’t overlook.

One of the most impressive laminate flooring features is its user-friendly click-and-lock installation system.

This system allows each plank to securely attach to its neighboring plank without needing adhesives or nails.

I remember first deciding to take on my flooring installation project. I was slightly apprehensive, considering I’m more of a tech geek than a handyman.

However, the process turned out to be surprisingly simple. The planks just clicked into place like pieces of a puzzle.

The sense of accomplishment I felt after completing the installation was immeasurable. This simplicity makes laminate flooring the perfect choice for DIY enthusiasts like me.

You don’t need to be a professional to achieve a seamless and professional-looking finish. You could save a significant sum on installation costs while also having the satisfaction of a job well done.

But, as with any flooring choice, laminate has drawbacks. Before you decide if laminate is right for you, let’s consider a few of its cons.

4. Variety of Designs

One of the reasons I find myself constantly drawn towards laminate flooring is the astonishing variety of designs available.

It was a truly exciting experience to browse the countless options, each offering a unique visual appeal.

The design possibilities are endless, from various colors, textures, and patterns. It’s like walking into an artist’s palette, but for floors!

Another impressive feature that struck me is laminate flooring’s ability to mimic other materials. I’ve always admired the luxurious and elegant appeal of hardwood flooring. However, given the expense and maintenance, it was beyond my reach.

But with laminate, I could get the exact look of a rich, dark walnut or a light, exotic teak without the hefty price tag or the upkeep. The detail in the laminate was so precise that it was hard to tell it wasn’t real wood!

For those who prefer a stone or tile look, laminate flooring doesn’t disappoint either. I recall visiting a friend who had just renovated his kitchen.

I was convinced he had installed high-end Italian marble until he revealed it was laminate. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

The variety of designs and the ability to mimic other materials make laminate flooring a versatile choice.

It offers the freedom to choose a floor that perfectly aligns with your style and home decor. It’s like having your custom flooring without the custom price.

5. Low Maintenance

One of the main advantages that won me over to laminate flooring was its low-maintenance nature.

I remember how tedious it was to maintain my previous carpeted floors – regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and even professional cleaning services. With laminate, maintenance became a breeze.

A simple sweep or vacuum was all it took to keep my laminate floors spick and span. For tougher spots, a damp mop was more than enough.

There was no need for any fancy, expensive cleaning solutions. A little bit of vinegar and warm water did the trick just fine.

My love for coffee often results in accidental spills. Every spill was a nightmare with my old carpeted floors, often resulting in permanent stains.

But with laminate, it’s a whole different story. The resistance to stains and spills was truly a revelation. I remember the first time I spilled coffee on my laminate floor; I rushed for my cleaning kit, expecting the worst.

To my surprise, the spill had not seeped into the floor. A quick wipe and it was as if nothing had happened. No stains, no marks, nothing!

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, the last thing we need is a high-maintenance floor. That’s why I appreciate my laminate flooring.

It’s not just about the aesthetics; it’s about practicality, too. I could finally bid goodbye to my extensive cleaning routine and couldn’t be happier.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

Though I’m a big fan of laminate flooring, it would be remiss of me, not to mention a few of the downsides. Here’s one that stands out.

1. Vulnerability to Moisture

Laminate flooring, while durable and resilient in many ways, does have one notable Achilles heel: moisture. I discovered this the hard way when I installed laminate in my bathroom, a decision I would soon regret.

Moisture from the shower steam and occasional splashes around the sink started infiltrating the laminate seams over time, causing it to swell and buckle.

The issue here is that laminate isn’t a natural material—it’s made of glued-together composite wood particles.

When exposed to water, these particles absorb the moisture and expand. The result? Distorted, unattractive flooring.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of laminate in potentially damp areas. I’ve learned to take precautions, like using moisture barriers.

These specially designed underlays prevent moisture from the subfloor from reaching the laminate, allowing you to maintain the integrity of your flooring for a longer period.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it does offer some protection. I hope my experience can spare you from making the same mistakes!

2. Limited Refinishing Options

Another limitation of laminate flooring, which I discovered not too long after installation, is the challenge of refinishing.

With hardwood floors, for example, you have the luxury of sanding and refinishing them several times over their lifespan, allowing you to refresh their look or repair minor damages. Laminate floors, unfortunately, don’t offer the same flexibility.

My laminate floor had a few scratches from moving furniture around (yes, I should’ve been more careful). I thought, “No problem, I’ll refinish it like I did with my old hardwood floors.”

Well, let’s say that was a wake-up call. Laminate flooring is made of thin layers, and attempting to sand it down for refinishing could potentially strip it down to the fiberboard, effectively ruining it.

This means that proper maintenance is crucial with laminate flooring. To avoid scratches or damages, consider using felt pads under furniture legs or removing shoes before walking on the floor.

A simple sweep or a damp (not wet) mop will do fine for cleaning. Further, a timely replacement of damaged planks is essential.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. We may not have the option of refinishing, but with caution and care, laminate floors can still serve us well and look great.

3. Environmental Impact

The third downside I want to touch upon is the environmental impact of laminate flooring. I remember when I first installed it, I didn’t consider the environmental repercussions.

However, as I became more environmentally conscious, I began questioning my choice.

Laminate floors are essentially plastic. They are made by bonding together layers of synthetic materials under high heat and pressure.

Manufacturing uses a lot of energy and can release harmful environmental emissions.

When I learned about this, I felt a pang of guilt. Was my beautiful floor contributing to environmental damage?

Moreover, at the end of its life, laminate flooring often ends up in landfills since it’s difficult to recycle due to the multiple layers of different materials.

This was something that stuck with me and made me reconsider my flooring choices in the future.

On the flip side, there are eco-friendly alternatives available. For instance, bamboo and cork flooring are sustainable and renewable resources that are gaining popularity.

I researched and found that these options are more eco-friendly and have unique aesthetics and benefits.

If I were to redo my floors today, I’d give these options serious consideration. So, if you plan to install laminate floors, take a moment to ponder the environmental impact. You might end up making a different choice, as I would now.

4. Sound and Feel

The fourth aspect I wish to discuss about laminate flooring is its sound and feel. When I initially installed laminate floors, the lack of a soft, cozy feeling underfoot was noticeable.

The plastic nature of laminate can create a hard and cold surface. I remember my kids complaining about how the floor felt too hard compared to the carpet in their bedrooms.

Additionally, laminate flooring can be quite noisy. With hard-soled shoes or pet claws, for example, it can create a loud, echoing sound that can be quite bothersome.

This was particularly noticeable in my house during the early morning rush when everyone was preparing for their day and up and about. The non-stop clatter felt like living in a grand hall with echoes bouncing off from all directions.

However, all is not lost. There are solutions available to mitigate these issues. For instance, I learned about underlayment – an additional layer underneath the laminate.

This can provide a cushioned feel and significantly reduce noise. I remember when I installed underlayment in one of my rooms, I instantly noticed a difference.

The room felt quieter, and the floor a bit softer underfoot. So, if you’re considering laminate, bear in mind the potential issues with sound and feel, but also remember that there are solutions like underlayment that can help.

5. Not Ideal for High-End Homes

Every home has its personality, and the flooring plays a major role in defining it. When I was renovating my home, I quickly realized that laminate flooring might not be the best choice for high-end homes.

The plastic nature of laminate flooring, despite its ability to mimic a variety of textures, didn’t provide the same feeling of luxury and elegance that natural materials did.

I recall visiting a friend who lived in a luxurious home with stunning marble floors. Walking on those floors, I immediately felt the opulence and elegance that permeated them.

That’s when it hit me: laminate flooring could never replicate the feeling of sophistication and high-end appeal that natural stone or hardwood floors possess.

It was a hard truth to accept but necessary. Whether we like it or not, the type of flooring in a house significantly impacts its perceived value.

For a high-end luxury home, laminate floors may not cut it. Instead, consider investing in natural stone or hardwood flooring.

Yes, they might come with a heftier price tag, but the aura of elegance and sophistication they add to your home is priceless.

So, while laminate flooring is a practical and cost-effective solution for many situations, it may not be ideal for a high-end home aiming for a luxurious and upscale look. The decision ultimately depends on what you want your home to reflect.


In my journey through home renovation, I’ve discovered the unique charms and drawbacks of various types of flooring, especially laminate. Here’s a quick summary of my experiences:

Pros of Laminate Flooring:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Laminate flooring is quite budget-friendly, which I truly appreciate when working within a tight budget.
  2. Durability: The wear layer of laminate flooring can withstand high traffic, children, pets, and even the occasional spill. I was grateful for this when my dog, Max, was still a mischievous puppy!
  3. Easy Installation: As a DIY enthusiast, I enjoyed the straightforward installation process of laminate flooring.

Cons of Laminate Flooring:

  1. Not Ideal for High-End Homes: Despite its ability to mimic natural textures, laminate flooring lacks the luxurious feel of natural materials. I realized this when I compared my laminate floor to my friend’s marble one.
  2. Damage from Moisture: Laminate flooring doesn’t hold up well when exposed to a significant amount of water. I learned this the hard way when a pipe burst in my basement.
  3. Can’t Be Refinished: Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring can’t be refinished. When it’s worn out, your only option is to replace it.

Deciding whether laminate flooring is the right choice involves weighing these pros and cons against your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.

For instance, if cost-effectiveness and durability are your top priorities, laminate might be a good fit. But if you’re looking for a high-end finish, you might want to explore other options.

My parting advice to you is this: take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision. And remember, the best flooring choice is the one that makes you feel most at home.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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