Is Slate Laminate Flooring a Decent Alternative?
Slate laminate flooring is laminate flooring that is designed to imitate the appearance of slate flooring. Real slate is a metamorphic rock material composed of either clay or volcanic ash. The real slate is fireproof, water resistant and generally durable. While the laminate flooring shares some of those advantages, it also falls short in several respects.
Compared to flooring made of natural slate, slate laminate flooring is fairly affordable. This allows homeowners to give their floors a stale-like look for the fraction of the price. Other advantages include:
- ease of installation – The slate laminate flooring is easier to install than non-laminate flooring. While the installation of the later usually requires professional help, the former can be installed by anyone provided they follow the directions to the letter.
- warmth – Authentic slate flooring tends to feel cold because the material doesn’t absorb heat. The laminate version does not have this disadvantage, allowing home owners to walk on it’s surface with bare feet.
- maintenance – Slate laminate flooring is fairly easy to clean. Cleaning ordinary stale flooring would probably require chemicals, but the laminated version can be cleared using damp cloth or the mopping devices such as the Swiffer.
While slate laminate flooring has is affordable and easy to install, it does suffer from several drawbacks.
- Inferior Qualities – Slate laminate flooring shares many properties with the original. For example, it has a high resistance to damage. However, some of the other advantages hinge on quality of the flooring. While the high-quality laminate slate flooring are just as fireproof as the flooring made out of real slate, the same may not be true for the lower-quality models. Similarly, some of the lower-quality models are more vulnerable to stains and damage from heavy objects. While slate laminate flooring can endure without much upkeep, slate laminate flooring is more prone to deterioration.
- Vulnerability to moisture – Natural slate is highly resistant to water. Slate laminate flooring is more complicated. While its surfaces can usually resist water damage, water can seep through in the spaces in the flooring, damaging the structures below. This can be prevented through proper inclination that is consistent in every space. Any weakness could prove to be a disaster on the long term.
- Diminished real estate values – floors with natural slate can fetch considerable price due to slate’s long-term durability and the aesthetic appeal it brings to the room it’s installed in. The same is not true with the slate laminate flooring. The laminating technology is fairly new and, as mentioned before, not quite as durable on the long run. While they can certainly make the house more appealing, they may not increase the home value the way floors made of real slate would. This is especially true in older houses, since homes that retain the original flooring are considered more authentic and thus more valuable than the ones that didn’t. No matter how convincing the slate laminated floor may look, it will never be convincing enough to fool the experts.