Oak Laminate vs. Maple and Pine

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Oak laminate floors are one of the most popular flooring options available on the market today for home remodeling projects. When compared to traditional hardwood flooring versus pine and maple, laminate has the advantages of lower cost, easy installation, and lower maintenance.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a versatile and inexpensive alternative to traditional wood flooring, like maple and pine. Laminate flooring is actually made of several layers of materials that create flooring that is easy to care for and can be easily installed by almost any homeowner over as a weekend home improvement project.

Oak laminate flooring consists of recycled wood shavings that are pressed together to create the center core of the flooring panels. The next layer is a piece of paper that has been printed with the image of the wood flooring patterns. Other laminate floorings can be made to look like stone, tile, and other materials. The last layer is a thin, strong layer of plastic that covers the paper.

Installing Laminate Flooring

For homeowners looking for an inexpensive flooring option that they can install on their own, laminate flooring is easy to purchase and install. The homeowner can purchase flooring at almost any home improvement center, including the floor liner that goes over the subfloor.

Laminate is what is known as a floating floor system, where the flooring is not connected to the actual floor or the walls. The planks are interconnected with tongue and groove, allowing you to easily attach the interlocking planks, staggering the plank joints to create an appealing and natural pattern.

Once the panels are all placed over the floor, the flooring is held in place by the use of floor molding placed along the wall where the oak laminate floor meets the wall.

Care for a laminate floor once it is installed simply involves a quick swish of a dust mop or damp mop.

Hardwood Flooring

By contrast, hardwood flooring, like maple and pine, is more expensive and requires more care. If a spill occurs on a laminate floor, it is easy to wipe it up and not worry about staining or the floor being damaged by liquid spills. With a hardwood floor, however, liquid spills need to be quickly wiped up and the floor may be damaged if the liquid is left on the floor for a long period of time. If water overflows a potted plant sitting on the floor and is left overnight, warping can occur.

Also, while you can install a wood maple or pine floor yourself, you will need to be prepared to cut the planks to the correct size and to sand the floor joints. Additionally, the homeowner will also need to use a router to make a smooth joint. Plus, the floor will need to be sealed after it is completely installed. A traditional wood floor also requires periodic refinishing, including sanding and resealing.

While real hardwoods like maple and pine can be attractive, they are difficult to install and require additional work in cutting the boards, sanding, and sealing the floor. By comparison, oak laminate floors are easy to install and do not require any extra work beyond the installation. Once installed they are easy to care for and will never need to be refinished or resealed.