When it comes to flooring, the two most common options are either laminate or Karndean. While laminates have been around for years, they seem to have fallen out of favor, with Karndean now being the most sought after flooring options.
What is Karndean flooring
While laminate flooring has its pros and cons, Karndean flooring leverage on the advantages of laminates, as well as adding improvements to make them a more versatile and practical flooring solution. Karndean is a type of vinyl flooring made from a combination of polyvinyl chloride, limestone (calcium carbonate), and pigments. It is made up of a five-layered structure to enhance its strength and durability. One of the areas where they excel better than laminates is their resilience to moisture, heat, and cold temperatures. Here are some of the reasons why Karndean flooring is considered superior to laminate flooring.
- Adaptable to various environments
Laminates react differently to changes in environments. For example, they may react negatively to harsh fluctuations of weather patterns such as extreme cold, moisture, and heat. Laminates will usually expand in hot weather conditions, and contract in cold weather conditions, causing it to be susceptible to warping and damage in the long term. However, Karndean can withstand fluctuating temperatures without being damaged.
Unlike laminates, Karndean flooring is much quieter. Unlike the rigid fibreboard used to make laminates, Karndean is made from the soft and malleable vinyl composition. As well as reducing noise, their vinyl composition also makes the floor warmer.
- Realistic look
While laminates offer uniformity, Karndean combine the natural look and appearance of real wood.
One of the main disadvantages of laminates is that they are susceptible to damage when exposed to extreme moisture conditions. However, Karndean floorings have a waterproof finish covering to prevent water from seeping in. This means they can be used in bathrooms or utility rooms and still, maintain their structural integrity.
- Highly customizable
Karndean floor can be customized to a design or pattern of your liking. Whether it is customizing their decorative strips, grouting, or borders, you can choose to give them a unique look.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminates have over the years been considered as the preferred go-to solution for functional and inexpensive flooring. They usually consist of a hybrid particleboard wood base covered with a transparent layer. They are typically used in areas not prone to excessive moisture such as in bedrooms, kitchens, hallways, and dining areas among others. Laminate floors are manufactured by subjecting waste wood projects to intense heat and pressure, then using binding chemicals to turn them into usable floor coverings.
Advantages of laminate flooring
The external layer and resin coating that protects laminate floors make them last for a long time. They are also strong enough to resist impacts and scratches. This is why they are considered as an ideal flooring option in homes with pets or kids.
- Easy to clean and maintain
Laminates have a superior surface that is easy to clean when stained. However, care must be taken not to use excessive water that may seep between the material and distort the floor. It also does not require applying vanishes or waxes to keep it looking good.
When compared to other hard surface floors, laminates are inexpensive. Also, they are also economical in the long term due to their durability and longevity.
- They Come in a variety of styles
With the way they are manufactured, laminates offer a wide range of styles and colors to choose from. This means you can match your flooring with the style and mood of your home.
- Easy to install
Another reason why laminates are economical is that they are easy to install, making them perfect for DIY enthusiasts.
However, even with these advantages, laminates have their own set of disadvantages, which has led to Karndean becoming the preferred flooring choice.
Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring
- Vulnerable to moisture damage
A major setback of laminates is that they are not moisture-proof. This means that extreme moisture conditions such as excessive water spillage or exposure may damage the floor. This may result in the floor warping or needing to be replaced.
- Plastic appearance
While most laminates are made to look and appear like real hardwood, they are not real, thus giving them a manufactured and unrealistic appearance.
- Hard and noisy underfoot
Although it is easy to install, improper installation of the underlayment may result in the flooring being noisy and making a hollow sound.