Currently, laminate panels are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional wooden floors. There are many reasons for this, including lower price, ease of installation and ready to use right out of the box. However, there are also some disadvantages of laminate panels. Among them are such as the artificial impression, the lack of the ability to renew, and the characteristic muffled sounds when walking on them.
Another aspect to consider when choosing a floor is its durability. Wood floors are generally more durable than laminate and have a longer lifespan. To help you choose the right panels, we will explain the differences between laminate and wood panels. We have also compiled some useful tips on what to look out for before making a purchase.
Laminate and wood panels are relatively new products, with laminate panels around 40 years old and the click-lock installation system for laminate panels only around 20 years old. The popularity of laminate flooring can be attributed to two main factors. First of all, laminate panels are a good imitation of wooden floors, but they are significantly cheaper. Secondly, they are easy to install and most homeowners can do it themselves without the need to hire professionals. In addition, this type of floor is immediately ready for use after installation. It does not require sanding, varnishing or any other finishing work, which means that there are no additional costs for the consumer.
Wooden floors, on the other hand, are the answer of wooden floor producers to the challenge posed by laminate panels. Wooden panels have the same advantages as laminate panels, but they also offer some advantages that laminate panels do not have. They can also be assembled without the use of glue, and there is no need to finish them. They are less expensive than wood flooring because they have a layered structure (like laminate flooring) where the expensive wood material only makes up the top layer and the other layers are made of cheaper, lower quality wood.
Both types of panels consist of several layers (three plus a finish). A laminated panel has a decorative layer made of plastic (laminate) or paper, usually imitating wood (although it can also simulate stone). The laminate is covered with melamine resin, for which we can use a special sound-absorbing pad or put acoustic insulation under the panels. In the case of wooden panels, it is possible to renew them by sanding and varnishing. This increases their lifespan and allows them to retain their original appearance for many years. Before choosing between a laminate and a wooden panel, it is also worth considering the style and character of the interior and the type of use of the room, because different types of panels will work in different conditions.
Another important element to consider when choosing floor panels is their color and pattern. Laminate panels are available in a wide range of colors and patterns imitating wood, stone or ceramic tiles. They can also have a texture imitating wood, which makes them look very realistic. Wooden panels, in turn, are characterized by a natural, warm shade of wood, which adds charm and style to the room.
When choosing floor panels, you should pay attention to several key elements. First of all, you should match the utility class and abrasion class to the type of room in which the panels will be used. You should also choose the type of panels – laminated or wooden – taking into account their advantages and disadvantages. The color and pattern of the panels should match the style and arrangement of the room. It is also worth remembering about the proper care of the panels to enjoy them for a long time.