When it comes to installing ‘wooden’ floors, it can be difficult to choose between the real deal and its synthetic alternative. While we all want that rich, organic appearance, there is also appeal in a product that looks like lumber yet is significantly easier to maintain. To help you make this all-important decision, we consulted Chris Holden, Director of FINfloor South Africa, on the benefits of decorative laminates. Here is what he had to say: Laminate flooring is the best marriage between natural and synthetic products, as it contains approximately 85 to 90 per cent organic content. It is manufactured using wood-based materials to create a ‘high density fibreboard’, the core layer of which is impregnated with aluminium oxide and melamine resin. This durable, innovative structure translates into the following notable advantages:
- Highly abrasion- and scratch-resistant – up to 20 times that of traditional solid wood surfaces
- Wear resistant
- Fade resistant
- Impact resistant
- Stain resistant
- Heat resistant
- Hygienic, as the surface is completely non-porous
- Anti-allergy – dust mites and micro-organisms cannot breed in or on the floor
- Eco-friendly – it is made using wood waste
- Easy to install – it can be laid directly onto the existing floor. No chipping or breaking out is necessary, except on parquet blocks.
- Low maintenance – easy to clean; no polishing, sanding or use of mops and water.
- There is a 25-year surface wear warranty for domestic use, and a five-year warranty for commercial use, depending on the ‘fit for use grading’.
REMEMBER: The above advantages are limited to good quality laminate flooring. You get the quality you pay for, so make sure you purchase a product that has been SAWLFA (Southern African Wood and Laminate Flooring Association) approved. Refer to their website when in doubt. For more helpful advice on wood laminate flooring visit FINfloor’s website at finfloor.co.za or contact them on 031-579-4631or at firstname.lastname@example.org.