“Laminate has a lot going for it. It’s durable. It’s easy to install. It’s competitively priced, and its visuals are among the most realistic in the industry.”
So says Jessica Chevalier, Floor Focus Magazine editor in an article titled Laminate 2013 in an issue about the laminate flooring industry. It’s an article we think you will enjoy.
Ms. Chevalier did extensive interviews with flooring retailers around the country for her article, asking them about laminate flooring. The article specifically addresses:
- The ongoing threat of category commodization,
- Competition with “Big Box” retailers,
- The misperception that all laminate floors are a “cheap” alternative, and
- The future of the laminate flooring category.
Here are highlights we found particularly interesting and worth bringing to your attention.
Durability is Laminate Flooring’s Strength
Agreed! An article you might want to check out to help understand how durability relates to plank thickness is How to Decide on Your Laminate Floor’s Thickness.
And, as the Floor Focus article states, “Among the retailers with whom we spoke, the durability of laminate seemed to be the most important selling point. For active households, it is second only to ceramic for durability. It is resistant to scratches, dents and staining. In other words, it’s able to stand up to abuse from both kids and pets.”
Expert: Laminate’s Realistic Look Can’t Be Distinguished from Hardwood
You can’t beat the realism of high quality laminate flooring! Realism was noted by another trade journal as an important trend. Floor Focus shares this marvelous story: “(A regional sales manager from another laminate flooring company) shares a story from the National Wood Flooring Association show. The flooring in one booth was a mix of hardwood and laminate. Some of the hardwood experts at the show expressed interest in buying the laminate product, not realizing it wasn’t hardwood. So, at the high end, the realism of laminate can be very convincing, even to the expert’s eye.”
The Decor Layer Printing of Laminate Flooring Gets Better and Better
A big reason for the jaw-dropping realism of laminate flooring products (especially KronotexUSA’s) has to do with continued technological improvements in printing. Or, as one individual in the article puts it, ‘Baldwin (a retailer product manager) believes that laminate flooring will continue to dominate in the DIY category, and he predicts that the category’s visuals will continue to improve,’ “Every time we think that the printing reaches its peak,” he says, “it gets even better.”’
Laminate Flooring Can Be Installed Over an Existing Floor
One dealer interviewed for the Floor Focus article had an interesting observation regarding the advantage that laminate can be installed over an existing floor:
“He emphasizes to customers that not having to install a subfloor means that they are investing their money in a product, not in preparing for a product, and that the saved money can be put towards a higher quality floor covering. Says Donohoe, “Many vinyl customers will upgrade to laminate when they find that vinyl may require a subfloor.”
Note: For more information about this advantage, read our blog post “Laminate Can Be Installed on Most Surfaces, But Not All” for tips and advice on what you can and cannot install laminate flooring over.
Laminate Flooring Resists Stains
Among laminate’s many durability attributes is stain resistance. Here’s a stain we hadn’t considered, yet it’s of particularly relevance for hair salon owners…, “Even hair colorant will not stain (laminate floors)!”
This Laminate Flooring Article Is a Good Read!
Every flooring category has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as its challenges. Laminate flooring is no different. We appreciate the even-handed approach and thorough research that Ms. Chevalier invested in this article. Don’t miss it!