Laminate floors can rival wood floors at a fraction of the cost
When you think laminate you probably picture the mustard yellow/puke green octagon flooring in your grandmother's house that is fading and peeling. What you might not think about is how far laminate has come in the last 50 years.
First, let's talk about style. Instead of the dreaded vomit savoir-faire, you can now choose from thousands of different colors, patterns, and designs. Styles vary from mock marble to imitation hardwoods. They look pretty realistic too. But what makes it really great is just how easy it is to care for.
Cool flooring options for phoenix residences looking to stay cool this summer.
So what does flooring have to do with keeping a home cool?
Every summer, in the Valley of the Sun, we are looking for ways to cut down on energy costs. I know when I receive my summer electric bill I can tell that my AC unit is working extra hard to keep my home at a desirable temperature.
Many of my customers are surprised to discover that the flooring they select can improve their home's energy efficiency. Here are some options that I review with my customers when they are considering ideas for flooring that will keep their home cool.
DIY Water Damaged Flooring Repair
Water damaged flooring of any kind is bad news.
Most laminate flooring is free floating (it doesn’t need to be nailed or glued down). When this flooring gets wet, water seeps through the cracks and settles under the flooring. This water will normally turn into mold within a day or two. Since it happens fast, it's important to address it as soon as possible.
Once the concrete below the flooring has become water damaged, or if it contains asbestos, you may want to hire a local flooring company.
A customer asked me about the effects of water damage on laminate flooring. This is a common question when it comes to damaged flooring and flooring repairs.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know when it comes to your flooring and water damage.
DIY Water damaged Flooring replacement
In some cases, the concrete below the flooring may not be damaged or soaked. If this is the case, and you choose to address this problem yourself, you will want to begin with removing the soaked flooring (it should be fairly easy as it is normally just connected pieces).
You can expect it to take about three hours per 350 square feet. If you are considering hiring a local flooring company you can expect to pay about $1.40 per square feet for removal. My company charges about $1.20 per square feet including the haulaway and disposal. If you live in Phoenix, AZ and are looking for a local flooring company, contact us for a free quote.
Once the flooring has been removed you can use industrial blowers to dry the concrete below. If you are unable to obtain a portable blower, then you will want to leave the subfloor uncovered for about a week to ensure that it is completely dry.
By: Juan Gonzalez, Owner of Gonzalez & Sons Flooring Design
Alternatives for Solid Wood Flooring
When providing flooring consultations, and reviewing options for flooring material, my customers will express their interest in solid wood flooring.
However, they are turned off by the square footage pricing. Not to mention the additional prep work needed to install real wood flooring. Most of the time, real wood flooring will require the installation of a sub-floor prior to installing.
Wood floors look great. They are the latest craze in the market - everyone has to have wood floors. I have never heard someone say they didn't absolutely love their new floors. There’s just something about it that can change then entire look of home.
Unfortunately, real wood floors are not cheap. If you’re seeking wood flooring to accent your home, you have several options.
You don’t need to go with real wood for the sold wood floor look. Especially, if you’re seeking the most cost effective solution.
Over the years, imitation wood flooring has come a long way. It used to be that fake wood floors, looked like, well, fake wood floors. Nowadays technology has advanced and the digital creation of the patterns and images used on the tile looks like real wood.
PORCELAIN WOOD TILE - COST RANGE: $1.50 TO $6.00 SQFT
I think this stuff is very good real wood flooring alternative – if it’s installed right.
One of the keys to make wood tiles look like real hardwood is not the tiles themselves – but what goes in between. (Bracho, 2015)
There is much truth to this. When it comes down to imitation tile flooring, it can really come down installation process. Craftsmanship in the grout work can deliver a real wood feel when installing tile wood-like flooring.
They manufacture this type of tile in hundreds of combinations of style, shape and color. With so many choices you’re bound to find the one just right for your home.
The best part, tile lasts a lifetime compared to many real solid wood floors. They stand up to wear and tear; not nearly as high maintenance as real wood floors. That’s one thing I think people don’t always consider when deciding to install real solid wood flooring.
This type of wood-like tile is going to be great for a bathroom as it’s water resistant.
Engineered Hardwood – Cost Range: $3.00 - $6.00 SQFT
This stuff is the closest to real wood. As a matter of fact, it is comprised of some real wood. You’ll never get that plastic-like click that you may get when installing some types of laminate flooring.
The down side is you won’t be able to refinish it like you can with real wood. It will last, but at some point through its 20 year lifetime you may be ready for different color or style.
Laminate Flooring – Cost Range $1.00 to $4.00 SQFT
Can you really use laminate flooring when trying to imitate wood? In short, yes. Like porcelain flooring, laminate has come a long way over the years. It’s easy to install and comes in almost any style you can imagine. The down side, it doesn’t feel or even sound like real wood flooring. You get that plastic clicking sound, I mentioned earlier, when walking on it.
Juan’s Quick Take on Wood Flooring Alternative Options
I assume you’re reading this because you may have searched for “real wood flooring alternatives”. Maybe you have decided not to spend the extra money, or it just won’t work in the area you're looking to have that real wood look. Whatever the reason, the first thing you want to consider is the area you will be installing your new flooring. Is there a chance that the wood can get wet? Not from a random spilled drink, but are you considering it for bathroom or laundry room? If so, you will want to go with a porcelain tile or laminate flooring.
If you’re looking for the real wood feel then engineered hardwood is likely for you. You’ll save some money on the cost of real solid wood as well as the installation.
Expensive taste, small budget? Consider a wood-like laminate flooring. It’s ideal for a rental home or even a property that you’re looking to increase resale value on.
Comparison Chart: Solid Wood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Wood Flooring:
Gonzalez & Sons Flooring in Phoenix, AZ
Located in Avondale, AZ we are a Wood, Tile and Laminate Flooring Installer. Feel free to contact us with any questions or schedule a free consultation if you live in the Phoenix area. We are family owned and operated and I personally facilitate in-home consultations. Feel free to contact me directly at, 602-370-6603 or shoot me an email.
by: Juan F. Ruiz, Owner of Gonzalez & Sons Flooring Design, LLC
About the owner
HAVING WORKED IN THIS INDUSTRY FOR OVER 25 YEARS, WE HAVE ACQUIRED THE EXPERTISE REQUIRED TO HANDLE ANY JOB. AS THE OWNER AND INSTALLER ON THE FIELD I CAN ASSURE WE ARE COMMITED TO YOUR SATISFACTION.