The type of foot traffic, outdoor weather conditions, indoor moisture levels, price of installation, and overall appearance are all deciding factors in figuring out what kind of flooring is right for your new home or remodel. In Philadelphia, laminate flooring is a good choice for many reasons, but before you decide that it is definitely the way to go, it's a good idea to take a closer look at laminate to make sure it meets all the criteria for your particular household's needs.
Philadelphia Laminate Flooring Pros
Due to the age of the city, building natural materials such as brick, wood, and stone are very common in Philadelphia. While Sly Stallone himself would have a hard time knocking the durability of stone or brick, hardwood, no matter how beautiful, requires a lot of maintenance to keep up appearances. Especially in the north east, which is prone to all types of weather from rain and snow to heat and sun, natural wood can really be put to the test.
In Philadelphia, laminate flooring will give your home that classic look of hardwood floors, but with a fraction of the hassle in both installation and upkeep. The moisture and scuffing problems generally associated with hardwood are not an issue with laminate. It is much better suited to the tracked in water and grit common during Pennsylvania winters. In some cases, laminate flooring can even be installed in bathrooms, a place where hardwood has never dared go.
Philadelphia Laminate Flooring Cons
Curiously, the biggest drawback of laminate flooring is also its biggest benefit: it's not real wood. While in many ways laminate flooring outperforms its genuine wood counterparts, it is still possible to tell the difference between the two after installation (even though today's laminate is much more convincing than products from a few decades ago). Some people just don't like the idea of imitation wood. Because of this, laminate flooring is often considered a less desirable material. Subsequently, it will not raise the value of your property as much as installing true hardwood. In a town like Philly, where there are historic hardwood floors to spare, it is possible that the difference in assessment value might be even more dramatic.
Though physically superior in many respects, laminate flooring cannot be sanded and refinished multiple times the way that real hardwood can. Laminate is initially much less likely to be damaged, but once it has passed its prime, the same options are not available to perk up its appearance.
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Philadelphia Laminate Flooring Pricing
Philadelphia prices for the installation and repair of laminate flooring are pretty comparable to those around the nation (around $4,000 and $700, respectively). Prices, of course, will vary depending on the size of the floor (in some cases, laminate flooring can be installed for $2,000 or less).
Compared to the price of actual wood flooring, laminate floors are less expensive to install and require a shorter amount of time, as well. The savings of choosing laminate greatly increase when compared to more exotic hardwoods. Because laminate uses a photographic layer, it can look like any wood under the sun without raising the cost of manufacturing. As an added bonus for environmentally conscious Philadelphians, laminate flooring is often made (in part) from recycled materials, making it an ethically, as well as financially, sound product.