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Love wood but can’t afford it? Aren’t we lucky there’s laminate?

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The ground beneath your feet is no longer just about marble, mosaic or vitrified tiles. Wood has long since come into the picture and is giving traditional flooring a run for its money. It is the quintessential material that lends any room style, class and comfort. But then, pure good hardwood is a bit on the higher side in terms of cost. So, for those who long for the luxury of wood but find it a bit out of reach, laminates provide an extremely viable alternative. It has become the perfect compromise for many homeowners because it is an easy way to get the look and style of hardwood floors into your homes without the arduous installation procedures and high cost.

Today, people don’t just look for solidity and durability when it comes to floors, they also look for style as well. Which is why laminates are becoming so popular these days. With dirt and pollution levels at a constant increase, it makes sense to get flooring that is hassle free. Laminate floors are, therefore, proving to be a good option for Indian weather conditions as they are 100 per cent maintenance free. Moreover, with the introduction of new technologies, these floors can now be made more tough and safe, and yet stay stylish.

Laminate flooring, that is built to survive the rigours of today’s active homes, comes in a variety of shades going from light cedar to deep mahogany. Rustic hues and dark shades are the popular colours in wooden flooring in India as well as abroad these days.

The advantage of laminate flooring is that you sweep it like any other normal floor. For swabbing, just make sure you use a damp mop and not a wet one. It couldn’t be simpler! Also, it never needs polishing, lacquering or waxing. Laminate flooring retains its original finish and its beautiful lustre year after year, making it a good value for money product.

The outer layer of most laminate floors is manufactured by binding melamine resins and aluminum oxide at high heat and extreme pressure, which makes it very durable. However, while laminate flooring is durable and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear, it does tend to stain and smudge quite quickly. But then, that can be cleaned by a damp mop quite easily.

However, always consider the amount of traffic in the room before deciding on laminate flooring, because all floors are not meant for all uses. There are grades (abrasion class) defined to laminate flooring which one has to choose as per the requirement/usage of the floor. Laminate floors can be used in all areas of your home except, of course, the bathroom and kitchen. Laminate floors are also ideal for public areas, lobbies, offices, showrooms, hotels and other such places.

But more than anything else, laminate lets you have the look of wood on your floor without the price hitting the roof. So, there it is, if you’re looking for a floor that is wear resistant, stain resistant, and easy to clean, you clearly know what to pick.

(The writer is CEO of Pergo Pvt Ltd)

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