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Laminate Oak Flooring

An increasingly-popular product, laminate flooring can mirror the appearance of hardwood. A typical piece of laminate oak flooring, for instance, has a particleboard core, a picture of the hardwood on top, and a resin-cellulose or melamine coating on top. Going beyond this basic level, brands like Bruce have added qualities to make laminate flooring sound, look, and feel like hardwood. If you are considering laminate oak flooring for your space, what are its advantages and drawbacks?

In general, laminate products are extremely durable and will not scratch. As a result, laminate flooring is easy to maintain and is fade resistance. Installation, as well, is less time consuming. No sanding or finishing is needed, and most laminate oak floors are floated and attached with a locking mechanism. Additionally, laminate oak flooring may be priced less than its hardwood counterparts.

Laminates, however, do have some drawbacks. The product cannot be refinished, has a repetitive pattern as the result of the photographic images used, and can be hollow sounding. For the latter of these three, thicker planks and underlayment can make laminate flooring sound closer to hardwood. Additionally, most laminate floors have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years.

Considerable improvements have been made to laminate flooring over the past 20 years, and one result is products with a distinct wood-like appearance. If, for example, you want the appearance of oak with a laminate product, brands like Bruce Hardwood offer such flooring – and even with multiple stain-like options. Bruce's collections like Reserve™, American Home™, and Heritage Heights™ all strive to mimic domestic hardwood species. Reserve™, more specifically, is designed with a hand-sculpted texture and natural pressed edges and ends. This product line, as well, is available as five- to seven-inch planks, which are thicker in order to cut down on the hollow sound. Bruce is not the only brand that carries oak laminate flooring, however, and plenty of other brands, including Armstrong, Quick-Step, Wilsonart, and Columbia, offer similar products.