What Real Estate Agents Should Know About Laminate Flooring

As a real estate agent, you have a great understanding of your apartment options. Whether they are selling or buying a home, your clients will appreciate your knowledge and experience in helping them solve flooring problems.

Residential flooring options were once very simple. Hardwood floors were a standard in living and dining rooms, hallways and bedrooms. Ceramic tile was common in toiletsand vinyl tile in kitchens and recreation rooms.

Buyers of new construction They were faced with the smallest decision of what stain to use on their hardwood floors and what color of ceramic flooring to choose for their bathrooms. Vinyl kitchen tiles offered the largest selection of colors and, in some cases, patterns as well.

That is different now. Today’s home buyers are faced with an almost endless selection of flooring materials, the most popular and durable of which is laminate flooring.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a synthetic substance that accurately simulates the appearance of a wooden floor with its visual image of wood and raised wood grain on each board. High-quality, “luxury” laminate floors have a high-resolution photograph of natural wood as the top layer, in the same way as plastic. laminate countertops simulate marble or other textures.

The composition of laminate flooring contains wood, which makes it feel warmer and slightly softer. The representation of wood in a laminate floor is a computer generated image of a hardwood floor. Unlike real wood floors, where each plank is different because each tree is unique, the pattern on laminate floors will repeat.

This repetition will be evident in large, open spaces without rugs or furniture. Very few home buyers will notice that the laminate flooring pattern is similar, and newer fabrication methods (to be discussed later) make this less of a problem.

What are vinyl floors?

Vinyl flooring is sometimes confused with laminate flooring. Vinyl floors, which consist of 100 percent plastic, do not accurately mimic wood floors to the extent that laminate floors can.

Vinyl floors will resist constant humidity much better than laminate floors and are, in fact, more expensive and durable. The biggest difference between laminate and vinyl is appearance. Vinyl flooring is found by most homeowners to be less aesthetically pleasing and less “real” than laminate flooring.

Laminate floors versus hardwood floors

There are several reasons, other than appearance, to consider laminate flooring. Hardwood floors are the gold standard in homes, but they require maintenance and upkeep.

Wood floors, which laminate floors aspire to imitate, are best installed by professionals with special nailing tools. Finding a home with wood floors in good repair, or floors that have been preserved under wall-to-wall carpeting for many years, is the goal of many home buyers.

As an agent, if you include a home with original hardwood floors, be sure to include it in list details. Wall-to-wall carpeting is less in demand today than ever, and if your listing has carpeting on hardwood floors, get permission from the seller to lift a corner of the carpet in a room or two to expose the wood underneath. This is a full disclosure and will help you sell the listing.

Hardwood floors installed rough, rather than prefinished, are sanded and then stained after installation. Sealing the end result will help maintain the finish. Homes with large windows or large expanses of glass that are uncovered, allowing unfiltered sunlight in, will fade wood floors over time. The consistency of grain, tone and permanence of color in laminate floors is one of the main reasons why they are so popular.

Installing a laminate wood floor is much simpler than hardwood, as the planks are not nailed or glued to the subfloor. Laminate flooring is installed over a foam underlayment that is typically two millimeters thick.

This subfloor absorbs some sound and allows the floor to bounce when you walk on it. Planks are generally installed parallel to the longest wall and rather than glued or nailed in place, they “snap into place” with each piece connecting to its adjoining section.

DIY Homeowners You can install the laminate on a smooth, level and dry surface without too much anxiety. Ease of installation, modest price, impressive appearance, and wide variety of patterns and colors make this flooring the choice of home renovators and sellers eager for a quick fix when existing flooring is damaged beyond repair. .

Replacing a few boards or a large damaged area is not as complicated as removing, replacing, sanding, and refinishing hardwood floors that may not exactly match the existing flooring.

Originally produced in 36- and 48-inch planks, some laminate floors are now available in 60- and 72-inch planks. Longer planks install more quickly than shorter ones and avoid repeating the pattern that some homeowners find objectionable.

As with hardwood floors, moisture will affect laminate flooring. That’s why it is It is best to maintain a constant humidity level (around 40 to 50 percent).

Although not waterproof, laminate floors experience little expansion and contraction from hardwood floors. Additionally, laminate flooring can be installed over buried electrical heating cables, as long as the temperature is kept below 85 degrees.

Finally, caring for laminate floors is much easier than wood floors. It’s always best to sweep or vacuum up debris and then simply mop with a mild household cleaner. Laminates are ideal for homes where pets and children reside, and where easy cleaning is needed.

As a real estate agent, you have a great understanding of your apartment options. Whether they are selling or buying a home, your clients will appreciate your knowledge and experience in helping them solve flooring problems.

Gerard Splendore is a licensed real estate broker associated with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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