Congratulations on finally closing the deal on your new home! Stepping inside your newly purchased dwelling, you noticed something was amiss. Understandably, the lawn was a bit unkempt and the surfaces inside were a bit dusty due to months of vacancy.
Nothing that you can’t fix, of course! But you happened to glance down on your feet and finally realized what’s wrong—the flooring’s a huge mess! It looked like the previous homeowners just let the hardwood flooring rot into disrepair.
Having all of this decaying hardwood flooring removed is going to be expensive, and you’re already on an extremely tight budget. This added expense wouldn’t help at all. Fortunately, there’s a flooring alternative that comes cheap and easy to install.
TrafficMaster flooring can be bought over the counter at any Home Depot branch. Though it isn’t the best option, it’s a budget-friendly solution for homeowners needing a flooring alternative without the hefty price tag.
Take a step forward and read on to know more about TrafficMaster flooring!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is Laminate Flooring?
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your flooring needs, laminate flooring could be your best bet. Made of hybrid materials, laminate flooring offers considerable durability and flexible aesthetics. As a bonus, you can imitate any flooring you wish using laminate planks without costing as much.
But what makes it different from other flooring solutions? Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate flooring consists of three different layers: the wear layer, the image layer, and the base layer. In addition, some laminate planks have an additional layer called an underlayment or backing layer, which works as a moisture barrier.
The wear layer is the topmost layer that protects the rest of the assembly. This protective layer withstands scratches from pets and toddlers and prevents dents caused by falling objects.
Sandwiched between the wear and base layers, the image layer features a photorealistic recreation of any hardwood, stone, and other flooring materials. Unless you look close enough, the quality of the image is nearly identical to the real thing.
Lastly, the base layer is made of plywood or other composite material that brings structure to the entire assembly. It insulates heat but can absorb moisture, affecting its durability.
What Are the Benefits of Laminate Flooring?
People choose laminate flooring over other flooring types primarily because of its low price. Regardless of the kind of laminate flooring you choose, it would certainly be significantly less expensive than its hardwood and stone counterparts. Any budget-minded homeowner would appreciate the value proposition that laminate flooring offers.
Easy to Maintain
Besides its cheap price tag, laminate flooring is also easy to clean and maintain. Thanks to the glossy and smooth wear layer, cleaning a laminate floor could be just as simple as wiping a damp rug across the floor. In maintaining your household in good shape, your laminate floors would be the least of your worries.
Pets can have their nightly zoomies where they run all over the house, scratching their nails on the floor as they do so. Laminate flooring resists scratches thanks to its melamine wear layer, making it the perfect solution for households with pets and small children. In addition, the durability it offers is cost-effective, especially when considering other flooring options in the market.
How Is Laminate Flooring Different From Vinyl Plank Flooring?
When it comes to budget-friendly non-hardwood flooring options, laminate flooring and vinyl plank flooring often go head-to-head. Both share similarities while also being entirely different from one another. Knowing these key differences can determine which of the two flooring options is the best one for you.
As mentioned before, laminate flooring is made of three layers, and each of these layers is made of different materials like melamine and wood composite. A vinyl tile, however, is made of 100% synthetic materials, such as PVC and fiberglass, making it more resistant to moisture.
Both vinyl and laminate floors are easy to clean and maintain. With their smooth surfaces, wiping grease, dirt, and spills is a breeze. Unlike hardwood floors, you don’t need special equipment and materials to keep them in pristine condition. Just take out any vacuum cleaner and run it across the floor.
If you’re thinking about a flooring option that would imitate real hardwood floors, you would be better off with laminate flooring. This is because the image layer mimics surfaces and patterns found on wood and stone materials better than any vinyl floor would. As a result, laminate floors are usually photorealistic.
Is a Laminate Floor Better Than a Hardwood Floor?
Yes and no. The answer entirely depends on what you’re after. If you’re going for a budget-friendly flooring solution, laminate flooring is better. However, no other alternative beats hardwood flooring if you want a premium experience and real wood beneath your feet.
Laminate floors have their own advantages over hardwood floors:
- Laminate floors can be installed in areas that hardwood can’t reach, thanks to its flexibility.
- Hardwood floors are more difficult to maintain, requiring refinishing every few years.
- Laminate floors are way cheaper than hardwood and can be bought almost anywhere.
However, hardwood floors can last a lifetime as long as they’re maintained regularly. Laminate floors visibly show the years on their wear layer, making it necessary to remove and replace. Yes, the cost can be steep, but it does pay for itself if you ever wish to sell your home. In addition, hardwood floors are considered in estimating value, thus, increasing the resale value of your home. Besides that, who wouldn’t want authentic hardwood in their homes?
Introducing TrafficMaster by Home Depot
With all the options available in the market, it might be confusing and even intimidating for new homeowners to choose a brand for their laminate floors. Narrowing down your options can be very difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Fortunately, Home Depot comes to the rescue with its in-house flooring brand, TrafficMaster. With numerous physical store locations across the United States, Home Depot lends its accessibility and affordability to TrafficMaster laminate flooring. New homeowners can simply drive to any Home Depot store, pick a laminate floor of their choosing, and purchase it over the counter.
Despite being a Home Depot brand, TrafficMaster laminate flooring is actually manufactured by third-party companies such as Shaw through the practice of “white-labeling.” The cost savings from this arrangement trickle down to the consumers through cheaper floor offerings.
TrafficMaster has a wide selection of flooring options, including tile and carpet floors. For this review, we will focus on their laminate flooring offerings.
For solid hardwood floors, the appearance depends on the wood species you choose and the finishing applied to it. That’s why the prices between hardwood options widely vary. Some wood materials like oak, Brazilian Cherry, and pecan can be more expensive than others.
TrafficMaster laminate floors are available in different styles and textures, giving you plenty of options to pick from. Primarily, there are two kinds of laminate flooring options that TrafficMaster offers: smooth and textured. Moreover, each category is further divided into subcategories, giving you more options to suit your needs.
The textured laminate floors are available in standard, embossed, and hand-scraped styles. The embossed texture mimics traditional hardwood flooring, while the hand-scraped style replicates the scraping method used in finishing hardwood planks.
However, if you wish to have smooth surfaces across your home’s floor, you can choose any of TrafficMaster’s smooth laminate floors. Their smooth laminate selection includes birch, oak, and sycamore styles. These styles offer warm colors and would suit a contemporary interior design.
TrafficMaster is the go-to brand for homeowners aiming to save some cash for their home’s flooring without sacrificing durability and quality. TrafficMaster offers a huge selection of laminate floors available in many styles and specifications. As such, the cost depends on which specific TrafficMaster laminate plank you choose to buy.
The smooth laminate floors can cost anywhere from $1.70 to $1.99 per square foot, depending on the particular style you choose. All styles come in 12 millimeters of thickness, with a 25-year warranty. While being budget-friendly, these smooth laminate floors will complete your modern home’s look.
As for the textured laminate floors, TrafficMaster offers them in varying thickness options. The prices depend on their thickness and texture style. The thickest standard textured laminate planks (12 millimeters) can cost from $1.29 to $1.49, while the thinnest ones (7 millimeters) cost $0.68 to $0.84 per square foot.
If you prefer the rustic aesthetic that hand-scraped laminate floors offer, you can purchase them for around $0.79 per square foot for the thinner 7-millimeter option, and $1.99 for the thicker 8-millimeter planks.
Lastly, the more expensive end of the textured laminate flooring line features the embossed style, which can cost you anywhere from $1.69 to $1.89 per square foot for the 8-millimeter planks. This style of laminate flooring has a more noticeable raised grain, which mimics the feel of real hardwood floors when walking on them barefoot.
If you opt for professional installation, it can cost you around $1.75 to $2.50 for labor expenses. However, due to how easy TrafficMaster laminate floors are to install, you can save yourself the additional expense by installing them yourself. As a bonus, you get to learn a new home improvement skill!
Turning a cold and empty house into a warm and cozy home for your family is no easy feat. Being a new homeowner doesn’t come with a manual which makes the endeavor a lot more difficult. There are just too many aspects of your home that need your already divided attention, like roofing, plumbing, wall remodeling, and, lastly, your home’s flooring.
With the economy being severely affected by the pandemic, prices of basic goods and services have skyrocketed. As a result, new homeowners face more expensive materials and labor costs in building or remodeling their homes. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly solutions for your home’s flooring.
Laminate flooring can imitate the looks of any hardwood flooring without costing you an arm and a leg. With such a low price tag, choosing TrafficMaster laminate flooring for your home is a no-brainer decision to make. If you’re really strapped for cash, you can save even more by doing the installation yourself.
Who says you have to spend thousands of dollars for a decent floor beneath your feet?