How Long Will Laminate Floors Last?
That depends on many factors, including the quality of the flooring and underlayment, and the experience of the installer. It also depends on the amount of foot traffic around your home and how well the laminate is cleaned and maintained.
If you want your laminate floors to last, the most important thing you can do is purchase a quality laminate. Look for a product with the seal of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). Note that NALFA-certified laminates are always installed as snap-together, floating floors; they are never glued down. A high-quality laminate will cost you more, but the extra expense is worth it. These products can last 15 to 20 years or more when well maintained.
Poor-quality laminates, on the other hand, might start looking bad after just a few years, and the lifespan might not surpass five or 10 years. These products, often glued down, might contain harmful chemicals. They’re prone to scratches, dents, gaps and fading. These products might seem attractive because of the price, but don’t be fooled. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Some laminate manufacturers offer warranties spanning anywhere from 10 to 30 years, but be sure to read the fine print. Some of these warranties are only valid if you use a manufacturer-approved installer. Most warranties don’t include normal wear and tear, fading, moisture damage and the like.
Laminate floors cannot be refinished, so maintenance is key. Quality laminate is extremely durable, so it should hold up to wear and tear, but it’s important to keep the floors clean and dry, and to avoid dropping heavy objects. If the floor is damaged, a basic repair kit can camouflage minor scratches and dents. For serious damage, you can replace individual boards with new ones.