Brent Poole
Home Improvements

Are you looking for a change? Is your floor looking a little tired? What works for you? I am asked time and time again what is best, carpet or laminate? There are so many answers to consider including price, wear-and-tear, look, and style. 

So many questions all relating to the floor. Is this a new home or older home? How much use will the new floor have, it could be on the stairs or in rooms that are not frequented as others. 

Make up of carpet:

There are three main types of carpet: cut pile, loop pile, and cut-and-loop pile. 

• Cut pile is straight up from the backing

• Loop pile, stands straight up but loops around and returns to the back

• Cut-and-loop pile is a mixture of both. 

Typically speaking, cut pile is the softest of the three whereas loop pile is the most durable. Fiber also plays an important role, from the most common, nylon to polyester, wool and many, many more varieties. It really depends o n usage and what you want! 

Make up of Laminate:

A composite material, its makeup is four separate layers: a base layer, supplement material, a photo-realistic image layer and finally a protective wear-and-tear layer. 

• The bottom layer is a melamine plastic layer that gives stability to each sheet which helps guard against moisture. 

• Much like hardwood, the next layer or substrate layer is typically comprised of plywood or a high-density fiberboard

• The photo-realistic sheet comes next made up of melamine as an impregnated decorative film

• Finally, the topcoat is highly abrasive aluminum oxide impregnated protective overlay.

What does all this information tell us? In part, both products stand up extremely well against each other.

Toughness of Carpet:

There are so many types of carpet it is difficult to say the toughness. Polyester is much stringer than wool.

• The softer the carpet the weaker the strength

• Nylon is the toughest, if you look after a nylon carpet it can last over ten years.

• Polyester is stain resistant, not as strong as nylon

• Wool is also stain resistant, but the cost is much greater

Toughness of Laminate: 

Laminate is extremely tough, due in part to its hard wear layer, which makes it super strong. 

• UV resistant, it wont fade in direct sunlight

• Not fully waterproof, but highly water resistant

• Can be used over underfloor heating, and in humid areas. 

Carpet Installation:

Carpet needs to be installed by a professional, there are so many applications to consider that most DIYers don’t even try.

Laminate Installation:

Most handy DIYers enjoy the challenge of laying a new floor and laminate makes it super easy. Typically, it is sold as a lock-together flooring which does not require nails or glue, ‘A floating Floor.’ 

How does the cost stack up against Laminate and Carpet? In truth there is not much separating the two, it is luxury over cheap. 

The judgement: neither one is better than the other, it depends on you, your budget, your style and what you are comfortable with. If you are considering a change, shop around there are always many deals out there, salespeople are genuinely there to help. You, at the end of the day, have to live with it.

Brent Poole is the owner operator of Handy Hands Construction, which he has run with his father Jim since 1997. A carpenter by trade, Brent enjoys all types of projects. “We’re not happy until you are happy!”

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