Laminate Floor Inspection

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, synthetic flooring product installed as a cost-effective alternative to natural wood floors. Laminate Flooring Inspectors are trained in the manufacturing process and laminate flooring characteristics to help them spot defects and potential hazards.

Laminate flooring simulates wood, marble, limestone and granite, using a photograph installed beneath a clear protective layer. This image makes the laminate closely resemble a natural material, but the difference becomes apparent upon close inspection.

Homeowners may choose from among common wood styles such as maple, oak and pine, as well as exotic species, such as Brazilian cherry, mahogany and walnut. Finishes include low, medium and high-gloss, commonly known as piano finish. Beneath the wear layer is an inner core composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Pergo® is the most popular brand of laminate flooring, although it is often mistakenly used to describe all laminate floors. Laminate floor manufacturers include Shaw Industries, Mohawk Industries, Mannington, Armstrong, Quick-Step

Laminate floors are environmentally friendly — the paper and wood are made from recycled products and they’re easy to maintain, as they are resistant to scratches, dents and demarcations. And, unlike hardwood floors, laminate floors can be installed without any expensive equipment or training. They are more affordable than hardwood floors and they’re often the better choice for homeowners who require an inexpensive floor that is expected to take a beating. Hardwood floors, however, can be sanded and refinished, and tend to add substantial value to the entire house.

Here is a list of defective conditions common to laminate floors:

  • Gapping
  • Peaking
  • Buckling and warping
  • Mold
  • Sound penetration
  • Abuse, accidents, scratches, and many types of water damage are not covered.

In summary, laminate floors are inexpensive and strong, but they’re not immune to a variety of defects.  A Certified Laminate Flooring Inspector who understands these defects and their causes can better advise his clients on appropriate remedies