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4 Pitfalls of Laminate Flooring in Commercial Spaces

by Jason Brubaker

Anyone who is looking to install new flooring in their building project has a multitude of different options. From wood to epoxy to tile to laminate, the possibilities seem endless. Laminate in commercial spaces is still very popular, even though it is not the best option for high-traffic flooring.

Truth be told, there are plenty of cons for laminate flooring but thankfully, there are many sustainable and durable laminate alternatives for commercial spaces. By the end of this piece, you’ll be able to make the right flooring choice for your commercial building.

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What Is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate floors are a type of hybrid floor covering that consists of a particle board wood base that is topped by an image layer and a transparent wear layer.

Laminate flooring is often a popular option for areas that aren’t subject to excessive moisture because it is low-priced and easy to clean. But, laminate is not as durable as other options, especially for high-traffic spaces.

Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring in Commercial Spaces

While laminate does have some advantages (mainly in upfront costs), there are many more disadvantages to laminate flooring.

Moisture Damage

Laminate floors have absolutely no protection from moisture, making it a less-than-ideal option for locations that are susceptible to high foot traffic. If you install laminate flooring in a below-grade or damp area, floorboards will swell and cause buckling and warping of the floor.

Unlike wood, which contracts after any moisture has dried out, once laminate swells, it is permanently buckled and warped and will have to be replaced. And when it gets wet, it is also incredibly slippery, causing safety (and worker compensation) concerns.

Inability to Repair

If the surface of a laminate plank were to become scratched or damaged, it cannot be fixed. And once it gets worn down, it can’t be refinished. The only solution after the top layer wears off is to completely replace it.

You also cannot remove a single damaged plank, as the only way to get to a damaged plank is to remove all of the planks, starting from the wall until you get to the damaged one. This usually results in having to reinstall the entire floor. It’s costly and time-consuming.


Many people use laminate flooring as a cheaper alternative to wood that still (mostly) looks like wood. This all depends on the photo-technology of the manufacturer. There are many brands that produce “wood-simulating” laminate, but dependably, it just looks cheap. There’s no substitute for the real deal.

Plus, laminate flooring will look unnaturally repetitive over large areas — because it is — and the fake factor is quite noticeable where large parts of the floor are visible.


Laminate floors are also “noisy” underfoot, making them unsuitable for commercial places that require any kind of quiet. Because the boards sometimes move and rub against each other, it creates an irritating squeaking noise.

When You Should Choose Laminate

Laminate flooring could be the right choice for you if you are on a supremely tight budget and want to save even more money by installing the flooring yourself without specialty installers or contractors.

Few floorings are more economical or easier to install than laminate flooring, but if you care about added long-term value, durability and aesthetic, consider other options.

Flooring Alternatives for Commercial Spaces

Luxury Vinyl Tile


Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has taken the commercial flooring industry by storm. It is durable enough for high-traffic common areas and aesthetically pleasing enough for upscale areas. There are also a variety of styles in every price point and design, making it an incredibly versatile flooring option.

As LVT is quick to install and cheaper than most of the materials it imitates, it’s a pretty good way to cut flooring costs in any commercial project.

Epoxy Flooring

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Epoxy flooring systems are created by applying a thermosetting resin directly onto a concrete slab that’s been moisture-treated. An epoxy coating prevents wear and tear from heavy foot traffic, chemical spills and abrasions.

Epoxy flooring is a cost-effective solution that’s popular in industrial spaces, such as warehouses, supermarkets and hospitals, because it creates a very smooth surface for wheels, carts and other types of equipment. It’s strong, versatile, durable, sanitary and aesthetically appealing — pending correct installation.

Acrylic-Infused Engineered Hardwood

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One of the best flooring solutions for high-traffic areas is acrylic-infused engineered hardwood. It provides the warmth and authentic look of wood, while at the same time, it’s also more resistant and durable.

Nydree’s acrylic-infused engineered hardwood flooring is, of course, infused with acrylic and up to 300% more durable than standard wood flooring. Nydree’s high-quality adhesives provide moisture resistance and adhesion, with no VOC emissions.

The engineered construction of Nydree flooring uses seven plies of marine grade Baltic Birch, glued with marine grade adhesive and topped with a 1/10" thick acrylic-infused wood wear layer. The result is a stronger, tougher floor that can withstand anything a commercial space throws at it.

No matter your plans for your commercial space, from multi-family apartment centers to senior living spaces to restaurants, Nydree Flooring can provide you with a safe, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing solution.

Want to learn more about engineered hardwood? Find out more about Nydree’s product offerings or check out our gallery for inspiration for your next project.