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"IKEA Floor - Would You Buy It or Not?"

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IKEA Flooring

IKEA Flooring - Balk

Copyright/Courtesy IKEA
Question: "IKEA Floor - Would You Buy It or Not?"
IKEA floor is an interesting concept. Here's why. IKEA products often tend to be like eye candy: they look great in the store, but quality doesn't hold up over time once it's in your house. I speak from authority. But how does this extend to IKEA flooring?
Answer: First, IKEA flooring is either laminate or what IKEA likes to call veneer floor. Laminate flooring generally consists of a number of layers that go from bottom to top like so:
  1. A moisture barrier.
  2. The particleboard core.
  3. The image layer (i.e., the photograph of wood so that the flooring can simulate the look of wood).
  4. A wear layer (transparent layer to protect everything else).
IKEA has some floor lines like this, but they also offer veneer flooring.

IKEA Flooring - Laminate, Veneered, or What?

In IKEA's product literature they say, as a key benefit of their flooring: "Footsteps make considerably less sound on a wooden floor than on a laminated floor." This would lead you to believe that applicable IKEA floors are wood or at least mostly wood.

I would say that IKEA floors (Balk, Kvist, and Lakt - sorry, I'm not even going to attempt to reproduce the umlauts in those names!) still fit in the laminate flooring category. Except for layer #3, the image layer, they have a thin veneer of real wood--birch, oak, or bamboo.

A veneer is hardly enough to damp footsteps and qualify as real wood, by any stretch of the imagination. Other IKEA floor lines are authentic laminate floors--Slatten and Tundra, for example--with that image layer instead of wood.

IKEA and Pergo Flooring - Same Thing?

IKEA is Swedish; Pergo (Perstorp Industries) is Swedish. It would be bizarre if Pergo did not manufacture laminate flooring for IKEA. Pergo is a legitimate, respected maker of flooring. In fact, Pergo is often credited with having "invented" laminate floor.

I do know that Pergo makes the Tundra line for IKEA, though I cannot confirm the other lines.

Buy IKEA Flooring?

I cannot conclude that IKEA floor is any better or worse than anything else on the market. Their prices are not competitive, except for one line (Slatten). There isn't too much to recommend IKEA floors, unless you do happen to stumble on a good deal.
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