You can recycle laminated flooring, also known as plastic laminate, since it is an environmental-friendly product.
It comes in many colors, and contractors often recommend it for kitchens and bathrooms. You can cut it into strips or tiles and install it in any room.
So, can you recycle laminate flooring? Yes!
In fact, many manufacturers have recycling programs for laminates made or sold in the United States.
These collection programs accept old laminate pieces and offer recycling services that make new flooring pieces out of old laminates.
For example, the Wilsonart Certified Collection program accepts unwanted laminates and makes new flooring from them. You can also donate your worn laminates to a local charity or reuse them through upcycling projects.
For recycling programs in your area, check with your local waste facility or Home Depot for more details.
What Is Laminate Flooring?
A thick core or baser layer, a decorative steel or aluminum sheet layer and a protective coating make up laminate flooring.
When it comes to the topic of burning laminates, there are two ways to go about doing it.
Because it’s made of joined layers of pressed wood-like materials, Refinishing Laminate Floors: Do Your Homework Before You Begin Refinishing laminate floors can breathe new life.
These are glued together with lamination glue and then a veneer of laminate paper or material is applied and bonded to the base layer.
These layers now include phenol and formaldehyde, both known to be extremely toxic (especially formaldehyde) and both known to be irritants and respiratory sensitizers.
This renders your laminate flooring flammable, albeit it is an extremely slow burn.
Can You Recycle Laminate Flooring?
In the past, recycling of plastic lumber was almost impossible but today, plastic lumber is readily available and becoming more commonly used on decks.
This is due to the difficulty of recycling old plastic lumber deck boards after they have degraded and broken apart.
This was unfortunate since around 90% of recycled content in most decking today comes from recycled plastic lumber.
Thankfully, many recycling firms, as well as laminate flooring suppliers, now recycle and resell used or unwanted laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring may not only be made entirely of recycled wood products but it is also more durable than traditional hardwood floors.
The only real challenge will stem from availability but recycling of laminate flooring is a perfectly viable option.
Remember, if anything can burn, it can be recycled.
If you don’t, you’re missing out on money and collection points that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
Can You Burn Old Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring should burn, but it shouldn’t burn that well.
When laminate flooring is burned, expect the smoke to be milky white or gray.
Your initial reaction may be to transform your pile of old laminate flooring into a nice campfire and roast marshmallows with the kids.
Please refrain from doing so because this type of combustion releases harmful gasses and air pollutants that are dangerous to your health.
Although laminate looks like wood, it is not intended to be burned and it’s simply not the same type of material as wood.
Regardless matter how much of it is recycled, it is still not as good as utilizing recycled goods as a substitute for primary resources.
When laminate is burned, the resin used to make the laminate plastic can release toxic gasses into the air.
If you’re exposed to it, it may irritate your respiratory system and possibly cause dizziness and headaches.
Burning laminate may seem to be the most direct way to dispose of it, but it’s certainly not the best or safest way to do so.
If you have a fireplace, you can burn the laminate if you have a hearth that will hold the wood.
A good substitute for a campfire is a wood stove or outdoor fire place.
A wood stove burns more efficiently than a wood fire and can burn the laminate to ash in a short amount of time.
How Do You Dispose of Laminate Flooring?
Recycling Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring can now be recycled by taking the scrap back to your nearest recycler.
It may be repurposed as siding on barns, sheds and buildings or made into decorative mulch.
However, this does not mean you can just throw your old laminate flooring in the trash or garbage.
You may need to contact the laminate manufacturer or distributor to find out about recycling options in your area.
Some companies even have recycling and reuse programs where you can drop off the old flooring and receive a discount on a new laminate purchase.
This is a great option if you have a family with small children or pets who manage to tear or scratch the flooring.
If you are looking for laminate floors for your home, check out Home Depot’s wide selection of flooring materials and find what you need for your next project!
Throw it Away
Put your laminate scraps in a plastic bag and take it to your local landfill.
It’s the fastest approach, but you may be paying extra to dispose of the waste and may not get much in return.
You can’t simply throw laminate in the trash or garbage when you move out of a home either.
You’ll have to dispose of laminate just like you do other household waste when it’s time to move.
The simplest method to get around this is to break your laminate floor down before you move and dispose of the small pieces yourself.
Upcycling Laminate Flooring
Upcycling laminate flooring may be a terrific way to recycle your old laminate flooring that is no longer usable or has become damaged beyond repair.
There are many ways to upcycle your old laminate and turn it into a functional piece of furniture or item in your home.
You can glue all your old laminate pieces together to create a personalized mosaic floor mat or make a beautiful art piece by gluing the pieces together. Then, you can hang them on the wall as wall art.
You can also glue old laminate pieces together and use them to make beautiful and functional coasters to keep on your coffee table or dining room table.
While your laminate floor may last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, it will eventually begin to show signs of wear and damage over time.
You’ll not only have a fun project on your hands if you use your materials to create upcycled items, but you will also save some material from being thrown out and possibly contributing to harmful waste in your area.
Also Read: Can You Recycle Air Mattresses?
As you can see, you can recycle laminate flooring through many programs in your area.
However, the best way to do so is by reusing your laminate pieces instead of throwing them away.
By purchasing eco-friendly laminates instead of nonrenewable ones, you help keep our planet healthy for future generations.
So, next time you have an old laminate piece around your home, recycle it instead of throwing it away!