What is Laminate Flooring?

Jim Williams
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One of the most popular types of flooring these days is laminate. Laminate is a synthetic, multi-layer material that is raved by consumers for its eye-catching and durable properties, not to mention its affordability.

The surface of laminate flooring is composition of plastic, which is applied to a high-density material like particle board. With pressure and heat, four layers are fused together to create this durable Laminate plank layers include four different layers. Let’s explore how the layers create an overall look and level of durability that is unsurpassed:

Laminate Construction

Back: The back of the laminate floor is the layer that touches what is underneath the floor and is comprised of materials that provide structural stability as well as moisture resistance.

Processed core: Above the back layer is the core, which is usually made of fiberboard, M.D.F. (medium-density fiber board) or H.D.F. (high-density fiber bard) which provides overall floor stability. Higher quality cores are treated with chemicals that resist moisture and combats buckling, expandsion, or contraction.

Decorative layer: Above the core is the decorative layer, a detailed "photograph" of the flooring type that emulating everything from a hardwood floor to a tiled floor. This layer often is designed to mimic natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo with a photographic applique.

Outer layer: The outer (wear) layer is the part of laminate flooring you actually step on. It is made of materials that give it a resilient finish such as melamine. The outer layer is commonly treated with a clear finish containing aluminum oxide. This layer helps resist staining, fading, surface moisture, and general wear and tear.  

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has many advantages, making it one of the most sought-after flooring types.

Durable: Laminate flooring is designed to meet the demands of high-moisture and high-traffic areas such as office spaces, entryways, or kitchens. A friend to heels, dog claws, and furniture, laminate flooring is a promising option for rooms that are heavily used.

Stain-resistant: Laminate flooring is more resistant to stains than hardwood floors or carpets. Each segment is finished with a stain-resistant sealant, shielding it from household chemicals, beverage spills, and more.

Does not fade: Laminate flooring does not fade over time from sun exposure nor will it change color change color under carpet or furniture. Your laminate floor today will look nearly identical 20 years down the road.

Moisture-resistant: Laminate floors flourish in humid environments. They can withstand moisture levels that hardwood floors cannot endure, as natural wood expands and contracts with temperature and humidity. Keep in mind, however, that laminate floors are not completely invulnerable to moisture. Do not leave pools of moisture or water on a laminate floor, as prolonged exposure to moisture can cause warping and discoloration.

Colors and styles: Laminate floors offer a wide variety of colors and designs. Planks can be fabricated to resemble any flooring type like cherry or honey oak wood, to stone and tile.

Low maintenance: Laminate flooring is not only durable, but it is also fairly easy to maintain. Standard vacuuming and/or mopping is all you need to keep it your laminate floors sparkling. Also, unlike hardwood flooring, laminate materials do not require waxing, polishing or resurfacing. Laminate is not impervious to everything, but it can take a lot of punishment before it is destroyed.

Easy installation: Laminate floors connect through tongue and groove planks, making the installation process fairly easy. More, most laminate floors do not need to be fastened to the subfloor or underlayment, so the installer does not need to worry about that extra step.

Environmentally friendly: Laminate flooring manufacturers frequently utilize recycled materials to not only power their plants but to fabricate new flooring materials. Trees stay standing with the use of laminate flooring, which is a draw for many eco-friendly citizens.

Laminate floors are here to stay. No other flooring offers the design versatility, durability, ease of installation, and value. There are many flooring types avaiable from hardwood to porcelain tile, so choose the material that fits with your budget, design aesthetic, and the room’s use.