Laminate flooring offers a wide selection of designs that offer the look and feel of beautiful hardwood, ceramic tile and stone for a fraction of the cost. Laminate flooring requires little maintenance and is practically indestructible. It is a composite that's designed to endure more-than-average wear and tear. The resulting floor is a technological breakthrough. There is no staining, no fading, and no wear through. Laminate can be used either in high–moisture locations such as bathrooms or below–grade application in basements.
Laminate flooring manufacturers use sophisticated, computerized technology to create realistic designs that are well protected by a tough outer coating that is impervious to most stains, spills, burns, and is extremely scratch-resistant. Laminate can be used in many settings, but is ideal for high activity rooms. These floors come in both planks and tiles and can be floated over most substrates including concrete slabs and existing floor coverings.
- Incredibly durable and stain resistant. Such problem spills as nail polish, grease, and mustard simply wipe off.
- The versatility provides the realistic look of wood, tile and stone at a lower cost.
- Nearly maintenance-free. Ordinary vacuuming or sweeping is usually all it takes to keep the surface in prime condition
- No waiting...you can walk on your floor immediately after installation is complete.
- Makes for quick and easy installs
- Variety of ceramic and wood designs and colorations, and some manufacturers offer a real, hardwood veneer instead of a printed layer
- Come in both planks and squares
- A thin, plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture from below.
- With Attached Underlay
- Come with several different types of tongue and groove locking systems and an attached underlayment to reduce noise levels
- No mess, because the glue is already applied to the tongue and grooves
- Quick and easy-to-install
- A thin, plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture and prevent the glue from sticking to the substrate
- Direct Pressure Method
- All of the layers are assembled at the same time and then heated and pressed together to form a bond
- Most common type of laminate flooring
- High Pressure Method
- More often found in the expensive premium end of the laminate flooring material
- Relatively new innovation which basically treats the top and bottom layers of laminate flooring separately, and then fuses these onto the core layer under extremely high pressure.
- Wear Layer
- Surface that is walked on and is the top-most layer
- Typically made from cellulose paper that has been saturated with melamine plastic resins giving laminate flooring its excellent durability and scratch resistance.
- Design Layer
- Gives laminate flooring its design, color and characteristics
- Image that is seen through the wear layer and is usually made from cellulose paper with a photograph or a patterned print copied onto it
- As it is below the wear layer, and therefore protected, it cannot be marked, scuffed or fade.
- Core Layer
- Main part of laminate flooring and is usually made from a type of particle board
- Various strengths and thicknesses can be found, and a thicker core will be more stable
- Some brands have the core layer treated with water repellant chemicals, and others have Paraffin wax impregnated joints to prevent water from penetrating down into the core
- Stabilizing Layer
- Very bottom layer that is usually made from cellulose paper that has been saturated with melamine plastic resins, just the same as the top layer
- Its purpose is to create equality on either side of the core layer so that one side isn’t affected differently from the other, and thus have unnecessary movement within the boards.