Laminate flooring is one of the most resilient and durable floor surfaces available. A relatively recent invention, it has gained in popularity due to its ease of installation, low maintenance requirements, and long life. This material can also be printed to simulate a wide variety of natural flooring materials include hardwood planks, and slate and ceramic tiles.
What Exactly Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate is a type of synthetic flooring that is made by fusing several layers of different material together using heat, pressure, and adhesive, in a process known as lamination. While laminates are often manufactured to replicate the look of a variety of hardwood surfaces, they actually contain no wood materials. Rather, they are constructed from resins and fiberboard particles.
Structure Of a Laminate Floor
Top Wear Layer: The top layer of a laminate floor is known as the wear layer, an invisible surface that rests over the material, protecting it from scratches and other damage. This is generally made from an aluminum oxide chemical treatment.
Photograph Layer or Decorative Layer: This is the surface that gives the laminate its actual appearance. It is created when an image or pattern is printed on paper like materials that are embedded in resin. The actual image can be almost anything, but typically laminate floors are manufactured to simulate the look of hardwood, cork, bamboo, natural stone, ceramic, or even brick pavers.
Fiberboard Core: This is the heart of the material and it provides the depth, structure, and stability of the actual surface covering. It is generally composed of wood chips or sawdust ground into a very fine powder, then coated with resin, and pressed into flat sheets.
Back Layer: Many laminates will have a moisture barrier back layer. This works with the water resistant wear layer on top to sandwich the fiberboard and picture layers of the laminate, creating a watertight seal around the core material. The back layer also provides additional stability for the installation.
Underlayment: Laminate flooring must be installed over underlayment. This is most often cork or foam rolls. An appropriate underlayment can also reduce the hollow noise that occurs when walking on some laminate floors.
Where to Use Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is durable, stain resistant, and mold resistant, which means that it can be used in high traffic areas. It is most popularly used in living rooms, hallways, entryways, and dining rooms.
It can also be made water resistant during the manufacturing process, making certain laminates appropriate for kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, and other moisture-heavy environments. Check with your Davis Floor Covering flooring expert for the specific characteristics of the laminate material you are considering for your home.
Have Questions? We Can Answer Them!
Davis Floor Covering has thousands of samples and swatches of carpet, vinyl, hardwood, laminate, stone, and tile in our Fort Smith showroom at 3401 S. 79th St. (behind Vic’s Tires Goodyear on Rogers Avenue). Stop by anytime, or contact us now for more information and to request a free quote!