Laminate flooring is a type of surface that resembles real wood. By nature, laminate is a synthetic material mixed with natural elements to mimic the grain and feel of real wood. Because it is synthetic, laminate flooring tends to be a cheaper alternate to authentic wood flooring. It has been widely accepted as an alternative flooring type in Europe for over two decades and is acclaimed for its durability, easy installation, and attractiveness.
Laminate floor layers
Laminate flooring consists of three layers: the surface wear, the core, and the backing. The surface wear layer is the outermost part of laminate flooring. It is made of highly-durable aluminum oxide. It normally contains the pattern layer of laminate flooring. The pattern layer is a printed picture that resembles the natural grain, color, and texture of wood. Other pattern layers are made to look like tiles, stone, and bricks of all colors and shades.
The second layer of laminate flooring is the core. Also known as the carrier board, the core is composed of high density fiberboard (HDF) and comprises the bulk of laminate flooring. HDF is an engineered board that resembles wood and is extremely moisture-resistant. The core can also be made of high-density wood particles that are hard and difficult to penetrate.
The third layer of laminate flooring is the backing. The backing is the bottom-most part of laminate flooring. Acting as a base, the backing can be made of various materials that range from paper, melamine, to plastic laminates. The materials of this layer depend on the manufacturer but all backing layers are resistant to water and hold up well.
How the laminate flooring layers are formed
The three layers of laminate flooring are molded together by pressure and heat. There are two ways of fusing laminate flooring layers. The direct-pressure laminate (DPL) method is done by pressing and heating all three layers at once, creating a strong bond. The DPL method is the traditional and less expensive way of forging laminate floor layers. The other method is the high-pressure laminate (HPL). This method handles the surface layer and backing separately and are joined to the core by applying heat and pressure. The HPL method is a fairly new method and is used to forge premium laminate flooring brands.
Benefits of laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is a cheaper alternative to authentic wood flooring. Because they are naturally porous, wood flooring requires extensive treatments to be made suitable for floor use. Because they are made of synthetic materials, laminate flooring continuously evolves into more durable surfaces that can withstand the use and abuse done to home and office floors. Unlike wood flooring that requires varnishing and sealing, laminate flooring is easy to maintain. They can last longer than wood flooring and do not fade, crack, chip, or stain easily.