When it comes to choosing flooring for your home, there are many options available on the market today: ceramic tiles, vinyl, hardwood, carpet etc.
But few flooring options provide the versatility and durability of laminate flooring.
Laminate is a fairly recent invention that hit the market in the late 1970’s and was initially used on countertops and other surfaces. It was not considered to be strong enough for floors. However, with improvements in the manufacturing process over the years, laminate has quickly become one of the most popular choices for flooring today, due to its many positive attributes. We’ll get to that in a minute but first, what exactly is laminate flooring?
This type of flooring is usually made out of four layers that are fused together in a laminating process. Each of the four layers serve a distinct purpose. The bottom or backing layer is made of melamine and is responsible for protecting the floor from moisture. Above this is the core layer made of a dense, strong material like compressed wood fiber. This ensures that the flooring is durable and resistant to dents, cracking and breaking. The third layer is the design layer which, as it sounds, is the pattern or unique design that will be seen at the surface. It is purely for decorative purposes and is created by layering a printed high-resolution photo reproduction of a particular pattern on top of the core layer. This decorative pattern can be anything but it is usually made to imitate the look of wood or stone and often looks just as good as the real thing. The final layer is the wear layer, which is a clear aluminium oxide layer that protects the other layers and prevents fading, stains and other surface flaws.
Because of its multiple layers, laminate flooring is considered to be one of the most lasting flooring materials on the market. In fact, this is the material used in the bowling lanes of many bowling alleys, to withstand the impact of heavy bowling
balls! So this makes it ideal for areas that see heavy foot traffic. It is also ideal for commercial spaces. Experts say laminate flooring can last as long as 30 years depending on the quality.