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Laminate Flooring 101 – Your Buying Guide
Laminate flooring brings nature’s beauty affordably within reach. No matter how hectic your lifestyle, you can still achieve the most sophisticated designs and hottest trends in a worry-free floor. Laminate floors are an exceptional value, providing superior looks with many performance advantages. If you haven’t shopped for floors in a while, you’ll be impressed by what laminate has to offer.
Laminate Flooring Construction
Quality laminate floors are constructed of 4 layers bonded tightly together to create a strong, durable and dimensionally stable board:
Wear layer ─ The clear, top wear layer provides lasting protection from scratches, stains and dings. Many wear layers also contain aluminum oxide for exceptional strength and durability.
Design layer ─ High definition photographic image of wood, stone, ceramic tile or whatever decorative visual is being reproduced.
Core layer ─ The thickest part of laminate flooring is made from high-density fiberboard or particle board, which keeps the board flat and stable.
Backing layer ─ The protective bottom layer seals out moisture from the subfloor and provides additional stability.
Designed to Inspire
Advanced printing and embossing techniques provide a wide variety of laminate styles. The wood, stone, slate and tile looks of today’s laminate floors so realistically capture texture, depth and natural colorations that they’re almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Rustic wood styles show worm holes, knots, kerfs and all the character markings of vintage flooring. Slate, marble and granite styles offer earthy color shifts, mineral veining and translucent depth found in natural materials. In travertine tile looks, you’ll find the soft romance of gentle colors washed against a time-worm surface. The visuals of quality laminate flooring are painstakingly recreated with precision and fine craftsmanship.
In addition to natural looks, laminate flooring comes in a wide range of trend-setting styles in exciting combinations of colors and patterns.
Laminate Flooring Benefits
Along with to superior looks, laminate flooring offers numerous advantages unmatched by other flooring types.
Performance ─ No other flooring option is as scratch resistant as laminate. Low gloss or high gloss, smooth or textured, laminate’s finishes are perfect for busy households because they resist scratching and clean up easily with minimal care.
Great for high traffic areas ─ Options such as board width, surface textures, image styles and gloss levels give you a range of choices for high traffic areas.
Long-term looks ─ Unlike hardwood floors, laminate floors will not fade or darken with age. With proper care, you can expect years of beauty.
Easy installation ─ Laminate’s patented interlocking system allows for easy installation with no gaps, resulting in a smooth flooring surface. Laminate boards can be reassembled multiple times and still retain their locking integrity.
Healthy for the home ─ All laminate flooring products today comply with industry standards for contributing to safer indoor air quality, which in turn contributes to a healthier home. Some manufacturers offer FloorScore™ certification for low VOC emissions.
Real wood feel underfoot ─ Quality laminate floors feel and sound just like genuine hardwood floors due to their thicker construction (12mm).
DIY friendly ─ Laminate floors are the fastest and easiest to install. There’s no need for glue, nails or special tools. You simply lock boards together and push down into place. Even beginner DIYers can install a beautiful new floor in any room with confidence and success.