What You Should Know Before Buying Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a heavy version of plastic
counter surfaces (i.e., Formica counter tops).
Laminate flooring is solid and strong. Oftentimes,
laminate flooring can be installed over existing
flooring. Laminate flooring is scratch- and
impact-resistant. It cannot be refinished;
damaged areas must be repaired or replaced.
Laminate flooring is a tongue-and-groove
flooring which is attached at the tongue only.
It is installed over a thin foam underlagment.
The product is made to expand and contract
and is not fastened to the underlayment. The
flooring virtually floats.
Laminate flooring can be installed over wood
subfloors, concrete subfloor, and over existing
flooring. It can be installed in virtually
every room of the house, including stairs,
bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. An excellent
choice for high-traffic, low maintenance considerations.
Laminate flooring is also considered a good
selection for allergy sufferers.
Laminate flooring differs in more than just
color and size. There are two distinct construction
methods. With high-pressure lamination, the
bottom and top layers are each heated and
pressurized into laminate structures. These
layers are then fused to the core with glue
under heat and pressure. With direct-pressure
construction, the layers are assembled all
at once, then filled with hardening melamine
resins using heat and pressure. High-pressure
types are more impact- and dent-resistant.
Direct-pressure laminates are more economical
and offer very good quality overall.
All laminate flooring is made essentially
the same way. The top wear layer is cellulose
paper impregnated with clear melamine resins.
Just below it is the design layer - a photo
or pattern printed on paper and strengthened
with resins. The core is usually a durable
fiberboard. The bottom stabilizing layer is
made of paper or melamine. Individual laminate
pieces can look like real wood or stone. There
will be pattern repeats in the floor, though;
something you won't find in a flooring made
from natural wood or stone.