Laminate is a versatile flooring option that combines highly realistic hardwood and stone texture looks, with increased durability and function. Laminate is a fantastic and more cost-effective alternative to hardwood or stone materials. Its unique construction reinforces its resistance to dings and scratches so its made for real life. Combined with today's high definition imaging, its a whole new world.
Laminate Floors are Decorative, Durable, and Affordable. Laminate flooring offers the beautiful, true look of real wood, tile or stone at an often substantially lower cost, easy care laminate floorings have emerged as one of today's hottest and most versatile flooring options. Laminate flooring is actually a multi-layer sandwich constructed of a protective wear layer over a decorative sheet containing the pattern, which is supported by a rigid core and a bottom balancing layer to help prevent warping. The result is one tough flooring that resists fading, stains, scratches and moisture. In fact, laminate floors frequently outlast real hardwood floors, tile or stone floors. Laminate floors are simple, easy to maintain and are an excellent choice for high traffic areas like hallways and family rooms or light moisture areas such as kitchens, basements and ½ baths.
HOW LAMINATE IS BUILT
Tread Layer, The icing on our “cake” is a durable wear layer, providing protection and stain resistance.
Now many wear layers also contain aluminum oxide, as well as melamine resin, and that creates exceptional durability. The kind that will stand up to the most active household – even yours.
Decorative layer or print film is adhered on top of the core board giving the floor its hardwood or tile look. This decorative layer is a printed high-resolution photo-reproduction of wood grain, natural stone or ceramic tile pattern.
Fibreboard Layer, is a core board, generally made from high-density fiberboard or particle board which may also contain melamine plastic resins that help improve the moisture resistance & stability of the core.
Bottom layer (or backing) is a melamine plastic layer that lends dimensional stability to the planks and also helps guard against moisture from the sub-floor. These four layers are then combined in a high-pressure process to give you the end result we know and love.
GOOD, BETTER or BEST
When considering laminates, you will notice that there is not much price variation in styles.
This is due to the relatively uniform manufacturing process for all laminates: no matter what the style, color or type, it is still a photograph that provides the decorative surface. Where you will find a difference, HOW WELL the laminate is made. So here are the questions to ask...
1) How precise is the locking system?
2) Are there matching mouldings? (nosings, T-mouldings, etc.)
3) How HARD is the finish? (AC3, AC4, AC5)
4) Is the finished surface embossed or registered embossed?
5} How good is the warranty?
The more expensive laminates often include a more natural looking surface, durable wear layers. So keep that in mind.
DESIGNING WITH LAMINATE
As a more versatile, durable and affordable flooring alternative to virtually
any other flooring, there's hardly any room in the house where laminate flooring is not a smart choice. In formal rooms such as dining rooms and living rooms, today's laminate floors can duplicate the look of more expensive natural flooring materials at a fraction of the cost. The high definition imaging and registered embossing provide the most realistic products we've ever seen. From deep smoked wood grains to rustic or even clean & modern naturally aged boards, there really is no limit to the look you can acheive.
Combine these cutting edge designs with laminate's inherant resistance to scratches and floor stains, laminate sales are on the rise. It creates exciting, new decorative
possibilities for use in virtually any area: high traffic to below grade
installation in basements.
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