Laminate flooring is versatile, durable, and manufactured using a special construction that mimics solid wood at a lower price point. There are many benefits to having laminate flooring in your home and how it is created is one of those benefits. The layered manufacturing process is what makes the laminate flooring last despite the wear and tear of everyday life.
The bottom layer is typically made of a melamine backer. This backer helps the final product become moisture resistant. It also helps the flooring by making sure both the top and bottom later are the same weight. The make up of this layer helps the planks remain flat throughout.
The middle layer is the biggest and most important layer within the laminate. It is made of compressed wood particles, polymers, and resins. The resins, when combined with plastic help, provide higher water resistance. Resin levels give the laminate flooring a way to acclimate easily to different temperatures and humidity levels. The higher the level the least likely the flooring planks are to adjust and create gaps.
High-density fiberboard is put together using hard and soft recycled woods. This layer stabilizes the laminate and helps reduce the sound level in the room. These HDF particles are processed and glued together which means they can be created using different scraps of wood. Something that makes laminate flooring eco-friendly and sustainable.
It may be obvious, but the visual layer of laminate flooring is mostly decorative. This layer gives the flooring its realistic wood looking surface. It is often created using high-resolution photographs of real wood grain. Multiple photos with varying angles ensure that the grain patterns aren’t repetitive – no two boards are the same. These images utilize the latest technologies and are adhered to in order to give the planks real texture.
Topcoats are translucent, clear finishes applied to protect the layers and create the durability laminate provides. In order to resist fading from UV rays, wear, and spills, an aluminum oxide finish is painted on the layer. The combination of materials used helps mimic the wearing process the wood would experience in nature. Recently, technologies have enabled manufacturers to provide realistic and unique finishes.
Multiple applications of the finishing topcoat are applied to create the final top layer. The more finish that is applied, the more durable the laminate will be. During this application process, manufacturers may add decorative applications. These types of applications don’t really lessen or increase the durability of the wood, but are simply used to make the planks appear more like solid wood.
Before installing your laminate, you may utilize underlayment. Underlayment is created using a composite of fibers and filament. It serves a moisture barrier, insulation for the floor, and a sound barrier. Hardwood flooring often floats and makes a clicking noise when walked on. Underlayment lessens the impact of walking or running so it cuts down on the amount of clicking noises. Underlayment materials are mold and mildew resistant so choosing laminate flooring is a good choice regardless of climate or home.
Laminate is a cost-effective but still stylish and beautiful alternative to solid hardwood. The process by which it is created gives it durability and the appearance of genuine hardwood. Its structural integrity is created through protective, strong layers which is what you will want in any room of your home. Laminate flooring is made to withstand your busy everyday life. If you're ready to add laminate flooring to your home, contact us today!