Laminate flooring was once considered a cheap, economy flooring option but now enjoying a resurgence and even found in high-end décor. It looks better than ever, feels great underfoot and performs excellently. But what is it made of?
It is actually a hybrid type of floor covering made from particle board wood. It combines all the benefits of the installation of hardwood and comes with handy tongue and groove type joining boards. It performs like vinyl flooring in that it’s waterproof if seamed correctly and tightly. It is often confused with vinyl flooring because of this. It is also often called laminate wood flooring but is only considered a wood in two small respects. It is indeed made from pressed wood but only looks like wood due to a photographic print cover in a durable layer.
The wood particles are pressed together at very high pressure which pushes it into sheets. The photo image of wood is added to the top of the sheet and then covered with a tough wear layer. It’s a clear plastic layer which helps prevent damage from UV rays, scratches and moisture. For top quality Laminate Flooring, visit https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/laminate-flooring.html
Laminate flooring is fitted as what’s known as a ‘floating floor’ in that it is not attached to the sub floor layer. As with any floor coverings, it needs a solid sub floor to be laid on. Normally, a foam layer is placed between the laminate and the sub floor. This also serves to make the floor more comfortable and softer to walk on. If the sub floor is not suitable, a layer of plywood is sometimes added below the foam underlay. The floating floor method means there is no difficult nailing down installation techniques required. It’s as simple as rolling out the foam underlay, taping it together, then laying the laminate planks on top. The planks are joined piece by piece and form a large surface area of heavy flooring that won’t move around.
It’s one of the cheapest floor coverings to install, super easy to maintain and keep clean and wonderfully scratch-resistant. This makes laminate flooring the perfect choice for households with pets. One downside with this type of flooring is that if it is not properly seamed, any water leaks or moisture can cause the flooring to swell. The pressed boards can also be prone to chipping.
This type of flooring was engineered in 1977 by a company in Sweden called Perstorp. It was an ingenious and sustainable idea, beginning with the use of waste wood. The waste wood was blasted at very high temperatures and chemicals to bind them into sheets for floor coverings. Many other manufacturers now use the same method to make vast ranges of different flooring options.