Laminate flooring has been around since the late 1970s where it was invented by the Perstorp company in Sweden. Although Pergo is now the most widely known manufacturer of laminate flooring, it is so widely accepted as a reliable and quality flooring option that many manufacturers now make laminate flooring. Despite the popularity of Laminate flooring, many people don’t really know what it is made of! We run through how laminate flooring is made and the benefits of installing laminate over other flooring options.
Laminate floorboards are made of four layers which each serve their own distinct purpose.
- A backing layer (often known as the “stabilizing” layer) is the layer that is in direct contact with your floor surface. Although laminate is not waterproof in itself (we discuss this later in the post), the backing layer increases the moisture resistance and can, therefore, improve the lifetime of your flooring by reducing the chance of warping. This layer can also come with an additional underlayment which adds a form of padding to your laminate flooring.
- The inner core/core board is the thickest layer in a laminate board. This is typically made of compressed wood HDF (High-Density Fiberboard). This layer is designed to stabilise the board to ensure it keeps flat. The higher the density of the HDF, the higher quality laminate flooring. This is because moisture finds it more difficult to penetrate the laminate layers and warp the flooring. High-quality laminate flooring can, therefore, save you money in the long run as it will not require replacing as frequently.
- Print layers (sometimes called design layers) allow laminate flooring to look however you want. High Definition printers are used to create incredibly realistic and stylish designs. This can be done to emulate the look of wood, metal, stone or any other flooring type you can think of!
- Finally, the wear layer is placed on top of the print layer. This protective coating of several melamine layers adheres to the HDF under high pressure and temperature conditions. It ensures that your Laminate flooring is resistant to wear and tear from everyday life. The higher the quality laminate flooring, the thicker this layer will be. Wear layers also have another purpose as, when it is “registered-embossed” it adds a texture to the flooring that matches the design of the print layer underneath. This can make laminate flooring incredibly realistic!
Pros and Cons
Laminate flooring is one of our most popular flooring options at Urmston Carpet Warehouse. It is incredibly durable and can withstand a wide range of physical bumps and scratches thanks to the specialist design of the wear layer. This makes it the perfect flooring for any room that sees a large amount of foot traffic. Although many people prefer carpet, modern laminate often includes a padding layer underneath the backing layer which can make you flooring far softer. This is perfect for rooms with children.
Laminate flooring is also incredibly easy to install. Unlike carpet, you can achieve relatively good results without professional installation (although we always recommend professional installation for an item such as laminate flooring which will be a central part of the home for years!) Modern snap connection shape laminate flooring does not require adhesives to install the flooring which means that it can be simply placed on top of your existing floor surface. This is in stark contrast to hardwood flooring which is incredibly difficult to install.
Finally, the price is laminate flooring is incredibly low when compared to other flooring options such as vinyl flooring, carpet and hardwood. You can check out our latest laminate flooring deals here.
However, Laminate flooring does not particularly like being exposed to water. Cheap laminate will warp when exposed to water as the HDF itself is displaced by water. While good quality laminate is incredibly wearing, we still recommend other flooring options like vinyl for a kitchen.
How to keep your laminate flooring clean.
Considering laminate flooring does not like water, how do you clean laminate flooring? It is incredibly important that laminate flooring is kept clean as dust, sand and dirt can scratch the surface over time in areas of high foot-traffic.
Water spills themselves are not a real problem for laminate flooring as long as they are cleaned up quickly. If not, water has the opportunity to work its way into the flooring and distort it. To mitigate scratches you can use felt pads on furniture. This can stop any big scratches and dents that are caused by heavy furniture.
If you are using glueless laminate flooring, the boards can separate. This can allow water to enter your laminate boards. Therefore, tapping the planks back into place using a suitable tool is important. This also has the additional benefit of stopping dirt from making your boards ill-fitting. If you are using a quality glueless laminate flooring, the joining mechanism will be more robust and will hold the planks together under constant tension. This will stop dirt from entering through the gaps and therefore a quality laminate flooring will not require constant attention.
What types of flooring are commonly used
At Urmston Carpets Warehouse we have a wide range of flooring options including Carpet, Laminates and Vinyl flooring. If you are looking for a professional flooring warehouse and installer in Manchester, click here to have a look through our wide range of flooring.