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Choosing the right flooring for your home can be very demanding, especially as there is a vast choice of flooring styles on the market. Laminate flooring has become the market’s top choice as an alternative to real hardwood floors, due to its durability and affordability.
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring (also called a floating floor) is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process that simulates real hardwood with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. In the past, laminate flooring was considered unrealistic and fake looking. However, due to the progress in printing technology, laminate flooring today is hard to distinguish from real hardwood flooring.
How is laminate flooring created?
Laminate flooring is made by fusing four layers (top layer, visual layer, core layer and bottom layer) together through a process of heat and pressure. Thus, the finished product mimics not only the appearance of hardwood but also its strength and stability. These four layers contribute towards making laminate flooring look exactly like real hardwood.
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See also Laminate Floor Installation
Top Layer – this layer provides a protective coating that gives the floor it’s resistance to scratching.
Visual Layer – also known as the design layer. This layer is where the high resolution and highly detailed wood appearance is created to mimic a real wood design.
Core Layer – this is a high-density fiberboard (HDF) made from wood fibers fused with resin. This keeps the laminate board stable and gives it durability.
Bottom Layer – this layer protects the entire floor from distorting. This is the layer that binds the laminate together, and gives it stability. The backing layer is made to float overtop of the foam underlayment, making the laminate a floating floor and further differing it from hardwood.