Laminate Flooring Choices Abound!
- Ceramic tiles
- Rustic stone
- Hardwoods such as Walnut, Hickory, Oak, Beech and more
One of the shining new stars in flooring is laminate flooring. This versatile, durable and affordable flooring option has become a favorite of builders and decorators, and by providing design options in flooring to shoppers in all price ranges, laminate flooring seems well positioned to become the first choice in flooring for many homeowners.
An Introduction to Laminate Flooring
Simply stated, laminate flooring is a multi-layered wood based floating floor system that replicate the appearance of hardwood, stone, ceramic tile and other more expensive flooring options. It is available in strips, planks, and squares, and has specific features that make it easy to install and practical to maintain.
Improvements in manufacturing technology and in the various components of laminate flooring have created a modern, practical and versatile flooring product that is capturing a significant share of the flooring market.
The fabrication of laminate flooring is by a process wherein four basic layers are compressed into one strong, resilient product. The top layer (the floor surface) when installed, provides the durability against wear as well as the floor’s “finish.” The second layer of the laminate supplies the flooring’s pattern, such as the color and grains of hardwood planks, the random variations of polished marble, or the rugged planes of natural slate. The third layer is a wood core that provides the laminate flooring with its stability and comfort, and the bottom layer provides a sealed surface, usually with a moisture barrier, to lengthen the flooring’s longevity, and assist in its simple installation.
Laminate flooring’s affordability is one of the reasons for its popularity. The appearance of much more expensive flooring options can be matched with laminate flooring at a fraction of the price. Furthermore, quantities and consistencies of appearance are unlimited with laminate flooring, whereas certain natural flooring options may not be available, or available in a consistent form, to meet particular flooring needs.
Laminate’s versatility is its other great appeal. The look and feel of hardwood flooring for a bathroom or kitchen has been favored by decorators for years, but using natural flooring products in these areas might be inviting a disaster. With laminate flooring, and its strength, permanence and moisture resistance, the look can be achieved without the risk. It is also a popular choice for high traffic areas. Laminate flooring is particularly appropriate for areas where moisture is a concern. Because of its “floating” installation, laminate planks can be protected by installing a vapor barrier underneath it. Most laminate products offer a 10-year to lifetime guarantee.
With its great looks, simple maintenance and affordability, laminate flooring will undoubtedly hold an even larger part of the flooring market for decades to come.