What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate floors are a hybrid floor covering consisting of a particleboard wood base topped by an image layer and a transparent wear layer. Laminate floors are a popular type of floor covering for homes’ living areas, kitchens, dining areas, bedrooms, hallways, and other areas that are not subject to excessive moisture.
1. A transparent, wear-resistant overlay
This top layer makes your floor resistant to stains, wear, impact, scratches, burns and household chemicals. It consists of several melamine layers that are pressed onto the HDF core board in a press, under high pressure and temperature. The surface layer is finished with a wood or tile texture/structure that is called ‘registered-embossed’. This means that this surface structure is perfectly in harmony with the design.
2. A design layer
This is the layer that defines the actual look of your floor. The design layer is a very high resolution photo of real wood that is reproduced with highly sophisticated printing techniques and finished with melamine resin. The combination of perfect design and surface structure makes the wood or tile imitation look extremely real and natural.
3. A moisture resistant glued HDF core board
This HDF core board is the heart of Laminate floor. HDF means ‘High Density Fibre Board’. It consists of refined wood fibres and high quality melamine resin. It is a re-composed wood-fibre board which allows using all part of the tree. The board is very homogenous in composition and technical characteristics. It’s extremely durable, stable and highly moisture resistant.
4. A balancing layer
This moisture-resistant backing layer guarantees a perfectly balanced board that will not cup or bow when properly installed and maintained.
Laminate Floor Materials
Laminate floors are sometimes called laminate wood floors, though they are wood only in two respects. First, the laminate floor base consists of pressed chipped wood particles. Second, the top has the appearance of real wood due to the accurate image layer—essentially a well-rendered photograph of wood encased in a clear, durable wear layer.
Aggregated wood particles are subjected to high pressure to form sheets. These sheets have a photorealistic image of wood or stone added to the top, and this image is covered with a wear layer. The wear layer, a durable, thin, clear plastic sheet, is the linchpin between the delicate lower layers and exterior elements such as moisture, UV rays, and scratching.
- Wear Layer: Laminate flooring is a surface layer of two thin sheets of paper impregnated with melamine. This top-most surface layer is a hard transparent type of plastic sheet that is impervious to dogs, chairs, high heels, and other common damaging elements.
- Image Layer: Even when viewed close-up laminate flooring can look realistic. This is due to laminate’s photographic-quality image of real wood underneath the wear layer.
- Base Layer (Core): Under the wood-grain photograph is about a half-inch of wood-chip composite. Any type of wood chip product is inherently susceptible to water damage. Laminate flooring’s base is considered to be dimensionally stable, but only to a certain degree. It will stand up against some water, but only if this water is quickly removed.