Laminate flooring offers a wide selection of designs that offer the look and feel of beautiful hardwood, ceramic tile and slate, even designer surfaces replicating Amish hand-scraped surfaces. But laminate is actually a composite that's designed to endure more-than-average wear and tear. A high-pressure manufacturing process fuses several layers into one extremely hard surface:
* Backing. The backing board varies from paper to melamine. The melamine provides a higher level of structural stability and moisture resistance.
* Core. The core board or "carrier board" is made of a variety of materials, depending on the manufacturer. Most are MDF, or medium density fiberboard, which is a durable engineered wood product that resists moisture. Others can have a high-density wood particle core.
* Decorative layer. Providing the floor's beauty, the decorative layer is actually a highly detailed photograph that gives the laminate the appearance of wood or tile.
* Surface wear layer. The surface layer is typically made of an extremely tough-wearing aluminum oxide, one of the hardest mineral compounds known to man, to resist staining, fading, surface moisture, and wear.
Though laminate flooring has been offered in Europe for 20 years, it didn't make its debut in the United States until 1996. Since then, its growth has been phenomenal due to part to the ease of installation. With the evolution of glueless, click technology laminate is now a favorite of do-it-yourself homeowners. Click systems use a tongue and groove system that allows the floor to be assembled and disassembled during installation with no ill effects. And with laminate, you can walk on your floor immediately after installation.
Boston Home and Office Flooring offers a wide selection of laminate products from America's leading manufacturers including Shaw Laminate, Armstrong, and Mohawk. Set up a private viewing in our showroom or shop at home to learn all the advantages and options available when you select a laminate floor.
Here are additional links that may be useful for background information on laminate:
Armstrong Design a Room