Relatively recently invented, laminate flooring is highly durable and its popularity is steadily increasing due to its simple installation, long life and low maintenance needs. Printing of this material is also possible by reproducing a number of items used in flooring organically like ceramic tiles, slate and hardwood planks.
Laminate is a kind of flooring that is synthetic in nature. For making it, different layers of several materials are fused together by using adhesives, pressure and heat. This process is known as the lamination process. Laminates do not contain any wooden material, although they are manufactured in such a way that they replicate the appearance of different varieties of hardwood surfaces. They are constructed using fiberboard particles and resins.
The structure of a laminate floor is described below:
- Top wear layer: The topmost layer of this floor is called the wear layer. It is an invisible surface that is present over the material. It helps in the protection of the material from damages like scratching. This layer is made using chemical treatment of aluminium oxide.
- Decorative layer or photograph layer: The realistic appearance of the laminate is given by this layer. It is made when a pattern or an image is printed on the material, which is similar to paper. This material is embedded in resin. The laminate floors are manufactured to have the appearance similar to brick pavers, ceramic, natural stone, bamboo, cork or hardwood.
- Fiberboard core: This section helps in providing stability, structure and depth to the material and is the center of it. It usually consists of sawdust or wood chips that are grounded to an extremely fine powder, have a coating of resin, and then pressed to form flat sheets.
- Back layer: This layer acts as a barrier to the moisture. It works with the wear layer on top, which is water resistant, for sandwiching the picture layer and fiberboard of the laminate. It thus creates a water tight seal around the material of the core. This layer also helps by providing extra stability for installation.
- Underlayment: Laminate flooring needs to be installed on the underlayment. Most often it consists of foam or cork rolls. It also helps in reducing the occurrence of hollow noise when one walks on these floors.
The main qualities of laminate flooring are that they are resistant to mold, stain and are durable. Hence, they can be used in areas having high traffic like dining rooms, hallways, entryways and living rooms. During its manufacture, this floor can be made resistant to water, thereby making it appropriate for environments that contain water most of the time like the laundry room, baths and kitchens.
The basic care of this floor involves vacuuming or sweeping the material surface regularly for removing small dirt and grit particles. If this is not done, the surface layer may wear down and floor may degenerate quickly over time. For removing spots and stains, one can use laminated floor cleanser. Liquids must not be allowed to sit on the surface of the floors. Spills up must be wiped immediately.
Following are the advantages of laminate flooring:
- Installation of laminate floors is easy. Older laminate flooring types needed gluing of each piece for installation. On the other hand, newer types consist of a click lock design. Combined with dry glue present on the product, this design just needs a wipe with a wet cloth or sponge for activating it.
- There are many imperfect pieces in real hardwood which needs to be re-engineered or thrown out. But in the case of laminated flooring, there are no defects.
- This flooring is easier to clean. One only needs to use a broom or a vacuum. Floor waxing is not required.
- The tough surface of laminate flooring resists stains. In case the floor does get stained, it is easy to clean it.
The above mentioned tips will help you get a better idea on installing laminate flooring. If you want know more tips then just go through this link .