Do you love the beauty of wood flooring, but don't want the expense and upkeep of hardwoods? Laminate flooring has become the flooring of choice for many homeowners in the past decade. It is more durable than carpeting, softer than hardwoods, and much more attractive than vinyls. It is also warmer to the touch than tile, hardwood, and concrete.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring consists of several layers. The top layer is a clear aluminum oxide surface that protects the flooring and allows it to be easy to clean. The next layer is the design layer and has a photographic image of wood or stone that mimics the real thing. The next portion is considered the inner core and this serves as the floor's structural support. It is normally constructed out of high-density fiberboard and a plastic resin called melamine. The last layer, the backing layer, is made out of resin saturated paper that serves as a moisture barrier to protect the rest of the floor.
How is Laminate Flooring Made?
Laminate boards are made by fusing the numerous layers together. This can be done in two ways, direct pressure laminate or high-pressure laminate. DPL is used primarily in residential products because it is more affordable and has a more realistic appearance. It is more prone to damage than products constructed with HPL. HPL creates a harder, more durable product, but is more expensive and less attractive than products manufactured with the DPl method.
How Affordable is Laminate Flooring?
This is one of the reasons laminate flooring is loved so much. It is much more affordable than solid-wood, and comparable with carpeting and tile. Some of the major manufacturers include Armstrong and Pergo. Laminate flooring is quite affordable, starting at about $0.89 per sqft.
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