Oct 10, 2023 | Flooring America
Laminate flooring is currently one of the most popular flooring products in the flooring industry—and for good reason. Due to its exceptional performance, versatility, affordable cost, and alluring styles, homeowners and business owners everywhere enjoy quick and easy flooring renovations. So, what is laminate flooring? How is it made? What types of laminate flooring are there? Is laminate flooring durable? How do I care for laminate flooring? These are all questions that we get asked when it comes to laminate floors, and the experts at Flooring America are here to set the record straight!
Contrary to popular belief, laminate flooring is not simply made out of plastic. Instead, laminate is typically composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. In the early years, laminate looked as if it were made of plastic, due to appearance and design being sacrificed for affordability. Now, due to innovative manufacturing, laminate looks as if it is solid hardwood or stone, but is much more affordable.
Laminate flooring is actually constructed with 4 layers—wear, design, core, and the back layer. Each layer serves a distinct purpose and is fused together using high heat and intense pressure to form a solid plank. Here’s a breakdown of these layers:
Back Layer: This bottom layer is responsible for protecting the plank against moisture, and balances the floor.
Core Layer: Just above the back layer is a durable, high-density board that protects from indentations and moisture.
Design Layer: Resting on top of the core layer is a high-resolution photograph of the floor’s surface appearance.
Wear Layer: The wear layer is a clear surface made of aluminum oxide that protects against water, spills, fading, stains, and daily mishaps.
Laminate floors are an increasingly popular choice due to their significant improvements in design. Crafted to look like wood, tile, or stone, laminate boasts the beauty of natural flooring products at a much more affordable price and with hassle-free durability. There are typically two main types of laminate floors:
When you adore the look of solid hardwood flooring but need a more realistic alternative that can stand up to your kids and furry friends, a laminate floor is a reliable solution. Additionally, traditional wood flooring and engineered wood flooring can be quite a significant investment that's not accessible to many homeowners when budget is a concern.
With laminate floors, you can get the look of a variety of realistic wood species, including oak, mahogany, cherry, pine, ash, and many more. Find your perfect wood flooring tone, graining patterns size of laminate planks, and even textures to make your design dreams a reality.
Another sought-after natural flooring material, tile offers elegant and calming designs with waterproof durability. However, the price, installation process, and required maintenance can be too challenging for some households. That’s where a laminate floor comes in. Offering styles mimicking ceramic, porcelain, and natural stones, you can get the tile look you love with a more budget-friendly floor that’s also much warmer underfoot.
Laminate makes for a reliably sturdy product because of its multi-layer construction. The durable wear layer is resistant to scratching, fading, and common everyday mishaps. This durability allows for the absorption of heavy foot traffic, making it an ideal flooring choice for active families with kids and pets running around. This water-resistant product performs well in kitchens and baths only if proper precautions are put in place like a moisture barrier, but not recommended for areas with significant moisture and excessive exposure to water. With proper care, laminate can look as the day you bring it home!
Whether you are upgrading a small bathroom or your entire home, laminate is an ideal flooring choice. Choose a laminate floor from a wide range of finishes from wood to natural tile and stone, so you can curate virtually any aesthetic you desire for any space. This product is great for the following spaces:
With its ability to look just like hardwood, tile, or stone, laminate is a great flooring option for those high-traffic areas in your home. Laminate floors are incredibly durable and easy to maintain; however, just like any type of flooring, they do require regular cleaning and care. With these simple care tips, you can expect your laminate floors to look like new for many years!
For general laminate cleaning, we recommend using a dust mop or a damp mop. To prevent dirt and grit from scratching the laminate floor, vacuuming and sweeping often is encouraged. Check out our hard surface floor care guide for more floor cleaning tips!
Vinegar can be used to clean laminate flooring and is great for bringing the shine back to your floors. To create your cleaning solution, use 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Spray the solution in small areas at a time, and clean with a damp cloth or mop. Once finished, dry the laminate and your floors will shine like new!
Laminate floors are built tough for active homes just like yours. Pets and kids are no match for laminate’s engineered durability. However, it’s important to take a few precautions in order to maximize the longevity of your laminate floors. To prevent damage, it's encouraged to:
Avoid walking on the floor in spiked shoes or heels.
Place doormats at entrances to keep sand, dirt, and grit from scratching your floor.
Stay away from detergent-based cleaners, wax-based products, any type of polish, or a steam cleaner, as it may damage the protective wear layer.
When searching for laminate floors, consider the following:
First, think about the space you are upgrading.
Determine your design goals and what styles you prefer.
Then, search for a quality product from trusted brands.
Consider what warranties are available for your laminate flooring selection.
When you’re looking to learn more about laminate flooring, and which type is best for your space, turn to your local Flooring America experts. They are equipped with the product knowledge and design expertise to help you make your ideal laminate flooring selection. Feel free to ask questions, browse different laminate styles, and take home samples to make your decision. Visit your local Flooring America store for the best in quality laminate flooring today!