What is laminate flooring ?
Laminate flooring (also called floating wood Flooring) is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber boardmaterials. There is a European Standard No. EN 13329:2000 specifying laminate floor covering requirements and testing methods.
Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring.It may also have the advantages of costing less and requiring less skill to install than alternative flooring materials. It is reasonably durable, hygienic (several brands contain an antimicrobial resin), and relatively easy to maintain.
Laminate Flooring vs. Other Floor Coverings
Different From Laminate
Similar to Laminate
PVC/ Vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is flexible, contains only vinyl product, and is 100 percent impervious to water. Vinyl flooring does not need to acclimate to a room prior to installation.
Vinyl is the closest non-laminate cousin of laminate. It is competitively priced, equally easy for do-it-yourself to install, and has a similar look.
Hardwood is 100-percent solid wood. Laminate has no solid wood product. Solid hardwood is thick and can be sanded and re-sanded many times. Laminate is thin and can never be sanded
Solid hardwood and laminate flooring can look remarkably alike, especially from a distance. High-definition imaging techniques make some laminate flooring a dead-ringer for real hardwood.
Engineered wood has a plywood base topped with a veneer of 100-percent real wood. Laminate has no plywood and no natural real wood veneer top.
Both engineered wood and laminate have a base that made of manufactured wood. Both products can look remarkably similar, especially with the premium laminates.
Laminate flooring contains no stone/ tiles product. Stone is hard, solid, and thick. Laminate is flexible, breakable, and thin
As with the hardwood-to-laminate comparison, higher-end laminate flooring can look very much like stone.
Laminate Flooring Installation Methods
Laminate is always installed as a floating floor. This means that it does not have the difficult nail-down installation issues of hardwood or engineered wood. With the floating floor method, you first roll out inexpensive foam underlayment, tape the underlayment together, and then lay out the laminate planks. Because the planks are joined from one piece to the next piece and form a seriously heavy single unit, it cannot slide around.
Laminate flooring planks, depending on the type you buy, are either snapped together or glued together. The snap-together method most commonly used goes under various names such as fold-and-lay or fold-and-lock. Unlike the tongue and groove joinery used with solid hardwood, in which one board slides laterally into the adjoining board, fold-and-lay starts with the two boards attached by outer grooves and angled to each other.
Next, one board is folded down until it is as flat as its companion board. This folding mechanism serves to bring the two boards imperceptibly closer, tightening the bond, and preventing water migration.
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