Laminate Flooring - an Overview

If you're thinking about investing in laminate flooring, you are in good company. Today, many people are opting to put in laminate flooring, where they would have used hardwood floors or tiles in the past. As this younger generation starts to modernize older homes, and to build new ones, they are selecting laminate flooring over other flooring options. Laminate has a number of benefits over the more costly wood or stone floors such as it's easier to install and can last a good deal longer.

Laminate Flooring - A Bit of History

Laminate flooring was created about twenty years ago by a company called Pergo. Today, many people refer to laminate flooring as Pergo, assuming that they are one and the same. The company, Pergo, however, is only one of many flooring manufacturers who sell laminate flooring today. There are hundreds of laminate floor brands from which to choose and thousands of patterns and types of laminate to select.

The Benefits of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is fantastic because it's cost effective and incredibly durable. It offers the appearance of fancier materials, such as wood and stone, for about two-thirds of the cost. In addition, laminate has a high UV resistance, blocking the sun's rays and protecting the floor pattern from fading. It is incredibly easy to install, especially if you select a pre-glued or glueless brand. It includes great warranty protection and holds up to constant use by families. It is easy to repair and to clean and has endless choices for your selection.

How is Laminate Made?

Laminate flooring consists of many layers of material that are all fused together. It includes a stabilizing layer at the bottom that is usually made from resin-saturated paper. Some laminate floors will have an addition layer on the bottom which is designed to absorb sound and to cushion the floor. It is usually made of cork, felt, or foam. Then it has a core layer which is the main backbone of the flooring. It is made from a processed particle board and comes in many different strengths and thicknesses. Next is the design layer, which is what you see. Usually, this is a photograph or patterned print that has been copied onto a cellulose paper. It can't be marked or scuffed, however, because it has a wear layer on top of it. The wear layer is made of cellulose paper, usually, that's been saturated with melamine plastic resins. This makes the floor both scratch and damage resistant. These layers are put together in one of two ways. They can be combined with direct-pressure which means all the layers are put together at once and then heated and pressed to bond; or they can be combined using high-pressure which is more expensive. Through this process, the top and bottom layers are treated separately and are then fused with the core layer and others under pressure.

Care for Your Laminate Flooring

The joy of laminate flooring is in the ease of care. For large cleaning jobs you can mop your floor with ammonia or mix vinegar and water and use this to mop it. You shouldn't use soap-based cleaners; you shouldn't wax or sand it; and you shouldn't use scouring powder, steel wool or wax strippers. If you are nervous about using a certain product on your floor, you can test it in an area where it won't be noticed. You can also ask your store or installation team to recommend a good cleaning product.

Installing Laminate Flooring

You'll love knowing that installing laminate flooring is easy, and it can usually be done by yourself. You'll need about one day to completely renovate a single room. You'll have three choices when installing the laminate flooring yourself. You can purchase traditional planks which are glued together at your house. This is a very secure design, but it can be time-consuming. Pre-glued planks only require you to wipe them down with water before setting them in place. This will activate the glue and allow you to place them wherever you want them. Finally, glueless flooring is kept in place with locking mechanisms or joints that are attached on the bottom side of the planks. These are often more costly than are the other methods. All manufacturers provide detailed instructions. Make sure to follow these and your do-it-yourself job should go smoothly.