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What Are Laminate Floors Made Of?

Posted on December 8th, 2017 by

In recent years, quite a few homeowners across Southern California have been discovering the wonders of laminate flooring. However, not everyone is familiar with this advanced building and interior decorating material. Some people tend to associate laminate with vinyl flooring, and there is a valid reason for this misconception: the European company that invented laminate boards in the late 1970s started off as a vinyl manufacturer decades before. 

The first commercially successful laminate flooring was known as Pergo and was mostly intended to evoke the look of natural hardwood floors. This initial design idea responded to an interior décor trend in Europe that saw great demand for natural wood flooring despite low supplies due to deforestation. These days, laminate flooring can be engineered to resemble wood, stone, or just about any texture.

Each piece of laminate flooring consists of four layers.

Core Layer

The central layer of a laminate board is made of an amalgamation of materials engineered to create a special fiberboard. In the early days of Pergo, fiberboard was mostly made of wood byproducts. Modern laminate flooring takes advantage of fibrous materials recycled and mixed with resins instead of being discarded. For this reason, laminate flooring tends to appeal to homeowners who are concerned about sustainability. Core layers made with higher density fiberboard tend to be more effective in terms of moisture resistance and durability.

Bottom Layer

The underlay attached to the bottom of the core layer is made of industrial resins plus foam or felt fibers that give laminate boards a more comfortable feel when they are installed. This layer prevents moisture from getting trapped underneath the surface, creates a soundproofing effect for upper floors, and provides overall balance to the flooring surface. 

Design Layer

This is the visual layer homeowners pay most attention to. The design layer is a sheet made with durable synthetic compounds that project a realistic photographic image. Some of the most popular design layers simulate hardwood species. Nonetheless, natural stone looks such as quartz, marble, and granite are also being installed in many homes in Carlsbad. Laminate wood flooring offers nearly endless design possibilities. Homeowners can choose a rustic pine look for a home office, marble in the living room, stone pavers in the foyer, and granite in the kitchen.

Surface Layer

The topmost layer of laminate flooring boards is intended to protect the design layer underneath. The surface layer, also known as the wear layer, is made of aluminum oxide, a chemical compound that seals the floor and makes it shiny. This is the same treatment applied to modern ceramic tiles that sport a permanent “wet look” for easy cleaning and maintenance. The protective properties of aluminum oxide include blocking ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

If you’re searching for high-quality laminate floors, get in touch with Unique Flooring. In addition to our many laminate flooring options, we are also a leading provider of carpet, vinyl, tile, and hardwood flooring in Carlsbad. Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 760-945-0010 today for a free quote.

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