What is Laminate Flooring?
Learn more about this popular flooring type and what makes laminate flooring different from hardwood and vinyl.
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WHAT IS LAMINATE FLOORING MADE FROM?
Laminate flooring is constructed in layers. The bottom layer is the "backing". It's designed to resist moisture that could cause boards to warp.
Above the backing is the inner core. The core is made from high-density fiberboard that is reinforced with a special resin to further enhance moisture resistance and increase durability.
Next is the image design layer. This is where the high-resolution image of wood, stone, metal, or other material appears. If you've selected a laminate floor with MasterWorks Technology® with VTX™, this is where the texture is applied to enhance its realistic appeal.
The top layer is the wear layer. This layer protects the design from fading, scratches, and damage from everyday wear and tear.
LAMINATE STYLE AND AFFORDABILITY
Laminate was originally created as an affordable alternative to hardwood. Back in the 1970s when laminate flooring was first introduced to the market, homeowners loved the fact that they could get a durable floor that looked like wood, but didn't have the hardwood price tag.
In those early days, style was sacrificed for affordability. If you had a laminate floor back then, it may have looked like wood, but it probably also looked fake or "plastic-y", which used to be a drawback of this flooring type.
Today, advanced printing technologies have enabled manufacturers to create a wide variety of laminate visuals that look so close to their original source, they can even fool flooring experts
LAMINATE VS. HARDWOOD
Whether you choose laminate flooring or hardwood flooring for your home depends on your taste, your lifestyle, and your budget. Both flooring types offer a wide array of design choices, so you can find a floor to easily match your taste.
Next, your lifestyle. Laminate is usually the preferred choice for busy homes with kids and pets. It's highly durable and designed for worry-free living. With hardwood, depending on the species and the finish, you may have to take extra care to maintain its appearance.
When creating your flooring budget, you should know that laminate floors are generally more affordable than hardwood, but some high-end laminates may be comparable in price. Make sure to do a price check on the laminate floors you're considering.
LAMINATE VS. VINYL
Laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are synthetic floors, which means they are man-made instead of nature-made. The beauty of these floors is that they can designed to look like any material: stone, tile, wood, even metal or leather. That's where the similarity ends.
Laminate flooring has a hard, non-resilient surface, while vinyl flooring has a hard, resilient surface, which means it has "give" when walked on. Laminate is typically an easy DIY installation project. Vinyl tile is DIY-friendly, but with luxury vinyl tile and vinyl sheet, you should have experience with home improvement projects before tackling these installations - or hire a professional. Both laminate and vinyl floors are easy to clean, but they require different cleaning methodsFlooring 101: Floor Care