While most people know that laminate flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood and has greater resale value than carpet, many don't really know what it is. If you've decided to install this material in your home, or if you're just thinking about it, it's good to know what exactly it is and how it's made. After all, it's something you and your family will use every day. |
Laminate flooring is made of four layers.
1. The bottom layer of laminate flooring is called the backing. It acts as a protector to keep moisture out and prevent against warping and distortion.
2. The inner core makes up the second layer. Usually, this is what's called High Density Floorboard or HDF. It's constructed from real wood fibers and resin. Resin is a thick liquid that hardens into a clear, strong solid. It used to be made exclusively from tree secretions, but it's also manufactured now. The main purpose of the inner core is stability. The resin also helps to guard against moisture and to help increase the floor's lifespan.
3. On top of the inner core is the design layer. This is what you see when you walk in the door, so for many people, this is the most important aspect of laminate flooring. It's made of a very high-resolution photograph that imitates hardwood, stone, or brick. Texture is also applied to this layer, so if you want your wood laminate to be grainy, that will be a part of the design layer.
4. The final layer is the one that you actually walk on. The wear layer is intended to protect your flooring from scratching, fading, stains, or other damage from normal use.
Now that you know the different components of a laminate floor, it's good for you to also understand the manufacturing process.
1. The four layers, outlined above, are stacked starting from the bottom to the top. Using machines, they are precisely aligned so that they match perfectly.
2. They are then put under pressure and high heat. Temperatures can reach as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and 600 pounds of pressure is applied per square inch. If the design includes texture, it's pressed in at this time. This process turns four layers into one material.
3. After they cool these sheets are cut into planks, just like hardwood. The cutting process includes profiling, which cuts grooves into the planks so they fit easily into one another when they are installed. This allows for a precise, beautiful fit.
Because your laminate flooring will be such a big part of your home, it's important to know where it comes from. Now you can explain to your guests how it's possible that you were able to so perfectly match your floor to the rest of your décor while saving the money it would cost to install traditional materials.
To learn more about their options for laminate flooring, Langhorne residents should visit http://www.angeloscarpetonelevittown.com/laminate-flooring.
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