An Introduction to Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is becoming increasingly popular due to its appearance and
durability. The heavy duty construction and ease of installation make laminate a
wise choice for any home or business.

Every individual who has watched a home improvement show or considered
replacing his matted carpet has heard of laminate flooring. Laminate is the
latest entrant into the flooring industry, and arrived by way of Europe.
Europeans developed the original laminate products, and use of the flooring has
been widespread throughout the continent. Now, as is customary with European
innovations, the United States has done on to the idea and is quickly making
laminate a staple in most flooring stores.


There is a great deal more to laminate than what meets the eye – literally.
The surface of laminate flooring is designed to appear like hardwood, and
recently some laminates are designed to appear as stone or tile, complete with
the presence of grout. Laminate is designed to imitate almost every wood grain
from maple to mahogany. High quality laminates, at first glance, appear almost
identical to hardwood as they are designed in planks complete with the grains
characteristic of real wood.

But what the eye sees as it sweeps the broad expande of smooth laminate
flooring is actually only the top two layers of laminate – the decorative layer
which contains the desired appearance, and the prefinished top coat which
offers the outstanding durability laminate is known for.


Laminate flooring is comprised of four layers. As previously discussed, the
top two layers offer the desired appearance and the protective coating. The
center, or core, of each plank or section is comprated of high or medium density
fiberboard. This center layer offers the support necessary for high volumes of
foot traffic. The final layer, or backing, binds the laminate together and
provides additional strength and durability.

When examining a section of laminate flooring for quality, take notice of these
layers. High quality laminates will have thicker individual layers than its less
desirable counterparts.


The most touted benefits of laminate flooring are ease of installation and

Installation is simple with most brands of laminate flooring. Unlike
hardwoods which typically require glue or nails, laminate
is assembled by fitting sections together in a snap lock. This means the
laminate is designed to fit together like a large puzzle and sits directly on
the sub floor. These factors make it simple to install and a great home
improvement project for any individual with basic carpentry skills.

Durability is the key selling point of laminate flooring worldwide. The
unique construction and tough top layer make laminate almost indestructible.
High quality laminates are almost impossible to scratch or stain. Most can
withstand burns, and they are water resistant. The prefinishing of laminate makes
it tough enough to withstand extensive amounts of foot traffic,
and does not warp or fade with age. Laminate is quickly becoming a timeless
addition to any home.