Laminate flooring was first introduced in the late 70’s and it was Pergo – the company that first brought laminate flooring to the European market in 1984. Although they exemplify the look of wood, they are anything but that. In fact, they are completely manufactured and can be developed to resemble other materials. Today, there are several other variants of laminate to include slate and ceramic tile.
Laminate flooring options have become widely popular among homeowners not only for their cost efficiency, but also the fact that they are easy to install and provide superior resistance to wear and tear. Adding to this, they are also moisture resistant, making them perfectly suited in areas where wood elements are a concern such as in a basement laundry room. When shopping for laminate flooring, the options are literally endless including a ton of cheap imitations that will only cause great remorse in the long term.
This is why it is important to avoid substantially low costs, and ensure that the laminate products are embedded with a seal from NALFA or North American Laminate Flooring Association. When you invest in NALFA certified laminate floors, you are assured of a few things starting with the glue free installations. This is especially handy because click fit laminate floors are easy to install and glue free laminate floor do not emit gases, which can be hazardous to the overall ambience of your home.
Furthermore, NALFA certified products also reveal that they are recyclable and adhere to all specifications of formaldehyde emission. Laminate flooring has become a household name in the home improvement segment, but what is it really? Laminate flooring can be had in multitude veneers of stone, tile, wood and other variants. Typically it comprises of four layers. First is the surface wear layer or overlay, which provides resistance to pets and heavy foot traffic. Second is a decorative layer, which is the detailed image of the natural material being imitated such as hardwood to stone and marble.
The third layer is regarded as the core layer or high-density fiberboard core (HDF), and provides durability, stability, impact and moisture resistance. The final layer also provides stability to the overall structure with the help of moisture resistant resins. With regards to installation, laminate floors click together and hover above existing subfloors and floors provided it is not a carpet. The manner in which the floor snaps together plays an important role in the cost of the laminate flooring as cheap attachments do not provide long service life.
Often times laminate floors fitted in moisture prone areas require an additional moisture layer so it is important to discuss these issues with a Bob’s Carpet Mart flooring specialist. Regardless of the type of laminate floor, all variants require an underlayment, which can be a sheet of material that is sold separately or is integrated in the bottom of the material.
Although laminate material is stain, fade and water resistant, they sustain scratches easily, which cannot be repaired. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you invest in extra material at the time of purchase in case you need it at a later date. Laminate flooring is an inexpensive short and long term option, and does not need to be polished, waxed or treated with special cleaners to maintain its looks.