What is known as Floating Wood Tile in the US is popularly known as laminate flooring otherwise, is a synthetic replica of hardwood floors. The top layer consists of a photographic film that provides the final wood-look finish. Beneath this, lies the core, which is made of melamine resin or particleboard. One of the most favourite options of laminate flooring at present, for both your office and home, is an oak laminate flooring.
History of Laminate Flooring
A Sweden company called Perstorp first invented the laminate flooring, in 1977. It was sold under the name Pergo. After around seven years, in 1984, it was first marketed to Europe and after around 10 years to the US. It is currently the most widely-known manufacturer of laminate flooring.
Now let’s check out why it is a widely considered to be a favourable option.
Why should you use Laminate Flooring?
Without having any impact on the environment, laminate flooring can easily replicate the look and feel or exotic hardwood. Laminate flooring is considered to be one of the most cost-effective options that are available in the market. A laminate flooring is cheaper than carpets, and also costs less than at least half the price of real hardwood floors.
Before everything else, what laminate flooring does the best is that it imitates wood flooring.
Laminate flooring, that was developed decades back as an inexpensive alternative to real hardwood flooring, the laminate flooring of today’s has taken their game a notch higher, by improving the quality and replicating dozens of types of woods. You would find iconic ones like the oak laminate flooring to the modern, coloured ones like a grey laminate flooring or a white laminate flooring.
There are also antique, rustic versions too, in case you want to give your interiors a vintage look. Many manufacturers also replicate a varied portfolio of tile, stone and metal look-alike laminate flooring options.
All these varieties can be obtained due to the photographic process that is used to create the design layer of laminate flooring. The image is printed and glued to the core of a particleboard that is backed by another bottom layer. This is treated this way to prevent the floor from getting damaged by moisture. All of these is covered with a clear, top wear layer which resists scratches and spots.
Even though the vast array of choices of laminate flooring looks, here are some pros and cons that you definitely need to know.
- Installation of Laminated flooring makes it good DIY project. Laminate flooring comes in tiles or planks. The ends are designed in such a way so that they can be clicked to fit. No nailing is required in this.
- People prefer laminate flooring because they do not open up during changes in humidity. They are stabler than other solid or engineered wood floorings and prevents the seams from opening up.
- The snap-together laminate flooring is lightweight and is installed over an underlayment of a thin, foam cushion, which is why, this is a great candidate for installations over most existing floorings.
- Laminate flooring, in which the planks can be easily snapped together eliminates the need for VOC-releasing glues.
- Exotic trees, or old-growth trees are never used to produce laminate flooring.
- The top, wear layer of laminate flooring is extremely tough. It makes the clean-up and maintenance job easy. Occasional sweeping keeps the floor safe from abrasive and scratchy grit.
- Even the best and costliest of the laminate flooring is susceptible to damage from moisture, and should be avoided to be installed at laundry rooms or kitchens. If installed at the basement floors, the flooring should be installed with a moisture barrier. Laminate flooring is okay at the kitchens only if you are diligent enough to clean up the splashes and spills on a regular basis. A laminate flooring is not suggested unless the edges of the planks are glued together at the time of installation and the whole perimeter is sealed with silicone caulk.
- As a hardwood can be, a laminate wood flooring cannot be refurbished, and needs to be replaced completely. Before buying do check the product warranty. Products that have a higher warranty have a longer life and better quality. Definitely avoid cheap laminate flooring.
- Even after Laminate flooring looks like a real wood flooring, it will still feel synthetic, and make a harsh noise, when walked around.
- Laminate floorings are usually non-biodegradable. The wear-layer of the laminate floor consists of plastic and do not degrade in landfills. Some laminate materials require formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals to be manufactured. Experts say that these chemicals release toxic VOCs, although, modern, stricter guidelines by the EPA have helped the amount of VOC content in laminate planks.