The laminate flooring was introduced back in 1977 by Pergo, a Swedish company. Over the years, more manufacturers have come in and they offer laminates to resemble anything from tiles to stone to wood. However, before you start shopping for the laminate floors, you ought to understand that they are not all created equal. The more expensive laminates are made using high-quality materials while the cheaper options lack the elements that are needed to increase durability. It is for these key reasons that you need to carefully compare the features of laminate flooring that are presented to you before buying one for your home.
With so many types of laminate flooring already in the market, choosing the best one can be a daunting task. The purpose of this post is to help break down the major factors you need to look at before deciding on the type of laminate floors to shop for.
Construction and production process
The laminate flooring is made using 3 principal layers: the decorative layer, core layer, and the backing layer. The core layer is made using wood pulp and constructed through a high-pressure process. It is the compression that makes the floor resistant to shock such as when an object falls on the floor or when someone walks on them in high-heeled shoes. The higher the pressure is used the more durable the floors will be.
When deciding on the laminate floors to use, you need to know if they have been produced using the high pressure or the direct pressure method. With the high-pressure laminate, the floors are made using a pressure of more than 1000 pounds. These floors will withstand high amounts of foot traffic. The direct pressure laminate is made using a pressure of between 300 and 500 pounds. Although it is still durable, it is only ideal for areas with less traffic such as homes and small offices.
Thickness is the main characteristic used to differentiate laminate flooring types. It is measured in millimeters with the popular levels being 7mm, 8mm, 10mm and the 12mm. The more stable your home’s subfloor is the thinner the laminate floors you will need. You also need to account for the thickness of the plank and the underlayment before deciding on the ideal thickness.
Aesthetics are very important. They are determined mostly by the texture of your flooring. Yes, the floor might look like real hardwood but if it doesn’t have some level of texture, it will not be as convincing. The most popular textures include Matte finish, natural wood finish, oxide surface finish, hand-scraped finish, smooth/satin finish, stone/slate finish, oiled wood finish and the high gloss/piano finish.
The width of the laminate flooring boards plays a fundamental role in the final look. The most common laminate flooring types in relation to widths are the 3 by 4 inch, 5 by 6 inch, larger than 6 inches and multi-width sizes.
Other things you need to think about when comparing the different types of laminate floors include the locking system, styles, edge type and features. Always seek expert help before selecting the type of laminate floors to use.