LAMINATE FLOORING SYSTEMS
Not often does a fresh, new flooring system come along that is embraced by the consuming public so rapidly. That is the current fortune of Laminate Flooring.
Beautifully precision engineered. Even more beautiful to look at. Incredibly easy to maintain. And a long list of impressive performance features make laminate floors an easy buy.
Laminate is a combination of layers that are formed into planks or tiles.
The WEAR LAYER is made of clear melamine resins combined with cellulose papers, and is designed to resist scrathes, burns, dents, and fading. An aluminum Oxide coating, often compared in hardness approaching diamonds, has already proved itself as an intensely effective wear-layer.
The DESIGN LAYER is a precision printed pattern or photograph. This makes the board/tile look like a natural familiar material. More melamine adds strength.
The CORE LAYER is a durable fibre board (or plastic) also saturated with resins for durability or water resistance.
Different manufacturers obviously have differing qualities. Buy according to your expectations.
The BALANCING/STABILITY LAYER (on the bottom) made of a polymer laminated paper allows planks to react to humidity and temperature without warping.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LAMINATES?
There are two distinct construction methods. HIGH PRESSURE LAMINATES are assembled under extreme heat and pressure in one step, top and bottom. This is the most expensive engineering and the best integrity (and most expensive for consumers too!). DIRECT PRESSURE LAMINATES are a more simple resining of layers together, also with heat and pressure, in a more traditional laminating methodology, at less cost to the manufacturer.
TELL ME HOW IT WORKS:
This is a classic 'floating floor'. The precision tongue and groove joints are milled to 1/1000th of an inch. Each joint is held with specially formulated waterproof glue. The installer assembles the boards tightly in a stagger in the room. They are not nailed, not stapled, not glued, or otherwise fastened down. They literally "float" on the subfloor, held in place by gravity. A very fine underlayment is used to impart a degree of cushioning and warmth and impact absorption. The flooring swells and shrinks (imperceptibly) with humidity. To accommodate this expansion our installer will leave a 1/4 inch gap between the floor and the walls (which will be covered by the finishing quarter round final trim).
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