A Guide to Laminate Flooring
So you are looking around for a new flooring option. In Phoenix, laminate flooring is a popular choice and is availed by many homeowners every year. Compared to other flooring choices, laminate is less expensive.
Laminate flooring has gained popularity because it replicates wood quite well. The appearance of this floor is very similar to the grain pattern that can be seen on a wooden surface. Plus, the size and shape are also the same. In many cases, laminate looks exactly like hardwood. Price is one thing that makes it a better option and durability is another. Laminate floors have been known to last for several years on end.
Laminate comprises of four main layers, each of which contributes to the appearance and durability.
- The bottommost layer of laminate flooring is paper, plastic or melamine. Formally termed as the backing layer, this stabilizes the surface whole resisting moisture.
- On top of the backing layer lies the medium density fiberboard or the higher density fiberboard. This layer also resists water, and is known as the substrate or the core layer. These layers are actually pieces of wood fibers which have been compressed together with resin and adhesive.
- The decorative or the patterned layer lies above the core. This is the layer that gives laminate its appearance. The layer is just a photograph, which is made from paper, bounded on one side by melamine and resin on the other. The patterned layer features a large picture of wood grain, which has been segmented into appropriate sections. This determines the size of the plank.
- The topmost layer of laminate is a protective layer, known as the wear layer. Basically, this is a coat of aluminum oxide.
- All the layers are compressed and fused together by heat and pressure. The core of the each laminate flooring varies, with a thicker one, implying greater durability.
Laminate floors are durable and so require little maintenance. Scratches also do not form so easily because of the protective layer at the top. As with other materials, laminates have their cons too. Laminate flooring cannot bear water and if any spills occur, you will have to wipe them immediately. Not doing so will allow water to collect in the planks, causing them to swell.
There is another problem. The protective layer at top wears off with time, and should that happen, it will become even more easier for water to accumulate.
Tips for laminate shopping
In Phoenix, laminate flooring is offered by many companies. As you search around for a suitable product, keep the following advice in mind.
- Compare prices. While you go with a lower priced product, it should give you the quality you want.
- Try to get a product which comes with extended warranty.
Buy laminate for a greater area than the site where to install it. At times, more material is required for hard-to-fit places.