laminated-wood-flooring-explained|hardwood flooring structure

Laminate Wood Flooring Explained

September 21, 2014

Since wood flooring is one of the most desirable flooring options, it is one of the most copied flooring options available. When it comes to ‘faking it’ wood flooring is right at the top of the fake look lists.

Fake wood flooring comes in all shapes and sizes as well as a whole host of different materials – vinyl flooring that’s made to look like wood, ceramic tiles that are made to look like wood, as well as fake wood laminate flooring, are some of the most common options – but with wood flooring so affordable now, why would anyone want to plump for a fake?

Here are some misconceptions people have about wood flooring.

1. Wood flooring is expensive: WRONG…With all the competition in the wood flooring market, it is now entirely feasible to secure yourself a high-quality wood floor that won’t break your budget (however small your budget).

2. Wood flooring is hard to maintain: WRONG …as we’ve already said, all you need is a quick vacuum and a quick mop, and it’s ‘job done’.

3. Engineered wood flooring is the same as laminate flooring: WRONG …this couldn’t be further from the truth, and here’s why:

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to engineered wood flooring is that it’s the same thing as laminated flooring. This is not true. It is correct to say that engineered wood flooring is a man-made flooring option, but unlike laminate, it is made with natural wood products and is topped off with solid wood, which makes it a far cry from laminated flooring, which is an imitation of wood.

So what exactly is laminate flooring? Laminate flooring is a relatively recent addition to the range of flooring options available on the market. It made its first appearance in the late 1970s. Launched initially as a competitor to vinyl flooring, it is typically made up of five (or fewer) layers. Laminate flooring can be made to look like any material the manufacturer wants because effectively the layer which makes up the image is just that, an image.

Laminate Flooring Board Structure

hardwood flooring structure

1. At the bottom of higher quality laminate flooring, you’ll typically find a layer of underlay, and if this layer isn’t present, then you’ll need to add one. This is important when you’re calculating the cost of your overall flooring project because if it’s not included in the boards, you’ll need to buy it on top. This underlay, like all underlays, will help to some extent to even out imperfections in your subfloor; will help absorb some noise and will give a slightly more comfortable walking surface. All of that said, you shouldn’t get carried away thinking that a budget price laminate floor, even with an underlay will provide the same durability or comfort as a solid or engineered wood floor.

2. Next, you’ll find a layer of resin that effectively provides some structure and stability to the board and also provides some resistance to moisture.

3. After that, there’ll typically be a layer of a high-density fibreboard (HDF) that is the core of the construction of any laminate floor. It is this element that gives the flooring its strength and durability.

4. Then you’ll find an image, yes, an image! This layer of laminate flooring is what tricks people into thinking that they might be looking at a piece of wood or a piece of granite, but usually, only if they’re looking from a distance! This layer is essentially a printout of a computer-generated image that has been made to look like a natural material. There is no getting away from the fact that computer-generated images can be impressive, but when it comes to flooring, it seems crazy to opt for a photo of the real thing when you can have the real thing!

5. This whole structure is finished off with a transparent top layer that protects the image from becoming worn and damaged for a while.

So now you know precisely what laminate flooring is, you probably don’t need further convincing that if you want a floor that looks like wood, then you’d be best to choose real wood. No matter whether you choose solid wood or engineered wood flooring, you know you’re getting an affordable natural product, easy maintenance and can last for years and years. After all, the castle and stately homeowners didn’t choose wood flooring for no reason, did they?

If you have any further questions regarding red and white oak wood flooring or you are looking for advice about the best flooring options for your home, feel free to contact the ESB sales team. 

Contact us now to request your no hassle no obligation free samples or come down to our North London showroom for a closer look.

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