Laminate floors are a great alternative to traditional hardwood, stone or tile flooring for several reasons. They can offer a similar look at a lower cost and are easier to install and maintain. But before you decide to purchase laminate, learn about the different types of products and some basic installation and maintenance tips.
The Core Layer
The back of a laminate floor contains a core layer made of durable, high-density fiberboard. This helps the floor resist moisture and provides a stable base for the planks.
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On top of this is the decorative layer, which consists of a high-resolution image that resembles the texture the floor is simulating, such as natural wood or stone. Some products may also include a clear wear layer that protects against surface burns, stains, scratches and fading.
A protective finish seals and protects the image layer and the core layer, helping to protect the laminate from everyday minor wear such as scuffs and scrapes that are caused by shoes, pet claws, furniture feet and vacuum cleaners. It’s also water-resistant, making it a good option for bathrooms.
Laminate floors are highly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic without becoming scratched or dented. They are easy to clean with a simple sweeping or mopping. If they do become dirty, they can be easily sanded and refinished to restore their appearance. However, unlike real wood, laminate floors cannot be sanded and refinished multiple times throughout their lifetime, which may impact resale value.