Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a product used in construction that is composed of layers or sheets bonded together to provide protection against stains, chemicals, impact, moisture, or heavy use. Laminate is considered an attractive accent to any existing color and it provides a beautiful finish to just about any object or material.

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Variety of Laminates

Some of the most attractive laminate finishes are glossy, but laminates may also have matte finishes. There are a variety of different laminates on the market today including high/low pressure laminates and heavy-duty industrial laminates. The strength, durability or resistance depends on the type or process used to create the laminate.

High-Pressure Laminates

High-pressure laminates are created by consolidating paper/materials saturated with resins under heat and pressure typically 300 degrees and 1,200 pounds per square inch (PSI). The bottom sheets are saturated with phenolic/formaldehyde resins and the top sheets are saturated with melamine/formaldehyde resins. High-pressure laminates are common in materials used in heavy traffic areas such as offices and areas such as labs where chemicals are used.

Low-Pressure Laminates

Low-pressure laminates are pressed at lower pressures because materials such as particleboard are typically used. Also referred to by builders as Melamine-Faced Chipboard (MFC), low-pressure laminates are processed by pressing MF-resin treated paper directly on fiberboard substrate or particleboard at a much lower pressure than high-pressure laminate. LPL panels are typically pressed on both sides with paper. Low-pressure laminates are typically used for self-assembly furniture, flooring and kitchen cabinets.

Industrial Laminates

Industrial laminates are either paper based or fabric based. They are made by made by combining paper, glass cloth or cotton cloth with plastic resins to create electrical heat resistance. Fabric based industrial laminates have lower mechanical resistance than materials with glass substrates, but it has superior impact resistance compared to paper based laminates. Paper based IL's have good mechanical and electrical properties. Because the major properties of industrial laminates are electrical insulation and high mechanical strength, they are commonly used in industrial construction, the automotive industry and in the military.

For further information on laminate flooring see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Kitchen Flooring - Laminate Flooring.