Laminate floors have been part of North American interior design for over 30 years. By taking counter-top technology and adjusting it for floor use, laminate floor manufacturers created a durable and inexpensive alternative to traditional wood floors. Many people refer incorrectly to their laminate floors as Pergo flooring, just as Formica is a brand of laminate counter top that is commonly used as a name for all laminate countertops. Pergo is only one of the more than 100 different brands of laminate flooring on the market.
The Cost-Effective Choice of Laminate Flooring
Part of the appeal of laminate flooring is its price point when compared to traditional wood flooring. Additionally, laminate floors save a homeowner money in the long run. Most manufacturers offer a 25-year guarantee. In that same time period, carpet would need to be replaced 2 to 4 times, solid hardwoods would require 3 to 5 costly refinishing treatments, and vinyl would need to be replaced 3 times. Choosing a laminate floor over the other options can save a homeowner the cost of future repairs and replacements for up to a quarter of a century.
The Durable Choice of Laminate Flooring
Laminate floors are also a perfect choice for those with families. The flooring is durable and will withstand lots of traffic, spills, and scrapes. The durable "wear" layer that is on top of laminate flooring provides better scratch protection than hardwood floors. Laminate floors are stain-resistant and make cleaning up spills as simple as mopping. While hardwood floors can fade over time and in areas of high sun exposure, laminate floors keep their color and pattern.
The Construction of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring, no matter what the brand, is typically made of several layers of material. On the surface is the "wear" layer that protects the pattern or "image" layer. Next is the processed wood core that is normally made from medium density or high density fiber board. The last layer is the balancing layer which contains a moisture barrier. Laminate floors are not meant to be secured to the sub-floor and are technically a "floating" floor. They can be installed over existing flooring, including carpet, concrete, or a traditional sub-floor.
Installation of Laminate Floors
Installing laminate floors has always been relatively easy; however, recent improvements in technology have made the process even simpler. Most manufacturers offer the newer glue-less "click system" of laminate floor pieces. These pieces easily snap together to create a new flooring surface in a matter of hours.
Variety of Laminate Styles
Laminate floors come in a wide variety of styles and patterns. The wood-grain look is very popular, but there are also laminate floors available to simulate rock, gravel, and concrete patterns. With a bevy of online retailers offering laminate floors, as well as local home-improvement shops, the options are endless and a homeowner can compare prices to get the best deal.
For further information on laminate floors see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Kitchen & Bath - Laminate Flooring.