laminate vs luxury vinyl tiles

Laminate flooring – going strong through 2020

Laminate flooring was invented in 1977 and has grown since in quality, aesthetics and design. Making its most significant progress during the last 20 odd years with the introduction of newer manufacturing techniques. This ushered in glue less laminate floors.

So what exactly is laminate flooring? well, early industry solid wood flooring was quite expensive, difficult to install and harder to maintain. Not to mention a burden on mother earths precious resources.

Then came engineered woods. These use only a third of the slow growing hardwoods to cover an area equal to a solid wood floor. This leap in technology allowed very little usage of hardwoods. Introducing soft wood layers to give us a more temperature resistant, dimensionally stable floor. Easier to install and maintain and low on cost. Read all about engineered floors on our blog post here.

Thus established that engineered floors are a more effective option as opposed to solid woods. An even more cost effective option was introduced by a Swedish company, Perstorp. This flooring used compressed wood as the core materials with a high definition photograph as the decor layer. This bit of genius invention is now commonly called laminate flooring.

layers of laminate flooring defined
image courtesy Avalon Flooring

The Layers

The top layer is a very hard wearing melamine. Little care is required in maintaining a healthy looking floor for a long time thanks to this layer.

Similarly, the following layer is a high quality photographic image decorative layer that looks just like a plank of real wood.

The core is a high density fiber board that resists point loading and gives your floor, excellent drop impact protection. Moreover, this layer also has the patented click system that fall into place during installation. This means that you floor can be installed without the use of any harmful adhesives.

Additionally, the last layer is a balancing paper that ensures your board gets the dimensional stability required for durability.

The Pros

  1. Looks very much like an authentic wood floor
  2. Look forward to a cost effective floor.
  3. The thin overall profile lays easily above existing floors
  4. Easily maintained and does not require polishing or refreshing
  5. Installed quickly and easily, without adhesives while protecting your existing floor.
  6. The click system makes removing the floor very easy. Making it most viable to rental properties
  7. High heels and dropped objects leave no indentations

The Cons

  1. Is quite loud under foot because of the melamine surface
  2. Requires dry mopping. Wet mopping will damage the floor
  3. Remove excess water and spills immediately. Left on the floor it will seep into the joints and damage the boards.
  4. Must have humidity maintained at all times as is sensitive to any moisture formation on or below the boards. Which means you will have to leave your A/c on at a maintained temperature. Specially in the gulf regions

Conclusions

Laminate flooring today is capable of looking more and more like a real wood floor laid down. New features like registered and raised embossed finishes define wood grains on the boards. This technique makes the boards look and feel like the real thing.

We see new products and finishes coming up regularly as technology advances in these sectors. A fairly decent up and coming contender in the market of wood floors are Luxury Vinyl Tiles. You can read up on this new flooring and how it compares to laminate floors here.

New finishes in laminate flooring continue to surprise and delight. A wide variety of colors, and the very special price point at which they are available. This will continue to ensure laminate flooring, its very own space among the various wood floors options. It will remain a viable and contending place holder in choice, for your homes and offices.

Engineered Wood: A look below the surface 2020

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