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Article Title:
What is Laminate Flooring?

Article Description:
Laminate flooring mimics the look of traditional woods 
while offering easy installation and lasting durability.

Additional Article Information:
615 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Feb 14 07:32:04 EST 2006

Written By:     Jason Ashby
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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What is Laminate Flooring?
Copyright © 2006 Jason Ashby
Laminate Flooring Info

Laminate flooring mimics the look of traditional woods while 
offering easy installation and lasting durability. At first 
glance, it can be difficult to spot the difference between 
hardwoods and laminate flooring. What appears to be a natural 
wood grain pattern is really a thin layer of decor paper (a 
photographic image) under a tough-as-nails protective film that 
is glued and pressed to a high-density backing board. Laminate 
Flooring comes in an array of wood effects as well as stone and 
ceramic effects. 

Laminate floorings main advantages are that it is easy to 
install, is very hardwearing and relatively inexpensive compared 
to real hardwood flooring. 

Laminate flooring is a floating floor, which means it does not 
fasten directly to the sub-floor. Instead the planks are clicked 
together. This enables the floor to be fitted fast and with no 
real mess. 

Laminate flooring has been around in Europe for around 15 years 
and has seen massive growth in the past few years. In 2004 over 
750 million square meters of laminate flooring was sold worldwide 
this was an increase of 13% on the previous year. The biggest 
growth market is in the US with an impressive growth rate of 25%. 

What Is Laminate Flooring Made From? 

Laminate flooring is made up of four layers. The bottom layer is 
the stabilizing layer; this is what gives the laminate floor its 
stability. It is made up of moisture resistant resins. 

Above this there is the core layer; this is made up of high 
density fibreboard (H.D.F.). This is saturated in resins to make 
it extremely hard. Most manufactures also add a moisture 
resistant resin to the core. This is important as it helps keep 
the flooring protected against moisture penetrating the boards. 

On top of the core layer is added a high strength paper along 
with the decorative paper. It is this decorative paper which 
gives the laminate flooring its individual appearance, ranging 
from highly authentic wood reproduction, ceramic or stone 

The top wear layer is provided by the melamine resin, a highly 
wear resistant material that makes laminate flooring so hard 
wearing. This top layer is very similar to the top layer on 
counter or kitchen work tops but is usually around 40% stronger. 
This makes the laminate flooring highly resistant to scratches, 
burns, dent's, stains, etc. 

There are a lot of laminate flooring manufactures who have 
products in the market place, each saying theirs is the best. 
Our advice is to stay with the leading ones these are QUICK-STEP, 
ALLOC, PERGO, BRUCE, and KRONOTEX. Theses manufactories have been 
around a long time and offer quality products that you can trust. 

How Does Laminate Flooring Fit Together 

Most laminate floors today fit together with a click system with 
the most common being the UNICLIC system as used by Quick-Step. 
This is extremely easy and fast to fit. The ingenious UNICLIC-
system has a special shape of tongue and groove. You simply place 
the tongue of one plank into the grove of another at an angle and 
press down. Their sophisticated and very accurate milled shape 
makes it possible to create a very tight connection during the 
installation. The floor can be walked on straight away. 

If you are laying laminate flooring over a concrete sub-floor 
then you will fist need to lay down a damp proof membrane (DPM). 
This is basically a sheet of plastic usually around 5mm which 
helps protect the Laminate from moisture. On top of this goes 
the foam underlay this acts as sound absorption and also helps 
even out minor irregularities in the sub-floor. 

Most manufactories now offer a combined DPM and underlay along 
with several underlay's that have better sound absorbing 

Jason Ashby has over 20 years experience in the flooring 
trade. For more information visit "<a 
href=>Laminate Flooring Info</a>":



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