What is Laminate Flooring made up of?

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Posted by admin | Posted in Tips & Advice | Posted on 13-09-2010

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Laminate flooring provides the look of solid hardwood flooring along with benefits such as below-grade installation and ease of installation. It is often made from recycled or reclaimed materials, too. Different materials make up the laminated layers of the flooring’s planks and tiles.

Laminate Layers
The planks and tiles of laminate flooring consist of different layers of material laminated together. Each layer serves a specific purpose, and most laminate flooring has four or five basic layers.

Wear Layer
The top layer is made of a hard, scratch-resistant product that protects the underlying surface from scratches, dents and chips. Aluminum oxide makes up this transparent wear layer on many brands of laminate flooring.

Pattern Layer
Less expensive laminate flooring may include photosensitive paper for the pattern. Better flooring has a thin sheet of real wood. Manufacturers may stamp a “grain” into the pattern layer to enhance the appearance or to improve traction.

Substrate
The bulk of the plank or tile, the substrate has the pattern layer glued to its top and a stabilizer layer glued to its bottom. Substrates are essentially particle board made from fine particles of wood and resin.

Stabilizer Layer
The stabilizer layer keeps the product from warping and twisting. It is a moisture-resistant or moisture-proof layer that resists absorbing water from the atmosphere. A plastic called melamine is frequently used as the stabilizer layer.

Underlayment
Some laminated flooring has foam underlayment already installed, saving time during the installation process. The underlayment is glued to the stabilizer layer and may be made of Styrofoam, neoprene or other padding.

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