Laminate floors are quickly becoming the new fad in the flooring industry, with more individuals opting for its affordable and easy installation. Laminates offer a smooth textured finish giving the room a comfortable feel.
But what is laminate flooring? Laminates are made of four hybrid layers:
This is the top resin layer which is usually textured and has a wide range of finishes. As the visible outer layer, there are options for different finishes which range from matte to high gloss, depending on the client’s preference. This top layer seeks to protect the laminate floor from tear and wear enhancing the durability of the floor. As laminate floors are incredibly durable and easily manageable, this is due to the wear layer preventing excessive UV light from penetrating the laminates consequently changing their colour.
Design or decorative layer
This comes after the wear layer and gives the floor its surface appearance. This can be a high definition reproduction in woody undertones, stone or marble, and vary in different colours and patterns.
HDF Core layer
This is the third layer made of high-density fibreboard, which protects the laminate from moisture penetration. The wood chip composite core layer offers a superior strength than the standard MDF flooring, making for a better floor option. The HDF boards are made from small fibres combining with wax and resin pressured with heat.
This is the bottom layer responsible for locking out moisture and balance the floor. This layer keeps the board straight during placement, creating a uniform sound balance and padding on the boards when you walk on it. This layer also maintains dimensional stability and of the laminate floor.
How to install laminates floors
Laminate floors are some of the easiest to install due to their lock systems technique which assists secure and fast installation. These systems make it easy to join each board to the other without the use of glue. Laminates are also installed over an existing floor creating the concept of a floating floor which doesn’t need a subfloor during installation. When installing in this method, an underlayment of foam goes in first and is tapped together, forming a bedlike bottom where the laminate will lay on. This underlayment helps in placing the laminates together to prevent movement and in providing a soft layer for the laminates to position well. This saves the consumer money and time by eliminating the need of having to nail down the boards, which is evident in hardwood flooring.
Laminate floors come in different sizes from 6mm up to 14mm. The thicker the laminate boards, the better for long-lasting effects. Thicker laminates tend to last longer due to their robust nature and increased insulation from moisture. In the case of water penetration, the laminates do not seep in water faster than thinner ones. Thicker laminates also perform better when the subfloor is uneven.
Why use laminate flooring?
The materials used in producing laminate flooring offer extensive benefits to the consumer, as seen below:
This is one of the premium selling points of laminate floors. Since the boards are human-made, they aren’t prone to changes due to natural conditions, making them incredibly long-lasting as compared to other types of flooring. The various layers of the laminates also provide the much-needed agility to withstand heavy traffic, as long as they aren’t put in areas which are prone to moisture such as the bathroom or kitchen.
Due to the presence of the décor layer, which has high definition printing patterns, there are spectacular designs which create beautiful aesthetics with an array of visuals. These visuals get better with the technological advancements paving the way for more significant, better patterns.
The top laminate layer is designed to inhibit any scratches or to wear and to tear the floor. These floors are also kid and pet friendly as they resist stains, and create a warm finish to living rooms, entryways and bedrooms.
As compared to concrete or engineered hardwood, laminates cost considerably less despite their top-notch finish. If looking for a good option with realistic visuals, laminates offer the same experiences hardwood does, only at user-friendly prices.
Latest trends in laminate flooring
With the modern laminates permeating the flooring industry, spectacular designs and models are coming up:
With the traditional hardwood colours focusing on dark and medium browns, new designs are embracing lighter tones like white, grey and blonde tones. For instance, bleached laminates are popular due to their ashy appearance.
Smooth laminates have always been the fad since time immemorial. However, rustic and well defined textured are becoming the new fad in creating a rustic finish. For instance, textures highlighting distressed or scraped floors on laminates are being embraced in modern designs. Mineral streaks on laminate flooring are also becoming popular as they create a distinctly earthy feel to the room’s interior. Fumed and stained laminates also give the illusion of a more decadent finish.
In laminate flooring, the more realistic they are, the better. However, new trends are embracing different visuals that combine earthy visuals that stray away from woody materials. For instance, the stone look laminate does not have any woody visual but is becoming a trend in the industry.
The traditional long and proportionate laminate boards are advancing to create layouts which can be in any shape. For instance, there are checkered, hexagon and wide laminate boards, which stray away from the traditional single directional tiles. With these variations, consumers can choose any design they fancy without the need to lean towards a particular shape and pattern. Prettier patterns also make the floor deviate from the standard monotone pattern, changing the interior layout and creating a more stylish look. Graphic laminates are too bold and adventurous, changing the interior of the room to any style you would want.
Classic black and white laminates are slowly being embraced as they create a luxurious and bold interior.