Laminate Hardwood Flooring

Thursday October 01, 2009
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Laminate wood flooring was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1980’s and has since become one of the most sought after floor choices by consumers. Its popularity stems not only from its aesthetic appeal in close resemblance of original hardwood but also for its ease of maintenance and astonishing durability.

Laminate hardwood flooring comes with cores that vary from 6mm to 12mm. Most cores are of high–density fiber or particle board. A thicker core gives better stability and a less likelihood of bending. The cores in good quality laminate flooring are treated with water–repellent chemicals to resist swelling in excessive moisture situations. This property is of particular importance if the floor is likely to be laid in areas that could be exposed to moisture such as a kitchen. Another desirable feature is joints impregnated with paraffin wax where the wax acts as a repellent and a barrier to topical water spills.

Laminate hardwood floors are made up of four different layers bonded together. The bottom layer is of melamine plastic which adds to the stability and helps resist moisture. The top layer, which is the decorative layer, has embedded in it a high–resolution photo image of the wood grain which gives laminate the look of being a real hardwood floor.

The final layer is a wear–layer of aluminum oxide blended with melamine resin for high durability. This offers protection against scratches and indentations from shoes, furniture and dropped items. Aluminum oxide further adds to the laminate's stain and fade resistant properties.

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