Despite having one of the shortest histories of common types of flooring, laminate flooring has made a
significant mark on the industry. Created in Europe in 1977, laminate flooring didn't even find its way to US shores until
1994. After a January 1996 launch in about 100 stores, laminate flooring sales were impressive enough to warrant expansion
to several hundred more locations across the US. Since then, sales have increased steadily enough to make laminate flooring
the fastest growing type of floor in the country!
Laminate flooring was created by Pergo, a 19th century Swedish company which originally started as a vinegar manufacturer.
A profitable move into the chemical market led them to develop a process allowing for the easy manufacture of laminate
tabletops. After finding success in that market, Pergo began exploring ways to use this process to create durable,
decorative flooring that offered the look of more expensive materials like hardwood without the high cost.
The key to making viable laminate floors was in the laminate itself. Pergo developed reinforced laminate that was ten
times stronger than the laminate type normally used for countertops. Most laminate floor types were first
manufactured using this reinforced type of laminate. Laminate flooring quickly caught on in the flooring market thanks to its
supreme strength, durability and economical advantages.
Laminate Flooring Today
One of the key elements that led to laminate's success was the fact that it could be installed by do-it-yourself types. Other wood
floor types at the time were only available in planks and had to be installed by a professional.
Sold in packages of eight, four–foot–long planks, laminate flooring was lightweight and easy to transport.
With one package covering approximately twenty square feet, it was entirely possible to floor up to two rooms with packages
of laminate flooring that could fit in the trunk of a car.
Laminate flooring was destined to make a significant impact on the flooring market with its versatility, low price point,
and ease of installation. It's no surprise that sales have risen nearly 20% each year since it was first introduced to the
US. Find out for yourself just how great laminate floors could look in your home – it'll be a cost–conscious
decision you won't regret.