Find a Floor Store in Your Area

Refine Your Search Results

How is Laminate Made?

Laminate floors can be made to resemble any type of flooring, such as hardwood and stone, without the cost of these materials. Laminate flooring can be made in a few different ways, resulting in types that are much stronger than others.

Making Laminate Flooring

  • The backing layer: Laminate floors are floating floors, meaning that they're installed over the underlayment, generally foam or cork for its sound–deadening properties. The backing layer, or stabilizing layer, of your laminate floor is the one closest to that underlayment. The backing layer is a base that serves to bind the laminate together and provide the floor with stability.
  • The core layer: Made of processed particleboard, this layer gives your laminate floors their durability and helps them to absorb the shock of high heels or dropped items.
  • The decorative layer: The surface layer of laminate flooring is actually made of an extremely high–definition photograph of the type of wood or tile the laminate floors mean to imitate. This layer of cellulose paper retains its beauty with the protection of the wear layer.
  • The wear layer: This final layer of laminate flooring is made from cellulose paper that has been thoroughly saturated with resins or aluminum oxide to make the floor scratch–resistant. This ensures that the decorative layer, and thus your entire floor, will stay looking great for years.

These four layers are then stacked together in perfect alignment. The backing layer goes on the bottom, then the core board, the decorative layer, and finally the wear layer. Once stacked, these four layers are ready to be pressed together. Each stack is pressed with up to 600 pounds of pressure per inch, at temperatures reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Textured laminate floors, like those that resemble tile, are created using special plates that imprint the pattern onto sheets of flooring.

Fresh sheets of laminate flooring are allowed to cool, and stored for some time so that they can acclimate. Once they are stabilized, they are cut into planks. Profiling saws cut the tongue and groove edges into each plank, allowing them to be easily snapped together. After a quality inspection, these fresh planks of laminate flooring head to stores. If you find yourself liking the idea of laminate flooring, their next stop after that could be your home!

Direct–Pressure Laminate Flooring

Direct–pressure laminate flooring, the most common variety of laminate flooring, is manufactured using the above process. High–pressure laminate (HPL) flooring, on the other hand, has the top and bottom layers treated separately. Once treated, they're fused together with the core layer in order to create stronger laminate floors. Since HPL laminate floors are able to withstand much heavier traffic, they are usually pricier than direct–pressure laminate.