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Laminate Flooring

About Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world as a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install alternative to traditional hardwood flooring.

Recent advances in laminate flooring production technology have enabled manufacturers to produce accurate likenesses of wood, stone, and tile surfaces, by using a photographic applique under a clear protective layer. This type of flooring is produced by fusing together multiple layers using a lamination process under high pressure and high temperature. The outer wear layer usually consists of melamine resin; a hard wearing material that gives the flooring its durability. The inner core layer is usually made of compressed wood fibres, which can either be High Density or Medium Density Fibreboard (HDF or MDF). Various other different material layers can also be inserted between the core layer and the decorative paper; for example, sound insulation layers. A compact elastic paper is usually used for the base layer and is what gives the product its stability as a flooring material.

Laminate flooring normally comes in tongue-and-groove planks that can be clicked into one another, and sometimes an adhesive backing is provided for ease of installation. It is usually installed floating on top of a foam or film underlay, which provides protection against moisture and sound-reducing properties. The planks can be cut to size, and a small (1-10mm) gap is required between the flooring and immovable objects, such as walls, to allows the flooring to expand freely with temperature variations in the environment.

Laminate flooring is hygienic and relatively easy to maintain. Dust, dirt and sand particles may be removed using a vacuum or broom, followed by mopping the surface with clean hot water. It is important to keep the surface dry as water or moisture left on laminate flooring can cause the sections to swell and warp, although some manufacturers utilise water-resistant coatings in their products.

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