Laminate Wood Flooring - Design & Material Advantages
Popular Choices of laminate wood
Armstrong Strip Autumn Maple
Laminate wood flooring is probably one of the most sought after interior design features of today. The beauty behind laminate wood flooring is that it lets the homeowner surround themselves in exotic woods that in their pure form would be extremely expensive.
This is because the surface is in fact a high resolution (extremely detailed) image of a piece of oak, teak, pine, mahogany (the list can go on) that has been secured to a core and backing layer and covered with a transparent "wear-layer" that protects the image form wear, damage and fading. Higher quality products will use an actual thin shaving of wood (veneer) instead of an image.
Laminate flooring has an advantage over hardwood floors in that they are inexpensive and easy to replace. A damaged panel / square can just be uprooted and a new one laid in its place. Laminates are more resistant to scratching and nicking, but eventually the toll of excess traffic when begin to shine through. With a hardwood, the surface can be re-sanded thus removing the imperfections. Unfortunately this option is not available to laminate owners.
Wood has never been particularly compatible with excessive moisture, but laminate wood floors will hold up better if used in a bathroom or kitchen than a hardwood one which has the potential to discolor, warp and weaken. Speaking of discoloring - hardwood surfaces can undergo a color change and fade slightly on continued exposure to sunlight.
Samples of Laminate Wood Flooring Veneers
There are a number of very popular high resolution / veneer options that can be incorporated into you rooms. Below is a brief description of the six most popular.
Can be anything form a light brown to a brown with a more reddish tone. Some can have elements of pink or grey. Grains are open and long.
Extremely straight grained with a smooth texture. Colors vary from light red /brown of the heartwood to the white of the sapwood.
Long and tight grained with next to no knots. Very light brown in color (to near white in some types.)
Yellow to red /brown in color. Grain is grain and medium defined texture.
Takes on a reddish brown color with tints of pale white /pink. Grain is closed, straight, and has a smooth consistent texture. Does tend to have knots.
Straight pronounced grain. Red / brown in color with patches of darker grain.
When installing the panels / squares be sure to keep the grains running in the same direction, and remember to check you order all has the same batch number. This is because there could be differences in color from one batch to another and this would destroy any uniformity of your floor.