Laminate Flooring - The Stylish Alternative
Layer Structure, Advantages and Maintenance
Laminate flooring has had a new birth recently with people viewing it as a crisp new material that holds many untapped interior design possibilities. As you can guess laminate floors are thus fast becoming a popular choice for homeowners across the country.
People are now able to surround themselves with the dramatic wood and stone effects that in their natural form would be less financially manageable.
The Layers Within Laminate Floors
The visible surface of a laminate floor is a high resolution picture of a genuine piece of wood or stone that has been sealed in with a high wear transparent layer. This type of flooring is made up of a number of sections or layers:
Wear-Layer - The top most layer that is exposed to traffic and all the hazards of the outside world. It is usually composed of a cellulose paper that is soaked in melamine plastic.
Design-Layer - This is the high resolution picture that was described above. It is protected from damage by the wear-layer so there is less chance of it fading with use.
Core-Layer - The supporting layer which is made of processed chip board. The strength of it depends on the board used.
Stabilizing-Layer - This is the layer that is at the bottom and is responsible for keeping all the other layers in position. Some laminate floor types also have an additional layer to absorb sound and others may have additional padding usually in the form of cork or foam.
There are two ways in which these layers are all combined - direct pressure and heat on all the layers at once; or the top /bottom layers are treated first and then combined with the middle layer with high pressure. The final products are usually in the form of strips, planks and square tiles which can be glue or glue less with regards to installation.
Laminate Flooring: Advantages and Maintenance
1. Can be fitted anywhere in the home, and over a number of sub floors.
2. It has is near immune to chemical and physical abrasion - be it stiletto heals, heavy furniture, a fallen cigarette or strong household chemicals.
3. Very easy to maintain - all it requires is a quick sweep or wipe. No wax required.
4. It does not hold odors.
5. It is easy to repair. One plank can be removed and substituted for a new one without upsetting the surrounding ones or having to replace the whole area.
The floor will need a good clean every once and a while that cannot be argued. Just run a mop over it with a little household ammonia. Soap based products should be substituted for citrus ones, and under no circumstances should you use any abrasive products such as steel wool, scourers or strippers. If you are ever unsure, do a quick test on a bit that lies under an out-of-the-way piece of furniture.