Basic Information


Cleaning and Maintaining


Basic Information

Laminate flooring is the hottest new product in floor covering in the world. Europeans have been using it for over 20 years. Laminate flooring is a tongue and groove interlocking flooring system. It is installed over the top of the existing substrate and simply lays there. This has made it a natural for Europe and its older buildings. Less new construction goes on in relation to home sales than the building in the United States and Canada. Plywood, concrete slab, sheet vinyl flooring, hardwood flooring, or virtually any other basically flat hard surface is suitable for a "floating" laminate installation. Indeed, this is a major reason why installation of laminated floors is so Do It Yourself friendly. (The word " floating " or "float-in" is a flooring term that means the new floor is not attached to the floor underneath. In a typical floating installation, only the joints are glued or attached. The body of the floor rests unattached to an appropriate underlayment.

Most people in the United States and Canada are familiar with laminate counter tops, such as Formica. Many never envisioned a laminate suitable for walking on. Over 40 companies are selling laminate flooring in or into the United States. Some have very little past experience to go on.

Most brands of laminate flooring suggest the joints be glued with a specially formulated, water-resistant glue. It is placed between the tongue and grooves of every plank. There are variances in how much glue is used. On one extreme, Pergo requires a lot of glue - enough to completely fill the entire groove and the excess squeezes out when the tongue and groove are interlocked. Pergo's unique Percore is designed to soak in the glue. On the other hand, some such as Pickering require only a 1/16" bead of glue on a specific location of the groove. Formica requires a 1/8" bead on 2 specific locations of the groove/tongue. They all accomplish the same thing, but in different ways. ALLOC has a patented glueless interlocking system.

Laminate flooring consists of four main components that are bonded together. A wear resistant decorative surface made of resin based melamine/aluminum oxide. This material is bonded to a moisture resistant wood composition based core. A balancing backing is bonded to the underside of the core. On the top is a clear cap sheet of Aluminum Oxide, which provides the protection and stain resistance.

By using the counter top technology and adding considerably more resin to the wear layer, laminates have become an ideal floor covering. In fact, some laminate floor manufacturers boast that their laminate floors are now 10 to 20 times harder than laminate counter tops. Since this resin filled wear layer is so dense, it becomes extremely difficult to stain, scratch, or burn with a cigarette. It is possible however to scratch any floor.

Aesthetically, the most common designs have a wood grain visual appearance. Some manufacturers have released textures such as realistic stone and marble. Laminate floors are usually produced in long rectangular shaped planks typically about 47" by 8". There are some square tiles (usually about 15" by 15" or 24" by 24") and double wide planks as well.

The photography and number of photographs per color (termed "screens"), is an important factor of the aesthetic quality and visual realism. Hardwood flooring is easily and very authentically reproduced. Therefore, many hardwood floor species are reproduced. One brand or another represents all exotic, distressed and tropical hardwoods along with oak, maple, birch and cherry. The term "blocked" is used to describe a laminate flooring plank's design that consists of smaller plank widths, such as 2.25" strip hardwood. The term "planked" is used to describe a laminate flooring plank's design that represents one board of lumber.







Contact Us

Copyright 2003, All Rights Reserved Nedstat Basic - Free web site statistics