Laminate Flooring Construction Explained!
I’ve been around the block with explaining how floors are constructed more than my fair share of times. But I think the most difficult to conceive is the make up of laminate flooring. As simple as the construction is, most have a stigma when it comes to laminate floors. Today, I will attempt to debunk your misconceptions on what makes this amazing floor, so amazing.
The Construction Of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring was engineered to bring a natural flooring experience to those of us who cannot always afford the natural materials. Not to say that it is, just cheaper than the real thing. It does an incredible job of mimicking most natural hardwoods and stones. But if it isn’t the real thing, what makes laminate a good flooring option?
Basically, laminate flooring is made up of 5 layers, each with it’s own specific function and purpose.
5 Layers of Laminate Flooring
- Protective Wear Layer
The protective layer that you will actually be able to see and feel if you touch it once it has bee installed. This is sometimes referred to as the top layer. It is transparent and is responsible for resisting damage. It will help to prevent scratching, denting and abrasions.
- Decorative Layer
This layer is responsible for making the laminate look like a real flooring material such as hardwood and stone. A Hi-definition photo realistic image is adhered to this layer. These images are amazingly detailed and vary from plank to plank, the higher the quality the laminate, the more variants in images you will notice.
- The Core
It sounds important doesn’t it? Well it actually is. The core layer is the most important layer of laminate flooring as it is responsible for the durability of the laminate overall. It is made of high density fiberboard capable of resisting strong impacts. It also helps greatly in stabilizing the flooring.
- Resin Layer
The resin layer is the bread and butter of what makes one manufacturer’s product different than another’s. Why the chemical compounds do vary to a degree, it is usually melamine resin that helps to maintain the structural integrity of the product as a whole, while simultaneously making the plank resistant to moisture damage.
This layer is subjective to the flooring product design. Laminate flooring may or may not contain a built in underlayment. If it does, it will typically be a bit more costly than other styles. But before you say, “Well do I need that?” Yes, you do. Your other option is to purchase underlayment separately but this could wind up being more costly in the long run. Underlayment serves as a way to give you a fool proof way to assure a clean level install to your subflooring. It also acts a moisture barrier. Although it is not required, it is Highly Recommended!