What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a three-layered flooring composed by the following structures:
Decorative layer: the top layer that carries the visual appeal of the flooring in terms of texture and décor. This surface represents the characteristics of a natural material and creates the feeling of real wood. It is covered with a resin based coating, the main purpose of which is to withstand wear.
Core: underneath the decorative layer lies the HDF layer - the core of the laminate flooring. HDF is a high-density wood fiber board that provides stability and durability to the flooring plank.
Stabilizing/ Balancing layer: located under the HDF core, the stabilizing layer is basically the back of the plank. This is the so-called balancing layer, which improves the structural stability and serves as a barrier against moisture.
The first laminate flooring was developed in Sweden in 1977 and appeared on the market a little later - in 1980. This innovative type of flooring started spreading rapidly to other countries around Europe. Not only did laminate flooring become very popular, but its production technology evolved considerably during the over 40 years of manufacturing. Currently, laminated flooring is characterized by an extremely high durability and long exploitation life.
The advantages of laminate flooring cannot go unnoticed:
Easy to clean and maintain;
Special surface treatment that reduces the risk of slipping even when the laminate is wet;
Antibacterial and anti-allergic coating: the surface of the flooring doesn’t retain dust, bacteria or allergens and this allows for their removal with a vacuum cleaner;
With care for the environment: the flooring is environmentally friendly as standard made of up to 90 % wood sourced from sustainably managed forests;
Quick and easy installation;
Authentic and aesthetic look ;
Cost-effective: compared to natural wood flooring, laminate flooring is a more economical choice.
From the above stated, the many indisputable advantages prove that laminate flooring is suitable for private or commercial buildings. Considering the large choice of laminate with different characteristics and qualities, it is no surprise that you can find flooring suitable for every type of room.
But how to make the right choice for you?
There are several factors to consider before buying laminate flooring. Aesthetic and design qualities certainly have a big influence on the decision, but you can't be guided only by the visual side.
What should you consider most when selecting your laminate flooring?
The functionality of the room depends considerably on a well-chosen flooring. The type of room in which the flooring will be installed helps determine what properties the flooring must have in order to perform accordingly. Each type of space: hallway, kitchen, living and dining room or bedroom, requires flooring with specific characteristics.
In the kitchen we should use a flooring with an increased moisture and stain resistance and preferably with anti-slip qualities. Due to the fact that most kitchens are very busy places, it is advisable that the flooring has a higher utility class.
The hallway also requires a high wear resistance flooring since sand and other types of abrasive contaminants brought from the outside could damage the surface of the laminate flooring. There is also risk of the floor getting wet, so it is advisable to install a moisture resistant laminate flooring that would withstand these challenges.
The living room is where people spend most of their time at home so the right flooring choice should have an increased wear and scratch resistance. You could also select antistatic, antibacterial and anti-allergic laminate flooring, especially if you have small children.
Since the bedroom is usually a less busy place, the laminate flooring could have a lower utility class. For people with allergies we recommend the collections of flooring with antistatic properties.
The room where you should do no compromise is the nursery. The flooring here should have a high wear resistance. We recommend the use of acoustic insulation to reduce the noise made from walking, children play and dropped objects on the floor. Last but not least, for greater safety during children’s activities, choose a flooring with anti-slip and antibacterial properties as well as stain resistant coating.