What is Laminate?
There are many misconceptions about what laminate is really made of. Some assume it is made of plastic, due to the low-quality, plastic-like appearance it used to have in the past. Things have changed however, and the laminate floors of today get mistaken more often for hardwood than for plastic. In reality, it is neither. Laminate is made up of four layers: a base watertight barrier that protects against moisture, an HDF (high-density fiberboard) core, a hyper-realistic photograph overlay which serves as the floor pattern, and a protective resin above that.
Pros of Laminate
There are many reasons why homeowners are turning to laminate over other flooring options, one of them being the low cost for a quality appearance. Laminate can be installed at a fraction of the cost you would pay to install real hardwood or stone flooring. To maintain a realistic imitation of hardwood or stone, laminate is typically installed as a floating floor and the boards are connected by a tongue and groove locking system. With recent innovations in technology, laminate has even begun to imitate the texture and grain of hardwood, making it nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Another advantage laminate has over the more expensive natural materials is that it has better water resistance, which means there is less risk of damaged floors from spills and accidents. Lastly, laminate is more environmentally friendly than real hardwood because it doesn’t require harvesting of vulnerable old growth trees.
Something to Consider
When installing laminate in your home, you should remember that laminate cannot be re-stained or refinished, which means that when it becomes too scuffed or damaged, it will have to be replaced. Fortunately, laminate is durable and scratch resistant, so you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it for at least 10 years.
Get Started In Austin Today
Learn more about laminate and the other flooring options available with Floor Coverings International Austin! We will bring you hundreds of samples to your doorstep in our Mobile Flooring Showroom so that you can find the perfect flooring for your home. Schedule your free in-home consultation today. We proudly serve Austin, Westlake and the surrounding areas.
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Photo: © Kitch Bain