is one of the most popular flooring materials on the market right now. In fact, it may well be the
most popular, a position it's occupied for quite some time now. Homeowners and landlords alike seem to love laminates, and it's not difficult to guess why - laminate flooring is hard-wearing, cost-effect, and it looks great and performs brilliantly in a wide variety of different spaces.
But what is laminate flooring? How are those sturdy, low-maintenance boards made? And what makes them such a winning choice for the home? If these are questions you've pondered to yourself, read on to learn the answers!
Is laminate flooring the same as wood flooring?
Not exactly. Laminate flooring is primarily made out of wood, but when people talk about 'wood flooring', they're usually referring to solid wood flooring
. A solid wood board is just one solid piece of wood (most commonly oak), whereas the construction of a laminate floor plank is somewhat more complex.
How is laminate flooring made?
Laminate flooring is essentially a photocopied image of a floor placed atop a piece of hard-wearing wood and covered (or 'laminated') with a durable wear layer to protect it from damage.
The 'decorative paper' (as it is termed in the diagram above) is often designed to look like solid wood, but technically you can use any photo you want when constructing a laminate floor. There are laminates that look like ceramic tiles, stone slabs, and patterned mosaics; there are also a whole host of out-there laminate flooring designs that look unlike any natural flooring product you could imagine!
The advantages of laminate flooring
The great thing about laminate flooring is the fact that it allows you to emulate the flooring material of your choice - be it solid wood, glossy tiles, et cetera - without any of the difficulties. Laminate flooring is:
- Durable and low-maintenance
- Easy to install
- Suitable for a wide range of rooms
- Very reasonably priced
Few (if any!) other types of flooring tick all five of these boxes, so laminate flooring stands more or less alone as the product of choice for busy households on a tight budget!