In spite of their critics, laminate floors are quickly becoming one of the most popular flooring choices in the consumer market. They're are often less expensive than hardwood, stone or tile, but the popularly of laminates isn't all about cost. Laminate floors can replicate types of wood that would normally be too fragile for everyday use.
These floors have a wood-grain appearance and planks that are the same size and shape as wood floor planks, so they're a convincing substitute for hardwood. On top of that, they can last much longer than even sturdier woods can. Because laminate floors get their designs from photographic images rather than a physical layer of wood, people can choose the look of any wood they want without worrying about durability or price.
There are four basic components, or layers, of laminate flooring, each of which plays a specific role in the look and durability of the floor. Here they are, from bottom to top:
These layers are sandwiched together and fused using high heat and intense pressure. Some planks have a thicker core than others, which affects the overall durability -- the thicker the product, the more rigid the floor will be. The core of the product is typically measured in millimeters and is dependant on the grade of the product and the manufacturer. There are four common thickness measurements for laminate flooring:
What makes a laminate floor