Laminate Wooden Flooring

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Wood floors are some of the most popular items on a checklist for prospective buyers when looking at a new home. They offer a number of great features including good looks, easy maintenance and high durability.

Although these products were originally manufactured in Europe, the North American market has opened up as hardwood grows scarcer. Similar to wood floors in many respects, the laminate style is available in a wide variety of colors and designs. This includes patterns similar to those seen in stones and tile.

This product is unique in that is composed of both natural and man-made materials joined together. A process involving high heat and pressure is used to bind the two substances together, leading to a very durable end product. After finishing with a special clear coat, laminate wood flooring is ready for installation over a variety of surfaces. The ultra hard finish acts to protect the thin laminate cover from damage caused by foot traffic and furniture. This has helped the green movement tremendously since there is less hardwood needed to create the flooring.

Laminate wood flooring gives the appearance of a natural hardwood floor but enhances the durability through the finishing process. It is quite easy to install for even the average homeowner. And since it is scratch resistant, the cleaning is quick and easy. These types of floors have been installed in almost every room in the house, including kitchens and family room — both high traffic areas, since they are quite resistant to the type of abuse commonly seen there. They can also be obtained in many shades and species of wood. This will come in the form of square tiles or long planks.

Laminate flooring is a great example of applied technology in the home. The beauty of this system is that it can be applied over many different surfaces such as plywood or concrete. This is called a floating system since no fasteners are needed. The panels lock into place using a tongue and groove system that doesn’t need glue. The pieces are laid down on top of a vapor barrier which is previously installed over the subfloor. This enables the whole system to breathe and “float” on the base. This makes installation a breeze for almost any do it your selfer. There are also some brands that come with a glue pre applied which only has to be moistened to activate it.

As mentioned previously, the maintenance for laminate wood flooring is quite simple. It doesn’t require any kind of polish to be applied. Some people apply protection (such as coasters) under their furniture to prevent gouging. These types of floors only require a sweeping or vacuuming with soft style brushes. A rag wet with water only can be used for more stubborn spots that need cleaning. These floors do not require refinishing or sanding. By following the recommendations from the manufacturer, the floor will last for many years.

Many different brands are available from many of the big box hardware or specialty flooring stores. Laminate wood flooring is fast becoming a great alternative to the more traditional hardwood styles. Although this is not “real wood” it certainly wears just as well. And being resistant to most types of stains, it is very economical. These are just some of the reasons that homeowners are choosing laminate wood floors for their homes.

It makes a great choice in virtually every room of a residence except the bathroom. This is due to moisture problems which could ultimate damage the core of the product. This could require the entire system to be replaced, not an inviting proposition.

This type of floor is the perfect solution for families with young children. Since it is cost effective and highly durable, laminate wood flooring is a great choice for ever homeowner.

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Rob Woods

Rob served as BuildDirect's marketing manager from 2000 to 2010. In addition to heading up his own marketing company these days, he remains to be a handy guy around the house to this day.