What are Laminate Floors and Why Are they Gaining in Popularity?
Time to read 3 min
Time to read 3 min
Laminate flooring has been around for ages. And now it’s suddenly making a comeback. We’ll explore laminate floors and why this technology is growing in popularity.
Some flooring industry experts believe laminate flooring will surpass luxury vinyl planks (LVP) in future years. When you realize that LVP floors have quickly risen to the second most popular option, you’ll see how aggressive this opinion is. Is it possible for Laminate to surpass LVP?
Let’s start with the basics. What is laminate flooring actually made of? From the beginning, laminate was created using a lamination process that fused several layers of material together. By breaking wood into fibers and infusing them into resin (usually melamine resin), it created a more durable floor that most of the competition.
The key to laminate floor boards is the inside core, which has a design laminated on the top. This inner core is what gives laminate flooring the durability and waterproof qualities that are so important.
Below we’ll explore the recent innovations that have caused laminate floors to suddenly make a comeback. The early versions of laminate looked less like real wood and more like a picture of wood on your floors.
As mentioned above, Laminate flooring has been around for over 50 years. It was first invented in 1977 in Sweden. The first version of laminate was branded Pergo™ and become popular in the U.S. during the 1990’s. First, these new laminate floors were sold in Europe in the mid-1980’s before moving overseas into the U.S.
The popularity of laminate came from the durability and ease of installation. It still required glue, but you didn’t have to nail it down like hardwood flooring. Or stretch it like you do with carpet installation. This was a faster, less expensive way to get wood-look flooring installed into your home.
In the 1990’s glueless laminate was invented. Many of our click-lock innovations in flooring installation came from the laminate industry in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. There was a strong focus on making flooring installation faster with less errors. And laminate technology was at the forefront of this battle.
We’ve all seen those early Pergo™ floors that had somewhat limited designs. But they were tough, waterproof and more durable than wood or other flooring products at the time. For a homeowner looking for a quick renovation, laminate flooring was an easy choice.
But, luxury vinyl tiles or planks were also being created during this time. The LVP technology seemed to move a little slower. However, because of the way LVP is created, in the last fifteen years LVP flooring surpassed laminate in the authentic, wood-look surface design. This allowed LVP to start surpassing laminate and becoming the second most popular flooring choice in the U.S. (behind carpet).
It’s always about innovation. Recent innovations in the laminate technology have achieved two things. First, new laminate flooring is now more waterproof and durable than almost any other flooring. They literally soak the laminate in water for days to make sure it doesn’t change at all.
But, most importantly, new Embossed In Register (EIR) surface technology is being used on laminate flooring. This EIR technique gives the surface of laminate floors the feel and look of real wood. Once installed, it’s very difficult to tell whether the flooring is solid hardwoods or laminate.
Laminate flooring has always been a super durable surface: won’t scratch, dent, break or soak up water. Now it also looks like real wood. That makes it a worthwhile competitor to any other flooring surface you look at. And it means the popularity of laminate is taking off.
The benefits of laminate are pretty compelling to most homeowners:
There’s a very real reason why Laminate Flooring is gaining in popularity: it’s a great product with more benefits than most competitive flooring options. BuildDirect offers laminate flooring at discounted wholesale prices. And our laminate floors all have a Lifetime Residential Warranty. We’ve very confident that you’ll never need it.