Laminate Flooring Beginnings
Remember Formica? And thinking that Formica is laminate and laminate is Formica? Well, that was never totally true. Formica was a laminate countertop named after the manufacturer. And the lamination process, which is simply the fusing together of different layers of material, has come to represent a lot more than 70s-style kitchen countertops. Especially today.
Pergo rings a bell for many people. It was a wood floor that wasn’t made from solid wood although it looked just like it. The Pergo formula took a simple type of decorative laminate, which had previously only been used to make kitchen countertops, and brought it to the living room floor. Needless to say, it went over in a big way.
Pergo floors were the biggest European innovation since the invention of cushioned vinyl in the 1960s. When it was introduced to the North American market in 1994, it quickly became very popular. According to the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF), over 750 million square meters of laminate wood flooring were sold worldwide in 2004. The biggest growth in market share coming from North America.
Laminate Flooring Today
Today, laminate floors still dominate and are looked upon as a worthy contender to hardwood. To many untrained eyes, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between quality laminate floors and real hardwood because each display the attractiveness of natural wood species.
A low maintenance and scratch resistant surface, it’s an ideal choice wherever durable, water-resistant flooring is required. And, laminate floors were what kicked off the DIY craze as just about everyone found they could install these floors themselves thanks to laminate’s easy-to-install click-locking system.
Today, millions of consumers love laminates for both residential and commercial renovations — and for a host of good reasons. They’re hard-wearing, beautiful, easy to install, and still cost a whole lot less than most other flooring types.