Laminated flooring (also called glueless laminate flooring) is a multi-layered synthetic floor covering product made from a combination of laminating waxes and a laminated lamination process. Laminate floors simulates real wood with an attractive photographic foil layer underneath a clear, protective coating. The interior core layer most often consists of polyurethane foam and melamine resins. It is also available in a variety of textures and colors.
Before laminates were used, people commonly used melamine or urethane plasters. A popular advertising campaign for the product encouraged consumers to “Skip the Floor” because laminated flooring was cheaper than traditional floor coverings. The melamine in the product was originally derived from mining the deposits that are found beneath the United States’ Western states, such as Colorado and Wyoming. Today, it is produced synthetically in a plant in North Carolina.
Another advantage to laminated flooring is its durability. It can withstand scratching, wear, and tear due to foot traffic and heat. There are several forms of all floorings, including wide plank flooring and planks with tiny gaps between the individual plank units. As it is laid, the top coating of the product, called the protective layer, blocks ultraviolet (UV) radiation from penetrating the structure. In addition, the coating prevents rain and snow from seeping into the base material.
Concerns have been raised recently over the health effects of long-term exposure to formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a byproduct of manufacturing laminated flooring products, although some laminated wood flooring are not made with formaldehyde. Regardless, exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to health problems including headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Some experts believe that it is the fumes from manufacturing that formaldehyde causes, rather than any kind of direct exposure to the chemical compound. Regardless of these concerns, the U.S. EPA believes that there is enough evidence to strongly urge the regulation of exposure to formaldehyde and similar compounds in order to protect public health.
Laminated flooring may seem like a fake version of the real thing, but you would be surprised at the number of flooring products available that mimic wood. They are offered in a wide array of styles, colors, and textures. With a little effort, it is possible to create a real effect in your home without the use of these types of products. Real wood floor installation is a much more complicated process that involves adhesives, bonding agents, and other substances, all of which must be carefully combined in a correct fashion in order for the floor to adhere properly.
With all of the laminate flooring options available, including the addition of bamboo to the list of wood alternatives, it is difficult to choose between real wood and imitation versions. The most important thing is to choose a design that you like the look of, and is the right size for your room. If it looks like the real deal, it will feel like the real thing as well. By taking the time to choose a design from real wood or hardwood floor suppliers, you will give yourself the best chance for success. For more info on laminated flooring click here.