In just a single decade, laminate flooring has established itself in the US as one of the foremost choices of floor coverings available. Its widespread popularity can be largely attributed to the extensive array of available design options and its relatively low cost when compared to that of solid wood or stone flooring. Indeed, retail flooring stores can testify to the popularity of laminate, for a visit to one will reveal a choice that is as diverse as it is large.
Some people are surprised to learn that the pattern they see on a laminate floor is not real wood, stone or ceramic. It is actually an image! Using a system that was pioneered some twenty years ago by the company called Pergo, photos are taken of attractive and characteristic sections of the material to be represented and are then applied to floor planks and tiles. So dominant was the originating company in early years that laminate flooring has become equally well known as ‘Pergo flooring’ despite the fact that numerous other manufacturers now produce it.
Naturally, using a depiction in place of the real thing is a boon to manufacturers in making production both quick and easy, which in turn helps to bring the finished laminate flooring product to the market at very affordable prices. That’s not all, as it isn’t real oak, teak, maple, stone, granite and the like, it means that less hardwood trees are being felled, and no hillsides quarried, to supply flooring manufacturers with raw materials. Many people don’t give it a passing thought, but those that do buy laminate flooring instead of solid hardwood or stone floors are all helping in some way to save the environment from destruction. Now isn’t that a just reason to want to rush out and buy a laminate floor? Of course, but first let’s tell you some more great things about it.
There are other features and benefits that attract hoards of homeowners to laminated flooring, one is easy installation. With so many manufacturers competing in the laminate flooring market there have been numerous advancements made with tongue and groove type fastenings that make installing laminate floors an easy, even simple, task. From clic lock to snap together joints, such systems do away with messy glues and are therefore perfect for those that prefer the Do It Yourself approach. What’s more, a laminate floor can be installed over just about any type of sub floor, including tiles or concrete.
There’s more! Laminate floor tiles and planks are coated with a heavy duty, hardwearing aluminum oxide finish that protects the underlying pattern from being damaged. More importantly, this means that the floor is able to stand up to high foot traffic levels without wearing through, thus providing its owner with many years of use without the need to worry about costly maintenance. In this regard, laminate can be reliably considered as being ‘maintenance free’ flooring.
Most manufacturers back up their laminate products with a lengthy warranty which will sometimes extend to lifetime, however, floor buyers are advised to carefully check the terms of any warranties offered in order to ascertain exactly what is covered and what isn’t. Typically, and at the very least, one should expect a laminate floor to be supplied with a warranty period of no less than 15 years that covers premature wear, staining and fading.
Are you ready to be the proud owner of one of the coolest looking floors on the market today? Be sure to check out our buying advice first.