Laminated wood flooring is the hottest floor-covering product in America. Created in Europe, the product has now been in use for over 20 years. Laminated wood flooring is an interlocking system that is installed on top of an existing substrate. This type of laminated wood flooring has been used in the renovation of older buildings throughout Europe.
This floating laminate installation can be used on any hard, flat surface and is easy enough to be a do-it-yourself application. “Floating” as used here means that the new floor is not attached to the floor underneath and the joints are glued together.
Choices of laminated flooring
A water-resistant glue is recommended by most laminate flooring brands. The glue is used on every plank, between the tongue and grooves. The amount of glue used varies by brand. Pergo laminated wood flooring requires enough glue to completely fill the groove; the excess is squeezed out when the tongue and groove are interlocked. This particular laminated brand has a unique PerCore base layer that soaks up the glue.
Pickering brand laminate flooring, meanwhile, requires only a 1/6-inch drop of glue on the groove. Formica flooring requires a 1/8-inch bead in two places on the groove or tongue. All of these laminated flooring brands give you the same results, with different installation methods – Alloc flooring has a patented system that doesn’t require any glue.
Laminate flooring has four main elements that are bonded together. First, a durable, decorative surface made of resin-based melamine/aluminum oxide is affixed to a moisture-resistant wood core. A backing is then added to the core’s bottom side. On top is an aluminum oxide layer, providing stain resistance.
By using existing counter-top practices and adding more protection to the top layer, laminates have evolved into the perfect floor covering. Some manufacturers say their laminate floors are as much as 20 times harder than any laminate counter tops, thanks to a dense, resin-filled wear layer that’s resistant to stains, scratches and even cigarette burns.
The most common styles of laminate wood flooring have a wood-grain appearance. But some manufacturers offer laminate flooring in realistic stone and marble patterns. Laminate floors are produced as long, rectangular planks, usually around four feet long and 8 inches wide. Some manufacturers offer square tiles and double wide planks, as well.