Dec 06, 2023 | Flooring Canada
Laminate flooring is currently one of the most popular flooring products in the flooring industry, and for good reason. Due to its exceptional performance, versatility, affordable cost, and alluring styles, homeowners and business owners everywhere enjoy quick and easy flooring renovations.
So, what is laminate flooring? How is it made? What types of laminate flooring are available? Is laminate flooring durable? How do I care for laminate flooring? These are all questions that we get asked when it comes to laminate floors, and the experts at Flooring Canada are here to set the record straight!
Contrary to popular belief, laminate flooring is not made out of plastic. Instead, laminate is typically composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. In the early years, laminate looked as if it were made of plastic, due to appearance and design being sacrificed for affordability. Now, due to innovative manufacturing, laminate looks as if it is solid hardwood or stone, but without the price tag.
Laminate flooring is actually constructed with 4 layers—wear, design, core, and the back layer. Each layer serves a distinct purpose and is fused together using high heat and intense pressure to form a solid plank. Here’s a breakdown of these layers:
Back Layer: This layer protects the plank against moisture and balances the floor.
Core Layer: Just above the back layer is a durable, high-density board that protects from indentations and moisture.
Design Layer: Resting on top of the core layer is a high-resolution photograph of the floor’s surface appearance.
Wear Layer: The wear layer is a clear surface made of aluminum oxide that protects against water, spills, fading, stains, and daily mishaps.
Laminate floors are an increasingly popular choice due to their significant improvements in design. Crafted to look like wood, tile, or stone, laminate boasts the beauty of natural flooring products at a much more affordable price and with hassle-free durability. There are typically two main types of laminate floors:
If you adore the look of solid hardwood flooring but need a more realistic alternative that can stand up to your kids and furry friends, laminate flooring is a reliable solution. Additionally, traditional wood flooring and engineered wood flooring can be quite a significant investment that's not accessible to many homeowners where budget is a concern.
With laminate floors, you can get the look of a variety of realistic wood species, including oak, mahogany, cherry, pine, ash, and more. With our extensive Flooring Canada catalog, you can find the perfect wood flooring tone, grain patterns, plank size, and texture to make your design dreams a reality.
Another sought-after natural flooring material, tile, offers elegant and organic designs with waterproof durability. However, the price, installation process, and required maintenance can be too challenging for some households. That’s where a laminate floor comes in. Offering styles mimicking ceramic, porcelain, and natural stones, you can get the tile look you love with a more budget-friendly floor that’s also much warmer underfoot.
A laminate floor makes for a reliably sturdy product because of its multi-layer construction. The durable wear layer in laminate flooring is resistant to scratching, fading, and common everyday mishaps. This durability allows for the absorption of heavy foot traffic, making it an ideal flooring choice for active families with kids and pets running around.
This water-resistant product performs well in kitchens and baths only if proper precautions are put in place, like a moisture barrier, but is not recommended for areas with significant moisture and excessive exposure to water. With proper care, laminate can maintain its great appearance from the day you bring it home!
Whether you are upgrading a small bathroom or your entire home, laminate flooring is an ideal choice. Select a laminate floor from a diverse range of finishes, from wood to natural tile and stone, so you can curate virtually any aesthetic you desire for any space. This product is great for the following spaces and more:
Installing laminate flooring involves several steps to ensure a successful and durable result. Start by preparing the subfloor, ensuring it is clean, dry, and level. Lay down an underlayment to provide a smooth surface and reduce noise. Next, carefully click the laminate planks together, ensuring a snug fit. Be mindful of expansion gaps around the perimeter to accommodate potential changes in the flooring due to temperature and humidity.
While some DIY enthusiasts may be tempted to install laminate floors independently, it's crucial to highlight that the process demands precision and expertise. Incorrect installation can lead to issues such as uneven flooring or gaps between planks.
To guarantee a flawless installation, it's highly recommended that you rely on Flooring Canada's expert installers. Their professional touch ensures not only a visually appealing result but also the longevity and functionality of your laminate flooring.
With its ability to look just like hardwood, tile, or stone, laminate is a great flooring option for those high-traffic areas in your home. Laminate floors are incredibly durable and easy to maintain; however, just like any type of flooring, they do require regular cleaning and care. With these simple care tips, you can expect your laminate floors to look like new for many years!
For general laminate cleaning, we recommend using a dust mop or a damp mop. To prevent dirt and grit from scratching the laminate floor, vacuuming and sweeping are often encouraged. Check out our hard surface floor care guide for more floor cleaning tips!
It's generally not recommended to use a steam mop on laminate flooring, as the heat and moisture can damage the planks. Instead, use a damp (not wet) mop, but make sure it's well-rung to avoid excessive water on the floor. Microfiber mops are often recommended for their effectiveness in cleaning laminate surfaces.
Vinegar can be used to clean laminate flooring and bring shine back to your floors. To create your cleaning solution, mix 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar. Spray the solution in small areas at a time, and clean with a damp cloth or mop. Once finished, dry the laminate, and your floors will shine like new!
Laminate floors are built tough for active homes just like yours. Pets and kids are no match for laminate’s engineered durability. However, it’s important to take a few precautions to maximize your laminate floors' longevity. To prevent damage, it's encouraged to:
Avoid walking on the floor in spiked shoes or heels.
Place doormats at entrances to keep sand, dirt, and grit from scratching your floor.
Stay away from detergent-based cleaners, wax-based products, any type of polish, or a steam cleaner, as they may damage the protective wear layer.
When searching for laminate flooring, consider the following:
First, consider the space you are upgrading.
Determine your design goals and what styles you prefer.
Then, search for a quality product from trusted brands, such as those in our flooring catalog at Flooring Canada.
Consider what warranties are available for your laminate flooring selection and select a warranty based on your lifestyle needs.
If you’re looking to learn more about laminate flooring and which type is best for your space, turn to your local Flooring Canada experts. They are equipped with the product knowledge and design expertise to help you make the ideal laminate flooring selection.