We love laminate flooring at Expert Flooring Solutions, a Las Vegas-based flooring store. It has come a long way from the linoleum lackluster design it used to be known for. It’s now a popular choice for homeowners seeking an affordable and attractive alternative to hardwood or tile flooring because it can impressively mimic natural materials while being water-resistant and durable. How? Through its multi-layered design. Discover the different laminate flooring layers and explore how each contributes to its overall performance and appearance.
The Wear Layer
The topmost layer of laminate flooring is known as the wear layer. It’s a transparent, protective surface that guards against wear and tear caused by foot traffic, furniture, and everyday life, such as kids’ toys and pet nails. The wear layer is usually made of a clear melamine resin, which is highly resistant to scratches, stains, and fading from UV exposure, making it necessary for rooms with large amounts of natural sunlight.
The thickness of the wear layer can vary, with thicker layers providing greater durability and longevity. Typically, wear layers for residential use range from 12 mils – 20 mils. However, anything higher than 15 mils may be overkill, so it’s best to consult a flooring expert. When you go in the 20 mils+ territory, that’s commercial grade.
The Decorative Layer
Beneath the wear layer lies the decorative layer. This is where the magic happens when it comes to aesthetics. The decorative layer is a high-resolution photograph of wood, stone, or any desired texture or pattern. Advanced printing technology creates incredibly realistic visuals that mimic the look of natural materials. Thanks to this layer, laminate flooring can replicate the appearance of expensive hardwood or luxurious stone at a fraction of the cost. When shopping for laminate flooring in Las Vegas, or your local store, it’s important to gather various samples. They are free and can help you decide which shade and style is the best fit and what it will look like during the day and at night. You’d be surprised how a sample can look fabulous under a showroom’s lighting yet hugely different when taken to a home with different natural and task lighting.
The Core Layer
Below the decorative layer is the core layer, the backbone of laminate flooring. This layer is typically composed of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or particleboard. HDF is known for its stability and resistance to moisture, making it a preferred choice for the core layer. It provides structural support and dimensional stability to the flooring. Some manufacturers incorporate additional moisture-resistant treatments to protect the core layer further, making it ideal for moisture-prone rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. Be wary of laminate advertised as “waterproof,” as that trait is not possible.
The Balancing Layer
The bottommost layer of laminate flooring is the balancing layer. This layer helps counteract the effects of humidity and temperature changes, ensuring the flooring remains flat and free from warping or bowing over time. It provides stability and prevents the planks from cupping or bending, which can occur in environments with fluctuating moisture levels. Even still, laminate flooring installation hugely impacts its longevity and performance over time. When shopping for laminate, you must speak with each store you visit about their installation process and warranty.
Understanding the laminate flooring layers is essential when selecting the right flooring solution for your home. Combining the wear layer’s protective properties, the decorative layer’s visual appeal, the core layer’s structural integrity, and the balancing layer’s stability makes laminate a versatile and cost-effective flooring option.
At Expert Flooring Solutions, we specialize in helping homeowners make informed choices about their flooring needs. Whether you’re looking for the warmth of hardwood, the elegance of stone, or any other flooring option, laminate can provide an excellent balance of aesthetics and performance. If you have any questions or need assistance selecting the perfect laminate flooring for your space, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. We’re here to help you achieve the flooring of your dreams!