Now, you may be wondering, how can laminate flooring resemble these other products so closely?
The answer lies in the process of how laminate is made.
It’s a combination of the precision of today’s manufacturing techniques and the expertise of the men and women behind the materials, machines and methods that create laminate.
All work in harmony to produce a beautiful, functional flooring that closely simulates other beautiful, functional floorings.
TO KNOW LAMINATE, THINK BAKING AND A FOUR-LAYER CAKE.
Today’s laminate floors are available in a multitude of designs, patterns, and textures, yet they all consist of four main components that are bonded together.
The bottom layer, or backing, is a melamine plastic layer that lends dimensional stability to the planks and also helps guard against moisture from the sub-floor. (Moisture infiltrating any flooring is the enemy.)
The next layer is a core board, generally made from high-density fiberboard or particle board which may also contain melamine plastic resins that help improve the moisture resistance of the core.
Then a decorative layer or print film is adhered on top of the core board giving the floor its hardwood or tile look.
This decorative layer is a printed high-resolution photo-reproduction of wood grain, natural stone or ceramic tile pattern. (Now you know how the look-a-like is born.)
And the frosting? On the top of our “cake” is a durable wear layer, providing protection and stain resistance.
Now many wear layers also contain aluminum oxide, as well as melamine resin, and that creates exceptional durability. The kind that will stand up to the most active household – even yours.
All four layers of our “cake” are then combined in a high-pressure process.
Now we’ll take you through the manufacturing process of laminate one step at a time.
STEP 3: A TIME OUT TO COOL OFF.
After the sheets are pressed they are left to cool to ensure that they fully cure and to prevent any surface imperfections.
Then the sheets are stacked and stored for a time so that they can continue to acclimate, thereby enhancing the stability of the boards.