Laminate flooring has evolved considerably over recent years. Primarily, it consists of a high-density fibreboard (Hdf) with what is, effectively, a ‘photo’ image or imitation of wood flooring on the surface.
During the manufacturing process, the boards are finished with a hard-wearing lacquer & the joints precision cut to achieve a smooth, seamless wear layer.
Modern boards generally have better designs than has historically been the case and the surface finishes on the more expensive laminates are embossed, creating a very wood-like appearance and texture.
Flooring manufacturers are become increasingly better at imitating wooden flooring and laminates are frequently confused with the real thing.
The main advantages of laminate flooring are its ease of installation and cost-effectiveness.
Laminate wood flooring is generally very hard-wearing and difficult to mark during general day-to-day use. If fitted correctly, they are also very stable products and some of the newer floors increasingly water resistant making them ideal, for both domestic and commercial flooring applications.
The main manufacturers are Quickstep, Pergo and Balterio. Designed initially for exhibition work, laminated boards are installed with a locking mechanism which enables the floors to be taken up and fitted elsewhere if required. The range & breadth of design is becoming ever wider, with a wide array of finishes and applications available.