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Once installed mainly as a type of economy flooring, Laminate Flooring still firmly holds its place as inexpensive, functional flooring. But they have even moved into higher-end homes that once would have installed nothing but solid hardwood or engineered wood flooring. Laminate floors look better, perform better, and feel better underfoot than ever before. All of this popularity may beg the question: What are laminate floors in the first place?
Basics of Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are a hybrid floor covering consisting of a particleboard wood base topped by an image layer and a transparent wear layer. Laminate floors are a popular type of floor covering for homes' living areas, kitchens, dining areas, bedrooms, hallways, and other areas that are not subject to excessive moisture. HDF Laminate Flooring was invented in 1977 by the Swedish company Perstorp. This firm landed on the idea of using up waste wood projects by subjecting those products to intensely high pressure, heat, and binding chemicals, then turning the result into usable floor coverings. Since that time, many other manufacturers such as Dupont, Mannington, Armstrong, and Shaw now make laminate floors.
Laminate Floor Materials
Laminate floors are sometimes called laminate wood floors, though they are wood only in two respects. First, the laminate floor base consists of pressed chipped wood particles. Second, the top has the appearance of real wood due to the accurate image layer—essentially a well-rendered photograph of wood encased in a clear, durable wear layer.
Aggregated wood particles are subjected to high pressure to form sheets. These sheets have a photorealistic image of wood or stone added to the top, and this image is covered with a wear layer. The wear layer, a durable, thin, clear plastic sheet, is the linchpin between the delicate lower layers and exterior elements such as moisture, UV rays, and scratching.
Wear Layer: MDF Laminate Flooring is a surface layer of two thin sheets of paper impregnated with melamine. This top-most surface layer is a hard transparent type of plastic sheet that is impervious to dogs, chairs, high heels, and other common damaging elements.
Image Layer: Even when viewed close-up laminate flooring can look realistic. This is due to the laminate's photographic-quality image of real wood underneath the wear layer.
Base Layer (Core): Under the wood-grain photograph is about a half-inch of wood-chip composite. Any type of wood chip product is inherently susceptible to water damage. Laminate flooring's base is considered to be dimensionally stable, but only to a certain degree. It will stand up against some water, but only if this water is quickly removed.
What Is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl Flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that provides great benefits and it is extremely versatile. It is somewhat similar bares similarities to linoleum flooring and is considered one of the most popular choices in wet areas such as bathrooms and cooking areas.
They are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) along with a few other compounds added to allow them to have the desired hardness, whilst still being flexible. The top layer is made up of a urethane-based coating. It provides durability and stability because of its water-resistant and stain-resistant properties. In recent times, companies have been trying to improve the safety and econ-friendliness of vinyl floorings, where they try to materials that are organic and do not emit harmful chemicals.
Improvements over the years have resulted in a variety of attractive, economical, and affordable that give you countless ways to fit your choice to other elements of your interior design. Now there are newer and improved versions which include luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP). They come under the umbrella term called luxury vinyl flooring (LVT). It has many variations which include dry back (waterproof and has thermal stability), loose lay (no need for adhesives due to heavy back of fiberglass) and, PVC click (utilizes a click system).
Another type lesser-known type is known as vinyl composition tile (VCT) which contains limestone powder to increase its durability. It contains lesser amounts of vinyl but in the long run, it requires higher and more continuous maintenance.
What makes Vinyl Flooring so popular and unique?
Let us take a look at why vinyl flooring is in demand – not only in housing areas but in commercial and industrial places as well.
1. Tuff Shield technology.
Vinyl SPC Flooring has a top layer of protection formed by Tuff Shield technology. This technology serves to safeguard the vinyl floor and allow it to resistant to scratches. This contributes to the vinyl flooring’s durability and allows it to maintain its longevity for a long time
2. Dimensional Stability
Now let’s delve into the insides of the vinyl flooring. The middle layer is what provides the stability that allows for the installation of the flooring.
This dimensional stability is what helps the material to retain its original shape, especially when it has been subjected to harsh environmental changes,
3. Locking Mechanism for ease of installation
Lastly, the locking mechanism that the vinyl planks have allows for the flooring to stay locked against each other when it has been installed. This prevents it from opening up or for moisture to seep into the flooring quickly, making it highly durable, and water-resistant.