Most Americans have no idea what laminate flooring is, although they are often aware of Pergo flooring. Well, Pergo is to laminate floorings what Kleenex is to facial tissues. As the first company to create this type of flooring and sell it in the United States, their name has become synonymous with laminate flooring in the minds of many consumers. That being said, there are over 30 other brands of this type of flooring available as well.
Laminate flooring is typically made up of three separate layers: a tough aluminum oxide wear layer with a photograph of wood, stone, or brick adhered to the underside of it; a core or “carrier” usually made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) which is a processed wood product that is very moisture resistant; and a final layer of plastic laminate backing to seal the entire piece against moisture and potential pests.
Laminate flooring is a cost-effective and easy to care for alternative to genuine wood or stone surfaces. Being more tolerant to moisture, it can more readily be used in bathrooms or other areas where moisture may pose problems for other flooring materials – as long as the manufacturer’s warranty includes moisture coverage. Because of its simple tongue and groove attachment pattern, it can be utilized in virtually any room of the house, provided that there is a concrete, plywood, or other firm floor surface below it.
Laminate floors do not stain, fade, dent, or warp like real hardwood floors, although they have a similar cost. They also often include lifetime warranties against most problems and defects. If your home has significant foot traffic (including children and/or pets) then a laminate floor will hold up much better than a comparable wood or even tile floor, and be considerably less expensive than stone flooring materials.
If you have a lot of traffic in your home and plan to stay there for some time, laminate flooring may prove to be the best value for your money because of its long life, durability and excellent warranty coverage. It is not the least expensive flooring option, so it is always important to weigh the costs and features against your needs. If you want the look of hardwood but have a sub-floor that is incompatible with real hardwood floors, laminate flooring may be the choice for you!