Laminate Flooring – A Economical Alternative To Traditional Hardwood Floors

In recent years, installing a new hardwood floor has become one of the most popular home decorating projects. Everyone seems to love the beauty, warmth and style that a wood floor adds to any home. Sadly, solid wood floors are not cheap, and many homeowners find that the cost for a new floor is beyond their budget. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive solution – laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring is a flooring product that closely imitates the look and feel of an actual hardwood floor. Not to be confused with engineered wood flooring, which consists of real wood, laminates are manufactured from fabricated materials.

Several different layers make up any one laminate plank. Each layer is made from a different material. Starting from the ground up, the first layer is a backing layer. This helps hold the entire plank together and provides a moisture barrier and a strong foundation. This is normally made from melamine.

The next layer is the core and contains the bulk of the material. This layer can be made from several different materials, but HDF (High Density Fiberboard) seems the most commonly used. This layer is normally impregnated with some mixture of melamine and resins that adds to the water resistance of the plank.

The next layer is the image layer. This is a high-definition photograph of a piece of wood that the laminate flooring is meant to imitate. It is possible to imitate any flooring material in addition to wood, including stone or tile. This gives the homeowner the ability to install an “exotic” wood floor for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

The top or final layer is the wear layer. This layer is made from melamine and aluminum oxide and is very durable. Some manufacturers go as far as to emboss this layer to simulate the wood grain that would be found on a traditional wood floor. This makes for a very realistic design that is difficult to tell from solid wood without closer inspection.

The cost difference between laminate and solid wood flooring can be significant. Hardwood flooring is traditionally sold by the square foot. Most hardwood flooring costs between $4.00 to $8.00 per sq. ft. Some exotics can cost a great deal more. Laminate flooring can usually be found starting at $1.50.

Installation costs for solid wood are usually higher. In most cases, a professional flooring installer will be needed to insure a proper installation. Most homeowners can install a laminate floor by themselves.

There are substantial cost savings involved when choosing laminate flooring over solid wood floors, For those homeowners looking for the time-honored beauty of a hardwood floor, without the sometimes prohibitive costs of a traditional hardwood, laminate wood flooring is the ideal solution.

Popular Flooring

Article By Max Michael
www.floors-web.com

I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to explain the different types of flooring that are most popular in todays market. All of these floors have huge upsides and if you do your research, there's no reason why you'd make the wrong choice. Listed below are the 8 most popular flooring types in todays housing market. They're not listed in any specific order, so please don't let that affect your judgement.

Bamboo flooring is a great choice. It looks nice and doesn't cost as much as hardwood. It is made from bamboo shoots, so it's not a wood, it's grass. But don't be fouled, bamboo floors are more durable then many of the hardwoods on the market. It's also very eco-friendly and easy to install.

Cork flooring can be used in children's rooms, movie rooms and musical spaces. It absorbs sounds much better that other floors and provides great acoustical benefits. It's soft to the touch and because of the cellular composition in cork flooring, it's very durable and resilient.

Wood flooring is the first choice for anyone who wants high end flooring. There is a certain level of elegance that comes with wood flooring, and they last longer than any other type of floor. You can choose from solid hardwood flooring, unfinished or pre-finished flooring, flat finished and click and lock wood flooring. The last option makes installation a breeze.

Laminate flooring will suit a starter home. It has the look of wood but comes at a much more reasonable price. It's also scratch resistant, dent resistant and very easy to install. It can be placed on top of concrete and wood sub-flooring. This is what you call a floating floor. It's not attached to the foundation or the sub-floor, but it's still very durable.

Rubber flooring is great for recreation rooms, children's rooms and exercise rooms. It's easy to clean and maintain and they also retain their sheen for many years.

Rugs are a very comfortable choice. They're soft to the touch and comfortable to walk on. Rugs can present an inviting feel and warm up any room. Area rugs can be used as a center piece on any of the above flooring and smaller rugs can accentuate your rooms décor.

Tile & stone flooring are great for their ease of maintenance and longevity. From modern to rustic homes, tile & stone can compliment any interior. The price will vary depending on what type of tile or stone you purchase. For example, ceramic tiles are cheaper than Slate.

Vinyl flooring is by far the most affordable type of flooring. You can purchase it in sheets or in tiles. Both are easy to install and come in a large variety of colors and styles.

Further Reading:

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