Laminate Floors – Impressive technology

So what exactly is laminate flooring?

I like technology, and clever solutions, even those that we now take for granted, and I was speaking today to a friend who is an expert with flooring, particularly laminate flooring.

I was very impressed with the original idea and the abundance of options that are available today, so here are a few facts that you might find interesting.

First of all you might get a bit confused over some people calling it laminate flooring and others calling it Pergo flooring. The reason is that Pergo invented laminates in the 70’s and their brand is still referred to as pergo, whereas other companies who have copied the technology call theirs laminate.

Pergo Flooring

Pergo is a brand name originally created by Swedish firm Perstorp which later became a business unit of Mohawk Industries.

They invented laminated flooring in 1977, it is a layered combination of wood fibres and plastic (which is called in the trade “composite wood” or “plastic wood”).

The layers are laminated together and then a photograph of a wood effect floor is printed onto the surface of it.

So really what you are laying in your home is a photograph of wood on a man-made board, but the quality and realism of the printing is so good that it is very difficult to distinguish between the laminate and the real thing.

The planks or tiles usually interconnect via a variety of locking mechanisms which then seamlessly cover an entire floor area, they usually have laminate flooring underlay laid first, which acts as insulation to cold and sound.

What are the advantages of laminate floor tiles?

First of all there is a huge choice of patterns. because the top layer is a photograph it can be made to simulate practically anything – wood, stone, and anything else you can imagine.

It is also very easy to install due to its simple connectivity, and this also allows it to be laid professionally very quickly.

You also don’t need to nail down the floor as you would with real wood, and it can be laid over any kind of existing floor as well, so there are no limitations.

It is also hygienic and easy to clean, waterproof (making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms), and it is very cheap compared to the materials it portrays.

The only drawbacks are that the top wear layer can become damaged (e.g. due to heavy use) and this then ruins the effect, but it is a simple job to simply remove and replace a damaged plank, so really, all things considered, laminate floors are a great looking, easy to use, and price competitive solution.

And remember you don’t have to choose Pergo, that is just a brand name for this type of floor.