Laminate flooring is very durable and constructed to resist furniture indentations and scuff marks. It is an interlocking floor that uses a tongue and groove system to keep the floor in place. Laminate flooring "floats" on top of the existing subfloor (concrete, wood subfloor, vinyl, hardwood, and other existing floors), and it is not attached to it. Prior to installation, a polyurethane pad is laid down to keep the flooring from sticking to the subfloor. Laminate flooring is made up of several layers, a hard-core material in the center, a special backing, and a laminated printed layer to give it the desired look. It is then coated in a plastic resin that helps make it very durable.
Laminate flooring is available in a wide array of styles, colors, and patterns. Originally, laminate flooring only simulated the look of hardwood but is now available in marble and slate patterns as well. Because of the printed layer, it is easy to achieve realistic looking floors that you otherwise couldn’t find or afford. Laminate flooring is made mostly in rectangular eight-inch planks, but some square tiles are available as well.
Laminate floors are sold by the square foot and tend to be a little more expensive than vinyl floors. Its durability, resistance to stains, and lasting beauty, however, make laminate flooring a good value. When choosing laminate flooring, pay close attention to the warranties offered by each manufacturer. Many are clearly different and often are a good indication of the quality of the product.
Laminate floors are very easy to maintain and don’t stain easily. Vacuuming and dust mopping should be done for routine cleaning and most stains and spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth. If you scratch or chip your floor, there are several tools available to help you repair the damage. Special pencils can be used to hide scratches while heating knifes and filling material can be used to fill chips and dents.