What Is Wood Laminate Made From?
Wood laminate is one of the most popular flooring options on the market today.
Literally tens of millions of rooms across the globe have installed this luxurious flooring — from small homes tucked away on a remote island in the Outer Hebrides to large-scale offices and commercial premises in the heart of London.
So, what goes into making wood laminate? And does its construction have anything to do with its immense popularity?
Wood laminate consists of four layers that are pressed together at incredible temperatures in excess of 150 degrees.
This process is called the DPL construction method (otherwise known as Direct Pressure Laminate construction).
DPL remains the most common method for manufacturing wood laminate.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the four layers to see how they work individually and combine together to create one of the world’s most favoured flooring options.
The first layer is the base and consists of something called Back Paper.
Its purpose is to keep the board perfectly straight and seal the base.
This both ensures the board is not flimsy, remaining structurally sound underfoot, but also allows no moisture to permeate.
More expensive forms of laminate have foam padding built into it — thus removing the need for a separate underlay layer to be placed beneath the wood laminate board.
HDF Board Or Core
The HDF board or core is the centre layer of the laminate wood board and consists of HDF (High Density Fibre).
Some manufacturers prefer to use MDF instead (Medium Density Fibre).
Both board forms are made from softwood fibres that are combined with wax and resin binder and then fused together with high pressure and tremendous heat.
Generally, HDF is considered the better option and results in higher quality wood laminate flooring, but MDF does a serviceable job too.
Decorative Paper is the third layer.
This is what we think of when we picture wood laminate.
It’s most often a reproduction of a natural element such as marble, wood, or stone.
This is what gives each wood laminate texture its uniqueness.
The sky is the limit when it comes to designs, colours, and patterns as anything you can imagine can be made to order, although it’s always more cost-effective to choose from one of the many pre-made designs.
The Overlay Layer
The Overlay Layer is the final layer and rests on top of the Decorative Paper.
It’s the layer that gives the laminate wood flooring it’s rich finish.
But its usage doesn’t end with its appearance as it protects the Decorative Layer from wear and tear, including superficial scratches and scrapes mostly caused by scuffing shoes, scraping furniture legs, sharp pet claws or harsh vacuum cleaners.
In addition, it also protects the Decorative Layer from the full effect of harsh sunlight which would otherwise bleach the laminate wood flooring colour and design.
This is crucial as many homes have big windows that let in large amounts of sunlight.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s a lot more to laminate than meets the eye.
Every care has been taken to ensure the laminate wood flooring in your home will have the longest lifespan possible.
But in order to really keep your laminate in perfect working order, you must ensure to clean it correctly.
If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with us today.