What is Laminate Flooring?
As terms evolve in the flooring industry, there is potential for misunderstandings on the part of consumers. One of the most confusing terms for many people is “laminate” flooring.
What Laminate Flooring Used to be Like
Before the introduction of plastic laminate flooring, many flooring specialists were using the term “laminate” to refer to authentic wood flooring that was engineered with thin strips of wood affixed to a plywood layer or other constructed base material. This term was used to distinguish the new forms of engineered flooring from authentic hardwood planks that were 100% solid wood throughout, with no glues or fillers.
Either kind of floor can be refurbished through the use of wood floor repairs including floorboard sanding, though in the case of laminates there was a limit to how many times these could be performed, since the wood layer in such products was relatively thin. While solid wood floors tend to be about three-quarters of an inch thick, engineered wood flooring may have a wood layer as thin as one-eighth of an inch.
What Laminate Flooring Consists of Now
In today’s world of flooring vocabulary, however, “laminate” most often means a product that may look like real wood, yet bears no resemblance whatsoever to it. Completely chemical in origin, laminate floors are made of plastic and other polymers. They are manufactured by as many as a hundred different companies in the world, but unfortunately, these floors cannot be successfully sanded. Once damaged, they remain that way. They also lack the warmth and beauty of true wood.