This concept which mimics the wood, stone and tile flooring was very popular in Europe and has now become extremely popular in the United States. One cannot easily make out the difference between the laminated and the wooden floor. A laminated floor is a laminated detailed image of the original material. The lamination is done with a long lasting plastic laminate.
The process involved
The process includes the amalgamation of melamine or aluminum oxide and fiberboard- usually an MDF board. A supporting layer is added to prevent seeping in of moisture as this could cause severe harm.
Manufactures and Installation
There are numerous manufacturers and each of them gives their own set of installation instructions which have to be followed diligently for apt look. Installing the laminates is relatively simple and needs to be glued on to the plywood or concrete floor. The floor has to be flat. While installing, ensure that the cut pieces are perpendicular to doors and windows so that the joints are not highlighted by the light streaming in. Gradually, scratches might appear on the surface due to the dust and grime. So it is absolutely essential to keep the surface dust and grime free. This can be done with the help of a vacuum cleaner or a mop. Refrain from using soap powder and wax on the surface also, ensure that water does not stagnate as moisture could seep in causing damage to the floor.
Cost effectiveness and availability
Laminated flooring is extremely cost effective and pocket friendly when compared to solid wood and engineered wooden flooring. It costs less than 50% of the total cost incurred in the installation of the wooden floor. The laminates are available in square tiles of 15 x15 and 24x 24 inches or 8x 47 inch dove- tail planks which interlock. Some of them are provided with a foam pad. This helps in protecting from moisture and providing a cushioned effect. While installing the laminate flooring it is not just the cost of the laminates that needs to be considered. The installation cost included the removal of the old flooring, moving furniture, repairs to the base or subfloor if any. Along with the flooring it is necessary to install threshold and base molding. Laminate floors are not sound proof and therefore the sound of traffic would filter into the house. To prevent this a bit of sound proofing has to be done. With all this it would still cost a lot lesser than the actual wooden flooring.[PS in this article the dimensions mentioned could be thrown as plagiarism. These are standard dimensions. Hence I have included them without conversions.]