Laminate flooring is actually constructed of 4 layers; wear, design, core, and the back layer. Each layer serves a distinct purpose and are fused together using high heat and intense pressure. Below is a break down of these layers.

  • Back Layer: bottom layer; responsible for protecting the plank against moisture, and balances the floor.
  • Core Layer: above the back layer; is a durable, high-density board that protects from indentations and moisture.
  • Design Layer: above the core layer; has a high-resolution photograph of the floor’s surface appearance.
  • Wear Layer: top layer; is a clear layer that is made of aluminum oxide that protects against fading, stains, and surface burns.

Pros of laminate Flooring

  • laminate is made from pressed wood, it is more durable and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear.
  • Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily. If you buy flooring that comes in individual pieces and snaps together, you may be able to replace individual boards
  • Easy to clean. Just use a vacuum or broom. Mop with a slightly damp mop or better yet, laminate floor cleaner. No floor waxing is ever necessary.
  • Laminate flooring can be installed in semi-moist areas like powder rooms, kitchens, and other places where you encounter "topical moisture,"
  • Unlike wood, which can dent, laminate flooring is almost impervious to dents and scratches. Laminate flooring has a "wear layer" that protects the photographic layer underneath

Cons of Laminate Flooring

  • Excessive water can seep into the seams between boards, causing swelling.
  • laminate will not tolerate standing pools of water--a condition that describes kitchens and bathrooms when there are water leaks. For heavy moisture, you need a very impervious surface like vinyl
  • The inability to sand and refinish
  • This faithfully reproduced appearance disappears when you get too close to the flooring. More at issue is pattern repetition. Only five to ten differently patterned boards will be produced.
  • Laminate flooring has classically been the "death knell" for commanding higher resale value when selling your home. Hardwood and engineered wood give you better value when reselling if you want to get top dollar for your home.