How Laminate Flooring is Made
Laminate flooring is made of various layers that are fused together. The layers in most laminate flooring include:
Wear Layer - This is the top layer, the one you walk on. It's usually made from cellulose paper that's been saturated with melamine plastic resins that make laminate flooring so incredibly scratch-resistant.
Design Layer - This is the image you see, typically a photograph or patterned print that has been copied onto cellulose paper. Because it is below the upper melamine layer, it can't be marked or scuffed and it won't fade.
Core Layer - This is the backbone of all laminate flooring. The core layer is usually some form of processed particle board and comes in different strengths and thicknesses.
Stabilizing Layer - This is the bottom layer that holds everything in place. It's usually made from resin-saturated paper, just like the top layer.
In addition, some brands of laminate flooring have an underlayment attached to the bottom. The underlayment is designed to absorb sound and cushion the floor. It is usually made of cork, felt, foam or some similar material.
Laminate flooring is put together in two different ways
- Direct-pressure laminate flooring is the most common variety. All the layers are assembled at once, then heated and pressed to form a bond.
- High-pressure laminate flooring is a more recent innovation and is often found in more expensive premium brands. Both the top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate flooring are treated separately, then fused to core layer under extreme pressure.