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Shopping Fundamentals for Laminate Hardwood Flooring

Aug 17, 2007
If you are redesigning your home and a change of flooring is included in your makeover list, laminate hardwood flooring should be among your top choices.

The Origins of Laminate Hardwood Flooring

This style of floor is made up of several layers. The topmost layer is the overlay, and it's made of tough material that is impervious to almost all types of damage: stains, scratches, water, and so forth.

The succeeding layer on the other hand is made of paper only, and it's what gives the floor its unique appearance. It can make it look like authentic hardwood or other types of flooring.

The third layer is the core of flooring, and it's made from fiber board. It provides additional toughness. And finally, the last layer provides stability to the whole piece.

The process of making laminate hardwood flooring depends on what type of decorative paper is used. Some types use high-strength paper to increase its resistance to damage.

Classifications

Besides keeping an eye on what type of decorative paper is used, there are other properties that you should be aware of when shopping for laminate hardwood flooring. There are two primary types of laminate, and they're further divided into several categories.

Residential or Home Use

Type Twenty-One - This type of floor is most suitable for bedrooms and other parts of the house which are not frequently occupied by lots of people.

Type Twenty-Two - This type can handle the normal bustle of activities in living rooms and dining rooms.

Type Twenty-Three - Built extra tough, this type can be placed anywhere at home but will be put to better use in the kitchen and maybe the living room as well because these are the generally the busiest parts of a home.

Commercial or Business Use

Type Thirty-One - Laminate hardwood flooring under this category are ideal for places where the comings and goings of people is minimal such as hotels and conference centers.

Type Thirty-Two - Restaurants, offices, and reception rooms will benefit from this type of floor.

Type Thirty-Three - Government offices, public facilities, and other sites that are generally crowded will definitely need this type.

Buyers are often confused as to which flooring choices to make. Firstly, laminate hardwood flooring is also known as plastic laminate flooring. If you hear that term, that's exactly what you're looking for.

Don't confuse it with real wood flooring because the latter makes use of genuine wood for your flooring, which is not at all as tough as laminate hardwood flooring.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Laminate Hardwood Flooring

PROS

This type of floor will give your house the classical appeal that real hardwood flooring provides without having to suffer the inherent disadvantages of real wood flooring such as its vulnerability to damage from moisture and temperature change.

It is easy to install compared to other types of hardwood flooring. If you have the basic tools and equipment and of course essential DIY skills, there's no reason for you to hire a professional to help you out. You can truly do it all by yourself, and you won't even have to spend a long time doing it.

CONS

Laminate hardwood flooring cannot be refinished like real hardwood flooring. If it does wear out, the whole flooring has to be replaced with a new one. The good news here however is that it takes a very long time to wear out, so by the time it does, you'll probably be in the mood for a change of flooring anyway.

Although it is certainly similar or exactly alike in terms of appearance with real hardwood flooring, the texture isn't quite the same. Then again, since it's only your shoes that will feel the difference, this is only a minor bleep in the larger picture.

Ultimately, laminate hardwood flooring is the best choice of flooring for most households and especially for those working with a tight budget because it's easy to clean, install, resistant to almost all types of damage, affordable, and with a wide variety of designs for you to choose from.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.refinishing-hardwood-floors.com where you can learn more about different types of floors such as laminate hardwood flooring.
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