As I look around for laminate flooring I’ve found some that says it’s direct pressure laminate. What does this term mean and is it something I need in my home?
– James N.
Direct pressure signifies the type of pressure used when making the laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring is made using four main layers.
- The protective layer
- The decorative layer
- The inner layer
- The backing layer
To create a plank, these four layers must be pressed together with enough pressure to turn them into one piece of flooring. There are two processes for doing this – direct pressure and high pressure.
Direct Pressure Laminate
Most of the laminate flooring you will find on the market for residential projects is direct pressure laminate. This type of flooring is created using 300 to 500 pounds of pressure pre square inch (PSI). This is enough PSI to create flooring with an AC rating as high as 4. Remember, the higher the AC rating, the more durable the flooring.
High Pressure Laminate
High pressure laminate is used when durability is a major factor. That’s why this type of flooring is usually only used in commercial settings where there is heavier foot traffic.
It is created using over 1,300 PSI. While the pressure is applied, heat helps fuse the layers together. This process is done in multiple steps, which is different than the direct pressure process.
The benefit to using direct pressure laminate in your home is the aesthetic appeal. With direct pressure, the design looks more attractive and realistic. That’s why the majority of laminate flooring is created using this process.
If you’re worried that direct pressure might not be enough for your needs, reach out to us and we’ll help you decide! Contact one of our flooring experts today for help using the chat box on this page.