If you are considering laminate flooring, it is important to know how laminate flooring is made. Laminate flooring is made though a unique manufacturing process. There are four main layers in a laminate floor – these layers are fused together using a high pressure and high heat process that makes the flooring sturdy and durable.
The Layers of Laminate Flooring Explained
The bottom most layer is known as the backer balancing layer (D) . This layer is what gives the board a straight base and provides basic balance and stability. Sometimes there is an attached underlayment (E) underneath this backing layer. Whether there is attached underlayment depends on the manufacturer, but it is a completely optional layer.
The core of the laminate is known as the high density fiberboard (HDF) core (C). Wood fibers are taken and combined with additives such as resins and waxes to increase strength and durability. These fibers are then shaped into a plank and pressed together under very high pressure to create the core plank of laminate flooring.
A decorative paper layer (B) is added to the top of the HDF core. This decorative layer can be absolutely any design, color, and pattern, giving laminate flooring endless design possibilities. This high quality decorative layer is what makes laminate look so realistic and natural.
The decorative layer is coated with a wear layer (A). The wear layer is an aluminum oxide coating that gives the laminate shine and protection. The surface is sealed through this layer and protected from UV damage, scratches, and scuffs. The wear layer is available in a number of finishes, depending on what floor is being produced. Different wear layers are also applied to create different AC ratings. The higher the AC rating, the more durable the floor will be.
These layers are combined to create one seamless surface. After the planks are made, the edges are cut to create locking systems which are then fitted back together again during installation.
If you’re really curious, see Kronoswiss’s laminate flooring production process in the video below!