In 1881, before laminate flooring ever existed, a company called Stensmölla Kemiska Tekniska Industri (the parent company to Pergo and Perstorp) began refining beech wood in Sweden. The process they used grew very popular. In 1923, Perstorp Industrial Group used the laminate materials created by Stensmölla Kemiska Tekniska Industri to make radios.
That industry took off for a few decades, but as sales started to decline, the creators started to look at other uses for the popular material.
In 1974, Perstorp AB acquired AB Tilafabriken. In this new partnership, technology was created to refine laminate even further so that it could be used on countertops and windowsills. But that still wasn’t enough for the company.
In 1977, Perstorp Corporation sat face-to-face with the reality of poor sales. They put together a brainstorming group to find a way to break free from the low sales and use their newly enhanced technology.
After much deliberation, the group found multiple uses for their once popular project, creating high-pressure laminates (HPL). By 1979, the first ever HPL floorboard rolled off the assembly line and Perstorp Golv GL80 became the first laminate flooring ever sold.
Over the next decade, marketing for the new flooring began and sales skyrocketed. New formats and developments took place. It was clear that the future of laminate flooring was being created.
A big year in laminate flooring history was 1985. Pergo built the first ever laminate flooring factory. In 1988, Pergo applied for a patent on laminate flooring – it was awarded only a few years later in 1990.
About a decade after the first HPL flooring was made, a new type of laminate was created – direct-pressure laminate flooring (DPL). This was a major technological innovation because DPL was cheaper and easier to produce. Now, more homeowners could add laminate flooring to their houses at a much cheaper cost.
With the increase in markets came even more innovation. Laminate flooring started becoming more decorative and attractive. Stone-effects were added in the early 1990’s, and wood textures were added in the early 2000’s.
In 1994, Pergo launched a marketing campaign in the United States selling laminate flooring. In 1996, the first United States factory opened in Garner, North Carolina. At the same time, Pergo filed for yet another patent for embossed-in-register technology.
In addition, the flooring itself became more advanced with click-in systems added in the late 1990’s, and sound insulation added in 2000.