Laminate flooring continues to trend across the globe, but there are still quite a few fascinating facts and interesting titbits about this product that you might not know.
You might find yourself wanting to learn more about this versatile product because it offers an exceptional balance between affordability and high-quality flooring.
Wood laminates come in a variety of designs, shades and textures, and whether you need something for a tight budget, or if you’re looking for a luxury option, you will find it.
Thanks to the lovely, nature-identical styles available, laminate flooring is often preferred over hardwood floors, and homeowners all over the world enjoy its durability and easy maintenance.
If you would like to know more about this product, here are five facts you might not yet have heard about it.
1. Laminate Flooring is Older than You Might Think
Laminates have a rather unique history.
It was first a material commonly found in kitchens – on countertops, to be specific. Many people remember the product making it big on the market in the 1970s and 1980s, but the process of manufacturing laminates started much earlier.
In the 1920s, Swedish manufacturers first started using glue to adhere multiple thin layers of wood pulp together. Once stuck together, the composition would be cured with high heat or pressure. Using heat was a slower, more costly process, however, while using high pressure was cheaper and faster.
When manufacturers began using pressure and other cost-effective processes to make laminates, it became affordable enough for the residential market. The direct-pressure method used also allowed for various finishes and patterns. By the 1970s, laminates were a durable, yet affordable, alternative to hardwood floors.
2. The Top Layer is Made with a Printer
Laminate flooring is made with various layers pressed together, making up a high-density fibreboard (HDF) core – which happens to be one of the hardest wood materials available.
Some laminates are even harder than hardwood floors and won’t dent as easily. What gives each plank that authentic wooden look, however, is that it is topped with a photorealistic image, sometimes called “living paper” that is created through a 3D, high-definition printing process. This image layer is then coated with aluminium oxide to ensure its durability and resistance to damage.
These improved digital printing techniques and embossing technologies have evolved so far that it is nearly impossible for an untrained eye to differentiate between real hardwood and the HD visuals on laminate flooring planks.
3. Laminates Are Not Just for Floors
If you have bought laminates or recently removed your old laminate floors, you may have a surplus of boards and not know what to do with them.
If the global COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that DIY arts and crafts can be incredibly fun – even when they flop. There are plenty of ways to upcycle those leftover planks – from creating photo frames and coasters to resurfacing your kitchen island, creating a new headboard, or using them as wainscoting panels on your walls. Whether you want to create floating shelves or section off your garden beds, there are tons of ideas to explore.
4. Research Suggests Laminates Will Only Become More Popular
Improved designs, affordability, and the practical benefits of laminate flooring have fuelled worldwide demand for the product – and it’s an upward trend forecasted to become even more popular.
Recent market research and analysis show us that in 2021, the laminate global flooring market was valued at USD 28,91 billion. This number is expected to spike in the coming years, with a future estimated market value of USD 44,36 billion by 2029 (you can convert this to Rands here). What this lucrative growth pattern suggests is that people love laminates – they trust them, they enjoy using them, and they think of them as a phenomenal investment.
5. You Can Install Wood Laminates Any Way You Want
Laminate flooring can be used for accent walls, kitchen splashbacks and even on ceilings.
There are other dynamic ways to have them installed as floors too, however. For instance, instead of sticking to one colour, alternate your planks with one slightly lighter and one slightly darker shade of the same design. This will add depth to the installation and draw the eye in. Planks can also be cut at an angle to install them in zig-zag patterns such as a chevron or herringbone style for added interest.
There is no need for planks to be installed parallel to each other if you find it boring – you are free to have your planks cut and arranged as you wish.
We Just Can’t Get Enough of the Benefits
Laminate floors have been praised for decades for their durability. While they are enjoyed residentially, they are durable enough to withstand high traffic in commercial spaces such as educational institutions, retail spaces and even airports. They don’t dent or scratch easily, and because they are not solid wooden planks, they will offer slightly more resistance to moisture than hardwood too.
The biggest draw of laminate flooring, however, is that they emulate various luxury hardwoods beautifully without the high cost.
If you would like to find out about our range of wood laminate flooring, be sure to get in touch with us today.