Today's laminate so closely resembles hardwood, you'll have trouble spotting the difference. A tribute to modern manufacturing, laminate flooring continues to make innovative breakthroughs. It now conveys the authentic look of wood or ceramic tile. A variety of shades and finishes allows you to choose the wood look down to the species and now, laminates are mimicking hardwood even more.
Layer 1: A melamine backing layer provides a moisture barrier and structural integrity.
Layer 2: EnviroCore™ - Shaw's environmentally friendly coreboard – dense inner layer made of recycled wood fiber meaning fewer trees used with less waste.
Layer 3: Beneath the top layer is the decor layer featuring natural hardwood designs.
Layer 4: A melamine wear top layer offers a tough, beautiful finish.
The perfect alternative to real hardwood flooring, laminate floors have been installed in homes for over 25+ years. Most laminate floors are currently imported, though several brands are manufactured in the U.S.
Laminate wood floors exhibit excellent performance and even resemble real hardwood floor installations, though they're not wood. The cross-section diagrams at left illustrate the differences between laminates and real wood.
Laminate floors offer the homeowner many benefits, including:
Easy to clean surface Superior stain resistance
Superior fade resistance Install on all grade levels, even below grade
Install over many different types of subfloors
Great impact and indentation resistance
Exceptional realism at affordable costs
Easy to replace later on, if desired
The majority of laminate floors can be installed anywhere in your home, including bathrooms and kitchens. Laminate floors never need waxing or polishing. While a laminate floor can be somewhat noisy when people walk on it, special underlying paddings are used to reduce noise levels. Laminates also resist sunlight damage.
Laminate floors are intended to be floated over many types of subfloors; they're never actually attached to any substrate directly. That is, the floor lays right on top of the subfloor, which can be concrete, wood, or an even existing floor. This allows for the laminate floor to contract and expand freely as the environment of the room changes. Laminate flooring comes in squares and planks of different shapes and sizes. Each plank has tongue & groove edges for connecting the planks together.
The "floating floor" install means that the laminate flooring is not anchored to a subfloor. A polyurethane underlayment is laid before the new laminate flooring is installed. Some underlayments offer additional benefits such as reducing noise vibrations, or acting as a moisture barrier. Tongue and grooved edges of laminate floors are sealed to prevent moisture from damaging the inner core structure.
Resilient vinyl flooring is perhaps the most popular choice of flooring for today’s consumer. This product can be installed almost anywhere in your home, meaning you can have the wood look in areas where wood is not recommended, such as the bathroom or laundry room. This flooring is also very easy to clean. All of this plus comfort under foot.
Vinyl flooring is also extremely versatile and available in a variety of colors and styles. We can help you find a look that simulates any number of flooring types such as hardwood, tile and stone. Today's vinyl is created from photos so manufacturers can literally morph any image or visual and transfer it to the product. Once the image is transferred and the product is created, they can add textures that will create a look so natural that it will be difficult to spot the difference. Additionally, vinyl has a comfort under foot that you simply can’t get from some other flooring types.
Second, vinyl flooring is resistant to water, mildew and stains. Liquids stay on the surface and are easily wiped away, so spills are not a problem with resilient flooring.
Vinyl is also very durable and can stand up to the even the toughest tests of a busy family’s lifestyle. If you have pets or small children in the house, vinyl performs very well.
Depending on the style you choose, there are simple click-and-lock installation methods that don’t require glue. There are also a few products in the line that can be direct glued to the floor. An added benefit luxury vinyl plank or tile is the ability to replace a piece in the event there is any damage. Simply remove the damaged plank or tile and replace with a new one.
The advantages to choosing vinyl are virtually endless. This is a product that you have to see to believe...