Laminate flooring can be made to look and feel just like the type of hardwood floors you love - and often times for less cost of those materials! Laminate floors are comprised of 4 different layers: wear layer; decorative layer; backing layer; and the core layer. The top of laminate flooring is actually a high-resolution picture of the floor the laminate is trying to resemble, topped with clear, scratch-resistant cellulose paper.
Laminate floors are made using 1 of 2 different processes: high-pressure laminate or direct-pressure laminate. The process used to make high-pressure laminate involves treating each layer individually and fusing it directly to laminate's core layer. The result is a floor that can hold up better to heavy foot traffic better than direct pressure laminate.
Laminate hardwood floors that are made for commercial spaces (e.g. department stores) can withstand more wear and tear than even the hardest hardwood types. The strength of laminate floors are rated according to the Abrasion Class (AC) rating. Laminate floors that are rated AC1 and AC2 are weaker and are generally recommended for installation in low-traffic, residential areas (e.g. closet). Laminate floors with a rating of AC3, AC4 and AC5 can handle a high level of foot traffic and are recommended for residential areas and most commercial spaces.
Have a question about laminate and can't find the answer here? Check out FindAnyFloor.com's laminate FAQ section to find a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding laminate flooring.