Just when you thought laminate couldn’t get any better, manufacturers have found a way to make this flooring wonderfully different, fashion-wise. Because technology is getting better, it is now possible to replicate stone and wood, not only to their exact color and texture but also to the special effects which make them trendy. The hand-scraped look, which is very hot for solid and engineered flooring, is becoming as hot as the summer season when it comes to laminate. In addition to hand-scraped and distressed looks, beveled edges, which are popular options in wood floors, are available in laminate too.
Another evolution in laminate is plank width. The traditional width of a laminate plank is 3 inches. What’s changing is the availability of wider laminate products mirroring what is going one with wood fashion.
Even though laminate flooring has come into its own as a separate flooring category, largely because of its new fashion looks and its extraordinary resistance to stains and ware, there are some advancement in things just can’t see that make laminate a great selection for areas of the home such as the nursery or basement playroom or office.
One is the underlayment, a material that is cushiony and sound absorbing. The underlayment assists in keeping the floor which is floating, in place. It also is a barrier to moisture, which makes it a great choice for using it below-grade. Underlayment can be separately purchased and put down like a cushion under carpeting or, more likely, comes already attached to each piece of better brand-name laminates. Many underlayments are showing up featuring antimicrobial properties which help prevent mold from growing should the back every get wet. Although a foam material is what we traditionally see for underlayment, a version with felt padding can be purchased with an R-value to provide insulation for your floors.
When buying underlayment or laminate with pre-attached underlayment, consider purchasing the best you can afford to get the most features and benefits.