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Laminate is one of the most popular floor coverings. By definition, this is a laminate floor. In fact, this word defines the polymer film itself, which covers chipboard and fiberboard.

Therefore, speaking of laminate in its current representation, it would be more accurate to define it as a laminate flooring. However, the concept of "laminate", which defines just such a coating, has not only firmly entered into everyday life, but has also become understandable and generally accepted to denote a floor of this type.

What is laminate flooring?

This is a multi-layer floor covering based on fiberboard or chipboard. In addition to the base, the material includes layers of special paper impregnated with melamine resins. All this "cake" is compressed under high pressure at high temperature. The amount of melamine in the impregnation and the thickness of the top layer (lamination film) regulate the quality and durability of the floor covering.

Let's take a closer look at the laminate layers:

  • Top layer - laminated film made of acrylic and melamine resin. It serves as a protective coating of the material - it protects the decorative layer from abrasion, damage, fading.
  • A decorative layer that imitates the pattern of wood, marble, parquet, tiles or any other texture. This is a paper layer with a pattern applied to it.
  • The base is a chipboard or fiberboard.
  • The bottommost is a waterproof melamine layer. It is stabilizing, giving stability and rigidity to the panels, protecting them from deformation.

Some grades of laminate may have additional layers of melamine-impregnated paper between the decorative layer and the base. This somewhat improves the consumer qualities of the material.

Despite the fact that the laminate consists of several layers, its thickness is only 6-12 mm. At the same time, their sound insulation properties directly depend on the thickness of the slabs.

Laminate history

As we see it now, laminate has appeared relatively recently - in the 80s of the last century. However, the primacy of his invention belongs to the Swedish company Perstorp Flooring (renamed Pergo Inc in 2000), which successfully produced laminated kitchen countertops in the early 70s.

The use of laminate as flooring started out pretty trivial. Due to the large production volumes, the company no longer found markets for sale, as a result of which the laminate began to be used as a floor covering. And already in 1977 the company developed a new technology for the production of material - under high pressure: HPL (High Pressure Laminate).

At the same time, other companies - FAUS (Spain), ALLOC (Norway) and UNILIN (Belgium), which is now known as Quick Step, tried to establish the production of the same flooring material.