Laminate flooring is made of 4 Layers
1. Wear Layer
The Wear Layer is the first line of defense of laminate flooring. Typically, this layer is made of Melamine, or Aluminum Oxide. These materials create a clear, but scratch resistant film over the top of the Design layer.
2. Design Layer
The Design Layer of laminate is the actual picture of the veneer that you see! This layer gives laminate flooring its color, style, pattern, and overall look of the flooring. Many designs of laminates are available, as this part is essentially a laminated picture.
3. Inner Core
The Inner Core of Laminate flooring is typically made of compressed wood particles. This gives the laminate its rigidity, thickness, shape, size, and locking system. The locking system has both a male and female end, so that the flooring pieces are interlocking with each other.
4. Stabilizing Layer / Backing
The Stabilizing layer is for added stability on the back side of the laminate plank. This helps to hold the compressed Dense Fiber Core together.
As with most flooring options available, Laminate has gone through some changes in technological advances in the last few years. Some of these new features can be seen with higher end laminates, such as Melamine infused Inner Cores, that create an almost water proof laminate flooring.
One of the main reasons to use laminate flooring over others, is its great resistance to scratching.
Laminates come rated based on the "AC" Scale of Scratch and Dent Resistance. The easiest way to remember the difference is as follows:
AC1 - Light residential use (Not commonly available)
AC2 - Medium residential use (Not Commonly available)
AC3 - Medium to Heavy Residential use
AC4 - Heavy residential, Light Commercial use
AC5 - Heavy Commercial use
We carry only AC3+ and above here at Gator Carpet!