Here is how Laminate Flooring is made
Laminate floors are today available in a multitude of textures, patterns and designs, and they all consist of four basic layers which are bonded together.These basic layers are:
- The Balancing Layer: Also called the backing layer, this is a melamine layer that lends planks dimensional stability while also guarding against moisture and warping from the sub-floor.
- The Core Layer: This is a core board usually made from high-density particle board or fiberboard which contains resins to help improve the core’s moisture resistance levels and increase the floor’s lifespan.
- The Pattern/Design Layer: This is a high-resolution photo print that’s added to the top of the core board, giving the floor a decorative look. It is a printed reproduction of ceramic tile, natural stone or wood grain pattern. Texture can also be applied here.
- The Wear Layer: This layer contains aluminum oxide and melamine resin. Extremely durable, it protects your floor from stains, gouges, fading and other damage.
These layers are then combined in a high-pressure process for roughly 20 to 30 seconds.Now let’s go through the manufacturing process, one step at a time.
Electronic Precision Stacking
The four layers of raw materials are assembled in large sheets on a production line. Each layer is then stacked on top of the other with incredible precision using electronic digital camera systems plus sophisticated calibrating equipment to keep them in perfect alignment. The backing layer is laid first, with the core board coming directly on top of it. The pattern layer is then stacked on top of the core board, with the wear layer being stacked last.
The Pressure is On
The layers stacks are now ready for pressing. Presses that create laminate flooring employ hydraulic rams which apply tremendous pressure to the stack. These layers are pressed at temperatures that can hit 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and a pressure of 600 pounds per square inch. The temperature and pressure in the pressing process has to be carefully monitored in order to bond and cure the stacks into a single sheet successfully. Should the laminate have a textured surface, the press comes with specialized plates to imprint the pattern onto the sheets to create that natural looking tile or plank.
Time to Cool Off
The pressed sheets are left to cool off. This is to ensure they’re fully cured in order to prevent any imperfections on the surface. The stacked sheets are then stored for some time so they acclimate to enhance their stability.
Planks, Profiles and Precision
Upon being fully acclimated, the boards are cut into planks which then move along for the profile stage. Here, the tongue and groove edges that are on the sides of planks to enable floors easily lock together are created by a host of profiling saws. These profiling saws have blades which use laser and electronic systems to produce incredibly precise and accurate edges for the perfect fit during installation.
Finished planks will then be taken through a quality inspection to be checked for size, finish, texture, color as well as the correct interlocking capabilities. Once approved, these planks are stacked and packaged ready for distribution. Now you know how laminate flooring is manufactured, which explains why it’s such a cost-efficient, durable and beautiful flooring answer for many homeowners across the world.
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