WASHINGTON, DC – High-heel shoes walk quickly across the kitchen floor on the way to the garage and another day’s work. Later, as dinner is being prepared, a jar of spaghetti sauce tumbles off the counter, splattering a red mess across the floor.
Dents? None. Stains? Relax. Laminate flooring can take it. In fact, it would be difficult to find a flooring product that is more durable than laminate.
That’s why consumers are increasingly turning to laminate flooring as their choice throughout the home. And laminate flooring is showing up beyond the kitchen – in entry halls, family rooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.
“Laminate flooring started in the kitchen,” says Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). “Over the years, its popularity has grown so that it’s now found in every room in the house.”
Indeed, sales of laminate flooring are growing steadily, according to a recently released Global Industry Analysts report, which says that the growth is driven by escalation in new home construction as well as residential remodeling.
“Laminate (flooring) with close resemblance to wood and advantageous features of durability, beauty and novel designs capable of replicating granite and stone are creating myriad decorating possibilities for residential and commercial interiors,” according to Global Industry Analysts.
Furthermore, home improvements using laminate flooring are motivated by ease of installation, simple upkeep, long-term durability, and increasingly innovative product designs, which are quickly making laminate floors one of the most popular and affordable options throughout the home.
Design, in fact, is often what initially catches the homeowner’s eye. Today’s laminate flooring is setting new standards in realism – especially in high-end wood designs. Laminate floorcovering manufacturers are now replicating the subtle details of real wood such as saw marks, wire brushing and even nail and worm holes.
Especially popular in family rooms are rustic laminate looks. Micro beveling gives the laminate the authentic appearance of natural grooves – but none of the wear and tear of other flooring products.
Other laminate flooring designs create realism with texture and embossing. But, Dearing says, “Laminate flooring has never tried to be an imitation of anything else and today, it comes in a variety of rich designs, including popular wood-based styles.”
Those designs are a result of a unique lamination process. Laminate flooring is comprised of a hybrid of materials fused together through that lamination process. Between a tough protective top layer and a high-density fiberboard core is a decorative layer, which provides a high-definition, highly detailed image – realistically simulating everything from hardwood to marble to stone.
And when homeowners find a design they like, Dearing says, they generally use that laminate flooring throughout the home. That’s especially true of adjoining rooms such as living and dining rooms.
So look beyond the kitchen when you’re selecting laminate flooring for your home.
“When it comes to design options,” Dearing concludes, “there’s no shortage with laminate floors.”