Laminate flooring has been a fashionable option in Europe for more than 20 years, and it's rapidly gaining popularity in North America. The most common designs have a wood grain appearance; some are made to look like stone or marble. Laminates are designed to look good for many years with a minimum amount of maintenance.
Laminate flooring consists of four main components that are bonded together. A wear-resistant decorative surface made of resin-based melamine/aluminum oxide is bonded to a moisture resistant wood composition-based core. A balancing backing is bonded to the underside of the core. On the top is a clear cap sheet of aluminum oxide, which provides the protection and stain resistance. Since the resin-filled wear layer is so dense, it becomes extremely difficult to stain, scratch or burn.
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