What is Laminate Flooring?

You want the look of hardwood but don’t have the budget. Get ready for a great solution: Laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring has gone big-time and is now a staple in many homes. Modern laminate flooring looks better, performs better, and feels better underfoot than ever before. Laminate has even become a premium flooring choice for high-end homes. With all of this popularity and limelight, you may be wondering: what is laminate flooring?

What is Laminate Flooring Made Of?

Chopin Novelette 7.56″ Waterproof Laminate Kitchen Flooring
Novelette 7.56″ Waterproof Laminate in Chopin

Laminate is a synthetic multi-layer floor that’s fused together in a lamination process (hence the name), and often manufactured to replicate the look of hardwood and stone surfaces. Before installing, it’s important to understand the different layers that make up laminate. 

Wear Layer: This is the top layer of laminate. It’s an invisible surface that rests over the material and helps protect against scratches and other damage. This layer is usually made from an aluminum oxide chemical treatment.

Design Layer: This is the surface that gives laminate its actual appearance. It’s created when an image or pattern is printed on paper like materials that are embedded in resin.

Inner Core: This is the heart of the flooring. It provides the depth, structure and stability of the actual surface covering. It generally consists of wood chips or sawdust that’s ground into a very fine powder, then coated with resin and pressed into flat sheets.

Backing: This last part is a moisture barrier that protects the floor from warping.


What Goes Under Laminate Flooring?

For the smoothest and most even laminate flooring look and feel, you’ll need to put underlayment – or padding – between the subfloor and your laminate planks. Laminate is a “floating” floor, so including underlayment allows the flooring to be distributed evenly and safely.


History of Laminate Flooring

Laminate got its start in the early 1920’s when the process of lamination was first developed. Originally it wasn’t strong enough for flooring, so it was used for counters and backsplashes. But overtime, the innovations in the manufacturing process helped refine the finished product and made it increasingly durable.

The first laminate flooring was invented by a Swedish company named Perstop in 1977. And then in 1984, they began marketing it in Europe under the name we’re all familiar with, “Pergo.”

During the years 1996 and 1997, glue-less interlocking laminate flooring was also invented by two separate companies at the same time in Europe (a Swedish company called Väling Aluminum and a Belgian company called Unilin). Today, after many legal issues between the companies, almost all interlocking laminate floors are sold by one of the two corporations, or even a combination of both. Väling Innovation calls theirs Alloc and Fiboloc, and Unilin calls theirs Quick-Step Flooring, another name we hear often.


If you are looking for a practical, economical alternative to hardwood flooring or stone, consider installing laminate flooring in your home. Visit an Avalon Flooring showroom for assistance in selecting the best laminate option for you!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.