The History of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring has come a long way since it first began appearing in homes in the 1970s. What was once a low-end alternative to timber has transformed into a warm, elegant and durable floorcovering suitable for both modern and traditional spaces.
How laminate flooring made its mark on the industry
Lamination has been around since the 1920s when Swedish manufacturers first began using the process to glue many thin layers of wood pulp together, curing them with heat or pressure.
However, it wasn’t until the seventies that laminates began to enter the flooring market, providing a durable, cheap and low maintenance alternative to traditional wood floorboards.
With the switch in the laminate manufacturing process from heat (slower and more expensive) to pressure (quicker and cheaper), the product began to take off in the residential market. Laminate flooring manufactured using this direct pressure method was a major technological innovation, allowing for different finishes, patterns and styles to roll out into the market.
Patterns and embossing created a wider range of variations, expanding the appeal of laminate as an affordable and easy to maintain surface. And, as the desire for laminate flooring grew, so too did the variety and type of patterns available. Consumers could now choose stone and wood effects, with timber-look laminate flooring becoming a common floor covering in the late 90s to early 2000s as the interest in home improvement & DIY began to skyrocket.
Today’s laminates: beautiful, modern floor coverings
Today, laminate flooring comes in nature-identical styles and patterns, bringing the warmth and elegance of timber look flooring without the high maintenance requirements.
Where hardwood floorboards are easily scratched, dented and scuffed, laminates offer a much more durable surface making them ideal for high traffic areas, family homes, commercial spaces and businesses. These hard-wearing attractive surfaces retain their ‘like new’ look for far longer than other materials, with most styles manufactured in around 8mm thick sheets.
The wood finishes on our laminate flooring range from pale whitewashed grey tones to dark, rich chocolate woods. Styles such as our Balterio Urban range mimic the characterful floors of European factory conversions, with textural saw marks that resemble old and worn planks. All choices offer excellent quality and wear resistance whilst also remaining affordable.
It’s worth noting that the multiple layers of laminate flooring also offer an allergy-friendly alternative to carpet, which can harbour dust mites, dirt and debris.
Benefits of laminate flooring
- More affordable than traditional timber floors
- Highly durable making it suitable for high traffic areas
- Easy to clean and incredibly low maintenance
- Resistant to scratching and marks, so it looks better for longer
- Excellent timber-like realism with plank patterns that don’t repeat often, meaning you get a more natural effect
- Warm underfoot
- Allergy-friendly alternative to carpets and soft floorcoverings
- Available in a huge variety of colours to suit your decor
- Available in both wide and thin ‘plank’ patterns, giving different effects and a totally different atmosphere in your home
- Very quick to install using a simple click-in process – no glue required
- 100% water-resistant surfaces make laminate flooring ideal for kitchens and wet areas
- If a section becomes damaged it can easily be lifted out and replaced without fuss
- Laminate floorings typically come with warranties in excess of 20 years in residential settings
Find out more about our laminate floor range
Take a look at our wide range of laminate flooring, bamboo flooring and hybrid floors, or contact our friendly team for a free sample.