When laminate flooring is manufactured it is compiled up of various layers, which are then fused together. Normally these are only four layers that are assembled by direct pressure or high pressure. A few manufactures will even add an underlayment or balancing layer on the bottom of the laminate.
The direct pressure method is when all of the layers of the laminate are assembled then heated and compressed together at the same time.
The high pressure method is a new innovation that is designed for the premium laminate floors. This process fuses all layers under extremely high pressure which allows for even more extreme durability factors.
The Four Layers of Laminate Flooring
Wear Layer – This layer is the transparent surface or wear layer that is walked on. It allows the laminate flooring scratch resistant and durable properties that are UV resistant. They are now able to be designed with texture in mind.
Design Layer – Like vinyl flooring, this is the layer that gives laminate flooring its pattern, color characteristics and overall ascetic beauty. This layer will not get scuffed, marked and will not fade.
Core Layer – This layer is the main component of laminate floors and is normally made from a strong particle or chip board. There are many thicknesses that are available and are labeled by their overall strengths. New technologies even allow the core layer to be treated with chemicals to repel water and prevent warping.
Stabilizing or Balancing Layer – This layer is the bottom structure that is designed to hold the structure of the laminate flooring from bowing or collapsing in the center. It is all moister resistant by having been designed with melamine plastics.