Laminate flooring is one of the most popular floor options in Europe, the US, and several other parts of the world. This innovative flooring product was first introduced to the market, in 1977, by the Swedish firm Perstorp. It did not become available in the rest of Europe until 1984, but was an almost immediate hit. The same thing happened in 1994, when it was first sold in the United States.
Since then this beautiful flooring product has been greatly improved. The manufacturing process has been honed to produce denser, better looking and more durable, planks.
The development of easy installation systems
Until the mid nineties, laminate floors were still quite tricky to lay. In the early days, many DIYers tried to lay their own flooring, only to discover that they need reasonable carpentry skills to do so. Up until then, laminate planks had to be laid in the same way a hardwood floor would have to be. That meant using glue, or nails, to hold the floor in place.
The inventors realised that the fact the flooring was not easy to lay was holding the product back. In response to this, several manufacturers developed click and install systems. These were a big success, which turned laminate flooring into one of the easiest products to lay. The planks just slot into place and there is no need to use any kind of adhesive.
The development of new designs and patterns
Initially, laminate flooring was only available in faux wood designs. These patterns were easy to recreate in a plank format. Today, you can buy stone and tile effect laminate flooring. Advances in photographic and printing techniques, is what has made this possible.
Advances in digital photography allowed manufacturers to take high-resolution pictures or all kinds of flooring materials, including stone and tile finishes. Using modern photographic software, these images were enhanced and manipulated to produce a high quality replica of any type of floor.
These advances mean that it does not matter what type of floor finish you want you can find a laminate flooring equivalent. If you do not see the exact design you want it can normally be replicated and produced. There are customised laminate flooring firms out there that will do this for you.
Advances in the composition of the planks
Over the years, the composition of the planks has also been improved. Today, the majority of laminate flooring is made from fibreboard. This material is far more durable than the composite wood that was used in the early days. For example, it is less sensitive to humidity.
Buying laminate flooring
However, despite the advances, there is a lot of variation when it comes to quality. Therefore, when buying laminate flooring for a project it is important to do your research and buy from a dependable supplier.
There are dozens of different laminate flooring designs available at www.discountflooringdepot.co.uk. This company offers a good guarantee, and they are one of the few online suppliers that send out samples. Being able to look before you buy is a big plus.