The technology has also changed. With registered embossing and digital re-imaging, laminates can achieve realistic grout lines in tile patterns, flowing veins in marble look-a-likes, and smooth grains and tones in wood. Gluing a floor together plank by plank has also changed, as more and more companies have entered the glueless installation arena.
As technology develops further in the manufacture of these floors, laminates will continue to become more realistic to suit customers' tastes and needs. To that end, NFT presents our annual look at laminate floor fashions for the coming year.
Laminate has indeed come a long way. With the selection of companies and their products on display here, you’ll see for yourself just how far this flooring category, and industry, has come.
Parqcolor Fiber, another Abet offering, features a textured surface made from thousands of randomly placed small fibers derived from recycled fiber similar to burlap. Parqwood, a wood-veneer laminate floor from Abet, is manufactured with advanced protective overlays and textured surfaces.
In addition to warm oaks and textured stone patterns, Armstrong also offers styles in cherry and slate, as well as a laminate with the look of Mexican Saltillo tile. These floors -- Frederick Cherry, Slate, and Fum?espectively -- were introduced nationwide at retail last spring. All floors in Nature's Gallery feature the glueless ArmaLock Installation system.
Traffic Zone Plank floors are manufactured with the CrystalGuard surface layer for durability. Bruce says the floors, which are backed by a 25-year warranty, can be installed in any room -- including bathrooms -- due to their moisture-resistant Magnum HDF core.
Evermore is covered by a 20-year warranty against wear, stains and fading. The company also offers a line of moulding and transition pieces in seven wood types and 30 colorations to further enhance the floor's natural image.
The Wood Reserve Collection, available in 8-by-48-inch planks, features Formica's registered embossed technology to create textures and patterns that capture the look of natural wood grains such as Cognac Cherry, Golden Oak, Mocha Maple, and Traditional Cherry. The Stone Classix Collection encompasses four patterns that feature authentic textures and grout lines associated with handcrafted marble, stone and slate flooring. Stone Classix is available in 12-by-48-inch planks and features a random block pattern. All Formica laminate flooring is covered by a 20-year warranty against wear, stains, fading, and water damage.
The Historic, Exotic and Traditional collections feature a range of planks styled to replicate rare wood patterns, exotic grains and traditional favorites. The Historic Collection evokes the look of rare woods from ages past, such as Honey Knotty Heart Pine, Natural Historic Chestnut and Antique Barn Oak. The Exotic Collection includes Natural Norwegian Birch, Sable and Natural Exotic Cypress. The Traditional Collection features Gunstock Oak, Natural Yew and Rose Ash among its many selections. Flooring in these collections is backed by a 15-year warranty.
Natural Treasures and Natural Treasures Plus are composed of 15 SKUs of traditional, rustic and exotic wood-grain designs. The intricate wood designs are enhanced with an embossed surface that adds dimension and character, Shaw says. Natural Treasures Plus comes with Silent Step Plus attached underlayment for sound absorption. All of the flooring options feature the VersaLock glueless installation system.