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What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate Flooring is a popular alternative solid wood flooring but without the problems that timber is renowned for. Laminate is made up of four different layers:

  1. At the bottom is the balancing layer. This helps to prevent your flooring from bowing (curving in the middle) if the flooring is installed correctly.
  2. The next layer is a HDF (High Density Fibre) Board that is both moisture-resistance and durable. This helps to protect your flooring when liquids are spilt on to it.
  3. Next is the most important layer because it is the layer that gives the real wood effect that you and your family will be able to see and that complements your home. Named the design layer, it is essentially a high-resolution photograph of real wood that has been created using innovative technology methods.
  4. On top of the design layer, is a transparent overlay that is wear-resistant and protects the surface of your laminate flooring from spillages, stains, scratching, impact etc.

Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is commonly considered to be the best flooring option due to its durability and strength, however there are many reasons why you might choose to purchase a laminate instead.

Hardwoods are obviously sourced from trees, and as they are a slow-growing type, hardwoods are difficult to replace. This in turn pushes the cost of the flooring upwards making it an expensive option for many of us. Laminates, however, are manufactured from composite materials with a "photo" of the hardwood placed on top, creating a flooring that is considerably more affordable.

The pressed wood nature of laminate also ensures that it is more durable than hardwoods, which tend to be easier to scratch. Laminates are easier to clean without worrying that cleaning products might damage the material.


Laminate Flooring is typically sold in planks or tiles, allowing you to create an authentic flooring that is simple to install using Uniclic (click) or tongue and groove methods. The Uniclic locking system was developed by Unilin and is the method of choice amongst professional installer.

At Howarth Timber & Building Supplies, we stock both Elka and Quick Step laminate flooring options, with a wide range of colour and design specifications to suit almost every need, budget and taste.

Ideal for both domestic living areas and commercial situations.