Rather than the real thing the finish layer of laminate consists of a mere photograph of whichever material it is supposed to simulate (wood, tile). The photograph is printed onto paper that is impregnated with melamine resin and covered by a strong protective transparent top layer. Under high temperature and pressure this finish layer is applied to HDF board. Often texture is stamped on for a more realistic look. Individual boards lock into each other for easy and fast floating installation.
The result is a product that is relatively cost effective. The non porous surface and tight joints are easy to maintain. Simply vacuum and from time to time clean with a damp mop. Microfiber cloth works great. Make sure not to use any cleaning agents which contain waxes or polishes. They build up layers that will trap dirt. There is a variety of colors available. You can even get laminate that has the look of distressed wood.
Tony Angione's Wilton Floor Covering, 10 Broad Street, Norwalk, CT 06851 203-847-3161 Copyright 2010