LAMINATE FLOORING FINISHES
The final step of laminate flooring installation is the finish: the top layer that seals the laminate planks and protects against wear and tear. Laminate finishes are purely decorative, and no texture is more or less durable than the other. These sealants are designed to mimic the appearance and feel of solid hardwood flooring, but the choice is up to you. What finish will create your perfect laminate floors?
Embossed-finish laminate most closely resembles true hardwood. For this finish process, a textured wood-grain pattern is pressed into the sealant layer, embedding a realistic wood-grain pattern onto the laminate planks. Recent advancements in embossing technology like Embossed in Registered (EIR) finish styles even allow for these patterns to match the visual grain of the laminate, creating flooring surfaces that look and feel like actual hardwood floors.
Hand-scraping imitates a sanding and wearing technique used to create a rustic finish on solid hardwood planks. In laminate, the process is similar: the laminate boards are scraped into a texture that resembles the depth and texture of true wood grain. Because this crafting technique creates “natural imperfections” in the material, a hand-scraped finish results in a realistic-looking wood floor pattern that’s much easier to maintain than actual hardwood.
Also referred to as “Piano Finish”, the high-gloss finish process creates shining floor surfaces that are elegant, scratch-resistant, and reflective—almost like the surface of a grand piano. To achieve this look, topcoat is applied during the laminate plank manufacturing process and then buffed until it’s almost reflective. High-gloss floors can make a powerful statement in your home and can even enhance the colors of your laminate floors, but they can also require a bit more maintenance to keep them at their shiny best.
A matte topcoat gives a clean, satin finish that protects your laminate floors from daily wear. This classic smooth surface allows the beauty of your laminate flooring pattern to show through, but it won’t steal the show in your house like a high-gloss or dramatic scraped finish might.
Matte-finished laminate is a perfect element for any room.