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Aesthetic, versatile and sustainable Laminate flooring is the leading product in all areas

21 April 2009

Natural or artwork? Laminate flooring is both, brought together in perfect harmony. It isn’t only thanks to its creative design that laminate flooring has become an internationally popular and stylish floor covering; another impressive feature is its superb eco balance. This is because laminate flooring is made from wood, is produced sustainably and is easy to recycle and dispose of – a fact which has been confirmed by the Fraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz Institut für Holzforschung in Braunschweig (Germany).

Laminate floors with wood decor are inspired by nature itself. Sophisticated technologies are used to achieve an authentic design that brings even exotic woods like bamboo, teak and rosewood into your home without harming valuable tropical forests. To imitate natural materials as closely as possible, fibres and pores are incorporated in the decor. The effect is tangible, because instead of being smooth the surface becomes a tactile experience. This effect is the result of modern register and porous synchronous printing, which can be used not only for wood decors but also stone or metal tile decors.

But laminate flooring doesn’t just look like wood, it is actually made from wood – from wood fibres and wood paper. As wood is a sustainable and renewable resource, laminate flooring is an ecologically low-impact product. Paper can be printed with the most diverse structures and motifs, which lends the laminate flooring its individual look. The floor gets its good durability from the so-called overlay, the top layer of which is made from melamine resin or – as with parquet – from specific paints. Resins and paints are manufactured synthetically, yet they are biodegradable and therefore entirely environmentally friendly.

In Europe, laminate flooring is manufactured in modern production facilities that are subject to emissions and environmental standards and in many cases have their own energy and heating cycles. The wood used to make laminate floors comes mainly from domestic and sustainably managed forests. As well as timber from forests, it is mainly wood waste from the sawmill industry which is used as a raw material for the core. In this respect, laminate flooring can be recycled up to a certain point.

Thanks to intelligent click connections, laminate flooring is easy to lay and take up again. It’s also equally simple to dispose of. Individual boards and leftovers from laying the floor can be disposed of easily along with normal household waste. Entire floors should be taken to a residual waste or recycling facility. Laminate flooring is bulky waste and can be used for both material or thermal recycling. The flooring is usually burned and the energy produced is reused, at which point we've come full circle.

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