Laminate Flooring Finishes
The last step in laminate flooring construction is the application of the topcoat (or wear) layer to the laminate planks. This top coat is styled to provide a look and feel that mimics solid hardwood flooring. The various topcoat finishes are decorative and do not increase or decrease the durability of the flooring.
Embossing the surface of laminate flooring allows the wood grain finish to be enhanced – to look and “feel” like real hardwood. Embossing presses a texture into the wear layer. New technologies have led to Embossed in Registered (EIR) finishes, meaning that the embossing matches the grain of the visual layer.
A hand-scraped finish is a process where the laminate planks are scraped by a press to create a texture that follows the grain of the wood. This process is intended to mimic a hand scraping technique used on solid hardwood flooring, in which planks are sculpted and marked by sanding, denting and scraping to create a more rustic look.
High Gloss Finish
A high gloss finish is created by applying the finish coat during the manufacturing process and buffing until it is shiny. This helps provide a smooth, clean look that is highly durable and aids in scratch resistance. High gloss is also known as a “piano finish” because of the ultra-sleek sheen reminiscent of piano keys.
A smooth finish is neither scraped nor buffed, which helps create an unmarked, clear surface through which the laminate flooring’s visual layer can be seen.