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The Standard Strip Size for Wood Floor Laminate

Planning the installation of a wood floor can seem a bit intimidating at first — the number of planks needed and their widths are typical concerns. Many wood laminate flooring manufacturers offer standard plank sizes and efficient interlocking systems, making floor installation an easy task. If you are considering a laminate floor, investigating the basics of wood floor laminates and standard strip sizes is a good way to begin the planning.

Description

Laminate wood floors are an engineered flooring product. Four layers comprise the durable and tough surface of a laminate floor: back, core, decorative and wear, also called the surface layer. A back layer often includes a moisture barrier and is a support layer that holds the preceding layers together. The core layer is made up of high-density fiberboard and wood resins pressed together to create the floor's strength. The decorative layer includes a printed image of the wood style — mahogany, maple, oak -- offered by the manufacturer. The wear layer is the surface that absorbs the impact of daily traffic and makes for an easy-to-clean, stain-resistant product.

Types

Many wood laminate flooring products are available from manufacturers — if a type of wood can be photographed and reproduced as an image, a manufacturer can make a laminate floor product that looks like it. In some instances, higher-priced laminates use a wood veneer at the decorative layer instead of a photographed image. Wood laminate flooring is sold as a square tile or a plank. Wood styles may include hand-scraped, distressed, parquet and traditional or specialty woods. Manufacturers make both glueless and glued interlocking tongue-and-groove installation systems. In either case, the plank is milled with the tongue-and-groove system in place.

Sizes

Wood laminate plank sizes are identified by width and length. Lengths can vary between 8 and 84 inches, allowing homeowners and installers to reduce waste during installation. Choosing to purchase a combination of lengths can lower the amount of laminate cut and disposed of on the job site. The width of the laminate planks, or strips, ranges between 2 1/2 inches to about 8 inches, depending on which manufacturer makes the product. A plank's thickness averages about 1/4 to 5/8 an inch. Custom plank widths may be offered by a manufacturer if volume requirements are met.

Value

Because laminate flooring can be reproduced in just about any color or wood type possible, it offers a wider variety of decorating choices on a limited budget. This makes a laminate wood floor a good choice for anyone remodeling or building within a tight budget. A layer of noise dampening material can be placed beneath the floor before installation to add further value. The purchase of a wood laminate floor typically comes with a long-term warranty — up to 25 years in some cases.

About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.