what are laminate "wood" floors really made of???

I am considering putting laminate flooring in my basement. What are these floors made of anyway? It looks like some kind of hardboard or MDF base, but is the laminate a real wood veneer? To me it looks like some kind of iimitation faux wood. Anyone have any insights?
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Some have a wood veneer top layer. Others are a plastic substance similar to Formica. Some are mdf base and others are plywood based. You need to read the box of the product you want. google laminate flooring.
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Various types. The real wood ones are generally referred to as engineered wood. The better laminates, like Wilson Art, are a high pressure plastic laminate very much like the countertops. I don't know for sure what the cheap stuff is.
Check out a real floor covering or home decorating store for the best brands and selections.
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Edwin P was correct in pointing out that engineered wood floors have a thin veneer of real wood as the top layer. Depending on brand/price point, the veneer may be over a plywood base or an MDF base.
Laminate can also be over what is essentially MDF or plywood. I work for a manufacturer of various flooring products, and though I am not in the wood flooring segment of our business, I understand the laminate is built as follows:
- Take a large sheet of MDF. - Apply a sheet of adhesive to the top. - Apply a "picture" of the wood. - Apply a sheet of protective material.
Insert this assembly in a high pressure/temperature press which includes an embossing feature.
Press.
Run large finished sheet through saws/routers to cut the material to size and profile the edges.
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Kyle Boatright wrote:

Actually, I think they generally use HDF.
Chris
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