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Direct Pressure Laminate (DPL)   VS  High Pressure Laminate (HPL)

Direct Pressure Laminate (DPL)

Direct Pressure Laminate flooring is most prevalent in the consumer laminate flooring market. DPL is created by using anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds per square inch (PSI). There are typically four separate layers which are all pressed together at the same time during production: the wear layer, the decorative sheet, the high density fiberboard and then the balancing layer on the bottom. DPL laminate floors are typically priced lower on the spectrum and are available in more colors and styles. In general, laminate floors constructed with DPL mostly land within an AC3 to AC4 Rating.

High Pressure Laminate (HPL)

High Pressure Laminate is constructed a bit differently than DPL, creating a tougher laminate floor and offering maximum durability. HPL is created with the same materials as DPL but with the use of additional kraft paper sheets treated with a phenolic resin, which makes the kraft paper more stiff during the manufacturing process. Additionally, 1300+ PSI is used to fuse the layers together, which is significantly more pressure than used in the DPL manufacturing process. HPL is fused together using a combination of heat and pressure and the layers of HPL are put together in multiple stages rather than all at once like the DPL. You can see the difference the treated kraft paper sheets make in the stiffness and durability of HPL in the pictures below: 

The increased durability of a HPL offers more impact resistance, dent resistance, moisture resistance, heat resistance, wear resistance and edge chipping resistance during installation. The harder sheets of kraft paper also offer a more balanced laminate construction overall. In general, HPL laminate constructions lead to a thicker overall floor, which offers better sound reduction properties than with a thinner DPL laminate floor. In most cases, laminate flooring created with HPL will receive an AC5 Rating and are suitable for applications in heavy commercial settings. 

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