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Countertops have long been covered with high-pressure decorative laminate, an inexpensive plastic veneer that is both durable and attractive. This material is now widely available as a flooring product, but installing it successfully depends on careful attention to detail. Builders have been using laminate flooring in Europe since the early 1980s. These products are usually manufactured as planks or tiles, with a laminate surface and backing sheet bonded to a core of particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The resulting composite panels are popular with consumers largely because of their looks; contractors like them because they install easily. Laminate flooring is made by several manufacturers, but all brands share similar installation requirements. The material