A typical Single Core (Layer 2 Access) LAN is shown below as an example.
The Core switch will typically be a Layer 3 switch such as a Catalyst 3750 (stack) or Catalyst 4500 chassis with a Supervisor6-E. Ideally the Core switch has redundant components (power, and supervisor or stack master).
Edge switches are connected via EtherChannel or Cross-Stack EtherChannel. There are no Spanning Tree loops so all links are forwarding, HSRP is not required and Loop Guard is not configured on the Edge Switches.
The Core Switch is configured as Spanning Tree Root, with RootGuard on any downlinks. The Core switch routes between VLANs.
The trunks are pruned of unnecessary VLANs. Edge (user) ports are configured with Port Fast and BPDU Guard.