Laminate flooring is an option that has endured for decades. This popular flooring option has really come a long way in recent years. Many people are surprised to discover just how sophisticated and attractive modern laminate styles are. In fact, most people can’t even tell the difference between laminate and pricier options like hardwood and porcelain tile anymore. However, anyone who owns laminate will definitely notice the difference when it comes to how much cheaper and easier to care for laminate is.

Why Laminate Is a Top Flooring Option Today

Laminate offers benefits for people with all types of lifestyles. Pet owners often gravitate toward laminate instead of more delicate options because of the fact that laminate won’t be damaged the same way that wood would be damaged by pet accidents or constant claw-to-floor contact. Laminate is also a popular option among people with allergies. It is a great alternative to carpets for people who do not want to live with the dust, dander, pollen and allergens that can so easily become embedded in the fibers of carpets. What’s more, laminate flooring forms a tight seal that keeps out allergens. Anyone who likes the idea of being able to clean their floors simply by vacuuming regularly instantly becomes a fan of laminate flooring once they research the benefits of this option compared to other popular flooring styles on the market today. Here are the top reasons why laminate flooring is such a good option:

  • Easy to clean
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Stylish

Many people are able to install stylish, high-quality laminate flooring throughout an entire home for the same price it would cost to install tile or wood flooring in just one room. There’s a wide range of prices when it comes laminate. High-end models that resemble wood and tile are on the higher end of the price range. Basic and understated styles tend to be less expensive.

modern floors

Brand Names and Popular  Laminate Flooring Collections

Armstrong

Salt Air

Seaside-Pine-Laminate---Salt-Air---Armstrong - laminate flooring

Centura

Studio

studio-espresso-oak.---Centura - laminate flooring

Centura

Nouveau

Nouveau-Alaskan---Centura - laminate flooring

Goodfellow

Montebello

Montebello-Chalet-Goodfellow - laminate flooring

Shaw

Freeport

Shaw-Freeport - laminate flooring

Shaw

Pinnacle Port

Shaw-Pinnacle-Port - laminate flooring

Shaw

Port Royal

Shaw-Port-Royal

Quickstyle

Antique

Quickstyle-Antique

Mannington

Revolutions

Mannington--Revolutions-Plank

Mannington

Restoration

Mannington-Restoration-Collection

Beaulieu

Pur

Beaulieu-Pur

Torlys

Sugar Hill

Torlys-Sugar-Hill

Balterio

Urban

Balterio-Urban

Kaindl

Natural Touch

Kaindl-Natural-Touch

Pergo

Portfolio-+WetProtect

Pergo-Portfolio-+WetProtect

Tarkett

Royal Oak

Tarkett-Royal-Oak

Krono Original

Super Natural

Krono-Original-Super-Natural

Krono Original

Titan Prestige

Krono-Original-Titan-Prestige laminate flooring

Kronotex Laminate

Aqua Robusto

Kronotex--AQUA-ROBUSTO laminate flooring

Global Alliance

Urban Collection

Global-Alliance-Urban Collection laminate flooring

Quick Step

NatureTEK-PLUS

Quick-Step-NatureTEK-PLUS

Quick Step

NatureTEK-Select

Quick-Step-NatureTEK-Select

Swiss Krono

Grand Selection

Swiss-Krono-Grand-Selection

Swiss Krono

Designer Collection

Swss-Krono-THE-DESIGNER-COLLECTION

Choosing the Right Laminate Option for Your Home

There are some questions to consider before committing to a laminate style that will work for your home. The first thing to focus on is where your laminate will go. The good news is that there are laminate styles that fit perfectly in every area of a home. Here are just some of the places where laminate can look attractive and deliver top performance:

  • Foyers and entrances
  • Living rooms and dining rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Offices
  • Dens
  • Laundry rooms

Not every type of laminate is ideal for every home and business. It is important to pick laminate with the proper rating when selecting a style for an area with heavy foot traffic. It is also a good idea to take some time to select a style that has the durability and pattern type that can endure being scuffed by dining chairs or office chairs.

A Look at the Different Styles of Laminate Flooring Available

There are many options to consider when picking out laminate flooring. The most popular form of laminate flooring purchased today is glueless-click laminate flooring. This is an easy-to-install option that utilizes a click-and-lock design. Some styles come with a pre-attached underlay. This can be beneficial for people who do not want to install a separate underlay beneath new laminate flooring. It is important to remember that this thin padding is essential for absorbing sound. However, it may still be necessary to attach a separate moisture barrier even when using a laminate style with a pre-attached underlay. Glued laminate is another popular option that’s available today. The joints of laminate pieces will need to be glued together when this style is installed. Glued laminate is a popular option because of the fact that it makes for a very strong and sturdy floor. It also requires less time to install than the glueless-click style. The final laminate style to consider is pre-glued laminate. This style comes with joints that already have glue applied.

Choosing laminate doesn’t end with deciding which method of installation to go with. There are also decisions to be made regarding the surface type that will look the best and perform strongly in a specific room. A smooth finish offers the glossy, polished look that people like about real hardwood floors. Most styles of smooth laminate come with high, medium or low gloss finishes. Some people prefer embossed or textured laminate surfaces. This style creates the illusion of having a grainy surface. People looking for highly detailed laminate flooring may be interested in the distressed or hand-scraped styles that are available. Several laminate brands actually replicate the process used to create the worn and antiqued look that is popular in solid hardwood floors today.

The best thing about choosing laminate flooring is that laminate can actually look like any other material. This is possible because modern laminate flooring is created using a high-tech printing process. Fabricators of laminate flooring actually fuse photos of other materials onto several layers of material to create lifelike, authentic styles that can fool any eye. People looking for attractive and affordable flooring options can choose laminate styles that resemble tile, wood or stone.

Preparing to Have Laminate Floor Installed

It is important to keep in mind that an installation project can’t happen overnight. It takes a little bit of patience and preparation to arrange to have new laminate flooring installed. You will need to prepare in advance whether you prefer to install flooring on your own or you’re arranging to have a contractor install the flooring for you. It will be necessary to take precise measurements to ensure that the correct amount of flooring is ordered. The flooring can then be ordered. However, there is still more work to be done before new flooring can be installed. Removing existing flooring from the space where the new flooring will go can take some time. It is also necessary to ensure that the area where flooring will be installed is completely clean and free from dust and debris. It may also be necessary to purchase padding and moisture barriers when purchasing laminate flooring.

AC Rating

An AC rating is a measurement of the hardness of the laminate floor, and is the official rating system used by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring. The AC rating measures a variety of aspects of laminate flooring including: abrasion, resistance, impact resistance, thickness, swelling, stain resistance, and burn resistance. Here is a list of AC ratings and descriptions of areas where they’re best suited for use:

  • AC1 – Suitable for areas that receive light infrequent traffic such as a bedroom or closet.
  • AC2 – Suitable for typical residential use in rooms like dining rooms, hallways, foyers, and living rooms.
  • AC3 – More durable and can be applied to more high traffic locations such as small offices and other small commercial locations.
  • AC4 – Useful for higher traffic commercial areas like lobbies, boutiques, busy offices, and restaurants.
  • AC5 – Very durable and is suited and built to withstand heavy commercial traffic in areas like department stores and public buildings.

Laminate flooring in the kitchen

Find out if laminate flooring is suitable for the kitchen