Laminate Floors: Get the Appearance of Wood (and More) for Less

May 20, 2018Remodeling Standard

Laminate floors aren’t wood, although they usually seem to be. Rather, laminate floors are entirely manufactured. They can be made to look like almost anything, but most often they are made to look just like wood. Increasingly, more choices are showing up laminate floors that look like ceramic tiles or slate are becoming more available.

Laminate floors are rather inexpensive, easy to install and hold up well to wear. Since laminate floors are moisture resistant, they can be used in locations where the material they are imitating can’t be, including in a basement laundry room. Following is a closer look.

More: Engineered Wood Floors

Paul Anater

Laminate flooring was invented in 1977, and the company that created it introduced Pergo into the European marketplace in 1984. Pergo is just 1 brand of laminate floors from several but because its merchandise was out of the gate, Pergo is often (mistakenly) used as a generic term for the entire category.

The market is saturated with cheap laminate floors that cases of buyer’s remorse waiting to happen. Beware dangerously low costs and look for the seal of the North American Laminate Flooring Association, or NALFA.


By purchasing a NALFA-certified laminate floor you understand a couple of important things about your floor. First, you’ll understand that your floor will be installed without glue. This is fantastic for a couple of reasons. Click-together laminate floors are easier to set up, and by not using glue, your floor won’t emit gasses that can harm the quality of the atmosphere in your property.

NALFA certification also lets you know that a product bearing its logo is recyclable and adheres to all regulations concerning formadehyde emission.

NALFA – North American Laminate Flooring Assoc.

Just about everyone has heard the term “laminate floor.” However, what is one? This diagram from NALFA explains everything perfectly.

A. A transparent, protective wear layer is resistant to dogs, cats, chairs, and high heels.

B. The decorative layer provides a high-definition, detailed image. Laminate flooring manufacturers have the technology and capacity to realistically simulate everything from wood to marble to stone.

C. A high-density fiberboard center (or HDF) offers impact resistance, stability and endurance.

D. A layer of melamine resin offers added structural stability and moisture resistance.

E. Underlayment (which may or may not be built into the laminate floor product) is a necessity for virtually any installation. It’s helpful in absorbing some of the slight imperfections in the subfloor, reducing some noise when walking around the floor, and softening some of this impact. Some underlayments also offer a moisture barrier on one side, and it can be a fantastic idea for toilet and wet-area installations.


Laminate floors snap together and float above an current floor or subfloor. Provided that an old floor is level and not carpet, the majority of people can set up a laminate floor in a day, provided all materials are available.

How a floor snaps and stays together plays a role in just how much a product will cost, and better attachments approaches last more. Ask a lot of questions before you buy anything.


Armstrong Laminate Flooring – $2

All laminate floors need an underlayment. Occasionally that underlayment is the base layer of the floor material and occasionally that underlayment is a sheet of material that you have to buy separately.

Laminate floors installed directly on concrete or in areas with a lot of moisture demand another moisture barrier. Again, ask a lot of questions before you buy and make sure you’re purchasing the right product to suit your needs.


Pine Planks | Dupont – $3

The printing technology laminate flooring manufacturers utilize has improved tremendously since the early days of laminate floors. There are choices galore; the floor shown here imitates the look of a wide, pine-plank floor.


Laminate Floor that Imitates Appearance of Saltillo Tile

Not many laminates look just like their wood counterparts. The same technologies that have improved the appearance of laminate floors are now able to make laminate floors that look like ceramic tile.

A floor like this is a great quick fix for a tired floor and tight funding.


This laminate floor is mimicking the appearance of black slate. Though not for everyone, there are times and situations when a laminate floor can be a solution.

Furthermore, because click-together laminate floors aren’t attached to anything, unstalling them is easier than putting them in in the first location. Occasionally they can be utilized as a temporary fix for a troubled floor.

Paul Anater

Teak laminate floor – $3

Laminate floors is stain- and – fade-resistant and has a propensity to repel water. It’s a very hard and durable surface, however it is possible to scratch it. It’s not possible to fix the actual scratches when they occur, so be sure to buy extra material with your first buy and hold onto it in case you’ll want it later.

Laminate flooring doesn’t need any specific cleaners or particular treatment to maintain its appearances. It never has to be waxed or polished. At precisely the same time, it can’t be refinished.

Paul Anater

Oak laminate floor – $3

Laminate floors are an affordable alternative for a short or long term flooring solution. If you are in the market for a laminate floor, do your homework and ask a good deal of questions. If you have any direct encounter with laminate floors, we would really like to hear about it in the comments below.

Laminate floors
Experts: it is a cheap alternative to other floors and easy to live with.
Disadvantages: can’t be solved or mended easily.
Suggested uses: Anywhere you’d use a plank, engineered, tile or carpet floor.
Price range: $2-$4 per square foot.

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An Introduction to Solid Plank Wood Floors
Zebra, Tiger and Teak Wood, Oh, My!
5 Innovative Wood Floors
20 Great Examples of Transitions in Flooring
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