Laminate Flooring is a synthetic flooring product that is specially designed to look as hardwood, ceramic or stone tile. Most laminate flooring materials are partially composed or wood or wood products, as well as other natural components such as plant-based resin, but the composition may vary.
Laminate flooring products feature a newer type of wear surface that resists scratching, denting, and burns better than many existing products. They also offer extended product warranties to back up these claims for superior performance.
Much of the styling is done in wood grain patterns taking advantage of popularity of hardwood. Still other styling resembles ceramic tile and natural stone. Laminate flooring is more scratch-resistant than most regular hardwood finishes, and easier to clean than the grout lines associated with ceramic tile. Laminate flooring also requires less demanding preparation of the subfloor because it is not glued directly to the subfloor. Most of these floors are snapped together over a foam underlayment. This feature has made laminate flooring popular in areas where vinyl flooring traditionally was installed.
You might want to pick a floor simply based on what the surface will look like. Laminates are always evolving. Where there once was one basic surface to choose from, now there are many.
- Smooth – Sometimes you can choose among high, medium, or low gloss finishes.
- Embossed and/or Textured – It resembles a surface grain
- Distressed / Hand Scraped – It adds antique look to your laminate floor.
- Registered Embossing – It matches the grain for the most authentic embossed look.
- Keep an eye out for new laminate innovations; they are happening all the time.
Be sure to look for a laminate floor that provides the required transitions / accessories like the reducer strip, end cap, stairnose to match or coordinate your flooring.