Whether you’re renovating or building your home for the first time, flooring that looks great and lasts for years is vital. If you’re looking for eye-catching flooring that is durable, low-maintenance, and economical, look no further than laminate.
We offer a range of laminate flooring to suit every need. With laminate, you can replicate the look of wood or stone — without the maintenance costs or need for refinishing.
Home Outlet is your one-stop shop for all your laminate flooring installation needs. In addition to many laminate floor finishes, we offer floor cutters, underlayments, floor transitions, and even complete DIY installation kits.
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What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer composite material made to mimic the look of wood (and sometimes stone or tile) flooring. However, because it’s significantly less expensive than actual wood, stone, or tile, it’s an attractive choice for budget-conscious consumers.
The core layer is made of fiberboard or plywood. The “image layer” — a photorealistic image of wood or stone — is laid over that. This layer is most often made of melamine, a lightweight type of plastic.
The top layer is a “wear layer” that helps the material resist scratching, staining, and moisture. This layer is typically made of clear aluminum oxide or melamine. Most laminate floors also include a backing layer that stabilizes the floor and protects the underlying structure.
Laminate flooring has been around since 1977. Older forms of laminate often looked “cheap” or visibly artificial. However, laminate finishes have evolved over the years to look strikingly similar to wood, stone, and other materials.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
If you’re considering types of flooring to use in your next project, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of each. Here are some of the advantages of laminate flooring:
- It’s Economical: Laminate is significantly less expensive than wood or stone, and it also lasts longer
- It Resists Staining, Fading, and Moisture: When kept clean, laminate will often look new for years or even decades after installation
- It’s Easy to Clean: A laminate floor resists moisture and stains, so wiping up spills and other messes is simple
- It Comes in Many Styles: You can choose laminate with the look of new wood, antique wood, stone, ceramic tile, and more
As a bonus, laminate flooring is fairly easy to install on your own, so you can often save a considerable amount of money on installation costs.
Laminate Floor Finishes and Materials
If you’ve decided to go ahead with laminate flooring, your next step is to select the right type for your project. Laminate floors come in an impressive range of finishes, textures, and types.
Patterns and Finishes
One of the main advantages of laminate is that it comes in so many finishes beyond the basic categories of wood or stone. Here are a few of the many finishes you can choose from:
- Carolina hickory
- Reclaimed barn wood
- Polished marble
- Antique oak
- Native cherry
You also can choose the gloss level of your laminate floor. Laminate gloss flooring can give your living space a modern edge. Matte finishes are ideal if you prefer a vintage-inspired, antiqued look.
As laminate flooring has steadily become more realistic, many manufacturers have begun to offer different textures:
- Smooth: This is a non-textured surface that mimics the look of polished wood or other materials
- Handscraped: This texture mimics the texture of natural, antique wood
- Embossed: This is a pressed-in pattern meant to mimic the look of woodgrain
Handscraped and embossed finishes are sometimes more expensive than smooth, but they are still much more affordable than natural wood.
Most types of laminate flooring come in plank or tile form. Laminate plank flooring is a popular choice, as it makes your floors look more like actual wood. Laminate tile flooring is more common in floors designed to look like ceramic or stone tile.
You also can find laminate flooring in a few installation options. You may like click-lock flooring if you’re new to floor installation and want a more straightforward option. With this option, planks or tiles can be easily snapped into place.