Laminate Flooring Reviews-Pros, Cons, Cost and Brands 2022

Laminate Flooring Buying Guide – Reviews, Pros & Cons, Installation and Best Brands 2022

Laminate Flooring, fair enough, is an extremely versatile and everlastingly favorable kind of flooring. It not only is a great option in terms of the aesthetic uplifting of the surroundings but also is really convenient to take care of.

What Exactly Is Laminate Flooring?

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The very term “Laminate”, in a literal sense, refers to “layers”. As that’s the exact composition of Laminate Flooring, i.e. The entire rigid and synthetic structural profile of Laminate Flooring comprises multiple layers.

Laminate Flooring Layers

Here are the Layers,

  • Wear Layer: The clear protective topcoat comprising melamine and aluminum oxide

  • Photographic Layer: The design layer where all the decor and intended pattern goes in the form of an HD image of wood/tile/stone

  • Core: The thickest layer featuring MDF (medium-density fiber boards) , melamine resin or HDF (High-density fiber boards)

  • Backing: The composite layer that is heat-fused and provides strength and support to the entire flooring system
Besides, often the planks of Laminate Flooring come with a pre-attached underlayment. If you’re opting for such a version, then the installation process is meant to become more concise.

Dimensional Comprehension of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring stands out with the fact that you get the same sort of dimensional strength no matter what thickness version you go for. That’s because the core structure and overall uniformity remains the same.

The mainstream thickness level of Laminate Flooring lies between a good of 6 mm and 12 mm. As for the width, that generally goes from 3.5 inches all the way to 6 and even 8 inches, at times, too.

What Can You Do With Laminate Flooring?

Laminate Flooring, for sure, is an entirely wondrous surfacing to adorn all your interiors with. From smart and sustainable aesthetics, all the way to the huge spectrum of favorable versatility it offers, it’s a wise choice, by all means!

Laminate Flooring gives you a lot to play with, and the same goes for those maximum purposeful outcomes you can easily achieve with it.

Let’s take a look at those mesmerizing aspects, making Laminate Flooring worth the foremost choice.

Mimic Anything And Everything

Laminate Flooring offers the vastest styling freedom and most importantly a smart manner to depict the look and effect of your choice. That too, without having to spend a lot in terms of buying the actual product.

Beauty With Benefits 

Whether you’re into wood floors or those impressive tile flooring patterns or even the stoned beauty, you can acquire it all through the smart choice of Laminate Flooring. Besides, you get your desired floor designing effect with a whole cost reduction of up to 25%.

Improved Comfort

From natural patterns to engineered motifs, Laminate flooring nails in resembling all, with the added perk of warmth-induced comfort underfoot. And it goes without saying that this is the most suitable option regarding all times of the year.

Enjoy The Placement Flexibility 

Laminate Flooring can literally go over anything and everything. Or to have it the other way, there is no condition or restriction when it comes to subfloors. Besides floors, it can absolutely be used as wall and ceiling decorative coverings, too.

Suitable Sustenance 

Also, unlike the past, now there are several waterproof and amazingly water-resistant versions of Laminate Flooring available, as well, so you can have the installation within moisture-prone areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, decks and others.

Incredible Integration

Apart from fitting at below-grade (below ground-level) spaces, this incredible flooring also works the best atop radiant heat systems, to boot.

Shop Those Spectacular Species

With genuine wood product photographs, it becomes the easiest to flaunt the look of any wood species, stone texture or tiled look. This goes the same for the endless color spectrum that serves a complimentary ornamental aspect.

Laminate Flooring Surface Effects

Laminate Flooring Surface Looks

Naming some of the textured effects, hand-scraped, scraped, woodgrain, rustic wood, sanded patterns, realistic wooden texturing with EIR technique (Embossed in Register). Over and above, you can also have the planks within 1-strip, 2-strip and 3-strip styles, so as to have a design of up to 3 images.

Suave Species of Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring Species

Species, generally is a factor related to wood and if you also fall into the very category of wood floor lovers, then Laminate Flooring is just the thing for you to consider. For enlisting some of the species, these include, Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, Pine, Acacia, Bengalwood, Brazilian Cherry, Mahogany, Merbau, etc.

Benefit From The Classy Color Creativity

There is no aesthetic confining at all as long as you’re dealing with Laminate Flooring and much similar to the texture and design dimensions, there’s a lot to play with the color choices, as well.

Some Creative Coatings 

The vast range of color, shades and undertones include charcoal tones, ruddy red, honey brown, milk chocolate and certain bleached and white-washed color spectrums.

Install It Yourself 

Another and probably one of the greatest advantages of Laminate Flooring is those multiple aspects that make it the most practical choice and super convenient to manage.

Laminate Flooring As A DIY Project 

You got it right! You can absolutely install Laminate Flooring on your own, since there are neither loads of steps involved or a whole lot of specified equipment needed. Rather, you can also find some really effortless versions, made to eliminate the time consumption and difficulty meter of fitting it.

Besides, if still you prefer hiring professional installation services, the good news is that installation labor is super affordable, too.

Comparsion: Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring

Some Major Perks Of Laminate Flooring

Apart from those factors that involve your interaction or more customization-based, Laminate Flooring indeed is a miracle in itself, as a product.

  • The Peculiar Perk Of Pricing: It’s quite an obvious aspect at this point that Laminate Flooring is genuinely inexpensive and cost-effective flooring treatment, which adds to its practicality, as well. And with this versatile flooring, you can enjoy the beauty of several high-end and of course much costly floor treatments. Besides the expense of the product itself, you’re meant to find the fitting cost really affordable, too.

  • The Convenience Of Look After: If you’re the one who does not quite admire those high-end flooring that require a lot of maintenance, Laminate Flooring will be your ultimate safe zone. Despite its particularly detailed and upscale structure, it’s the easiest to take care of, in general. No expensive material requirement, no tiring cleaning procedures and still your Laminate flooring will also manage to look the best.

  • A Whole Lot Of Certifications: Laminate Flooring, as a matter of fact, goes through and passes a number of expert criteria, which do justify the favorability and eco-friendly extent of this choice. From AC (abrasion class) rating depicting the resistance level of the flooring, all the way to those quality certifications of FloorScore, AAFA, LEED, Green Building Council, CARB2 and E1, Laminate Flooring is, fair enough, a literal champion of all.

  • The Safest Option Out There: By the time you decide to upgrade/switch your existing floors to Laminate Flooring, you can totally forget about all the health-related issues, breathing difficulties and allergies. That’s because Laminate flooring is going to notably improve the air quality of your interiors and its low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) rate also serves as a bonus factor. It’s the most hygienic flooring with which you can totally entrust the crucial health of your family and pets.

  • Commercial-Grade Favorability: Apart from the residential significance, Laminate flooring, indeed is a win-win situation regarding greater extent or commercial-grade usage. Be it your offices, receptions, external walkways, meeting spaces, conference halls, public places or literally any other area, you can never go wrong with the choice of Laminate Flooring.

  • The Highest Level Of Resistance: Laminate Flooring, truly is what you can refer to as a super tough, resilient and durable floor treatment. The toughness of Laminate flooring goes for factors like scratches, dents, damage from pets, impact and topical moisture. Moreover, as for the very immediate surfacing underfoot, Laminate feels really soft, thus an excellent option for parents and those sick with the tile’s harshness.

Let’s Not Overlook The Cons Of Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring is, of course, a project under consideration by many manufacturers, with the aim of coming up with its more improved versions and those that are more potentially resistant and durable in nature.

Some major flaws of Laminate Flooring include:

  • Limited Water Resistance: Laminate Floors can only handle a controlled amount of water and excessive exposure to moisture is likely to cause severe damage to them. That’s why these floors aren’t a good idea for highly moisture-prone areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

  • Isn’t Something Realistic: The other side of Laminate flooring’s beauty is that it isn’t a real thing at all, but the surfacing that mimics the looks and effects of other flooring. This way, it might not be the choice of those folks extremely particular about materials, such as people obsessed with real wood floors.

  • Not Entirely Green: The kinda backstage story of Laminate Flooring being really eco-friendly is the fact that it’s not biodegradable. Rather it becomes a harmful aspect for nature at the time of disposal because only 5% of the entire material can be recycled and there is nothing that can be done to the rest, but to send it to landfill.

  • No Noise Absorption: Laminate flooring is bad at absorbing noises, rather in most cases, it seems extremely “noisy” and thus there is no chance of it being liked by many people. Similar to other hard spaces, it badly reflects the sound of impact, objects dropping on it and even footfall sometimes, too. The resultant sound is a nasty “clickety-clack”.

  • Not Suitable For All Places: Besides moisture-prone areas, Laminate flooring fails to provide enough durability, too. Often it lasts up to 20 years and at best up to 25 years and can’t be used at places with excessive foot traffic or pets walking around.

Average Pricing Of The Laminate Flooring

Getting the laminate flooring installation project generally costs around $8 to $15 per square foot. The fluctuation within the pricing of course, depends on the quality you’re about to acquire and whether or not you are considering professional installation.

In general, Laminate flooring installation is quite a budget-friendly project and you can save yourself some extra bucks by carrying out the fitting yourself.

For Detailed Laminate Flooring Cost Guide

Quality And Pricing Comparison Of Laminate Flooring 

Flooring CategoryPrice Per Square FootLifespanLevel Of Selection
Cheap$0.99 to $1.29 per sq. foot5 to 10 years for residential use, Not recommended for Commercial useAverage
Low-cost/ Basic$1.30 to $2.49 per sq. foot8 to 12 years for residential use, 5 years for Commercial useBest
Mid-cost/Medium$2.50 to $3.49 per sq. footLifetime for residential use, up to 15 years for Commercial useExcellent
High-cost/Best$3.49 to $4.00+ per sq. footLifetime for residential use, up to 15 years for Commercial useGood
Water-resistant$1.79 to $3.75 per square foot10 to 20 years for residential use, up to 15 years for Commercial useGood

Laminate Flooring Installation

In general, Laminate Flooring is quite easy to handle as a DIY project and with a little bit precise info and correct set of equipment at hand, you can easily nail this project in no time.

A vast majority of the Laminate Floor versions are made in an easy-to-install way, thus a practical option for many homeowners. From click and lock and glue down, all the way to peel and stick Laminate planks, you can’t possibly go wrong with the installation of this flooring.

Besides, there are quite a few chances for you to be requiring professional assistance at any point.

Given below is one simple and effective way to ace Laminate Flooring Installation.

Make sure you prepare the floors well and have them thoroughly decluttered before proceeding with the installation. 

  • Lay the flooring boxes in either a garage or preferably the exact room in which they are to be installed in.

  • Lay the boxes flat at an angle of 90-degree for the best acclimation to take place. Let them rest for at least 48 hours, before you begin the installation.

  • Don’t ever forget fitting the underlayment, before the flooring installation. That’s because underlayment not only enhances the comfort extent of flooring, but also serves as a concealing element for the imperfections of the subfloor(s).

  • When starting laying Laminate Flooring planks from one side of the room, make sure that the tongue side always faces the wall.

  • Continue by placing the second plank next to the first one and make sure to align the tongue exactly into the groove of the second one

  • Keep snapping the planks down until they get perfectly secured in place.

  • Move all the way to the end of the room and your flooring should be okay to go on within the next 72 hours

  • Finish off by caulking the baseboard edges for an even finish

The All-Time Best Laminate Flooring Brands 2022

For the very purpose of your easiest selection, we’ve compiled the most top-rated Laminate Flooring manufacturers for you.

Laminate Flooring Brands

Mohawk 

Mohawk Laminate Flooring is a top-tier and premium choice to go for. You get multiple design choices of waterproof Laminate Flooring. Besides, this brand also provides the highest AC rating laminate flooring.

Pergo

Pergo now, working under the brand Mohawk is a genuine brand of Laminate Flooring. Here you can find some really great options of the mid-range as well as waterproof Laminate flooring.

AquaGuard

AquaGuard Laminate Flooring is known to be the all-time best waterproof Laminate flooring and you get really amazing styles and design options to choose from.

Tarkett 

Tarkett is well-known to provide a huge selection of Laminate Flooring and there are a number of exclusive waterproof Laminate versions available, as well. One noteworthy example is the Aquafloor.

Traffic Master 

Traffic Master comes under the brand of Shaw and is known for providing laminate floorings ranging from cheap to mid-range levels. You can shop from this brand at Home Depot.

Shaw 

Shaw, being one of the greatest and most well-known Laminate Flooring manufacturers, provides every single version from mid-range to the premium ones. Shaw rapel is one famous waterproof flooring line sold by the brand.

Dream House 

At Dream House, you can find versatile Laminate flooring styles that lie between the ranges of fair and excellent qualities. Besides, there are several amazing waterproof laminate floorings available, too, such as the Dream Home X2O.

Quick Step 

Quick Step offers Laminate flooring from affordable to premium ranges, and you can get some really upscale versions from Lowes. The rest come widely in hand.

Armstrong

Armstrong stands out with its huge selection of colors and designs within exclusive-quality Laminate Flooring. Besides, you can also get pretty attractive floorings that depict the realistic look of tiles and stones and can also get waterproof Laminate flooring, as well.

Mannington

Mannington introduces an entire line of the real wood-look Laminate floorings including the ones that are waterproof, too. This brand features the most flawless waterproof laminate flooring types.

FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Wait For Walking On Laminate Flooring?

Laminate floors essentially require an acclimation time of 48 hours and at best 72 hours, post the installation. This does mean that you must avoid walking over a freshly installed Laminate Flooring for at least 24 hours, so as to let it cure perfectly and not get damaged in any way.

Is Laminate Flooring A Good Idea For Kitchens?

Only as long as you manage to wipe off and clean the spills immediately and be very careful with moisture. Laminate Flooring can handle a limited extent of exposure to moisture, which implies the fact that it isn’t completely waterproof. So you need to watch out for the water.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of Laminate Flooring?

Laminate Flooring, if featuring a good build quality, is likely to last up to 25 years and can even stay functional for more, if maintained the right way. Therefore, it’s best to ensure getting the right one with appropriate levels of thickness and strength. You can get the rest of the longevity with the way you treat your flooring.

What To Look For In Laminate Flooring?

Some essential factors to consider when getting Laminate Flooring include the overall thickness, wear layer thickness, moisture resistance and environmental compatibility. A standard good laminate flooring must bear these qualities, along with the durability factor.

Which Is The Best Laminate Flooring Grade For Commercial Usage?

For the commercial-level usage, an AC4 rating is the most crucial factor to look for. The reason is that AC4 Laminate Floors work best for crowded areas where heavy foot traffic is the most definitive and highly-experienced phenomenon. Besides, this grade also provides suitable durability regarding the usage extent of commercial areas.

How To Remove Scuff Marks From Laminate Flooring?

An acetone-based nail polish remover works best removing scuff marks from Laminate Flooring. For cleaning, you’ll need a microfibre cloth and moisten it with the nail polish remover. Start by rubbing the mark(s) in gentle strokes, until it starts to fade.

What Is Meant By AC In Laminate Flooring?

AC refers to Abrasion Class, which is used as a standard to determine the durability level of Laminate Flooring. Greater the AC rating, the more laminate flooring will be tough against impacts, abrasion and staining. AC rating also shows the floor’s resistance against the damage likely to be caused by furniture.

How To Repair Swollen Laminate Flooring Without Replacing?

This can be done by eliminating the excessive moisture underneath laminate planks. Besides, you can try methods like rolling up the floor or dehydrating it using certain tools such as either a heater or a hair dryer. Besides, you can also make use of some specific tools such as dehumidifiers to lower the moisture extent of the planks that give rise to bubbling and swelling.

How To Maintain Laminate Floors?

Never mop Laminate floors excessively (more than every two months) and be watchful with liquids (water, drinks, etc.) atop laminate floors. If possible, make use of microfiber mops for cleaning and specified laminate floor cleaners, only.

How To Remove Sticky Residue From Laminate Flooring?

You’ll need around a gallon of warm water and mix in a cup of white vinegar to make a cleaning solution. Start by dipping your mop into the solution, and wringing it really well until it’s almost dry. Wipe off the entire affected area with the mop and the sticky residue should come off. Finish off by wiping the floor with a clean towel or any absorbent cloth.

How To Waterproof Laminate Floors? 

For waterproofing your laminate floors, you can either buy a corresponding sealant according to your laminate flooring type or go for a Polyurethane coating on top. Sealing the locking mechanisms is also a good idea. Also, you can use silicone or caulk for fixing minor moisture damages.

How To Restore Laminate Flooring?

You can fill the minor scratches with a wax pencil meant for Laminate floors. Besides, mixing a dish soap in about a gallon of hot water and using this solution as a cleaner is a perfect way in which you can keep your laminate floors looking new. Moreover, white vinegar along with hot water can be used to get rid of certain buildups.

How To Measure For Laminate Flooring?

In order to measure for Laminate Flooring, you’ll be needing to determine the whole square footage of your room or intended space. For this, measure both the length and width and multiply them together to get the square footage of your room and buy flooring accordingly. And don’t forget to buy some extra flooring, too.

How To Seal Laminate Flooring?

There is no essential need for laminate floors to be sealed, in the first place. However, you can add certain coatings in order to fix their dullness and even make them waterproof. This includes Polyurethane coating, silicone coating or caulking, as well. Also, you can buy suitable sealants meant for the type of your laminate flooring.

How To Install Laminate Flooring On Stairs?

Laminate flooring is generally glued and screwed on the stairs or it can be nailed down, as well. In general, installing laminate flooring on the stairs is, of course, a bit different from that of the floor installation. This is because when installing on the stairs, you need to skip underlayment and can’t use the flooring as a floating-floor system, too.

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