All About Laminate | FlooringStores Blog
Blog Home

All About Laminate

While many homeowners favor the warm, rich look of hardwood, its price tag can be a little steep. And while hardwood lasts a long time, it’s still susceptible to scratches, dents, fading, and stains, especially if your household is a high-traffic one.

If you love the look of hardwood but would prefer to have a more durable, less expensive product, laminate might be the perfect choice.

laminate living room

What exactly is it?

Sometimes confused for a kind of hardwood, laminate is not actually hardwood. There are a lot of great laminate products that look very realistic, but laminate is actually a composite product. It features a high-density fiberboard (HDF) core, which helps keep it flat and stable. Laminate floors also have a design or print layer, which gives the product its realistic look, a clear wear layer that helps prevent scratching and fading, and backing that stabilizes the floor and prevents damage from moisture.


laminate design

Most of the laminate products on the market mimic the look of hardwood, but it can look like tile or stone, too. Planks can also feature popular patterned flooring seen in high-end hardwood installations, such as chevron, herringbone, or parquet. Laminate offers realistic, unique patterns at an affordable price point – herringbone or parquet hardwood floors can cost thousands of dollars to install.


A major bonus with laminate flooring is its durability. It’s known for being resistant to scratching, which makes it a great choice for active households – especially families with pets. Cleaning laminate is easy, too – just sweep, vacuum with the bare floor setting, or use a microfiber dust mop to get rid of dust or dirt. 

While there are many laminate products out there that are water-resistant – some are even marketed as waterproof – it’s not a good idea to wet mop your laminate floors. Too much water can damage the product’s fiberboard core. Additionally, while water-resistant laminate is technically OK to use in moisture-prone locations, like bathrooms or laundry rooms, it’s not the ideal choice. Be sure to consult a product’s warranty before making any big purchases.


Laminate is installed as a floating floor, meaning it does not need to be nailed, stapled or glued to the subfloor. The locking system, as well as laminate’s rigidity, make it a great choice for DIYers. However, it’s always best to hire a professional installer, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in the DIY space. Plenty of retailers offer installation services, as well as warranties on the installation. 

Because laminate can be a thin product, it’s recommended that you install an underlayment with it as well. Some laminate floors come with a pre-attached underlayment, but if your laminate doesn’t, consider installing one. Using an underlayment can help improve the floor’s performance, sound and feel. 


Abrasion criteria, or AC rating, determines a laminate flooring product’s durability. AC ratings help determine the application a particular laminate product is best suited for.

Ready to find your new laminate floor? Click here to find a retailer near you. 

About The Author

Lauren Moore

Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).

Show Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Your Complete Guide to Bamboo Flooring

December 17, 2019 Looking for the best bamboo flooring options for your home? It’s understandable. Bamboo floors are amazing.  That’s because bamboo offers many of the perks that come with hardwood floors (though technically speaking, bamboo is actually a grass)—along with a bundle of other unique benefits.  But: if you’re trying to compare bamboo to […]

Carpet vs. Laminate: Which is the Right Floor for You?

December 10, 2019 So you’re getting a new floor. Fun! But you can’t decide between carpet and laminate. Not fun! In all seriousness though, we get it—choosing between carpet and laminate can be a difficult, time-consuming process. At a relatively similar price point, both types of flooring offer great perks and stylish results. It’s the […]

Click-together flooring featured image

Click-Together Flooring: Your Questions Answered

November 14, 2019 Click-together flooring, snap-together flooring, click-lock flooring, interlocking flooring—yeah, it goes by an absurd number of names. And they all refer to the same thing: planks or tiles with a type of interlocking grooves that, when assembled, create a seamless flooring surface.  But whatever you call it, this type of floor setup is […]