Best Laminate Flooring Buyers Guide - ReviewThis
Laminate flooring is a popular, versatile, easy to maintain, and affordable solution for hard-surface flooring. It's made up of composite materials, consisting of various layers that are fused together.
Usually, you will find it is consists of four to five different layers:
- The first one serves as a transparent layer that is in place to protect the floor surface from liquids and scratches.
- Second is a decorative photographic layer in 3D that imitates the original product.
- The middle layer, typically the thickest, is put together of high-density fiberboard.
- Finally, you will come across the base section that is sealed using a melamine resin layer to ensure it is moisture resistant.
Some of the best laminate flooring products feature a fifth layer to help alleviate any discrepancies within the sub-floor.
The best laminate flooring brands tend to feature a thick and hard-wearing top layer that is made up of three to four inner core layers to ensure maximum stability within the structure.
Ideally, the material should have an underlay as well as a quality click-lock system attached to ensure an easier floating laminate floor installation.
Most of the laminate floors nowadays feature the click-lock or Uniclic design systems, meaning you only have to install the laminate boards to serve as a floating floor to cover the sub-flooring materials as well as the foam underlay.
Due to the advanced click-lock system, the best laminate floors are said to be among the easiest flooring materials to remove once there is a need for an upgrade. There's no glue involved.
We've rounded up some of the best laminate flooring options on the market for a wide range of home decor situations, from a high-end look to a more cozy and subtle decorating scheme.
If you love your heels or your pooch, then Elesgo Summer Oak best laminate flooring is for you. The Germans knew what they were doing when they came up with the Elesgo flooring.
The Elesgo laminate flooring boasts triple acrylic varnished planks that offer homeowners with an elegant high gloss finish that is also one hundred percent ecologically pure. When we say high gloss, we really mean it, which is why you need to be careful if you have a baby or own a pet. Be sure to clothe them with non-slip socks or else you will see them sliding all over the place.
Did we mention how easy it is to install your Elesgo best laminate flooring? Especially if you consider that the Unilin Click-Lock technology lets one tackle this task in a heartbeat and you can walk on it immediately after installation.
Thankfully, Elesgo made its flooring to be super quiet and sound-absorbing. Homeowners will be thoroughly impressed with their flooring.
Another huge advantage would be the heat-resistant ability of the laminate materials, which makes it perfect when dealing with under floor heating.
The Elesgo brand is highly resistant to most kinds of damages, such as high temperatures, scratches, household chemicals, stains, high heels, UV-exposure, and cigarettes. Needless to say, we may even go on to say that Elesgo is among the best laminate flooring options available right now. It’s useful to know that it can virtually be installed anywhere.
- 100 percent ecologically pure
- Installation is very easy as it features click-lock technology
- Suitable for use with heated floors as the materials are resistant to high temperatures
- The laminate flooring is sound absorbing
- Material: High Gloss Laminate
- Installation Method: Unilin click-lock
- Pattern: Summer Oak
- Brand: Elesgo
- Resistant to mold and bacteria
- Treated with anti-bacterial and anti-allergen products
- Copes very well in high traffic areas such as the kitchen
- Doesn’t stretch or crack like conventional wood flooring
- Not ideal for commercial use
Mohawk laminate flooring is revered as the chameleon in the flooring sphere. The reason for this is that this is the type of flooring that easily blends into various surroundings. All you need to do is change up the colors.
Within the world of residential flooring, in particular, the best laminate flooring, things like color, material, style, and texture matters. That is where Mohawk delivers and comes out as a true chameleon in that it can look like anything just about anywhere. As a brand, they feature up to 200 different style options with 34 product line variants.
If you wish to create a teak-like appearance in your living room, Mohawk laminate can make it happen. What about nutmeg chestnut in the cooking area? Mohawk has got your back. Maybe you like Stonewood porcelain in the passage, grey elm in the bedroom, or a vintage driftwood oak somewhere else in your home. All you need is Mohawk laminate for that.
It is all about getting your visible design layer right, which may involve getting your photographic representation applied correctly. One can look forward to so many different options, thanks to the chameleon capacities of Mohawk laminate flooring.
The designer of this type of flooring added their own technological flourishes and toppings to ensure the looks are improved and installation is so much easier.
They have outdone themselves in making each plank section look as realistic as possible. Their GenuEdge Technology made this possible as it involves rolling the embossed design layer image neatly over the edge of the plank to create a 3D look of the wood grain.
Users of Mohawk laminate flooring will be pleased to know that the designers introduced RevWood Plus to help alleviate water damage on the laminate materials, brought about by surface water spillage, pets, and plants
- Designed in such a way that it imitates oak wood
- Presents homeowners with a lovely medium gloss textured surface
- Gives the impression that is consists of 4 wood planks
- CARB II compliant
- Material: Imitation oak wood
- Installation Method: Interlocking, floating
- Pattern: Squared
- The kind of material that can be installed on ground level, in the basement, or upstairs
- Huge variety of finish options
- Superb lasting power
- Requires regular maintenance
The textured Brazilian Cherry laminate flooring happens to be the most realistic collection to date as it provides users with a natural-looking hardwood floor surface. What is more, this particular product achieved GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality status as it's been tested for thousands of different organic compounds.
Installation is straightforward as it involves a glueless procedure that is also very economical for below grade, on grade, and above grade type of installations. It is said to be one of the best ways to provide your home with the comforting feel and appearance of hardwood decor. All thanks to the upscale embossed looks that range from traditional to exotic.
The Brazilian Cherry laminate flooring features a 7 mm thickness where the planks within the design measure just over 7 inches wide and sports a length of over 50 inches. The dark-colored texture finish is loved and favored by many a homeowner.
The planks themselves within the laminate feature a pleasing square pattern with no attached underlayment needed.
What is great about this product is that the user can easily install laminate flooring over wooden subfloors and concrete flooring. Couple that with the 15-year residential warranty and the fact that you can make use of select radiant heating, and have yourself a winner.
When you do the installation, do not forget to make use of the coordinated moldings and trim. Also, do not be alarmed once the shipping arrives as you will receive multiple boxes. This is the case to ensure everything arrives intact.
It is suggested that you buy an additional 10 percent to make provision for extra cuts where needed.
- Water-resistant. Just wipe up any spills
- Provides one with the look of natural hardwood
- Passed GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification
- Glueless installation that is perfect for DIY enthusiasts
- 24.33 sq. ft./case
- Material: Laminate wood plank
- Installation Method: Floating, glue-down
- Pattern: Square edged
- Walking on these floors is easy on your feet
- Requires very little maintenance
- Close second to carpeting in terms of comfort
- Can’t be refinished when damaged
Armstrong Flooring L4017 Exotics laminate flooring brings the dramatic look of exotic hardwood right into your home. It features incredible 5-inch by 5.5-inch wide planks to deliver a sweeping look.
The Armstrong brand has been at it for over a century, so it comes as no surprise that they have a lot of knowledge when it comes to laminate flooring. While they are known for being experts in vinyl models, they have shown great success with laminate too. In fact, you can look forward to over 200 laminate flooring varieties.
Without a doubt it is hard to beat the quality of their laminate materials, aesthetics, brand consistency, and the huge selection made available. Then one needs to consider too that they specialize in 12mm hand scraped flooring.
Armstrong flooring manufacturers ensure that homeowners experience the quickest and easiest way to install laminate flooring through their patented locking system. Plus, they branch out to all sorts of finishes and trimmings to complement your flooring choice so you can sport a uniform interior look.
The Armstrong flooring exotics is a traditional wood that is right up the alley of homeowners who want a hardwood look. It delivers an Old World look for sure, but you can also make your selection from contemporary and modern styles.
All you really have to worry about when it comes to maintaining this type of flooring is to vacuum and mop regularly without having to purchase specialized products or equipment.
- 30 years residential warranty on flooring materials
- HIgh gloss for an elegant look
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Installation Method: Lock and fold
- Pattern: Microbeveled edges
- The high-quality top layer makes laminate flooring especially resistant to the elements
- Pre-finished planks that click together in a place like a jigsaw puzzle
- More convenient to handle than hardwood planks
- Can be loud underfoot
Floorpan Avignon Walnut Brown laminate flooring is made from high-quality materials using high-precision and modern equipment. It is a product that satisfies expected standards by sporting an intricate design process.
The floorboards boast the latest design trends that are also in line with the current global fashion. Further to this, the materials used are not harmful to the environment. A lot of care went into the design of this laminate flooring to ensure it is both long-lasting and appealing to the eye.
Your feet will thank you for the cushioned feel they would experience. As long as you follow the installation instructions and take the necessary care of your Avignon laminate flooring, it will provide you with many years of service.
Ensure the climatic conditions adhere to the following requirements:
Indoors the floor temperatures should vary between 15 degrees Fahrenheit and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
It can handle humidity levels that vary between 40 to 70 percent.
Before you begin to install laminate flooring materials, place the laminate boards you want to install in the room, and leave it to acclimatize for at least 48 hours without even opening the packaging, it came in. If you don’t do this, you risk warping the laminate materials.
When you prepare the surface where you are about to lay laminate flooring, pay attention to things like the evenness, dryness, cleanliness, and evenness of the surfaces.
The best part about the installation procedure is that it takes minimal effort to install laminate flooring. As long as the subfloor is in good condition, you can float laminate over it.
- Manufactured using the best quality and high-tech materials
- Does not require professional assistance
- Passed quality standards
- Combination of different color designs to match your decor
- 22.93 sq. ft./case
- Material: Wood laminate
- Installation Method: Floating Floor Installation
- Pattern: Avignon Walnut Brown
- Ideally suited for pets and kids
- Unlike concrete or tiled flooring, laminate flooring holds heat and gives way as you walk
- Allergy friendly. Be sure to use resilient-friendly materials for asthma sufferers
- Can look unnatural
With Balterio Laminate flooring, you will come across two thickness levels, namely; 8mm and 12mm. Not all the styles and colors are made available in both thicknesses. The 8mm features more of a color variety.
Homeowners will be pleased to learn that mostly warmer colors can be found in the various designs. Among the most prominent ones are rustic touches and saw marks.
You can look forward to an exciting lineup with options such as French Barrel Oak, Sweet Magnolia, Spiced Hickory, Mystic Everwood, and of course, Walnut Black.
Balterio laminate flooring finishes off very well and offers users a polished look. Do not forget that the laminate materials are packed with a lot of care to ensure a satisfactory end product delivered to homeowners.
Also, the eco-friendly materials used to manufacture Balterio laminate flooring finds favor among many people. One can look forward to a higher-end finish than most laminates to fit different decors.
At times, the installation procedure can be challenging. In most instances, it is advisable to hire a professional installer to take care of this for you. Not only will it prevent any discord that may manifest itself in your home, but one can be assured of a hassle-free installation.
When installed incorrectly, the Balterio line of laminate flooring will fall short in terms of its overall appearance, quality, and durability.
The best part of Balterio laminate flooring is that it is easy to maintain and clean. In general, if you possess a laminate-friendly vacuum while ensuring you regularly keep a rag at hand to deal with any water spills, you will be good to go.
- Top quality materials manufactured using high precision equipment
- No need to hire flooring experts
- Large selection of designs and colors to match your room
- Protective flooring to guard against accidents and kids playing
- 21.86 sq. ft./case
- Material: Thick premium European Laminate
- Installation Method: Dropxpress click system
- Pattern: True to nature touch
- The eco-friendly benefits of laminate flooring design is passed on to the consumer
- The inks and dyes used are water-based and can be recycled
- Adhesives are non-toxic
- The tilt and lock installation process can be tedious
Shaw laminate flooring boasts close to 200 different color and style combinations. These are typically high-end floor products that are mostly sold via specialty stores and also dispatched when orders are placed online. Various wholesale sources offer the same value if not better than retail stores.
The natural-looking textures of the beveled planks and deep embossing will spark your curiosity in wanting to pick up one of the laminated flooring samples to establish if it is wood. With Shaw Industries SL255, it is almost as if you are looking at strips of hickory or pecan.
Scratches and indentations can be minimized by utilizing wide-load bearing leg rollers and floor protectors. As a rule of thumb, be sure to use a wider floor protector when dealing with heavier objects.
You need to maintain a humidity level that does not go lower than 35 percent or higher than 65 percent to accommodate the natural contraction and expansion of the wood.
Shaw wood-based materials are hygroscopic by nature as they tend to react to moisture and will contract or expand accordingly. Any indication of sub-floor moisture must be taken in hand before installation takes place.
Water spills or wetting of any kind needs to be avoided or cleaned up immediately. Remodelers find it useful that Shaw laminate flooring can be assembled or disassembled numerous times. The thing is that when carefully disassembled, the glueless joints will keep their locking integrity to ensure re-assembly is an effortless endeavor. Newer laminate flooring should be left for 72 hours to acclimatize.
- Easy to install due to floating or interlocking system
- Hardwearing - No more worries about indents or dropped objects
- Water-resistant flooring to repel splashes and spills.
- 26.4 sq. ft./carton
- Material: Laminate wood plank
- Installation Method: Floating interlocking
- Pattern: Square edged
- Resistant to stains, scratches, UV light and dents
- Richer-looking colors and textures
- Crisper and deeper embossing with greater fidelity to the original material
- More natural looking than vinyl flooring
- The repetitive pattern can compromise realism
Alder Springs Oak laminate flooring is a collection that combines character-rich textures with a light tan color to bring homeowners with an inviting and relaxed floor that matches well with most interior spaces.
It can be tough to install in commercial paces as it features an AC4 rated surface texture. What makes it super easy to install is the simple fold down installation system where one would not require any glue. You can start using your flooring the moment it is installed.
On the other hand, the experts advise that the laminate floor materials of the Alder Springs Oak need to be acclimatized and installed in line with the recommendations given by the National Wood Flooring Association.
In general, users are encouraged to get hold of professional floor installers to ensure every installation is done properly and following specific guidelines.
Flooring needs to be set up above grade level. One should steer away from installing Alder Springs Oak laminate flooring below grade.
Usually, installation procedures would vary with regards to new flooring or plank flooring. It is best to consult with professional floor installers.
It is reassuring to know that these laminate flooring materials provide unmatched durability and are a more affordable option as opposed to hardwood. It is the type of floor materials that will uphold its own even in high traffic spaces, or when exposed to scratching, burning, or stains. Even though it looks quite similar to solid wood materials, laminate flooring is not wood and constructed of a variety of materials that are bonded together using a lot of pressure.
- Alder Springs Oak boast an AC4 rated surface texture
- Can be installed over both concrete and wooden subfloors
- Suited for residential and light commercial use
- 7-year light commercial warranty against wear, fade and stain
- 17.72 sq. ft. / case
- Material: Authentic woodgrain texture
- Installation Method: Click lock fold down installation
- Pattern: beveled edges
- Select radiant heating may be used
- Comes equipped with a simple fold down installation system, so there is no need for glue
- Fold down installation method
- No attached underlayment
Mannington Laminate flooring looks more like wood than ever before. Especially if you consider it features a host of modern styles and colors.
They have been in existence since 1915, making them one of the older vinyl and laminate flooring companies around. Initially, they focused on luxury and sheet vinyl. Of late, they made some serious progress in the world of laminate flooring.
With the Mannington Hardware 28200 laminate flooring, we focus on the Revolutions collection that makes use of NatureForm Optix technology to provide homeowners with the idea that they have real wood in the laminated flooring.
Even the planks you find within this collection feature smaller 5-inch widths, so it looks like it is real hardwood. There are not as many color choices in this collection, but the other features make up for it big time.
Most of the best laminate flooring products offered by Mannington feature the famous AquaEdges locking technique and the patented Melamine Wearsurface, which are in place to safeguard the laminate materials against moisture penetration. In any event, users can look forward to a 25-year warranty.
The flooring itself consists of recycled wood core, meaning the flooring is partly made up of wood that would have been discarded in any way. This way, the manufacturers do their part as far as the environment is concerned.
The Keystone Oak laminate is very elegant and stylish. What is more, it is a remodeler’s prayer answered for any remodeling project they may be tasked with. One cannot go wrong in settling for the Mannington Hardware 28200 Restoration Collection.
- SpillShield Waterproof surface warranty to protect your flooring against standing moisture and pet messes
- Pet and Kid friendly
- Stain and Fade resistant
- Combine hardwood visuals and trending plank sizes with superior durability
- Material: Scratch resist laminate
- Installation Method: Float and lock
- Pattern: Keystone oak iron
- Any dripping on the floor is easy to wipe up and dries like a dream
- Provides the perfect finish to any floor
- Wrapped moldings can be used to join areas of laminate flooring easily
- Boards can be difficult to click together
Pergo pioneered the world of laminate flooring. Besides, they specialize in a host of artistic designs and artificial-looking flooring. Pergo Outlast flooring comes in a range of finishes, from a washed grey to a dark reddish-brown.
Furthermore, Pergo has been at it for more than 35 years already. Homeowners can be confident that they know what they’re doing. Their laminate flooring joins numerous layers together using extreme heat.
What is really interesting and a lot easier for DIY people is that the underlayment is already attached to the bottom end of every interlocking plank. This is the type of materials that offers a soft cushion when walking on it. What also happens is that minor imperfections on the floor surface get evened out. The laminate flooring is further protected from moisture thanks to the underlayment that serves as a barrier.
You may want to think of the underlayment as a stiffener in that it offers superior stability to prevent the boards from collapsing or bowing under the weight of the person walking on it.
Just as useful is the high-density fiber core board that is water-resistant, it terminates at the click-joints to provide better snap-together installation.
This board is strong enough to ward off denting formed by drops of liquid or water. This way your floor will still look as good 15 years later than the day you had it installed. Naturally, Pergo’s laminate flooring can be found in a large array of finishes, thicknesses, and widths.
One cannot go wrong when opting for one of their designs.
- The transparent water-resistant overlay resembles the texture of real wood
- Features PermaMax wear layer and ScratchGuard Advanced to ensure exceptional durability
- SpillProtect24 technology will protect your best laminate flooring from household spills for up to 24 hours
- Underlayment is already attached to the Pergo Outlast boards
- 19.63 sq. ft./case
- Material: Laminate wood
- Installation Method: Attached underlayment
- Pattern: Sand Dune Oak
- Very realistic in terms of the patterns and colors of wood it represents
- The flooring materials are incredibly durable
- It is good enough for use in a boutique, office, or cafe
- Can cause problems for those with sensitive immune systems
We all know the saying that you get what you pay for. The same goes for the best laminate flooring products. While this flooring option is chosen in place of stone tiles or real hardwood planks, do not settle for the cheaper brands as you may experience disappointing results such as swelling, buckling or gaps that make its appearance in between edges.
Mid-range laminate floors are usually priced around $2.50 for a square foot coverage. Top of the range flooring can go as high as $6 per square foot.
You might be concerned about sound absorption and hardness. In that case, you need to ensure you opt for laminate materials that are at least 0.47-inches thick, which would not include the underlay.
It is far better to go for thicker laminate flooring materials as they produce a better feel in that the planes of the photographic layers are more profound and come across way more realistic.
Be sure to monitor the quality of the laminate flooring materials so you may determine what the moisture swell rate is: generally, not more than 18 percent and not lower than 13 percent.
For improved authenticity, it pays to select a laminate that features a notable pattern repeat. For instance, should a laminate have a 1 in 10 pattern repeat, you will notice that there are far fewer planks in the batch that look the same, which makes it a lot easier to create a different and more natural look to your flooring.
When taking a look at various options, be sure that the products you choose carry the NALFA (North American Laminate Floor Association) certification as it will mean that a strict set of criteria has been met.
Besides, laminated materials need to pass various quality control tests that are done inside an independent laboratory to ensure the flooring materials will stand up against, wear and tear, static load, stains, water, and even surface bonds.
As with all interior home improvement products, the best laminate flooring designers did their level best to ensure what they came up with were in line with the latest design trends that would make any user eager to ditch their carpeting for these more stylish options. Some of these are:
- High gloss finishes - These are glossy in nature, meaning that users are at risk of slipping once the materials get wet. However, some of the latest finishing processes made provision for non-slip high gloss finishes.
- Bigger planks - Lately a lot of interest was shown in thicker and bigger planks. Then again, wider and longer plank images are made to replicate real hardwood flooring within the designs.
- Gray or neutral designs that are very much on-trend and can be seen in a range of gray-toned laminate finishes that are made available in various top brands.
What's the best way to clean laminate flooring?
Unlike most floorings, laminate flooring requires a little more attention when cleaning. For instance, avoid using a steam mop unless your laminate flooring guidelines allow the use of steam mops. Steam mops can easily warp your flooring.
Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the debris. Find an ideal floor cleaning spray that works perfectly with your flooring. Spray your flooring and use a dry cloth to clean it or a dry mop. Avoid waxing your floor or using rough material like steel wool to clean it; you may end up risking scratching your floor.
What should you consider when picking a laminate flooring?
When purchasing laminate flooring, there are a couple of things to consider. First things first, where are you planning to install the floor? If you’re planning to install it in the bathroom, choose a waterproof laminate flooring.
In terms of quality, when it comes to laminate flooring, you get what you pay for. Cheaper options are often smoother, which raises the chances of warping quickly. The best laminate flooring should not be too soft. Also, overly smooth flooring easily peels off and tends to get stained easily due to the sub-standard design.
What is the right thickness for laminate flooring?
When it comes to thickness, your subfloor is all that matters. A more stable subfloor requires a much thinner laminate flooring, and a less stable subfloor needs a thicker laminate flooring. The measure of the thickness of laminate flooring is in millimeters and the most preferred thickness is either 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, or 12mm.
When checking for thickness, also consider built-ins. Measure the space between the subfloor and built-ins while installing to establish the right thickness. Another vital thing to check on thickness is whether the flooring thickness has padding attached. It helps in discerning the thickness when it comes to installing flooring next to built-ins.
What is the ideal texture or finish for laminate flooring?
There’s no right texture as long as the quality is excellent. There are different types of texture, depending on your preference. Here’s a couple of the texture styles available.
Oiled Wood Finish: A popular option for many buys. This kind of flooring texture mimics a hardwood oil texture and creates an impression of being made from oil.
Matte Finish: It provides a distinct wood texture just like most natural hardwood floors. Also a popular choice for most buyers.
Satin Finish: Gives a shiny finish to the flooring and reflects light. However, it does not overpower the room when reflecting light.
Natural Wood Finish: Resembles natural wood flooring, thus provides an authentic texture. Perfect if you are looking for natural wood-like flooring.
Oxide Surface Finish: Gives your floor a metallic finish and at the same time, a shiny finish. Perfect for modern interiors.
High Gloss Finish: Also ideal for modern and chic interiors. It provides a polished look to your interior.
In a nutshell, texture all depends on your interior and taste; there’s no such thing as the universally ideal texture. Provided the laminate flooring quality is perfect, then you’re good to pick your preferred texture.
What are the different styles of laminate flooring?
The style of your preferred laminate flooring is as important as the design. Laminate flooring has three main styles.
1-strip plank: offers the highest quality texture, and the design is of longer plank strips. Its edges are bevelled. It provides a realistic hardwood flooring look.
2-strip plank: its design is of two strips on one plank. It also provides a realistic hardwood look but not more than a 1-plank strip.
3-strip plank: 3 narrow strips on one plank. It offers a natural hardwood look but less compared to the other two.