Laminate Styles

Knowledge about laminate styles.

Laminate offers you a large family of styles and our goal is to help you understand the big picture on installation types when it comes to this unique family of flooring products. This information will let you shop smarter and compare with confidence.

For many of us, when it comes to picking a style of any product, we usually “know it when we see it.” Perhaps that describes you, too.

Well, if laminate interests you, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll find a style that’s right for your home.

This section explains laminate types of installation, and offers you all the information you need to make smart choices.

Is it real or laminate?

If laminates looked fake the last time you checked, it’s time to check again!

Today’s laminates are looking better and better, and often need close examination to be identified.

Laminates have truly come a long way. Why?

Because of the growing popularity of laminates, manufacturers are creating an increasing array of traditional, rustic, and exotic wood grain designs.

In fact, presses have improved to the point where the texture imprinted on top of the design looks more real than ever, even with distressed wood or natural stone designs.

Quality is focused on the photography.

The quality of the laminate partially has to do with the photography and the number of photographs per style, which is known as "screens".

Here’s an example for you. When manufacturers emulate a natural stone tile, they try to recreate the variation in color, pattern and texture that is a result of cutting a natural product.

The more screens a product has, the more variation it can offer. And the more “authentic” the laminate looks.

Understand this about color.

Like any floor, select the laminate color to compliment the size of your room and the activities taking place in it.

Remember that lighter colors will make a smaller room appear larger, while darker colors will absorb the light and create a more intimate setting.

Choose a color that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinets and other furniture. Avoid matching everything to the same color and style.

Let your creativity guide you! And remember, contrasts can make your room more interesting.

Laminate flooring types – yours will be installed in one of these 4 forms per the manufacterer's recommendation.

Glueless laminate flooring.

No mess, glueless installation makes these floors quick and easy-to-install.

They come in a variety of ceramic and wood designs and colorations, as well as some manufacturers offer a real, hardwood veneer instead of a printed layer. It looks amazingly hardwood-like.

These floors come in both planks and squares. A thin, plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture from below. (Remember, moisture is the enemy of your flooring.)

In fact, most laminate floors require a plastic underlay sheet (4 mil poly) be installed directly underneath the laminate planks or tiles.

This helps the floor float freely over the subfloor. Another option is to add a vapor barrier or noise reduction underlay before installing the laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring with attached underlay.

These floors come with several different types of tongue and grooved locking systems and an attached underlayment to reduce noise levels. That’s good to know.

Glued laminate flooring.

These are the original laminate floors that do require a special formulated glue to be applied to the tongue and grooved areas for each plank.

Once the glue is dried the planks are almost impossible to pull apart. These floors are offered in both planks and squares.