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How to Choose a Laminate Flooring

Do you love the look and feel of natural hardwood floors but don't want to pay the hefty price tag that comes with them? If you answered yes, laminate flooring is just what you need! Laminate flooring is less expensive, easy to install, and maintain. You'll have all the aesthetic value of natural wood flooring without the added expense and maintenance. 

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What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is made by fusing multiple layers of synthetic materials using a lamination process. This process uses innovative technology to ensure each plank looks and feels like natural hardwood. There are different designs, finishes, and types of laminate flooring, leaving you with many options and price points to choose from. Laminate flooring achieves its durability through a fiberboard core and its look through the printed design. 

Types of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is conveniently packaged with a premeasured amount of snap-together or tongue-in-groove planks. Often, a glue backing is applied for easy installation. Installed over the substrate, they are often called "floating floors." There are two main types of laminate flooring, engineered wood, and plastic.

Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood utilizes layers of genuine wood, each layer perpendicular to the one above, and sealed with acrylic lamination. This type of flooring is more expensive than 100% laminate, can be more susceptible to water or moisture damage, and is altogether less durable. Unlike plastic laminate, engineered wood can be sanded and refinished (limitedly) to increase its lifespan. This is the perfect choice for the traditionalist who wants natural wood flooring with the durability of laminate.

Plastic Laminate

This is a fully synthetic type of laminate flooring. Coming in about half the price of engineered wood, plastic laminate is more durable, water-resistant, and less likely to stain. Plastic laminate is engineered to look like natural hardwood but has a laminated finish designed for busy, active homes. From cat claws and roller skates to high chairs and tap shoes, laminate was made for real life and real messes.

Best Types of Laminate Flooring By Room

Laminate flooring is extraordinarily versatile and durable, making it a superior alternative anywhere natural hardwood flooring can go. Some types of laminate are designed to be more durable than others, making them ideal for high-traffic areas, while others are 100% waterproof, making them the best choice for bathrooms. Let's talk about some of your options.

Best Laminate Flooring - Kitchen

Finding the right flooring for your kitchen and dining room area can take time and effort. While you want something that looks great, you must also consider the durability and longevity required in your flooring. Check out this Mohawk RevWood Premier Morena Bluffs laminate flooring that combines the beautiful look of hardwood with the durability of laminate. This laminate is waterproof and easy to clean, perfect for the spills and splashes of everyday family life. This rich pecan-colored flooring features an AC4 wear rating, easy-to-install Uniclic technology, and the revolutionary GenuEdge profile. 

Best Laminate Flooring - Bathroom

Choosing the right flooring for your bathroom can pose a unique challenge. Being repeatedly exposed to water, humidity, and bacteria, you'll want waterproof flooring that is easy to clean. This Pergo Elements Originals laminate flooring offers the protection that comes with purchasing from a trusted name in the flooring industry. With its 10-year Waterproof Protection and CleanProtect® properties, this laminate will give you the antimicrobial properties you need in bathroom flooring. The premium attached pad gives you added comfort and noise reduction.

Best Laminate Flooring - Laundry or Mud Room

Your laundry and mudroom are exposed to all the abuse of a garage inside your home. While you want something attractive, durability is a must. This Mohawk RevWood Premier Miramar Shores laminate features a deep oak design with an AC4 wear rating, easy-to-install Uniclic technology, and the revolutionary GenuEdge profile. Waterproof and easy to clean, this laminate flooring offers complete coverage and durability where you need it most!

Best Laminate Flooring - Living Spaces

Rooms that see lots of activity (bedrooms, living rooms, family rooms, and den areas) call for durable flooring that can withstand the wear and tear of daily living. Sturdy laminate flooring is just the right choice for these living areas. Take a look at this Mohawk Kingmire, it boasts deeply textured markings that add contrast and texture to any room. Stain, scratch, and dent resistance make this an ideal choice for homes with children, pets, and families. Available in various styles and colors, there's something for everyone!

Best Laminate Flooring - Basement

Flooring in basement areas can be tricky and problematic. Basements often see moisture issues and even flooding in some areas. This makes your choice of flooring vital in protecting your home and valuables. Waterproof flooring options are a must. Check out this Mohawk RevWood Premier Morena Bluffs. This flooring boasts a protective 12mm of waterproof laminate planking and an AC4 wear rating. This highly durable laminate has a Lifetime Surface & Subfloor Waterproof warranty, a Limited Lifetime Residential warranty, and a 5 YR Limited Light to Medium Commercial warranty. Made in the USA, this laminate looks and feels like natural wood.

Asher Gray Oak
Bungalow Oak

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Laminate Flooring


Laminate flooring ranges in thickness from 7mm to 12mm, usually including the core and attached pad. All laminate flooring offers the same level of dent resistance. The thicker flooring is less likely to bend and buckle in areas where the floor is uneven.


Plank widths vary from 3 inches wide to just over 7 inches. Keep in mind: the wider the plank, the greater the chance of warping and buckling.


Laminate flooring has a variety of available finishes and colors. The options are endless, from matte or wire-brushed finishes to antique oak and saffron chestnut.

AC Rating

Abrasion Criteria rating, also called AC rating, is used to indicate the overall durability of a floor. It measures the resistance to abrasions, dents, and stains and is broken down into five levels. The higher the AC rating, the more durable the flooring. AC3 and AC4 are the most common ratings in residential flooring.

  • AC1: This home flooring option would be best in low-traffic areas like bedrooms.
  • AC2: Also best for home use, AC2 flooring is approved for medium-use areas.
  • AC3: This flooring is appropriate for use in high-traffic areas of your home, such as the kitchen, dining areas, and living rooms.
  • AC4: The AC4 rating is appropriate for all home areas and, in some cases, for commercial use.
  • AC5: This laminate flooring rating is approved to withstand almost any commercial foot traffic.

Laminate flooring must undergo a series of tests to be approved with the above ratings. Failing even one test will result in the product being failed for that AC rating. 


The great thing about laminate flooring is that it simulates the texture of natural hardwood flooring. Laminate comes in a variety of textures:

  • Embossed in Register (EIR): This is a method of embossing a non-natural material that gives it the look and feel of natural hardwood. It ensures your laminate flooring has the texture of a genuine hardwood floor without the hefty price tag. 
  • Hand-scraped: Laminate is pressed to give the look and texture of a genuine hand-scraped hardwood floor. 
  • High-Gloss: This type of finish gives a glossy, high-end look that is scratch, stain, and dent resistant. This finish is excellent for lower-traffic areas.
  • Matte Finish: Matte finish offers a grainy or textured finish to your laminate flooring that is ideal for high-traffic areas. This flooring texture provides durability and longevity to your floor that you may not get otherwise.

Textures, finishes, and colors can be customized according to your wants and needs.

Wear and Tear

Wear and tear for laminate flooring may be different from a traditional hardwood floor. Much of this will depend on the quality of your flooring choice and the area where it's placed. 

  • Moisture and Temperature: Laminate flooring is ideal for almost any indoor living space. While it doesn't expand and contract to extreme temperatures like hardwood flooring does, it shouldn't be placed in areas with constant moisture exposure. Unless you choose an option that is 100% waterproof or water-resistant, installing laminate in areas with continual moisture or prone to spills is contraindicated. Our waterproof flooring options can help to mitigate this issue.
  • Sunlight: The great thing about laminate flooring is that it isn't susceptible to sunlight damage and fading like natural hardwood flooring. For example, deep oak hardwood flooring will fade significantly over time, while the same color laminate will stay the same color as when it was installed. That being said, not all areas of your home are in direct sunlight and are susceptible to fading.
  • Wear and Tear: We consistently hear from customers that they've had their laminate flooring for 10+ years, and it still looks as great as the day they got it. The great thing about laminate flooring is its overall durability, even in high-traffic areas. With the most innovative technology, our suppliers work hard to ensure that each plank has the AC rating you've chosen; most even provide a warranty to ensure you love your flooring!
  • People Who Love Laminate Flooring

    Anyone with Allergies

    We all know the dust, allergens, and bacteria that are harbored in carpets. According to this study, published by the National Institute of Health, the following are some of the findings on the impact of carpets vs. hard surface flooring on public health:

    • There are significantly higher levels of dust and allergens from fungi, dogs, cats, and dust mites in carpets compared to smooth/hard floors.
    • Installing carpets caused an increase in overall exposure to house dust mites.
    • Removal of carpet and padding significantly reduced the levels of mite allergens and ergosterol, a component of the cell wall of molds. 
    • Large amounts of dust deposits and a higher percentage of living microorganisms were found in carpet flooring compared to their smooth flooring counterparts. 

    With such high allergen and bacteria content in carpeting, those with allergies can significantly benefit from laminate flooring. Laminate flooring options include padding with antimicrobial properties, aiding those with allergies.

    Those Who Don't Enjoy Cleaning

    Natural hardwood floors require unique cleaning products and more time and energy than laminate flooring. Not to mention the refinishing that crops up every few years to keep hardwood floors looking new and fresh. Laminate flooring only requires a quick sweep and, when needed, a damp mop for dust or spills. Simple and straightforward, saving you hours of sweat energy.

    Families with Small Children

    What mother wants their children crawling around on dirty floors or allergy-ridden carpeting? Not many. A quick sweep or vacuum is all it takes to ensure your laminate floors are ready for children. And, when your kids have made an enormous mess of your dining room, cleaning up is a breeze.

    Pet People

    If you've had a dog or cat lately, you are probably well aware of the damage they can cause to furniture and flooring. Hardwood floors can be hopelessly damaged by claws and paws, requiring refinishing or protective area rugs. That is not true with laminate floors. With their durable, protective coating, laminate floors resist the scrapes and stains that come with being a pet parent. 

    Carpet & Tile Mart: Helping You Choose a Laminate Flooring

    At Carpet & Tile Mart, we have a 50-year history of helping people like you make the right flooring choice for their homes and lives. We are a family-owned and operated business that loves what we do and those we serve. If you don't know what you want or where to start, simply give us a call or fill out this contact form, and our flooring specialists will help you find the best solutions. Here are some of the things that set us apart from our competition:

    • We buy direct from the manufacturer to eliminate the middleman
    • Work with flooring suppliers to improve quality and price
    • Negotiate for deep discounts - savings are passed on to you
    • Access to exclusive deals and products not found elsewhere
    • Thousands of laminate flooring choices are IN-STOCK today!

    Don't take our word for it. Contact us today to see what we can do for you and get $25 off your order. 

    Inside Our Typical Carpet & Tile Mart Store