Choosing the best laminate flooring can be overwhelming as a first-time homeowner with so many brands out there. Here's what to consider...

Did you know since the pandemic, more people have been doing house renovations? Tackle some projects at home this year. If you want to change your carpet to laminate flooring, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to choose the best laminate flooring. You’ll have an idea of what to look for when shopping for flooring.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

How Does Laminate Flooring Work?

Laminate is a synthetic flooring made from a few layers of material. Most flooring will have four layers.

There’s a back layer. This layer will provide support and stability for the flooring. A core layer will prevent dents and maintain the structure of the flooring.

Your decor layer’s the style of the flooring, and the wear layer provides protection. The wear layer will protect the floor from wear and tear.

Choose Between Engineered or Plastic Laminate Flooring

Engineered laminate flooring gets made from layers of natural wood. The layers get glued together. Each layer’s perpendicular to the layer below and above, so it’s stable.

The top layer will be a higher quality layer of hardwood that’s coated with a finish.

Plastic laminate flooring is artificial and has a layer of melamine on the bottom. In the center, there’s a resin-saturated fiberboard. On top, there’s a woodgrain print protected by a layer of clear hard plastic.

People who prefer the natural look of wood may choose the engineered wood. Yet, it tends to be double the cost of plastic laminate flooring.

The thin top layer of natural hardwood will be a lot more susceptible to staining, scratches, or dents.

Yet, engineered wood laminate can get refinished and sanded a few times. This kind of laminate flooring tends to last longer than plastic laminate.

Do you plan to sell your home in a couple of years? Buyers may like the look of the engineered laminate compared to plastic.

Most homeowners will choose plastic laminate for an area with a lot of foot traffic, which gets wet.

The plastic inner components and top coat will make the plastic laminate more durable. Plastic laminate can withstand pet claws, sandy shoes, and moisture.

Learn more about laminate vs vinyl floors.

What Finish Do You Want?

Do you lead a quieter life and live alone or with one person? Consider either engineered or plastic laminate flooring.

If your household is busy with lots of visitors, pets, or children, be more selective. Look for flooring that has a varied grain pattern.

You might want to consider a distressed patina or low-gloss finish. The flooring will look cleaner compared to flooring with a monolithic grain.

There are hundreds of flooring finishes on the market. Choosing the finish is a challenge for most homeowners. Think about the look you want to reflect in your home.

The most common choice people make is a wood effect, but there are other styles. In each of these styles, you have grains, textures, and colors to consider.

Some laminate flooring will have a high gloss finish, hand-scraped look, or be embossed.

When choosing a finish, consider the size of your room. A light flooring will make a room appear brighter and bigger. Dark laminate flooring is an excellent choice if you have a larger room and want to add character.

What About Wide Planks?

You might like the look of wide planks. Yet, you’ll need to take a look at the installation directions. Some flooring won’t do well with an uneven subfloor.

Wide planks won’t snap together on an uneven floor. The end joints also won’t stick to one another, and you’ll have gaps beneath the planks. As you walk over the flooring, you’ll feel the gaps.

If your wood or concrete subfloor is uneven, choose a narrower plank style.

Do You Need Underlayment?

Underlayment is an essential part of laminate flooring. Underlayment’s also known as padding. It’s a spongy and plastic foam sheet. Installers will roll the underlayment between the subfloor and laminate flooring.

The underlayment will add a layer of moisture protection. If you have leaks below your flooring, it won’t seep through to your laminate flooring.

Underlayment can also make your floors a lot quieter to walk on and reduce noise. In the summer, the underlayment will keep your home cooler and warmer in the winter.

How Do You Maintain Your Flooring?

The laminate floor manufacturer you choose will provide aftercare instructions.

You might need to get a specific cleaning product. If you aren’t sure what cleaning product to use, search online to see what would work best with your flooring.

When cleaning your flooring, use a soft broom. Small particles will cause scratches on your flooring. Make sure you sweep often.

If a spill occurs, wipe it up with a damp cloth. After, dry the area with a clean cloth to get rid of residue. Don’t use a mop. The mop will add moisture to your flooring, and it can seep through and ruin your laminate.

Try not to drag furniture across your laminate flooring. Otherwise, you’ll end up scratching your new flooring.

Now You Can Choose the Best Laminate Flooring

We hope this guide on how to choose the best laminate flooring was helpful. Make sure you consider the foot traffic in the room. What kind of finish would you prefer, and how will it reflect your style?

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