Buyer’s Guide: Selecting Laminate Flooring for Longevity and Style

Buyer’s Guide: Selecting Laminate Flooring for Longevity and Style

When it comes to refurbishing your home, laminate flooring is a versatile and durable choice that combines the beauty of hardwood with the resilience of engineered materials. Family-friendly and budget-conscious, laminate floors can withstand the rigours of daily life while maintaining their aesthetic appeal. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best laminate flooring that marries longevity with style.

Types of Laminate Flooring

Surface Types

Laminate flooring typically comes in three surface types:

  • Smooth: A sleek and clean appearance that can mimic polished stone or wood.
  • Textured or Embossed: Features a grainy, more realistic texture that simulates real wood.
  • Handscraped: Has a rustic, artisanal look achieved by slight, intentional imperfections.

Each type offers different visual appeals and may complement various home styles from contemporary to traditional.

Construction Layers

Laminate flooring is constructed in layers, which consists of:

  • Wear Layer: The top layer provides resistance against scratches, stains, and fading.
  • Design Layer: A photographic layer that replicates the look of wood or stone.
  • Core Layer: Often made from high-density fibreboard, it provides the floor’s thickness and stability.
  • Backing Layer: This bottom layer gives structural stability and prevents moisture damage.

AC Ratings: Assessing Durability

Laminate floors are rated based on their durability, known as the Abrasion Criteria (AC) rating. The ratings start from AC1 (moderate residential use) to AC5 (heavy commercial use). For households with high foot traffic or pets, an AC3 or AC4 would be most suitable to ensure the flooring withstands the usage over time.

Choosing the Right Laminate for Your Home

Room Considerations

The function of the room plays a critical role in choosing the right laminate. For moist areas like bathrooms or kitchens, look for laminates with water-resistant properties. Bedrooms and living areas, on the other hand, can feature any type of laminate, focusing more on comfort and style.

Colour and Pattern

Selecting the right colour and pattern is vital in ensuring that your flooring complements your home’s décor. Lighter colours can make a room appear larger and more open, while darker tones add warmth and cosiness. Consider the room’s natural light as well as your home furnishings when making your choice.

Installation Essentials


One of the significant advantages of laminate flooring is its ease of installation. Most laminate floors today come with a click-lock design that allows for easy snapping together of planks without the need for nails or glue.

Tools and Preparation

Ensure you have the essential tools on hand, such as a tape measure, utility knife, and rubber mallet. Prepare your sub-floor by cleaning and ensuring it is level and dry to avoid any installation issues.

Maintenance Tips

Daily Care

Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove debris. For cleaning, use a damp mop with a mild laminate floor cleaner. Avoid using wet mops or steam cleaners as excessive moisture can damage laminate floors.

Protective Measures

Use felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratching. Keep mats at entryways and high-traffic areas to minimize wear. Close curtains or blinds during peak sunlight hours to prevent discolouration from UV rays.


In case of scratches or damage, many laminate floors offer repair kits that include wax pencils or putty. Alternatively, individual planks can usually be replaced without needing to redo the entire floor, making laminate an even more appealing option.

Laminate flooring offers a practical yet stylish flooring solution suitable for various living spaces and lifestyles. By understanding the types, features, and maintenance required, you can adeptly select a laminate flooring that not only meets your functional needs but also enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home, ensuring enjoyment and satisfaction for years to come.

Chambliss Carlos

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