Laminate flooring has become increasingly popular in recent times due to advancements in materials and manufacturing methods. These improvements have created laminate floors that much more closely resemble natural hardwood floors, and they also offer many other types of looks today. Due to its ability to be installed quickly and its lower pricing in comparison to other flooring materials, more homeowners are choosing laminate flooring over other options than ever before.
For this article, we decided to revel in the many styles of laminate flooring available to choose from. Our mission was to identify ten laminate flooring looks that homeowners love, and it was an enjoyable tour of floor styles.
About Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring can also be referred to as "floating wood tile." It is typically composed of several layers of processed materials such as melamine resin and fiberboard, and most types combine a back layer, core layer, design layer, and wear layer.
The back layer has the function of protecting the flooring from moisture, and it also helps level the floor. One level up, the core layer must be of durable, high-density material that holds up well against liquid and possible indentations. The design layer is above the core layer, and it displays the look and style of whatever laminate pattern has been chosen. Finally, the wear layer is a clear, protective top layer often made out of aluminum oxide. This layer is especially important because it helps stop fading, stains, and burns.
In the laminate manufacturing process, all these layers are fused together through exposure to very high heat (above 300 degrees F.) and direct pressure. Again, due to advancements in technology over the years, laminate flooring has become very strong and sturdy.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
We could go on and on about how great laminate flooring can be to own, clean and enjoy. Instead, here is a list of benefits:
Types of Laminate Flooring
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE FLOORING
Anyone invested in and concerned about how their flooring is made can purchase environmentally responsible flooring. Various organizations certify flooring and other building materials to assure buyers that they are made of renewable, natural and recyclable materials.
Some people place a high value on American craftsmanship and tend to look specifically for products made in the U.S. Fortunately, American-made flooring is readily available so people who want to buy such products will know exactly where the flooring originates
This has been an amazing advancement. On a typical hardwood or other non-waterproof floor, if you have a liquid spill that doesn’t get cleaned up quickly enough, the floor can warp and bubble, which is pretty unsightly and costly to repair. Waterproof laminate flooring will stop this from happening and keep your floors looking good. These floors are especially great for places like kitchens and basements, or in any other area that may be prone to spills and accidents.
This is a style that often looks similar to typical hardwood flooring. One popular style is a distressed-type look with wire brush marks throughout.
This usually refers to a basic, understated but durable laminate floor with a very smooth look and finish to it.
Most Popular "Imitation" Looks
Popular Color Choices
Popular Patterns & Layouts
10 Looks That Homeowners Love
While choosing laminate allows you to mix and match all different types, looks, colors, patterns, layouts, textures, and colors, here are ten of the top, trending styles of 2018 to get you started.
1. Sandcastle Oak
This style has what’s referred to as a whitewashed look. It’s currently trending in California because it gives off a beach-like vibe, but it’s slowly making its way around the world. Darker colors slightly peak through from underneath so it doesn’t look completely white. It tends to have a rough, worn-looking finish. The color can brighten up any area and make it look bigger than it really is.
2. Classic Hickory
Classic hickory is a blonde color that can also lighten up a room, but it's not quite as pale than a true whitewash. It can be described as light and airy and may give off either a chic or rustic look. The great thing about classic hickory flooring is that you can change your room décor and be confident your floor will blend in nicely.
3. Historic Hickory
This is a slightly darker honey color still light enough to do some brightening up of the room as a whole. At the same time, it provides warmth and richness with a tone slightly darker than classic hickory.
4. Rich Hickory
This is a dark, rich espresso-like color. The color gives a room elegance and contrasts nicely with pops of lighter décor. On the downside, if not done correctly, your room can appear smaller and a bit gloomy if too much décor is dark. Another negative is that this dark color tends to expose dust, dirt, and scratches more than the lighter colors. If you have no pets or kids and are clean and elegant, rich hickory flooring could certainly work for you.
5. River Rock
River Rock is a beautiful, gray-shaded, wood-style laminate. It has become very popular because it sets a cool tone in a room and goes with a contemporary look. It can be described as chic, and it’s a great neutral color that can easily fit in with just about any décor.
6. Stone-Look Laminate
This is a laminate flooring type that copies the look of stone. It creates that cool, solid feeling you may also get from real, natural stone or stone-type tiling.
This is a style made of reclaimed wood-look laminate, which means old wood that comes from sources like demolished barns, decks, and wine barrels and is then fabricated into flooring. Because of this, each laminate piece will look different than the next. You will observe a distressed look with random burns, scrapes, and knots. The color is light and slightly greenish.
8. Cinnamon Hickory
As the name suggests, this style is a cinnamon-brown color with a weathered and distressed look to it. It is very similar to the look of reclaimed wood, with the biggest difference being that you can see more wire brush strokes and fewer knots, burns, and the like.
9. Trailing Road
This dark type of wood-look laminate is hand-scraped piece by piece, making each piece look different. This type of laminate is very similar to a traditional, natural wood used for flooring, in both its look and texture. The Trailing Road style can be described as having a silky feel to it.
10. Reverie Taupe
This laminate material has a marbled, stone-like look, and it is gray in color. Inkjet technology is used to give this style its unique look. This particular style uses pieces sized up to 24 by 48 inches. All these techniques and elements give it a very different look from other laminate
Can I Install Laminate Flooring By Myself?
While we went through some top trending laminate styles, we should address another trending topic; the DIY or “do it yourself” trend. Since we know laminate flooring is easier and cheaper to install than other traditional routes, maybe one or more of the trending floor ideas have inspired you and you’re wondering if you can put laminate flooring in on your own.
The answer is yes! Most people can install laminate flooring throughout an average-sized room in one day. You will need enough pieces of your choice of laminate, a handsaw or circular saw to cut any pieces that don’t fit, and a good measuring device. Many styles' pieces will snap together using a tongue-and-groove system, which is similar to putting together a basic puzzle. There are many videos and other resources that offer great tips.
Laminate has a lot going for it. This flooring style appears to be the way to go due to its affordability, durability, and wide range of looks to choose from. While you can look for laminate at your local hardware store, or do an online search, maybe one of the trendy styles we identified appeals to you. Some might find the task of choosing new flooring daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you want a stone or tile-like look, something chic, something elegant, or you need to brighten up a room, there is a perfect laminate floor waiting for you.