Laminate flooring is almost always cheaper than the counterparts it imitates. Real wood, stone and tile are not only usually more expensive materials but are almost always considerably more expensive to install. So if you want the look and feel of wood, stone or tile (or at least an approximation), but cannot afford the price tag, laminate flooring might be the way to go. Laminate wood and stone floors are also more durable and made for high traffic areas.
Laminate flooring can be made to look like any other material you might use on a floor. The cost per square foot will vary widely depending on manufacturer, pattern, colors, etc., so your best bet is to get some samples and see which one works best for your room.
* Wood: This is the most common pattern seen in laminates. It can be made to look like any kind of wood without having to cut down a tree. With its durability ensuring that it won’t be seeing a landfill any time soon, this is a very eco-friendly way to get the natural look.
* Stone: Laminate flooring can be made to look like stone. Some are basic shapes while others are interlocking irregular patterns that have a more natural look.
* Tile: With a little texturing, laminates can look and feel like real tile.
Laminates come in only two types: tiles and planks. Tiles are either patterned or solid and glue into place with interlocking edges. No nails are needed. Planks are rectangular in shape and lock into place without glue or nails.
There are four styles to laminates:
* Distressed Wood: This is an intentionally imperfect appearance to give wood laminates a more authentic look.
* Hand Scraped Wood: This is a technique that makes a distressed wood style look older and more rustic.
* Embossed: Embossing a laminate floor means giving it a texture to more accurately portray the desired material. Wood laminates will have the feel of grain while tiles and stones will have their own raised areas.
* Stone: Laminate stone floors can look like any kind of stone and can mimic the textures to a great degree. They can also have a polished, smooth finish for an air of luxury.