Ultimate Guide to Laminate Flooring

Laminate is an easy-care flooring option that cleans up quickly, and it's a hardy material for busy areas. And with new production technologies, laminate looks on par with its wood and stone flooring counterparts.

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    Laminate Options

    Laminate flooring could be considered the best of all worlds. This versatile flooring can be designed to look like just about any type of flooring material, and it can be used all over the house. Because laminate is a manufactured material, it's easy to clean and damage-resistant.

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    Wood Look-Alike

    Laminate is a function-friendly solution for kitchens and baths where moisture and real wood don't mix. Look for wood laminates with embossed textures that simulate the grain and distressing of real wood.

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    Like Real Stone

    For all their natural beauty, stone and tile are still cold, hard flooring surfaces. Laminate offers look-alike designs that are warmer underfoot (nice in the bathroom) and more forgiving when items are dropped (ideal in the kitchen). Look for laminate tiles with beveled edges that suggest grout lines and embossed textures that resemble natural stone.

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    Good Flooring Within a Budget

    Laminate offers authentic looks with functional advantages -- at a reasonable price. The manufactured product consists of a backing layer, a composite fiberboard base, and a printed or photographed pattern beneath a top layer of resin or melamine. Natural materials such as wood and stone, on the other hand, are costly to fabricate into flooring.

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    Secrets to Cleaning a Laminate Floor

    Say so long to streaky floors. Keep laminate floors spill-free and sparkling with these must-know tips.

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    Easy Maintenance

    Laminate is one of the most durable and user-friendly flooring choices available. The manufactured flooring resists common wear and tear from an active household with kids and pets. Loose dirt vacuums up, while spills and messes easily wipe away.

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    Ideal for Basements

    Thanks to its moisture resistance, laminate flooring is perfect for below-grade installations, such as basement family rooms, rec rooms, and media spaces. Add an area rug for another layer of warmth against the concrete base.

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    Do-It-Yourself Assembly

    Laminate flooring offers handy, do-it-yourself installation. Tongue-and-groove edges make it easy to glue or simply snap together laminate planks or oversize squares and rectangles.

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    Wood and Tile as Neighbors

    A stone kitchen floor won't blend flawlessly into a wood-floor family room because the two natural materials are different thicknesses. Opt for laminate products from the same manufacturer instead. Their equal thicknesses, plus tongue-and-groove assembly, provides a virtually seamless threshold.

  • Next Slideshow Editor's Picks: Gorgeous "Green" Carpets

    Editor's Picks: Gorgeous "Green" Carpets

    Rugs and carpets withstand a lot of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic rooms. Try sustainable flooring in these rooms. It won't harm the earth, and the natural fibers last longer than the synthetic variety.
    Begin Slideshow »

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