If lifestyle or budget considerations preclude the investment of installing a hardwood or ceramic tile floor, laminate has the looks and price-point attractive to all customers.

With advances in production, the lines of laminates available today deliver finishes with a fresh look at an affordable cost. Imagine a sweep of handsome hardwood planks or a swathe of tiles of limestone, with the easy upkeep and comfortable step; this is why laminates are a designer's secret tool. To increase their range of usefulness, laminates can be installed over most existing hard-surface floors and below grade!
Technology allows laminates to morph into wood, stone and tile. It takes a very close look to tell the difference. Laminate is a “picture” of real wood, stone, marble, or any pattern, on a core of wood chip composite (medium or high density fiber board), finished with a wear layer to protect the image layer. For example, manufacturers can take dozens of photos of $100 a square foot marble, press them into a laminate tiles and make a marble look affordable and suitable for a range of flooring applications.

Laminate has so many other benefits; it’s not surprising that it has gained such a wide audience. These include:

Large variety of colors, patterns, textures and sizes
Easy to install and maintain
D-I-Y candidate

The right laminate for the right spot
Laminate is classified according to its ability to withstand wear and abrasion – this is called the abrasion class or AC. Follow these AC guidelines when selecting laminate:

AC1 – light, infrequent traffic, such as a bedroom
AC2 – general residential use
AC3 – recommended if you have a busy household with kids and dogs
AC4 – commercial rating for boutiques or busy offices
AC5 – highest rated laminate for commercial applications, such as department stores or public buildings