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About Laminate Flooring

You want the look of hardwood but don’t have the budget. Get ready for a great solution. Laminate flooring is durable, scratch, stain and fade resistant, easy to clean, hypoallergenic and perfect for households with pets and children and costs less than solid hardwood, every time. There are all kinds of laminates, not only with different looks but different plank widths and colors that are built to withstand different degrees of traffic. Laminates can resemble stone or ceramic tile but are best known as substitutes for wood floors. Best of all, the innovations in laminate keep on coming; new and better locking systems, embossing, new finishes and more.

Brown Oak Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring offers a real wood look and feel. (Cavero Laminate 12mm Woodcraft Collection – Alpine Oak)

What is Laminate Flooring?

A laminate floor is a high-tech floor made by fusing together several layers of materials into one board. The core layer or the center of the laminate floorboard is almost always made of high density fiberboard, but sometimes medium density fiberboard. This core, which supports the weight and stress of foot traffic, will affect how sturdy and stable your floor will be. Strength and stability is further ensured by the laminate’s bottom stabilizing layer. A decorative layer is fused on top of the core. The decorative layer is actually a picture of the floor that is printed on a type of “living paper”. A transparent wear layer is applied over the décor layer and is then treated with one or more coats of an aluminum oxide finish. This is what makes for the incredible wear resistance against scratches, burns, dents and stains that laminates are so famous for.

Then there’s the locking system. It’s the system or the way the laminate boards will click together to form your floor. It’s the hallmark of laminate flooring to come with glueless, click-lock joints or locking systems that are easy to install. That’s why installing laminate floors has become something many people can do themselves. You virtually never need to glue a laminate floor to a subfloor nor build a level subfloor first like you would have to do with a solid hardwood installation.

Check Out These Resources

Before you make any purchasing decision that will last as long as a floor can, it makes sense to learn as much as you can about laminate flooring. Whether it’s information on the manufacturing process or information about alternatives to what you’re considering, it’s always a smart decision to do some research so you make the right decision for your home.

Is Laminate Right For Me? – Determine whether or not laminate is the best choice for your project.

Types of Laminate – Learn about the different types of laminate.

Buying Guide – Learn how to make an informed laminate flooring purchase decision.

Laminate Cleaning & Care – Find out how easy it is to care for a laminate floor.

FAQs – Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about laminate flooring.

Want to see the quality of our laminate flooring products in person? Order up to 5 FREE samples with no credit card required and we’ll ship them right to your doorstep.

(69) Comments

  1. I want to replace carpet with laminate flooring. what is best approach? can you use peel and stick products”

  2. Marcia Recktenwald - Reply

    We live in a 2-story house, the upper level being our main living area, and the walk-out basement being under that. We have, what we are assuming is, a wood subfloor. Do we need to put an underlayment under laminate wood flooring on the main level?

  3. Is it possible to use a self leveling cement product over old tile to prepare the floor for wood laminate? The tile is very securely attached to the floor and goes underneath the kitchen cabinetry. The tile was there before the kitchen was.

  4. if I use a laminate flooring with pad attached should I use an underlayment too.
    I do want as low of a sound proofing as possible.


  5. I have laminated wooden furniture in my restaurant. Do i need to use any wooden polish maintainer. If yes then please recommend the frequency of same.Please advice

  6. Do you have instructions for wall applications using Lamton 8mm material? My daughter wants me to install her Chocolate Maple flooring on the wall. Any Help? Thanks

  7. I am remodeling an 1800 sq ft. 1926 vintage adobe home that currently has 3/4″ thick X 3 1/4″ wide tongue & groove fir flooring nailed to 2″ X 10″ floor joists-12″ on center. The flooring is probably almost 90 years old and has shrunken some and has slight cupping. When the wind blows we can feel a breeze coming up through the flooring.
    I want to do it right as I am remodeling this home for resale. I would like to put a laminate flooring over the existing floor.
    What is recommended? A new subfloor? A laminate over an underlayment? What thickness and quality of laminate should I purchase. Thank you.

  8. Do you have laminate flooring using Aluminum oxide surfacing??.

    And in what color and pattern; and is the surface done with wire brushing??

    Thanks you for your information.
    Mike Giardini

  9. can you put any of your products down in a baat? Would you have to glue them down, due to
    the fact that there are several hatches that need to be opened, ( they are in the floor ) Would
    the dampness in the boat be a problem? I would not want mold or delamination. Thanks
    The room we need to cover is !0 x 11. Thanks bluephish@comcast.net

  10. I purchased a wardrobe in black brown and I need the dresser #501.21.50 to match and I am unable to find out when it will be available in Charlotte, NC. Please let me know when and if this is available.

    • Thanks Carolyn. Unfortunately we do not carry dressers as part of our product offerings. You can try stores locally like Lowe’s and see if they carry it.

  11. I am considering an Acacia AC4 12mm laminate floor in my living room over a concrete slab. What is the best underlayment which provides a good moisture barrier and cushioning.

    C. Sulsar

    • We sell two different underlayment: the Duo Foam for $0.25 per square foot and the SoundChoice for $0.49 per square foot. The Duo Foam is (//www.builddirect.com/Flooring-Accessories/underlayment-2-in-1-Duo-Foam-Underlayment/ProductDisplay_10119_p1_10057243.aspx) made out of foam and meets the minimum requirements of your warranty. The SoundChoice (//www.builddirect.com/Flooring-Accessories/-3-in-1-SoundChoice-Acoustical-Underlayment/ProductDisplay_10119_p1_10074922.aspx) is made out of fibre and has a sound barrier, so when you step on the flooring it will eliminate the sound feedback. Both have an integrated vapor barrier included.

      If you want something basic that meets your warranty requirements, go with the Duo Foam. If you want something more enhanced with a sound barrier, go with the SoundChoice.

  12. Hi,

    We are purchasing a new home and need to make a decision about flooring in order to move in. We have a 6 month old and the floor is on top of a crawl space. My concerns about laminate wood flooring are: durability, scratch resistance, can they hold up with the spills and wear of a toddler/ child, and the temperature factor- will the floor always be cold over a crawl space? Any suggestions as to the underlay and the mm rating we should go with? THANK YOU!

  13. Hi I have moved into a flat with perfectly good laminate flooring but the only thing is the colour is not at all pleasing, I am considering just using white or cream floor paint over it. Does that sound feasible, thank you.


  14. We’re about to order laminate flooring, 7 or 8mm, and do not know what underlay we need to get. I do NOT want issues later on, so want to get what I need to eliminate that. I live in Ocala, FL so there is definitely humidity in the summer and the flooring is going into a triple wide ’94 mobile home (a nicer one) that previously had carpet with plywood underneath. Thank you!

  15. Hello I’m installing 8mm laminate, I placed the laminate down and I’m now at my closet should I run the floor continuously into the closet? If I do I will have to make some narrow cuts in the wood as well as short pieces to make it fit. If I run it parallel in the closet then I guess I have to cut off each board that runs in the closet but I don’t think I will do it well enough so that all of the boards look clean. HELP, lost in Newburgh.

  16. I have real woods . However, I need to change them because they make too much noise. Do I have to remove them. I am planning to put laminate. the ac3 or ac4 12mm. what else you need besides the laminate floor

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      What kind of flooring do you have at the moment?

      For laminate flooring, the thicker it is, the less sound feedback you will get due to the high density fibre that the plank is comprised of. For example, if you were walking on on a 12mm laminate, you will have less of a hollow sounding effect than a 6mm laminate. What you can also do is buy a sound proofing underlayment. We carry the SoundChoice (//www.builddirect.com/Flooring-Accessories/-3-in-1-SoundChoice-Acoustical-Underlayment/ProductDisplay_10119_p1_10074922.aspx) that is made out of fibre and has a sound barrier, so when you step on the flooring it will eliminate the sound feedback.


  17. Hi !
    I am thinking of replacing my carpet flooring with Laminate Flooring. However I have a few reservations which I hope you will be able to clarify:
    1. Will Termites be a problem with Laminate Flooring since our vicinity is prone to Termite attacks ?
    2. Will the floor be very slippery if some water is spilt on it ( as we have young children playing in the room) ?
    3. Will fluids spilt on the flooring leave any stains or cause it to warp if not cleaned up straightaway ?

    Thank you.

  18. I’m planning on ordering the antique chestnut laminate flooring. There is a height difference of about 6 inches between my living and dining room. (Living room is a step down from the dining room).
    I’m thinking that I would need to order the laminate stair nose molding, which I believe goes on the top of the step, with the stair nose forming the edge.
    My question is what do I put on the vertical surface of the step? Is it just another flooring board glued to the vertical step board in which the end is covered by the stair nose?
    I’m thinking that on the floor I still leave the recommended .5″ gap, stick the floorboard to the vertical surface, with the stair nose covering the top, and the quarter round would cover any gap on the bottom of the vertical surface?
    Also, looking at the stair nose image, I can’t work out how it locks into the next floorboard at the non stair nose end.

  19. Bought a house that had pee stained and smelly marble floors. Under the marble was soft concrete and under that is hard concret that had above normal moisture levels so we can’t put in wood floors. Can laminate withstand this situation without any drastic measures like removing the soft and hard concrete? Removing both is like tearing down the house.

  20. Can laminate flooring be laid over ceramic tile? My tile is in great condition but I dislike white so much! Lots to remove I have take it up!

    • Hi Brenda,

      As long as you have a levelled subfloor (no more than 1/4″ over 8′ variance) then yes you can definitely put laminate on top of it. It will make your room somewhat higher but if you don’t mind that at all, then by all means you can put laminate on top instead of removing the tile completely.


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