Because of the growing popularity of laminates, manufacturers are creating an increasing array of traditional, rustic, and exotic wood grain and stone designs. In fact, presses have improved to the point where the texture imprinted on top of the design looks more real than ever, even with distressed wood or natural stone designs.
The quality of the laminate partially has to do with the photography and the number of photographs per style, also known as screens. When manufacturers emulate a natural stone tile or a wood grain, they try to recreate the variation in color, pattern, and texture that is a result of cutting a natural product. The more screens a product has, the more variation it can offer and the more authentic the laminate will look.
Select the laminate floor color to compliment the size of your room. Remember that lighter colors will make a small room appear larger, while darker colors will absorb the light and create a more intimate setting. Choose a color that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinets and other furniture. Avoid matching everything to the same color and style. Contrasts can make your room look more interesting.
The first is glueless laminate. No mess, glueless installation makes these floors quick and easy to install. They come in a variety of ceramic and wood designs and colorations, as well as some are offered in a real, hardwood veneer, instead of a printed layer. These floors come in both planks and squares. A thin plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture from below. This also helps the floor float freely over the subfloor.
The second is laminate flooring with attached underlay. These floors come with several different types of tongue and groove locking systems and an attached underlayment to reduce noise levels.
Glued laminate floors are the original laminate floors that do require a specially formulated glue to be applied to the tongue and groove areas for each plank. Once the flue is dried, the planks are almost impossible to pull apart. These floors are offered in both planks and squares.
Lastly, pre-glued laminate flooring offers a no-mess option because the glue is already applied to the tongue and grooves, which make these floors quick and easy to install. A thin, plastic underlayment is needed to seal out moisture and prevent the glue from sticking to the substrate.
Laminate moldings also affect the overall style and give your room a beautiful finished look. Moldings are important because they cover the space that is allowed for the flooring to expand and move naturally on top of the subfloor and they help with the transition to an adjacent floor. Most manufacturers offer coordinating moldings for all styles and colors for any laminate flooring you choose.