hope I don’t run out of ideas to discuss while trying to stay on topic. Yea, I do need a real life, but for the time being this is fine and dandy as Andy Griffith would often tell Aunt Bee. I started installing laminate floors back in ’96. Then it was just Pergo. A few short years passed and many thought laminate floors were just a fad. Ten years and more while going strong!

In earlier days laminate floors were downright boring! Same old look. Sure if you wanted a butcher block looking floor, laminates were the way to go. After a few years I began to lose interest in doing installations for two chief reasons; they were extremely sensitive to moisture, and a pain to install using glue. Often the edges would swell because of the glue after installation regardless of what was done. More than likely a case of too much glue but the manufacturers insisted on a liberal amount, that in effect would seal the edges.

Photos below are laminate floors! I hadn’t looked at these floors for years and the changes are really noticeable! Not only has the construction improved, but they are less resistant to moisture while offering hardwood like appearances.

This actually looks like a hardwood floor with pillowed bevels. It’s so deceiving but there are not any bevels at all. The boards are however, contoured and highlight the scraped look. Brand line name is the Quick Step Country Collection.

Quick Step laminate floors are by far the best in the industry in my opinion with Wilsonart Laminate coming in a close second. Chances are if you talk to any laminate installer that has handled numerous brands, these two names will be at the top of the list. Today all laminate floors are glue less with many trying to copy Quick Step’s patented locking process.

Installation of this floor was not the easiest according to our installer, but it sure looked cool when completed. Add the Quick Step underlayment and it feels almost feels like a solid hardwood floor providing the sub floor is flat. I notice it but many of our showroom visitors don’t. Four out of five are also surprised they are walking on a laminate floor and not hardwood.

“This is a laminate floor?”

Another snapshot I have(below) shows a Wilsonart Laminate with a micro bevel edge look, called Burnished Maple in the Red Label Hand Scraped Line. Laminate floors today offer random length strip 3 inches wide all the way up to seven inch wide, one face planks that really do look like hardwood floors. There are several types of bevels, exotic looking floors in more unusual species such as Wenge, Elm, Brazilian Chestnut, and Doussie to name a few. Bamboo laminate? Yup, it’s available too.

Want the aged look…no problem. Wire brushed? That too. Designs are becoming a close runner to hardwood while quality is going up the scale for the leaders in the industry . Sure I see it all the time, 99 cent laminate floors everywhere. They do have their limitations so don’t expect them to perform as well as a quality laminate floor. Retail prices are generally in the five to six dollar per square foot range for the ones shown above.

Would I put laminate floors in my home? Sorry, I’m a hardwood flooring bigot, but I’m sure costs would impress many that want to save a few dollars a square foot if they are seeking a hardwood lookalike.

via Laminate Flooring Trends 2007 ~ Hardwood Flooring Blog – Up To Date Articles, Pictures.