Wood laminate flooring is a great way to bring the beauty of natural hardwood into your home at a much lower cost. This durable floor is hygienic, easy to maintain, and will last for years. It’s also a great choice for high traffic areas as it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. In fact, if your lifestyle is not conducive to the maintenance of solid or engineered hardwood floors then this is the ideal alternative for you.

There are several considerations to make when choosing a wood look laminate floor. The most important factor is to make sure that the laminate you are purchasing has an AC rating of at least 3. This means that it meets a minimum standard for durability and hygienic characteristics. You should also be sure that the laminate is backed by an organization such as the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). This organization applies a strict set of criteria for all their certified laminates which includes having to pass 10 quality control tests on various aspects of the laminate including moisture, scuffing and abrasion resistance and static load.

The base or core layer of a laminate flooring product is typically made from either plywood or high-density fiberboard. This is what gives the laminate its strength and stability. It is also what makes it able to resist moisture and scuffing better than most other types of flooring. The top layer is the decorative layer, which can mimic just about any type of surface. Usually this is a photographic print of real wood grain, although there are also stone and metal-look options available. Many manufacturers use advanced embossing techniques to give the visual layer a more realistic texture.

A protective wear layer is added to the top of the decorative paper layer to protect it from stains and damage. The wear layer helps to keep the laminate from absorbing water, which can discolor it, and it also shields it from harmful ultraviolet rays that could fade the color of the laminate.

Some of the most popular wood-look laminate floors on the market are produced by companies like Pergo, Shaw and Mohawk. Each of these companies produces their own collections of laminate flooring that differ slightly in terms of the colors and styles available. For example, Pergo’s TruWood line of laminate floors is a bit more rustic than Shaw’s RevWood Plus line of products, which are meant to be used in rooms with higher amounts of moisture.

Another brand to consider is Quick-Step, which is made by a company called Unilin. This company was originally created back in Belgium and has since been acquired by the massive Mohawk Industries group. The company has a very extensive collection of wood-look laminate flooring, including the trend-forward Xtend lines that allow for longer lengths of planks. They also offer a waterproof version of their flooring, which is suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms.