Best Laminate Flooring Reviews

If you’re researching a new home flooring project and have a pretty strict budget to adhere to, then a good starting point is to look at high quality laminate flooring which, over the years, has evolved into a very strong and competitive alternative to authentic solid hardwood or stone floors.

In this Home Flooring Pros guide we drill down to get to the heart of finding the best laminate flooring available. We also review the five best known manufacturers responsible for the most popular, top rated laminate flooring products.

Quick Links: Pergo | Mohawk | Quick-Step | Mannington | Shaw

This post is meant as a general guide, please consult with a reliable home flooring professional before making a final decision. For our full laminate flooring section, that includes detailed information on prices, installation and maintenance, click here.

What is Laminate Flooring

So what exactly is laminate flooring and what makes it the best choice for you? A laminate floor is a composite product that consists of several different layers fused together.

Generally speaking there are four or five layers: the first top layer is a transparent wear layer that protects the floor from scratches and liquids; next is a decorative 3D photographic layer that reproduces the authentic product; the middle core layer is the thickest and is made of high-density fiberboard (HDF); finally the base of the floor is sealed with a melamine resin layer which adds stability and moisture resistance.

Further, with some laminate brands a fifth layer is included to help minimize discrepancies in the subfloor – see more about underlayment below.

To summarize, the best laminate flooring will have a thick, hard wearing protective top layer, 3 to 4 further inner core layers for maximum structural stability, preferably with underlayment pre-attached, and a quality click-lock system (or Uniclic system) for a quick and easy floating floor installation. So now you know what it is, let’s look into more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of laminate floors.

Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons

Of course, Laminate floors won’t be the best choice in every situation. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of laminate to establish if it’s the right flooring for your project.

Laminate Floor Advantages

So let’s start with the pros of laminate…

Barely distinguishable from the real thing!

To the untrained eye, top laminate brands that feature modern 3D digital photographic layers and replicate both the look and feel of wood or stone, are often difficult to tell apart from the real thing. As witnessed by Dorris and Greg from Ginger and The Huth Blog:

“we were sold on this flooring after the salesman we were working with brought out real hardwood in the same black maple color to compare to the laminate black maple we were looking at. I wish I had taken a picture because we could not tell the difference between the real hardwood and the laminate.”

Infinite variety of design

Again today’s photographic and printing techniques make it possible to recreate just about every kind of flooring surface imaginable, so laminate floors can replicate any look you want. As explained by Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association:

“any design you can imagine is possible in laminate… Unique and rare species that aren’t possible in real wood, and marbles and stones that would cost thousands of dollars – all of it’s possible in laminate design.”

And even the different hardwood finishes can be reproduced, from distressed to hand-scraped to even planks with saw marks in them!


Because the processes involved in creating laminate flooring often happen within the same facility, the cost of producing it is cheaper and thus the retail price is often significantly cheaper than authentic hardwoods or stone products.

For example, solid oak hardwood generally retails upwards of $3 per square foot, whilst certain oak look laminates ranges can retail for as little as 99 cents per square foot. For more detailed info on the cost to install laminate flooring click here.


It can be argued that producing laminates, which are mostly made in the home country of sale, provide a lower carbon-footprint than the farming, harvesting and transportation of hardwoods or the quarrying and transportation of stone flooring.

Plus many manufacturers use recycled wood products for the MDF component of the laminate flooring, and laminate flooring does not need special glues for installation or cleaning materials.

Easy installation and fast removal

The vast majority of today’s laminate floors come with “click-lock” design systems (also sometimes referred to as a Uniclic system), which mean that you simply install the laminate boards as a floating floor over a sub-floor and foam underlayment. One edge of the board will have a groove into which the other edge that has a “tongue” is clicked and locked into place.

Some manufacturers infuse the grooved and tongued edges with dry adhesive that you simply dampen before clicking into place to add an extra level of locking. And because of this click-lock system, laminate flooring is one of the easiest floors to remove when it’s time for an update.

Durable, scratch and stain resistant

The best quality laminates offer generous wear layers that make the flooring very durable and resistant to scratches, dents and stains – much more so than hardwood that can dent much more easily.

Install everywhere, even with under floor radiant heating

Because of its durability, laminates are perfect for high traffic areas and can even be installed in wetter areas like bathrooms. Beware though that laminates – just like hardwood – are not waterproof and will not fare well if water is left to sit on them.

Under floor heating systems specifically designed to be used with laminate flooring are widely available; but double check with your floor manufacturer as to suitability. Check out our Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen post for more info on the pros and cons of laminate floors in a kitchen.

Easy clean and maintenance

Laminate flooring is also seriously easy to clean: simple vacuum or sweep and then run a barely damp mop over it, perhaps with a tiny bit of cleaning product added (read our guide to the best cleaners for laminate flooring). And no annual maintenance program is required! See our main laminate cleaning and maintenance guide for the best way to clean laminate floors.

 Laminate Floor Disadvantages

And now let’s take a look at the cons of laminate…

It’s not real!

That is probably the number one reason that puts some people off laminate – the fact is that it isn’t actually authentic wood or stone. This is perhaps not a true disadvantage, but it does need to be considered in terms of the perceived value of laminate.

Lower perceived value

Because it is lower in cost and not authentic, laminate is seen as a lower value product. But this is not necessarily a disadvantage depending on the context of the project, as explained by Ashley Phipps from Simply Designing, laminate flooring is a

“good mid-grade home improvement project. Not ideal for a very high-end or custom neighborhood depending on location. Always research what other homes in your neighborhood have as you don’t want to over or under upgrade your home.”

A somewhat higher-end alternative to laminate, but still not as pricey as hardwood, is engineered hardwood.

Cannot be refinished

This is the really major decision that you’ll need to make with laminate: if it gets very badly damaged you cannot simply sand it back and refinish it like hardwood. It will have to be replaced. Having said that, if you opt for a top quality laminate brand with a good wear layer, the chances of it getting so badly scratched, dented or worn are minimized.

Hard, noisy and slippery!

Because it is predominantly made of HDF, laminate floors have a harder feel to them than real hardwood. This sensation can be dulled to a certain extent by installing a good quality foam underlay under the laminate. The hardness of laminates also makes them less good at absorbing sound, which some people find off-putting – again getting a good quality foam underlay can help improve sound absorption. Also beware that some of the cheapest laminates do not have a decent anti-slip agent added to the wear layer and therefore can be a bit slippery!

How to Buy a Top Quality Laminate Floor


As with many flooring products, you get what you pay for! Whilst laminate is a cheaper option than real hardwood planks or stone tiles, do not make the mistake of choosing the cheapest of the cheap as you may get disappointing results including buckling, swelling and gaps appearing between edges. Good mid-range laminate floors tend to be priced around $2.50 per square foot and high end, luxury laminate can be as high as $5 to $6 per sq/ft. Read more about laminate flooring cost.

If you are concerned about hardness and sound absorption, then make sure you go for a laminate that is at least 12mm thick (0.47 inches) – not including underlay. Thicker laminates also tend to have a better feel to them in terms of authenticity because the planes of the 3D photographic layer can be deeper and more detailed and thus more realistic.

Another quick check for quality of the laminate is to see what the moisture swell rate is: this should not be more than 18%, and ideally you should look for brands that have a swell rate of 13% or lower.

And to create better authenticity, it helps to choose a laminate that has a large pattern repeat: a laminate which has a 1 in 10 pattern repeat will mean that there will be fewer planks in your batch that are exactly the same, making it easier to create a more varied and natural look to your floor as you lay it.

But by far, the most useful thing to look out for is certification from the North American Laminate Floor Association (or NALFA for short). NALFA apply a strict set of criteria to the laminates that they certify: laminates need to pass 10 quality control tests that are performed in an independent laboratory to check for numerous aspects including wear, water, light and stain resistance, static load, dimensional tolerance, surface bond and thickness swell.

The NAFLA website has a wealth of information and includes an up-to-date list of the best brands and manufacturers that they have certified, see it here.

Laminate Flooring Design Ideas and Trends


As with everything interior related, the best laminate flooring manufacturers have kept up with all the latest design trends to ensure their products stay relevant to today’s market. The biggest trends are:

Bigger planks – Not only are manufacturers seeing more interest in thicker planks, but in trying to replicate trends in real hardwood flooring they are now offering longer and wider planks too.

High gloss finishes – Gloss on laminates used to mean dangerously slippery conditions, but new improved finishing processes means that you can now get high gloss finishes that are non-slip too. High gloss laminate flooring paired with refined minimalist interiors can offer a very chic high-end look, even on a budget.

The “not-so” new neutral – Gray has been a key “new neutral” for a while now, so it’s not really that new, but it is still very much on-trend; gray toned laminates in various finishes can now be found in many top brand collections.

Industrial edgy – This is what we are calling the emergence of cement flooring as a new look for residential settings, particularly loft-type homes. If you like the look but decide that pouring a cement floor is not a realistic option for you, then cement look laminate tiles are the next best option.

Laminate your walls! – Yes, you read that right! If done right, adding the same wood look laminate flooring from your floor onto a key accent wall can look spectacular.

Top Rated Laminate Flooring Brands Reviewed

Pergo Laminate Review

Pergo are literally THE original laminate flooring brand. Back in the early 1980s the brand was launched by a Swedish company called Perstorp who had actually invented the laminate flooring technique, and had been bringing both laminate and plastics products to the market since the late 1800s! The brand was subsequently acquired by the gigantic US based Mohawk Industries conglomerate, and continues to dominate the global market as the leading laminate flooring brand. As a result – unsurprisingly – the Pergo collections of wood and stone look laminates are both extensive and sublime!

There’s something to suit every taste and style in the Pergo range: from authentically reproduced classics like hickory and oak, to beautifully rendered exotics like bamboo and jatoba, to delicately veined travertine marbles and dramatically rugged slates. And, naturally, their laminates are available in a large range of widths, thicknesses and finishes. What they do especially well, though, is to create laminates that replicate more interesting distressed, painterly and stenciled finishes: in particular the bold grey, white and golden tones of the painted effect Inspiration plank (pictured below left), the lace-like barely there stencil pattern on the gray Mystic Oak plank and the super-cute stenciled animals integrated into the Zoo Friends plank are like nothing we’ve seen anywhere else.


Mohawk Laminate Review

But if the Pergo brand doesn’t have quite enough choice for you, then Mohawk’s own name brand currently has 138 laminate flooring options for you to consider, including hardwoods, exotic woods, and stones. The collection features mostly classic styles and finishes – there are some very pretty distressed laminate planks and a number of lovely high gloss ones – and delivers best in offering lots of different colors/ styles within certain classic wood looks; for example there are 58 different oak laminates alone!

With its long history of providing excellent quality flooring of all kinds, Mohawk’s over-arching dominance in the arena means that their products are very readily available and well known to many contractors and retail stores across the country. Quite aside from the huge range of floors to choose from, Mohawk also offer a complete range of laminate trims and moldings to complement their flooring and give your home a completely professionally finished look.

Furthermore, Mohawk’s laminates feature their GenuEdge technology, which means that the photographic design layer rolls over the edges of each plank and tile, just as it would in the real thing, lending an extra element of authentic replication.


Quick-Step Laminate Review

As the Pergo story shows, in today’s world of multi-national conglomerates, things do tend to be a bit interconnected, so you perhaps won’t be surprised to know that Quick-Step is a brand made by a company called Unilin which was created back in the 1960s in Belgium, but which is now is also part of the enormous Mohawk Industries group! But, in contrast to its complicated incidental acquisition history, Unilin plays a rather more straightforward and important role in the whole history of laminate flooring: they were behind the introduction of the original and award-wining Uniclic “click-lock” system that almost all laminate floors use today.

The Quick-Step brand of laminates continues to innovate and bring new products to market even today, with new interesting laminate flooring collections regularly being added. One of the Quick-Step advertising strap-lines is that their floors are “so realistic, even Mother Nature has to look twice” – and indeed their newer collections show a very particular attention to detail that is hard to beat! The Eligna, Modello and Sculptique collections are of particular interest as they comes in extra long lengths of up to 54”, which means you can create a more realistic hardwood floor look. We also rather like the Quadra stone look laminate collection, which comes in four different colors.


Mannington Laminate Review

Mannington is probably best-known for its world-leading luxury vinyl tile ranges, but their high end laminate flooring range is certainly also worth considering, not least of because some of them are really rather lovely! The range is divided into six collections, including the Revolutions Tile collection for stone look laminates. Of the other five wood look laminates the two that are really worth looking into are the Diamond Bay and the Restoration collections, both of which offer thicker 12mm planks than the other collections.

Of particular interest is the large range of choice within the Restoration laminate collection which features a slightly weathered, distressed and vintage aesthetic in beige, sepia, dusky and grayish tones applied to all kinds of different wood types including walnut, oak, birch, hickory and maple. My personal favorite – the new waxed-effect finished, driftwood like Riverside birch plank that comes in three colors: natural, oyster and pearl (pictured below left). BuildDirect sells a good selection of Mannington laminate.


Shaw Laminate Review

Established in 1946, Shaw Floors is probably best known in the US for its dominance in carpeting and rugs, but entered the hard surface flooring industry in 2002 with the opening of its first laminate flooring facility. Shaw has gone on to be one of the major players in all areas of flooring, and today offers no less than 190 products in its laminate range.

Of particular note are the products in the Luminiere High Gloss collection – Shaw were one of the first to bring high gloss laminates to the market – which features very diverse different wood looks to suit almost any interior design, from the creamy light modernist Echo Lake to the more classic deep cocoa brown Brazilian Vue.

Also of note is the large number of wide laminate planks that create a very on-trend look, like the Landscapes Eastlake Hickory floor shown below right. Bear in mind that the vast majority of the Shaw Floor laminates are wood look for a good reason. For whilst they do have a limited range of stone effect laminates (Majestic Visions, available in 3 colors and Majestic Grandeur, in 6 colors), they are rather generic looking and perhaps not the greatest example of what Shaw do best! Again, a selection of Shaw laminate floors can be found at BuildDirect.


As well as big hitting manufacturers like Pergo, Mohawk, Quick-Step, Mannington and Shaw there are many other high quality laminate flooring brands to consider including, but not limited to, Armstrong, Berry Alloc, Bruce, Columbia, Kraus, Kronotex Lamton, Tarkett and TrafficMASTER.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Get It Right – Top Laminate Flooring Tips!

Where to Install Laminate

High traffic areas such as entry hallways and kitchens may need laminates with superior wear layers, so consider those that have aluminum oxide added to them for extra durability; and different areas, such as basement or bathroom may need specific underlayment to deal with potential moisture threats.

Laminate Floor Underlayment

As with everything, not all underlayment is created equally – the best products will offer good quality sound absorption and help smooth out imperfections in your subfloor. Take the time to research the different options available, particularly if you and if you are looking at a laminate that already has an underlayment later attached, and if you are planning to use laminate in the bathroom or with under floor heating. Click here for a bestselling laminate underlayment.

DIY Friendly Laminate Installation

Yes, laminate flooring is one of the more DIY-friendly flooring options, even for DIY novices, as long as you do due diligence with preparing the sub-floor, using the correct tools and referring to the manufacturer’s instructions. There are tons of how-to guides and videos online, including this nifty series on the NALFA website, but why not start right here on Home Flooring Pros with our laminate DIY installation guide.

Why not find out how much you could save yourself by getting a free quote for laminate floor installation from local contractors?

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Other laminate flooring options

If you’re interested in the general idea of a laminate floor, particularly because of its green credentials, then other excellent green alternatives to consider are bamboo, eucalyptus and cork floors. These floors are created using similar fusing technologies as those used to create laminates, and often use similar “click-lock” floating floor installation processes. Also of interest is the manufacturers WE Cork who alongside their 100% cork range, also create laminates that incorporate a high-density cork layer rather than the usual HDF layer to create a softer, more comfortable feel. For more info on cork and bamboo flooring click here.

72 thoughts on “Best Laminate Flooring Reviews

  • Maybe someone out there can share there thoughts. I live in a 25 year old 2 story house. The main floor has the original 12″x12″ hi gloss white tile through out the kitchen, LR and DR. The LR and DR don’t look bad and I have area rugs down. The kitchen is another story! The grout throughout is a good 3/8″ wide. The original owner painted it instead of cleaning it. I have tried everything I can think of to make it look better and profession grout cleaners won’t touch it. I was thinking I would cover it up with laminate. I have researched all types of flooring. I am reluctant to pull the trigger because I don’t want it to look like it doesn’t belong and look like a sore thumb. I am seriously considering laminate and dealer says it can be installed over existing tile. Has anyone have a similar situation? Thanks in advance. Emily

    • I have had laminate in the kitchen since 2008 and it still looks like new. It is either Mohawk or Shaw. We have it in the living room, dining room, hallway and the master bedroom, same laminate. We are getting ready to put it in a rental property that we will retire into in 3 years. I chose this one because it has a pattern on it instead of a slick smooth finish. I love it.

    • Scrape out the old grout and regrout. I bet some company has a clever tool so you don’t have to do it all by hand.

      Tips when regrouting:

      A: Pick a colour that is close to the colour dirt is. You won’t have to clean as often. We have a sandstone like tile in our laundry with red mortar. Still looks new.
      B: Do it in two steps: A normal sanded grout up to about 1/8″ from the top of the tile. then a nonsanded topping coat, and finally a sealer. The non-sanded will be smoother so it won’t catch dirt. The sealer keeps things like wine and grape jelly from staining the grout.
      C: Keep the grout 1/16″ below the edge of the tile. This reduces wear on that sealer layer. It should have rounded edge where it meets the tile to make cleaning easier.

  • I would not put laminate flooring in the kitchen. It and water don’t mix. You can check this out on various websites

    • Hi there….I was actually surprised about laminate flooring and kitchen don’t mix . We actually have had laminate in our kitchen for years and we crack up how its the most durable flooring on earth. We have also put laminate flooring throughout our rentals and have never regretted it. Pretty much every design center, home design magazine, HG TV home show, etc feature laminate in the kitchen. I say do it and I ll give you a dollar if ever regret it!

      • Laminate’s worked out to be a great choice in the kitchen of my last and current home. Put a Pergo White Oak Plank in the kitchen of the last house, no issues caused by spills. Held up beautifully with high traffic. Current home has DDCC Snow Oak laminate in the kitchen. No problems with this either.

      • I had laminate in the kitchen it was great. My German Shepard dog had a severe”accident” on it and it cleaned up beautifully…and it had been there for quite a while til I got home to clean it!!
        All I can say is that it probably was a cheap laminate floor that didn’t make it!

    • Vinyl flooring is water resistant.And I have had people tell me that they left it out in the rain for days and it looked good as new after sitting outside in the elements.

    • We have had Pergo in our kitchen for 21 years and looks the same as it did the day we installed it. I have spilled water all over it and have a dog who drinks water and slobbers it all over and not one issue. We have a pool right off the patio door where the Pergo is and have wet kids in there constantly. No one issue. It is truly the most durable flooring ever.

  • I have wood trimmed door frames, baseboards, window frames, and chair railings that are stained with the Early American stain. I am looking to put down laminate flooring. Need some suggestions on what color floor to go with. Wanted something with a little distressed look, cottage feel…Thanks

    • Im getting the quickstep restoration oak. I have the same situation. It has a variety of shades in it.

  • I agree with the person that said Kitchen and Laminate don’t go well in kitchen. My floors were installed about 3 yrs ago and they look awful. I got them from Next Day Floors and after 1 month they were back out again replacing some of the floor. I complained more and even complained to the BBQ with nothing being done. I would not recommend theses floors if you have animals or small children. And I would never recommend next day floors to no one. They are a poor way to go.

    • I am curious why you say that you do not recommend laminate floors if you have animals?

        • If you happen to have cats, occasional hairballs clean up easily on laminate. I’ve never seen pet nail scratches on laminate. The only complaint my cats have about it is the slickness to sometimes gets them sliding a bit while they are playing chase and taking the corners. No issues with pets not being able to walk on laminate.

          • Lot easier to clean up hairballs and cat urine off a laminate floor then out of carpet.

    • maybe its not so much the laminate , maybe its the store you choose , next day flooring doesn’t sound to high in,

    • I am looking at the pro’s and con’s of Costco brand Haronics flooring. It’s supposed to be water resistant and a life time guarantee.

  • We are thinking of purchasing Shaw laminate flooring. The reviews we have seen are not so good (Chipping, warping, joints opening up and Shaw not standing behind their product. The sales person says these issues have been taken care of but we are still leery. Is there anyone that has laid Shaw flooring in the last year?

    • I too would like info. Concerning Shaw. My contractor is recommending this laminate for my kitchen. Am seeing way too many negative reviews.

      • We are remodeling out kitchen and just added the house flooring as well. We putting ceramic tile in the front entry and the entire kitchen door to door. We are also going to put laminate in the remainder of the house as it’s warmer, easier to clean and less costly and have virtually no maintenance other than a wipe up here and there. I have 2 cats and on our current old hard wood floor SF home built in 1930 the floors have worn well but have taken a beating and out cats still lose their footing which is actually pretty funny. I had bamboo flooring in my first home and I loved it but it showed wear marks like spots, scratches etc. I did have a cooler leak and I have zero problems with it retaining the moisture.

      • Yes, avoid Shaw at all costs. We installed Shaw laminate, which was incredibly difficult to do with their stupid locking system. After about a year, many laminate edges are coming up, a lot of shrinkage producing gaps etc. We have installed other brands without issues. When Shaw was contacted, they refused to pay for the replacement boards, stating we used a slightly damp mop occasionally on the floor. Really? Not a problem with our other laminates! ! !

        • We installed our Shaw laminates in our kitchen and In November 2016, and we are taking them out. The locking system is horrible; we have large gaps between planks. It is hard to install. It is too shiney and there are corners that turned up just after installation.

          The flooring surface seems to be pretty hardy, but I can’t stand the way it looks. Anybody have any luck with Pergo or other brands?

    • Had Shaw for 10 years in my kitchen and dining area. Still looks great – no problems whatsoever.

    • I put Shaw in my daughter’s bedroom. I was disappointed with how the boards didn’t seem to go together as well as other brands. In hindsight, I did research on them. Not recommended. Look up their rating and what contractors have said about it. Shaw will do whatever they can to void the 20 yr warranty they guarantee. I’m about to do my next room, so I looked up Mohawk, and they seem to have a pretty decent rating.

    • We just had it put down a month ago. I loved it first week but then we started seeing seperation and its even rolling or wzrping which ever you want to call it. We got it at Menards. Its the versalok

  • Anyone have experience with Allen & Roth — which is the laminate flooring used by Lowes. It looks very good, great price, but not sure if it measures up to some of the others/

    • I was told do not buy laminate flooring from Lowes, Home Depot or Lumber Liquidators. Poor quality

      • But they do have different brands, top brands such as Pergo. How could they have poor quality?

  • Great laminate flooring. It looks very good

  • We used laminate flooring in our kitchen and it’s still holding strong after more than 15 years. I would recommend laminate floor for the kitchen. Only con when you drop something on the floor it sounds loud, otherwise very durable.

  • Anyone have Home Depot or Lowe’s install laminate flooring? if so, do installing estimates come pretty close to the price for installation of “of $.89 a square foot?

    thanks a lot

    • Also would like to know about Home Depot Home Decorators brand. Would get Shaw but no match to my kitchen laminate.

    • Just got (6/9/16)an estimate for 1200 sq feet of laminate flooring from Home Depot. Materials=4,000 total estimate is for 8,500. Doesn’t sound like 89 cent installation to me. There are a lot of other costs. Get an estimate. They charge $50 to measure accurately by then apply it to your purchase price if you use them.

      • I was curious about that install price too. I know it does not include tearing out existing flooring and I’m sure baseboards are not included either. I am trying to decide between Pergo Max flooring and wood look porcelain tile. We had laminate flooring in our previous home that we installed nearly 20 yrs ago & they have made a lot of improvements over the years. Our held up extremely well it just didn’t feel like wood.

      • I bought a box of Shaw laminate to just lay it out and see how the color looked in my living room before buying more. Trying to click and lock it together – big hassle. I took it back and it’s just a cheap quality product. The backing on it is like cheap cardboard; it’s not a strong enough material for it to have square corners that stay in place when you try and lock them. I ended up with Fusion Vinyl plank flooring. Clicks together easily and you have to get down on your knees to tell it’s not wood.

        Also, in response to the post about stores like Home Depot advertising $.89 SF installation. Such advertisements are very deceiving; there are so many add on costs. They’ll charge you $20 for materials and installation of 8′ of quarter round, etc. and that all jacks up your price. I got a bid from them for $2.49 per SF Pergo and installation of half shoe and thresholds. Moving a little furniture was priced in there also and the bid totalled to $3,800 for a total of 525 SF. Their pricing for tearing out old flooring and discarding it, etc. is ridiculous and that bumps your estimate up alot. Do a little math and you’ll see how far that is from the $.89 per SF installation signs on the stores.

        Plus, keep in mind Lowes and HD use subcontractors. Quality of subcontractors varies greatlly. In the Chicago area, I was able to get the name of the subcontractors from the HD store. I looked up reviews on them and they were pitiful. Their ratings average about 2 stars. Customers commenting that their appliances that were moved were scratched, walls damaged, messy cleanup, shoddy workmanship. And HD gives this subcontractor all their business in the Chicago area. Since they are subcontractors, what HD and Lowes will try and do to correct the situations is limited.

        You’re best off going to a carpet and flooring showroom store. Check out their reviews first. I ended up doing that and I brought DDCC 12mm laminate from a flooring store for $3.39 per SF and with labor, for 525 SF area the total cost was $3,500. Better quality materials and better subcontractors for a total bill of a few hundred less than what I would have paid HD.

        I also was told by another flooring contractor that the quality of flooring at flooring stores differs from what they sell at the big box stores. This is true with Pergo, for example. The Pergo you buy at HD is different from the Pergo you buy at a flooring store. Pergo has a whole different web site for commercial products. It kind of hard to find that web site, but it is there. Read the product specs there and you will see they are better quality. The contractor also told me to stay away from buying from liquidators and outlet stores. Those are often products from defective lots and they come without warranty. He told me of cases where customers got the materials from outlet stores and hired him to do the installation. Some installations couldn’t be done because the products wouldn’t click together properly. And the customers couldn’t get refunds because of the “all sales are final” policy of the stores.

    • My friend had Home Depot install engineered hardwood floors she purchased there and used their installers. They had an 89 cent install special. After they had the carpet removed from her entire forst floor, she was called and told they needed an additional $750.00 to complete the job. She told them that she was being held hostage since her floors were all torn up. What was she supposed to do? The installer said they had to use $749.00 worth of leveling materials. There wasn’t that much flooring being installed. She protested the bill and the deception and in the end paid a couple of hundred dollars…….unfortunately, the hassel wasn’t worth the aggravation she went through.

  • Anyone have experience with Mannington – Adura LVT? We are getting close to a decision with the Adura Distinctive Plank which uses a glue down system. The kitchen will be one of the rooms covered. Thanks

  • There’s nothing wrong with putting laminate in your kitchen. If you’ve had a bad experience it’s either because of neglect on the owners part or it was installed incorrectly. Having pets in your house will damage or wear out any product! Kids the same. If you take care of something & do it correctly by reading care instructions from the manufacturer you’re going to get many miles out of today’s best laminate. Many of which look & feel amazing!

    • We put in Pergo about 18 years ago, when laminates were just hitting the market. The Pergo is in our kitchen. It is still in great shape, despite many spills, dogs, and children (now grown.) My only complaint is that way back then you could get laminates in colors. Yes, I have a blue laminate floor in my kitchen, and it has gotten compliments for years.

      We are now looking to do laminate in the basement, but keep reading bad reviews about products we have looked at, including Alan and Roth (Lowes brand) and quick-step, Next Day Floors lower end merchandise.

  • I currently have “engineered hardwood” cherry and have been told they cannot be refinished. I would like dark more gloss flooring but not sure if laminate is the best. Also planning to do the upstairs and they won’ t match. Any thoughts on this–help????

    • For an upstairs floor, I think that merits alot of thought about what noise might be heard on the main level from walking done upstairs on anything but carpet. You might want to consider a good quality “luxury” vinyl plank (LVP). I had Fusion LVP installed. Vinyl plank is typically thinner (this was 6 mm) than laminate. I was told a separate underlayment for it was not necessary. But I decided to get the separate underlayment anyway. I ended up with a super quiet floor.

    • Hi Dorothy,
      I’ll give my 2 cents of experience. We put in avg grade maple darker reddish colored engineered hard wood 7 yrs ago. We have 4 kids (ages 3-11 at the time) and 2 dogs, 2 cats (that only sleep in the house). We also live in the country. Our flooring looked really good for about 5 yrs. The last 2 years I’ve noticed the shine has gotten very dull in high traffic areas and there’s tons of small scratches that look just look awful! My husband installed it and glued it down, one small area way down our hall looks like the boards separated a little and you can see the glue, that doesn’t bother me. But I really hate the dull areas and the scratches. We are building a house and we’re putting in some type of matte finished, lighter, distressed flooring. That will hide any scratches better, won’t show so much dust and pet hair. We will always have pets and kids and I’m tired of cleaning my living room floor twice a day. I absolutely love the dark rich floors, but have learned for our lifestyle it just doesn’t work. My sister also installed beautiful dark Acacia floors a year ago. They have no kids at home and 1 husky. They floors are always dirty with dust and hair, very high maintenance.

  • Nice post! It was really interesting and effective. Thanks…

  • The reason people recommend against laminate in the kitchen is that the backing of all laminate floors is pressed paper, and water that soaks in can cause it to swell, and ruin it.

    I’ve found that Alloc floors have waxed edges that will give the time to mop up large spills. They’re also easier to lay, and don’t often have to be hammered home like the Home Depot and Lowes products.

    I can’t speak for any of the other online flooring sites but I was VERY impressed with BestLaminate. They hold the customers hand every step of the way, from ordering to readying them for delivery. And when I had a problem of my own making they bent over backward to solve it, when it would have been far easier for them to say, “Not my problem.” As far as I’m concerned, people like that are rare, and deserve our business.

  • Greetings! Does anyone have experience with Quick-Step laminate? We’re replacing Pergo laminate flooring due to a flood, but even after 11 years, it looks great. I’m concerned about the Quick-Step, as I’ve seen some negative reviews about it being hard to keep clean and not durable. We have a small house, so every place is a high-traffic area. Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated!


    • Love our Quickstep impressive ultra flooring, so durable, looks incredibly real and we get so many compliments!
      In Australia it costs $60 a square metre but worth every cent because we have 2 active dogs!

    • Same here. Love my 18 year old pergo in the kitchen; looking at quick-step for basement, but have read alot of negative reviews, especially about buckling and peeling.

      • We have 20 year old Pergo in our family room, we had to replace the carpet we had in there after 10 months due to the traffic through it. We

  • We installed a honey oak Pergo about 10 years ago. It is horrible. Can not get it not to show streaks. I am desperate. It looks awful. We use the recommended water & vinegar. Anybody have any suggestions? I hate to have to replace it. Installed vinyl recently in another room and it looks fantastic! What do you clean your Pergo with???????????????

    • We have quick step in our bedroom and love it but it always seemed like it had a slight haze after washing the floors. It also showed footprints. I now use Method for wood floors. It is a spray and wash bottle. It is brown in color and makes the room smell great. Target sells it for under $5.00 per bottle. I am now much happier with my laminate and we are about to put it in the rest of the house. I hope this info helps.

    • I’ve have 1300′ of Pergo flooring for 17 years now and it still looks great. The trick to cleaning is to use only amonnia and hot water and then wring your mop well before each swipe. I change water a few times if it gets really dirty.

      • We have 20 year old Pergo in our family room, we had to replace the carpet we had in there after 10 months due to the traffic through it. We love the Pergo it stkll looks great!

  • We are considering installing Mohawk Havermill Design Planks in our kitchen and formal dining room. Interested in pros and cons. Thank you.

  • We’re looking at AYOS laminates, anyone have any experience with this brand.

  • We have quick step impressive ultra planks, they look so real and are super tough….no scratches from 2 dogs running and sliding across the floors, they’re more expensive but worth every cent.
    They are also more water resistant than other laminate flooring.

  • I want to put Pergo laminate 12mm next to tile plus the padding. The base is concrete. Will the height difference be to much? Will a 4 in 1 do the trick or will their be a big bump where they meet? Help. Thank you

  • i;m replacing pergo laminate after about 13 years was extremly satisfied with pergo still looks like new but had slap leak looking to buy legante laminate flooring in artisan birch anyone have any expierence with this

  • Anyone have experience with the Reclaime Old Town Oak UF 1935? I guess this is a Quick-Step product. The sample looks great, but I have read negative reviews about chipping and cracking? The reports were from pre-2016. So I am wondering if the flooring has improved in the last year. We are considering it for the common living areas and bedrooms in a new house.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    • Hi Brenda, I don’t have personal experience of this product. Online reviews, both positive and negative, can sometimes be problematic. One product from a manufacturer might not be as good as another product, so the Quick Step product you like might be much better (or just as bad!) than the product that was given the bad review that your read. Equally it’s hard to know from some online reviews whether you’re getting the whole story…customers are sometimes have unrealistically high expectations of a particular flooring performance.

      It’s a bit more work but I would look for a local contractor with lots of experience installing Quick-Step laminate, they will be the best source of advice.

    • I installed Reclaime Old Town Oak UF1935 in our kitchen in 2014 and had no experience. With five Grandchildren and two dogs the flooring has been great. So go my wife had the same flooring installed in the master bedroon this year. It cleans with a dust mop and gives the room a great look.

  • I am exploring which companies produce the best laminate, I have been contacted Trinity Looring which sells Liberty Laminate and claims to be 100% waterproof. Does anybody e know about this product?

  • Does anyone know of a luxury brand vinyl plank flooring that can be used in unheated cottage ?

  • Anyone laid INOVAR laminate? Interested in some on Gumtree!

  • After reading all these reviews I’m more confused than ever. Took time to find laminate style we liked, Lowe’s Allen Roth Saddle Hickory. Now wondering if right choice. Belfor Restoration will be installing. Any advice?

  • Regarding laminate in wet areas:

    * HDF is more common now, and is far more water resistant than the older medium density MDF.

    * When you install it there is an option to edge glue the planks to lock them together. This doesn’t have be everywhere. I would do it at the entrance and everywhere within 2 steps of the sink.

  • Looking to have a Mannington Restoration put down in my living room, dining room and kitchen.
    Any advice?

  • does anyone have any experience or information on the laminate flooring product (nuvelle). we were told by the flooring company that it is a top of the line product. we have never heard of or know of any one who has used this product.any info or feed back would be very helpful .thanks in advance. bonnie

  • I’m trying to decide between Kronoswiss Aquastop (8mm) and Quick Step Majestic (9.5mm). I don’t see many/any reviews for Kronoswiss. Does anyone know much about how the Kronoswiss product rates or would I be better to stick to the Quick Step brand which seems to have better water proof qualities? It does concern me that Quick Step has polarised reviews – some great and some very ordinary.

    Kind regards.

  • These are sleek and appealing 🙂

  • Has anyone heard of Bausen Laminate Flooring? Am currently considering their American Coastal Collections but could not find any reviews or recommendations online.

  • we installed laminate in our home 6 years ago. it had a closed cell foam backing and a textured pattern. it was installed throughout. we loved it. we are just in a new home now, something a little more upscale. real hardwood on the main level and some on the second level, then some carpet in some areas. whish we had laminate. we worry about the hardwood.

    i like the idea that the real stuff is being saved for other things, like furniture, etc.


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