Laminate flooring is a versatile and sturdy type of hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is basically made up of melanin resin and fiberboard material, while the top layer instead of being a thin veneer of real hardwood, is an imprinted textured image made to look like real wood.
This is an important distinction between laminate and engineered because laminate is a factories attempt to come the closest to what it believes real wood should look like. In the early days of laminate flooring the results from the factory were less than appealing. However, with improvements in technology there has been remarkable improvements in the appearance and the feel under foot of the laminate floors.
The real bonus of laminate flooring comes in the cost. Solid wood flooring is at the top of the bracket while engineered comes in second followed by laminate. Because it is the cheaper of the options, laminate flooring is a great options for those on a budget and for wide scale commercial uses. Laminate is also a more durable floor and resists water and moisture damage a lot better than its more expensive cousin the solids. So I would highly recommend looking into laminate flooring for areas of the home like the basement or in high traffic areas like mudrooms as they will last much longer than your traditional solid hardwood floors (and really who wants to pay all that money to have expensive floors ruined by kids!).
For installation purposes laminate is the easiest and quickest to install. Heck you might not even need to pay someone to install it because of its interlocking system that does not require glue, staples, or nails. With solid or engineered I would recommend having a professional install them for you as they tend to be a little trickier to install and less forgiving.
Laminates biggest downside is its lifespan. While solid hardwood floors can last up to a century if properly maintained, laminate floors start to fade after closer to a decade and there is little you can do to bring them back to their original lustre like its solid or even engineered cousin. So as with any project it depends on what you as the homeowner want to accomplish. To help in your selection make sure to visit The Hardwood Flooring Store and speak with one of our qualified representatives today and get started on your next renovation project.