Easy Laminate Flooring: Install Methods, Mimicry, Colors

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By Alexandra Miller

Updated: Mar 17, 2024

8 min read

Laminate Floor Colors
Photo: Direct Wood Flooring

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    Laminate flooring, an affordable option admired for its mimicry of wood, tile, or stone, is constructed from layers of fiberboard with a printed image on top. It is a strong material free of scratches, burns, and heat, offering realistic beauty without the hassle of cleaning grout joints. Unlike engineered hardwood, laminate is moisture-resistant, making it suitable for various installations. It's available in different types, categorized by installation method, material imitation, texture, floor construction, gloss level, pattern, and rating. Features like water resistance, scratch resistance, noise reduction, easy installation, and compatibility with radiant floor heating make it best for effortless usage.

    Installation Methods for Laminate Flooring

    Laminate flooring, offered in various styles, hues, and textures, can be categorized by installation method. This classification is crucial, particularly for DIY installations.

    The installation types include glue-less, glued, pre-glued, and underlayment-attached options.


    It utilizes tiles or planks without adhesive, simplifying installation and gaining popularity.

    Glued Versions

    It requires adhesive for joint connection, resulting in a sturdy yet more time-consuming and costly installation.


    It features adhesive applied to planks, simplifying installation, but careful adherence to instructions is necessary.

    Underlayment Attached

    It features built-in underlayment, reducing noise and simplifying installation with various tongue and groove locking systems.

    Laminate Mimicking Different Materials

    Resembling Hardwood Flooring

    Resembling Hardwood Flooring
    Photo: @sweetwoodflooring

    This type of flooring comprises thin layers of solid wood with a wood veneer upper layer and a tough acrylic finish, making it durable. The planks are thicker compared to other laminate options and are available in various wood designs. It can mimic various wood species.

    Mimicking Plastic

    Plastic Laminate Flooring
    Photo: @laminatefloorworld

    While less popular than wooden laminate, plastic laminate flooring offers versatility. It is made from fiberboard with an imposed photo image design, offering a wide range of design options.

    Tile-Like Appearance

    Tile-Like Appearance in Laminate Flooring
    Photo: @azpeakclean

    Laminate tiles are available in planks measuring 12 to 16 inches wide by 3 to 4 feet long or individual tiles measuring 12 to 24 inches square, resembling ceramic tiles.

    Common Color Choices for Laminate Flooring

    A variety of colors are available for laminate flooring, with some of the most popular options being:

    Grey Floors

    Grey Leminate Floors
    Photo: @laminatefloorworld

    Gray-stained hardwoods are currently a top pick, as their light tones can enhance the perception of space, while cooler grays add a contemporary touch. Birch or waterproof laminate designs are recommended.

    Whitewash Floors

    Whitewash laminate floor
    Photo: Builddirect

    Similar to gray flooring, whitewashed floors offer a modern, trendy ambiance. Unlike white carpets, whitewashed waterproof laminates are resistant to stains. Maple hardwood and waterproof laminates are suitable choices for this.

    Light Brown Tones

    Light Brown Tones Laminate
    Photo: LL Flooring

    These lighter shades contribute to a more expansive feel within a room. Blonde tones, in particular, evoke a relaxed, coastal atmosphere.

    Also Read How to Clean Linoleum Floors?

    Laminate Floor Texture

    Based on the surface feel, laminate flooring should mimic the texture of the material it imitates, such as tile, stone, or wood. It is important to inspect the laminates under different lighting conditions before buying to anticipate how they will appear throughout the day and determine the best layout.

    Thicker Textures for Enhanced Grip

    Thicker textures provide better grip, particularly for areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

    Categorizing Laminate Flooring by Texture

    Laminate flooring can be categorized by texture into smooth, embossed, and hand-scraped varieties.

    Smooth Laminate

    Resembling Ceramic or Marble. Smooth laminate resembles ceramic or marble tiles, offering easy maintenance due to its lack of grout lines.

    Embossed Laminate

    Featuring Raised Patterns. Embossed laminate features raised patterns, with options including general embossing and embossing in register (EIR) for a more authentic wood texture.

    Hand-Scraped Laminate

    Emulating Aged Hardwood. Hand-scraped laminate replicates the aged look of hardwood through unique antiquing techniques.

    Concerning Floor Construction

    High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) Flooring

    In this approach, planks are merged together either in one or two stages. The high-pressure technique is typically utilized for more expensive, top-tier brands. Initially, several layers are adhered together, followed by fusing these layers with other materials and then bonding them into a plank. This results in a tougher finish and a more flexible plank.

    Direct Pressure Laminate (DPL) Flooring

    The majority of laminates are manufactured using the direct pressure method, where all four layers are combined, pressed, and heated simultaneously to create a bond. This single-step process reduces manufacturing costs.

    The Gloss Level

    You can achieve either a high gloss smooth finish or a low gloss matte appearance on your laminate floor, depending on your décor or personal preference. However, the gloss level has minimal impact on the performance or durability of laminate floors. Low-gloss floors are better at concealing minor surface scratches compared to higher-gloss floors.


    Laminate floors offer a variety from slim strips to checkerboard designs, providing both decorative and balanced aesthetics. Common options include traditional floorboards, thin strip flooring, and wide plank floors. Options like water resistance, scratch resistance, noise reduction, easy installation, no need for waxing or polishing, and compatibility with radiant floor heating systems features contribute to the diversity of Laminate Flooring.


    Best Color for Laminate Flooring?

    Ultimately, the best color for your laminate flooring will depend on factors such as your interior design style, lighting conditions, and personal preferences. It's recommended to consider samples under different lighting conditions to determine the color that suits your space best.

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