There are a lot of reasons to choose laminate flooring over other options. Not only is it cheaper and easier to install than traditional hardwood or tile flooring, it is also more durable and just as breathtaking as the alternatives.

Laminate panels come in many different styles, including mock stone and wood, as well as different widths, thicknesses and finishes. For this reason, it is important to consider all of your options before settling on your laminate flooring purchase. Aspects you should take into account include price, style, location, and traffic volume.

The Price of Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a very affordable flooring option compared to hard wood, tile, stone, or carpet. Because it is more durable and stain-resistant than the other choices, laminate flooring is an investment that will generate a high return and low depreciation rate. Starting at as little as $1.99 per square foot, laminate flooring is a great way to update your home without breaking the bank.

Styles of Laminate Flooring

To choose the style that best fits your home, begin your research early. Keep a notebook containing color swatches, furniture photos, art and potential flooring designs. As a general rule of thumb, it's usually best to keep floors in bathrooms, mudrooms, and kitchens light-colored to brighten up these work areas, whereas darker colors should be used in bedrooms, dens or sitting areas to make the rooms feel more relaxed. The furniture and wall art in these rooms should pair well with the color of the flooring.

Choosing Laminate Flooring Based on Location

Aside from planning an inviting color scheme that includes your flooring, understanding the location of the would-be laminate is also important. For example, areas that experience high levels of moisture (kitchens and bathrooms, for example) should feature laminate flooring with a water-resistant core. Though these types of flooring are typically a bit more expensive than others, protecting your subfloor from moisture build-upand thus toxic mold and structural damagewill be worth it in the end.

Laminate Flooring for High-Traffic Areas

Types of laminate flooring come in different grades that measure their ability to withstand abrasions, the lowest of which is AC1/21. This kind of laminate is cheaper to manufacture and thus costs less to purchase, but it doesn’t hold up well in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways. Though laminate with a low rating is suitable for bedrooms and closets, areas of the home that are subjected to a lot of traffic need laminate with a rating of at least AC3/23.

Flooring is often the first thing people notice upon entering a home. Make sure your new flooring gives the right impression to guests by being clean, attractive, durable and well-coordinated with the rest of your décor.