Laminate Flooring - Beautiful and Stylish

You can pretty much forget whatever you knew about laminate.? It?s come so far as a flooring product that is beauty in wood or stone and its strength have become a virtual match to laminate?s legendary durability.

Like the look of wood? Today?s laminates offer just about every look possible from the venerable light white and dark red oaks to maple, walnut, beech, birch and hickory to exotics like merbau, bamboo, Japanese cherry, colonial chestnut even uniquely stained pine and antique or distressed wood.

New wood collections feature beveled edges (on the short edges as well as the long ones) and underlayments that serve as sound and moisture ? even thermal ? barriers as well as a cushion.? Underlayments come on rolls or pre-applied to each piece.? You can find laminate in individual planks or larger multi-plank boards for even speedier installation.

Long planks and narrow and wide plank formats not only appear more authentic, they also create greater eye appeal and present the opportunity for custom installations.

?Speaking of installation, snap-together joint concepts now allow for non-traditional yet very simple-to-install designs like herringbone patterns without special skills or tooling.

Like stone? Individual tiles and laminate boards featuring tile configurations of up to 24 tiles ? complete with textures grout lines ? present fashions in ceramic tile and natural-looking stone like marble, granite and slate.? Manufacturers have been offering these boards with varying square tile formats to meet the demand for smaller patterns, for example in a powder room, and large tile looks up to 16 inches or more for spacious areas like foyers and kitchens.? Larger formats are offered as individual tiles which are highly stylized and custom looking. For example, they can be installed in a diamond or staggered fashion.

The same techniques that result in spectacular wood styles are used to make laminate in natural stone and ceramic fashions. The technique is called ?registered embossing? in which realistic embossed textures and matching image and gloss finishes are applied, resulting in authentic 3-D, surface structure with the look and feel of stone or wood.