Laminate flooring is for those who want a floor that can handle anything and look good at the same time. The material had a bad reputation in the past, but it’s coming back to redeem itself. Forget about laminate as you know it!
There are many reasons why you should consider laminate for your home.
- It’s trendy and affordable
- It’s durable
- Modern technology has made it look extra good, with bevelled edges and authentic textures
- Some of the best laminate flooring brands are still household names like Shaw, Armstrong, and Pergo
Check this guide for a comprehensive list of the best laminate flooring brands, and find out what makes these brands stand out.
Best Laminate Flooring Brands
All the brands below are good in their own ways. They can’t be compared to each other, as they fill different niches. Find the one that suits your needs, and you won’t be disappointed!
Pergo was one of the first players on the market. The brand has a long history with flooring.
Pergo specializes in distressed flooring and other artistic designs. The brand’s first laminate flooring came out in 1979. Then, in 2013, Mohawk took over Pergo. The brand borrowed Pergo’s successful designs, and now they’re used by both brands.
The majority of the flooring options have an AC4 rating for scratches and wear. The floors are suitable for residential and even light commercial use. Pergo doesn’t have the biggest selection, but it has a good number of hand-scraped, textured, smooth, and “natural authentic” floors. The “natural authentic” way of texturing makes the floors look like real wood.
Shaw Matterhorn laminate flooring is one of the latest lines from Shaw. There are approximately 200 styles and colour combinations just in the laminate line. The colors range from washed-out to almost white, from rich brown to gray with black highlights. Every style boasts different looks. Those include traditional, rustic, Old World, country, modern, eclectic, and contemporary.
Shaw’s Laminate is AC4-rated. The brand offers a 5-year commercial warranty and a 30-year residential warranty.
Armstrong Premium Lustre
Armstrong is a household name, but it has mixed reviews. Customers report that the brand’s customer service could be better.
Armstrong offers many style options at different price points. The brand has authentic wood-looking laminate in traditional, hand-scraped, and speciality wood variants. The options you will find are quite similar to the other brands on this list.
The brand’s high-end laminate line is called Premium Lustre.
Audacity is Armstrong’s waterproof laminate flooring line. It comes with a lifetime residential warranty and a 15-year commercial warranty. It’s one of the best waterproof laminates on the market.
TrafficMASTER has a good selection of styles. Anyone will be able to find something for their home, regardless of what interior design they have. The majority of the designs imitate domestic wood species like Oak, Hickory, Maple, Pecan, Birch, and Sycamore. The only exceptions to that are Brazilian Cherry and Acacia.
The brand’s laminate comes with different wear layers thicknesses: 7mm, 8mm, and 12mm. The 12mm wear layers are the most durable. The selection of those is not big, but you should look at them first. If you don’t find anything you like there, that’s not a problem. The thinner wear layer laminates perform just as well in residential use.
Egger Laminate Flooring
Egger Laminate Flooring uses up to 80% recycled wood and PEFC-approved managed forests in the production process. It is a popular choice among homeowners, because of the brand’s appealing designs and high quality.
Customers report great feedback. Egger’s range is so big that you can find both budget and premium products.
You will find water-resistant laminate in other brands too, but AquaGuard is the best at it. The laminate’s protection lasts for up to 30 hours. This is an important feature, as it’s hard to fix laminate floors after water damage.
Instead of coating the edges once like everyone else, AquaGuard coats the edges twice. As a result, the brand offers the best moisture protection on the market.
If you want to follow the latest trends in the world of laminate flooring, check out Quick Step’s selection. The quality of the products is not as high as the other brands mentioned. Quick Step compensates by being way ahead when it comes to implementing new technology. The brand’s modular products can fit anywhere.
Balterio by IVC is a premium laminate flooring line. The planks range between 8 and 12mm in thickness. The installation process is very simple due to the click to lock technology. Install the laminate as a floating floor.
There are only 12 shades that are meant to replicate woods such as oak, cork, and teak. The brand and the series continue to receive amazing consumer reviews.
Mohawk’s laminate is called a wood flooring product. There are 3 lines you can choose from, Revwood, Revwood Plus, and Revwood Select. All of them feature classic styles and finishes. Some laminate planks are distressed, while others have a more high-gloss finish.
You can choose from a variety of shades and styles of wood-looking laminate. There are 58 oak laminates alone! The GenuEdge technology makes the planks and tiles look extra authentic and realistic.
You can find Bruce products in big stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. Bruce focuses on making hardwood floors at friendly prices. Hence, there are only about 40 laminate flooring products in the selection. Nevertheless, the products are high-quality and the prices are good.
Mannington laminate is made in the US and has multiple certifications. There’s only one collection of laminate flooring with 64 different styles. The brand is best known for its luxury vinyl tiles, but you should have a look at the luxury laminate range as well.
The Restoration collection offers products that are resistant to water and stains. The brand promises your floors will not stain if you clean up your spills within 72 hours.
BerryAlloc’s boards look very realistic. The majority of the boards are produced with a built-in underlayment. That makes the installation process much easier. The brand also offers interesting patterns and designs that you will only see in real hardwood.
Tips on Buying Top Rated Laminate Flooring
Image source: Floor Coverings International of West County
- Laminate is much cheaper than hardwood or stone tiles. That doesn’t mean you should fall for the lowest price. The cheapest laminates are usually low-quality and won’t last you a long time.
- Thicker laminates will look and feel better. They appear more authentic with more detailed patterns.
- Check the moisture swell rate when buying laminate flooring. It shouldn’t exceed 18%. Ideally, it will be 13% or lower.
Before getting on the market, laminate needs to pass 10 independent quality control tests that check for wear, water, light, and stain resistance, static load, dimensional tolerance, surface bond, and thickness swell.
Average Cost of Laminate Flooring
Image source: Floor Coverings International of West County
Laminate has relatively consistent prices across major brands. The final price will depend on the thickness.
- 8mm thick laminates cost between $2 and $3 per square foot.
- 10-12mm thick laminates go for $3 to $4 per square foot.
- Special designer products with unique patterns can cost between $6 and $8 per square foot.
Ending thoughts on the best laminate flooring brands
Keep the criteria from above in mind to get the best bang for your buck. Read the fine print to know exactly what you’re getting in terms of the warranty. Look out for future you, as you will probably want to stick with the floors for a long time.
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