Laminate floors have been growing in popularity. And no wonder! They are cheaper and easier to install than other flooring types. In addition to that, they can be quite durable and last you more than 15 years. Good quality laminate will look just as good as fresh hardwood floors!
New brands are emerging at the speed of light, and the market is overflowing with options. In this age of abundance, how do you pick the right option for your home or office?
All brands are different, with their own materials, quality, and procedures for installation. There are many factors that go into good laminate flooring. Only the best quality will last you a long time, function well, and look good while at it!
In this guide, we hope to bring you one step closer to making a decision. We will share with you some of the biggest laminate flooring brands to avoid.
What to Look for in a Laminate Flooring Brand?
Laminate is one of the cheapest options for flooring. Even within that option, there are still many different price points to choose from.
The easiest way to put it is – you get what you paid for. You don’t necessarily have to spring for the most expensive option, especially if you can’t afford it. However, don’t fall for the cheapest one either.
There are several factors you need to consider when picking the best laminate flooring brand. The following two are the most important ones:
Quality of the materials
Image source: Manasota Flooring – Kitchen & Bath Showroom
Check the quality of the materials used in the underlayment and the planks. The quality will tell you a lot about the product. Keep in mind that standing water affects laminate the most. Look for water-resistant materials that will last you a long time!
Image source: Floor Coverings International of West County
Installation is just as important as the quality of the materials used. When talking about installation, consistency is key. If you’re going with a smaller brand, make sure their procedure for floor installation is the same every single time and they don’t do things “willy-nilly.”
High-quality laminate is thick, durable, and attractive. Thicker laminate will look more real and will compliment your decor. Generally speaking, boards should be between 8 and 12 mm thick. High-quality laminate is resistant to stains and wear and tear.
Whatever you go for, pay attention to the warranty. 30-year warranty is pretty standard. It should ensure that your floors won’t peel, stain, or fade.
Which Laminate Flooring Brands to Avoid?
TrafficMaster offers some of the cheapest laminate on the market. Naturally, the materials used are very poor quality. Their laminate is so cheap, it starts at 68 cents per square foot.
TrafficMaster also offers a very short warranty of only 15 years. There are two lines with a longer warranty of 25 years, but the remaining 6 lines only offer 15 years.
Nevertheless, the brand has a decent selection with some good looking laminate. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, this will do. However, it won’t last you longer than 10 years. The flooring is very poorly made and just isn’t good.
Laminate from Lowe’s
Lowe’s is a very successful company with billions of dollars in revenue. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t trust them with your floors. In fact, they have an awful reputation when it comes to flooring.
Very few customers have reported having a good experience with Lowe’s flooring. The majority of the good reviews is actually for carpeting. Missed appointments and messy workers are some of Lowe’s’ common attributes.
Many people have complained about not getting what they paid for, or being charged several times for the same service.
Armstrong (Low-end laminates)
Armstrong makes some of the best laminate flooring, but also some of the worst. It’s great that they offer different lines all for every budget, but there’s a catch.
At first glance, everything looks fine. One of their low-end laminates called Timeless Naturals comes with a 20-year warranty. That doesn’t seem bad at all! Just wait till you read the fine print.
The warranty is prorated after the first year and proceeds at 5% yearly. That means that the coverage is falling. If you have a problem with your floors 10 years after installation, Armstrong will only cover 50% of the materials and none of the labor costs.
This trick is meant to convince you you’re getting a full warranty. Armstrong offers better warranties too, but Timeless Naturals is a nightmare. Always read the fine print before you make a purchase!
Home Depot laminate flooring
Home Depot is another industry giant that can’t seem to get their flooring right. Customers often report warped planks and awful quality of laminate flooring. On top of that, their flooring is nearly impossible to install.
Professionals have spoken on the subject, confirming that the flooring is very difficult to install. Additionally, at least 15% of the planks are generally absolutely unusable or warped.
One customer outlined his experienced with Hope Depot to Consumer Affairs magazine. He said that the workers installed the laminate in the wrong rooms and made uneven cuts. What’s even worse, they couldn’t reinstall the toilet after laying flooring in the bathroom. Of course, all the details were agreed upon in advance and should’ve come as no surprise to the crew.
There was a pending class-action suit against Home Depot for laminate flooring. Even some supporters of the brand ended up joining the class action suit.
Ending thoughts on laminate flooring brands to avoid at all costs
Image source of nice laminate flooring: Speers Flooring
When choosing a laminate flooring brand, it’s important to know what to look for. Knowing which brands to avoid will help you in your search tremendously. Don’t fall for the low prices or seemingly good warranties!
Before you settle on a brand and type, read the fine print to know exactly what you’re signing up for. You don’t want to deal with fixing your laminate 10 years later, and find out that warranty doesn’t cover it anymore. This way you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.
We hope that this guide has been helpful and you’re at least one step closer to your perfect laminate flooring. Prioritize quality and enjoy durable and good looking floors!
If you enjoyed reading this article about laminate flooring brands to avoid, you should read these as well: