Laminate Flooring

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Laminate Flooring

Step Into Style: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Laminate Flooring Brands

When it comes to transforming your living space, the flooring you choose plays a pivotal role. Laminate flooring, with its versatility and affordability, stands out as a top choice for homeowners. In this guide, we explore the best laminate flooring brands in 2024, each excelling in a specific aspect, whether it’s affordability, durability, aesthetics, or more.

What is Laminate Flooring? A Brief Overview

Laminate flooring serves as a cost-effective alternative to traditional hardwood or stone. Comprised of four layers fused together, it ensures durability, aesthetics, and superior performance. This flooring option also delivers additional benefits in terms of both affordability and functionality.

  1. Wear Layer

The wear layer is the top layer for that acts as protection against scratches, stains, and fading.

  1. Design Layer

High-resolution photograph mimics natural materials, offering diverse styles.

  1. Core Layer

Made of HDF or MDF for structural stability and impact resistance.

  1. Back Layer

The bottom layer prevents warping, often treated for moisture resistance.


1. Most Affordable: Pergo


Pergo is renowned for offering affordable laminate flooring without compromising on quality.

– Wide range of styles and designs available at a budget-friendly price point.

– DIY-friendly installation, reducing overall project costs.



– While budget-friendly, some high-end styles may have a slightly higher price.

– Harder to find in stores


2. Most Durable: Shaw Industries 


-Shaw, Mohawk, Lawson, and Lions flooring are celebrated for their durability, with laminates designed to withstand heavy traffic and daily wear.

– Scratch-resistant surfaces ensure a long-lasting, pristine appearance.

– Innovative technology enhances resistance to moisture, making it ideal for various spaces.



– At the higher end of the price spectrum, but the durability justifies the investment.


3. Most Aesthetic: Quick-Step Flooring


– Quick-Step’s laminates are renowned for their authentic wood and stone looks, providing a high-end aesthetic.

– Varied textures and finishes, including embossed and hand-scraped options, add depth and character.

– Precision in design ensures a seamless replication of natural materials.



– Premium aesthetics come with a slightly higher price tag.


4. Most Eco-Friendly: Mohawk


-Mohawk is committed to sustainable practices, offering eco-friendly laminate flooring options.

– Certifications such as GREENGUARD and FloorScore attest to the brand’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

– Recyclable materials contribute to a reduced carbon footprint.



– Limited styles compared to some other brands.

Pros and Cons for Laminate Flooring in General


– Affordability compared to hardwood or stone flooring.

– Wide range of styles and designs to suit diverse tastes.

– DIY-friendly installation for cost savings.

– Low maintenance with easy cleaning.



– Not suitable for areas with excessive moisture.

– Can be prone to scratches and dents.

– Limited refinishing options compared to hardwood.



In the realm of laminate flooring, finding the best fit for your home comes down to your priorities. Each brand excels in specific areas – Pergo for affordability, Shaw for durability, Quick-Step for aesthetics, Mohawk for eco-friendliness, and Armstrong for timeless appeal. Consider your preferences and budget, weighing the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, the best laminate flooring is the one that aligns with your vision, offering a perfect blend of style, functionality, and value for your home. Explore the options, make an informed choice, and enjoy the transformation of your living space.


FAQ Section About The Best Laminate Flooring Brands

Can laminate flooring be installed in bathrooms or kitchens?

While laminate flooring is not recommended for areas with high moisture levels, some brands offer water-resistant or waterproof options suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.

How do I maintain laminate flooring for longevity?

Regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional damp mopping, is usually sufficient. Avoid excessive water and use felt pads on furniture to prevent scratches. Do not steam clean laminate flooring.

Are there environmentally friendly options among laminate flooring brands?

Yes, brands like Mohawk prioritize sustainability, offering eco-friendly options with certifications such as GREENGUARD and FloorScore.

Can laminate flooring be installed over existing flooring?

In many cases, yes. However, it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and ensure the existing floor is in good condition for a successful installation.

Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring
Blog, Laminate Flooring

Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring: Why Laminate is Making a Comeback in 2024

When it comes to flooring options, laminate and vinyl have been popular choices for homeowners for many years. However, in recent times, laminate flooring has been experiencing a significant resurgence in popularity. 

With advancements in technology and a renewed focus on sustainable options, laminate flooring is making a comeback in 2024. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of laminate flooring, understanding its composition and highlighting the reasons behind its newfound popularity while also providing takeaways as to whether vinyl still may be the best choice for you.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring product that simulates the look of real hardwood, stone, or tile. It consists of multiple layers fused together using high-pressure techniques. 

The top layer, known as the wear layer, is a protective coating that provides durability and resistance against scratches, stains, and fading. Beneath the wear layer, there is a decorative layer that features a high-resolution image of the desired flooring style, providing a realistic appearance.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Durability and Scratch Resistance: Laminate flooring is highly durable, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas in homes. The wear layer protects the floor from scratches, scuffs, and dents caused by everyday activities, such as moving furniture or pets’ claws.

Realistic Appearance and Design Options: Thanks to advancements in printing technology, laminate flooring now offers incredibly realistic visuals. From natural wood grains to intricate tile patterns, laminate can mimic a wide range of materials, allowing homeowners to achieve the desired aesthetic without the associated costs.

Cost-Effectiveness: One of the primary advantages of laminate flooring is its affordability compared to hardwood or stone alternatives. Laminate can provide the look of expensive materials at a fraction of the price, making it a budget-friendly option for those seeking a high-end appearance without breaking the bank.

Easy Installation and Maintenance: Laminate flooring is designed with ease of installation in mind. Most laminate products feature a click-lock system, allowing for straightforward installation from professional flooring contractors. Additionally, laminate requires minimal maintenance, as it is resistant to stains and easy to clean with regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping.

As homeowners increasingly seek flooring options that combine durability, aesthetics, affordability, and ease of maintenance, laminate flooring has emerged as a frontrunner in the market. Its ability to replicate the appearance of natural materials convincingly, coupled with its practical advantages, has contributed to its resurgence in popularity.

Related: Choosing subfloor for hardwood, tile and laminate floors

Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring options

What is vinyl flooring (aka luxury vinyl plank)?

Before diving into the details of vinyl, it is important to distinguish that the more modern type of vinyl is called luxury vinyl plank, or LVP, whereas the older material is often referred to as just “standard vinyl.” Most instances of vinyl flooring these days are LVP, and that is what we are referring to in this post.

Vinyl flooring, like laminate, is a synthetic flooring material. It is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other additives, which give it its unique characteristics. Just like laminate, vinyl flooring has its own set of advantages that have made it a popular choice among homeowners.

Composition of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is composed of several layers. 

  1. Wear layer: The topmost layer, known as the wear layer, is a transparent protective coating that resists scratches, stains, and wear. 
  2. Design layer: Below the wear layer is the design layer, which contains the printed pattern or design, ranging from wood grains to stone textures. 
  3. Core and bottom: The core layer provides stability and durability, while the bottom layer, often referred to as the backing layer, adds additional support and moisture resistance.

Advantages of Vinyl Flooring

Water resistance and Moisture Resistance: Vinyl flooring is highly resistant to water and moisture, making it suitable for areas prone to spills or high humidity, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Its water-resistant properties help prevent damage, warping, or swelling that can occur with other flooring options.

Wide Range of Styles and Patterns: Vinyl flooring offers an extensive array of design options. Whether you prefer the classic look of hardwood, the elegance of stone, or unique patterns and colors, vinyl can cater to various aesthetic preferences, allowing homeowners to find the perfect fit for their interior design.

Comfort and Warmth Underfoot: Vinyl flooring provides a cushioned surface underfoot, offering a comfortable and soft feel. It can be particularly beneficial in areas where you spend a lot of time standing, reducing fatigue and strain on your feet and joints. Additionally, vinyl flooring has insulating properties, which can help maintain a cozy atmosphere in your home.

Low Maintenance and Easy Cleaning: Vinyl flooring is known for its low maintenance requirements. It is resistant to stains, scratches, and fading, making it a practical choice for busy households or those with children and pets. Regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional damp mopping, is typically all that’s needed to keep vinyl floors looking clean and fresh.

Vinyl flooring prices

The average cost of vinyl flooring can vary depending on various factors such as the quality of the vinyl, the brand, the thickness, the design or style chosen, and the installation method. 

How long do vinyl floors last

Vinyl floors are known for their durability, and with proper care and maintenance, they can have a long lifespan. On average, vinyl floors can last between 15 to 20 years, although some high-quality vinyl products can last even longer.

Related: Vinyl Flooring Showdown: LVT vs LVP Flooring

Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring side by side

The Comeback of Laminate Flooring

Flooring contractor’s hot take:

Laminate is making a comeback because Luxury Vinyl Plank is not as hearty. You cannot caulk the bottom of baseboards with vinyl, and vinyl is much more problematic when house slabs have higher moisture content. Laminate is thicker so the click and lock is stronger as well.

In recent years, there has been a shift in interior design trends, with a growing appreciation for natural elements and textures. Laminate flooring has adapted to this demand by enhancing its technology to provide incredibly realistic visuals that mimic the look and feel of hardwood, stone, and tile. Homeowners can now achieve the desired aesthetic without the maintenance and cost associated with natural materials, making laminate an attractive choice.

Enhanced Technology and Realistic Visuals in Laminate Flooring

Advancements in manufacturing and printing technology have revolutionized the appearance of laminate flooring. High-definition printing techniques allow for intricate details, vibrant colors, and realistic textures, resulting in a flooring surface that closely resembles natural materials. 

These advancements have played a significant role in the resurgence of laminate flooring, attracting homeowners who desire the beauty of hardwood or stone but prefer the practicality of laminate.

Environmental Considerations and Sustainable Options

In an era where environmental consciousness is increasingly valued, laminate flooring has made strides in offering sustainable options. Many manufacturers are using eco-friendly materials, such as recycled wood fibers and low-emission adhesives, to produce laminate flooring. 

Additionally, laminate is typically composed of several layers, which allows for easy replacement of damaged sections without the need to replace the entire floor, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Affordability and Cost-Saving Benefits

Laminate flooring has long been recognized for its cost-effectiveness compared to natural materials like hardwood or stone. The resurgence of laminate in 2024 can be attributed, in part, to homeowners seeking budget-friendly alternatives without compromising on style and durability. With laminate, homeowners can achieve the desired look at a fraction of the cost, allowing them to allocate their budget to other aspects of their home improvement projects.

Furthermore, laminate flooring offers cost-saving benefits in the long run. Its durability and scratch resistance ensure longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, laminate’s low maintenance requirements translate to savings in cleaning products and professional services, making it a financially sensible choice.

Laminate flooring prices

The average price of laminate flooring can vary depending on several factors such as the quality of the laminate, the brand, the thickness, and the design or style chosen.

How long do laminate floors last?

The lifespan of laminate floors can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the laminate, the amount of foot traffic it experiences, and the level of maintenance it receives. On average, laminate floors can last between 15 to 25 years.

Laminate flooring vs vinyl: comparing key factors

When choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring, it’s important to consider several key factors to determine which option best suits your needs and preferences. Let’s compare these factors:

Durability and Resistance to Wear and Tear:

  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is highly durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and fading. It can withstand moderate to high foot traffic and is suitable for most areas of the home.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is also durable and resistant to scratches and stains. It is highly resilient and can handle heavy foot traffic. Additionally, vinyl’s water resistance properties make it ideal for moisture-prone areas.

Visual Appeal and Variety of Designs:

  • Laminate: Laminate flooring offers a wide range of designs and realistic visuals, including options that closely mimic the look of hardwood, stone, or tile. It provides an array of styles to suit different aesthetic preferences.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring also offers a diverse selection of designs, including realistic wood and stone patterns. It provides versatility in design choices and can be found in various colors and styles.

Installation Process:

  • Laminate: Laminate flooring often features a click-lock installation system and can be installed as a floating floor without the need for glue or nails.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring can be installed in different ways, including glue-down, loose lay, or click-lock methods. 

Maintenance Requirements and Long-Term Care:

  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is relatively low maintenance. Regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional damp mopping, is typically sufficient to keep it clean. It’s important to avoid excessive moisture on laminate floors.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is also easy to maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional mopping with manufacturer-recommended cleaners help keep vinyl floors looking their best. Its water resistance nature makes it resistant to stains and spills.

Water Resistance and Moisture Resistance Capabilities:

  • Laminate: While laminate is generally not waterproof, some manufacturers offer water-resistant laminate options. However, prolonged exposure to moisture should still be avoided.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is inherently water-resistant, depending on the specific product. This makes it an excellent choice for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or basements.

Contact the Experts

If you live in the northern Dallas, TX area and are looking for new laminate or vinyl flooring and need professional materials and installation, contact the pros at GC Flooring Pros for a free in-house estimate.


young worker lining floor with laminated flooring boards
Blog, Floor Care, Laminate Flooring, Recommended Blog, Tips & Tricks, Water Damaged Floors

How to Fix Laminate Flooring That is Lifting [And Why It Happens]

Whether you’ve installed it yourself or hired a professional to do it, there’s nothing more disappointing than seeing lifting in your laminate flooring after it’s installed.

If you’re frustrated by lifting or buckling in your laminate floors and want your floors restored to their original beautiful condition, all you need is a bit of time, patience, and elbow grease to get it looking great again. 

Here, we’ll teach you how to fix laminate flooring that is lifting in just four easy steps. But first, let’s figure out the root cause.

Why is My Laminate Floor Lifting?

A lifted laminate floor isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue. There are several reasons why your laminate flooring may be lifting in certain areas, and the key to resolving the issue once and for all is recognizing the cause behind it. Once you can identify the weakness in the flooring, you can target it and ensure the problem doesn’t arise again.

From excess moisture to an uneven foundation, here are the main reasons your laminate floor may be lifting. Here are a few.

Underlying Moisture Problem

If there’s excess moisture within the subfloor or the concrete slab on which you’re laying the flooring, the laminate may not lay as flat as you’d like. If it’s more than 6-9% damp, you may need to use a dehumidifier or try to dry out the area before the floor can be laid.

A floor underlayment can avoid this issue, helping keep future problems at bay by protecting the new laminate from additional moisture underneath while also reducing noise.

Not Properly Installed

If laminate flooring is not laid down properly, such as the interlocking pieces not installed precisely, the flooring installed too tight against the wall, or the flooring not adequately acclimated, it may not have the final look you’re hoping for.

If interlocking pieces aren’t connected correctly, gaps can form between the planks, and it can look uneven. If it’s too tight against the wall, it can cause warping or buckling, especially when the indoor humidity or temperature change.

If the laminate isn’t acclimated to the internal temperature and humidity before being laid, it may shrink or grow once laid, causing lifting.

Uneven Subfloor

An uneven surface on the subfloor or concrete slab on which the floor is laid can cause bouncing or lifting. While a self-leveling compound may be able to level concrete slabs, a severely uneven subfloor may need a practiced contractor to fix the issue.

No Expansion Gaps

If no narrow gaps are left at the edges of the laminate pieces, there’s no extra space for swelling as the humidity fluctuates, which may lead to lifting as the seasons change. It’s imperative to leave this tiny bit of space between sections.

How to Fix Lifting Laminate Flooring

Learning how to fix a laminate floor that is lifting all boils down to understanding what’s causing the problem in the first place and using the right technique to target the cause.

If you’re dealing with an uneven subfloor, your solution will look different than if your problem is moisture damage, and so on.

First, ensure you know the source of your issues, and then find the right solution below.

1. Fixing an Uneven Subfloor

If you’ve installed your laminate flooring on a subfloor that is uneven or not level, you’ll want to level out your foundation before you can reinstall your flooring.

To do this, lift up the lifted sections from the floor. Look at the subfloor below it and inspect it to find lifted or depressed areas. Using a sanding machine or grinder, you can even out the surface. If you don’t have the equipment to do this, call your local flooring experts to handle the complicated task of precision sanding and reinstallation.

Before placing the laminate back down on the newly sanded surface, add underlayment to hide imperfections even more, and use a block and mallet to get the floorboards back in their proper places.

2. Fixing Moisture Damage

If your planks are absorbing excess moisture, they can swell and take up more room, thus lifting from the floor. First, find the source of the water. This could be a leak in the ceiling or wall, or it may simply be excess moisture in the home

A professional can help you locate the source of additional humidity if you can’t find it. Once that root issue is solved, you can remove the portions of the flooring that are lifted, add a moisture-resistant underlayment to prevent excess moisture from leaking in. A moisture meter test can confirm an acceptable moisture content.

3. Fixing Lack of an Expansion Gap

If you didn’t leave an expansion gap before, then you’re looking at the job of removing all your boards and cutting them to include an expansion gap of about ¼ inch. This can be a big undertaking, so calling professionals to handle this re-flooring job might be in your best interest.

4. Consider Getting New Flooring

Most of these solutions involve a great deal of work. While you might have the time or even the skill, it’s a great deal of work that requires close attention to detail and benefits from the years of experience and expertise of flooring specialists. You should consider calling GC Flooring and getting new flooring installed so you can avoid DIY mistakes and get beautiful flooring that lasts.

Contact the Experts

Now that you’ve learned how to fix laminate flooring that is lifting (and discovered that the trick is pinpointing the cause of the lifting in the first place), you can approach your flooring issue with objectivity and understanding. 

While you might be tempted to fix the problem on your own, sometimes, the job is more extensive than it seems, and you can benefit from finding a trusted and experienced local specialist to pinpoint your problem and eliminate it at the source.

GC Flooring can help you with your commercial or residential flooring needs and ensure the best results. Contact our team to learn more or get started today.

Subfloor in Frisco TX
About Floors, Blog, Laminate Flooring, Recommended Blog

Choosing subfloor for hardwood, tile and laminate floors

The subfloor is the base for your flooring. Having the right subfloor is just as important as choosing the right floor finish, even if it’s going to hardly ever see the light of day.
Vinyl, laminate or tile or even expensive hardwood – doesn’t matter which one you choose, without proper support their durability will be compromised and you’ll end up wasting your money.
Who wants that? Noone! Here is how to make sure your subfloor is the right choice for your desired flooring.

What is a subfloor?

Subfloor is the very bottom layer of the floor that sits directly on the joists. Once the floor is installed it, subfloor gets hidden underneath. Because it’s hard to reach position, making changes to a subfloor is quite an expensive and difficult endeavor. Most subfloors stay the way they were built during the construction of the house.
The most common subfloor is 1/2″ or 3/4″ A/C-graded plywood. A/C means that the boards are smooth on the top side and rough on the bottom.
Oriented-strand board (OSB) also known as flakeboard is an alternative subflooring material. As a composite material, it shares great similarities with plywood. A single sheet of OSB is made by sealing large flakes of wood together with phenolic resins.


Subfloor is not to be confused with underlayment. Underlayment is what comes between subfloor and flooring surface to guarantee your floor’s best performance and keep the moisture and noise away. While subfloor is typically standard and consistent throughout the entire home, the type of underlayment used can vary from room to room depending on what type of flooring is being installed.

Cement underlayment

Cement board is the underlayment to use when installing tile flooring. It sits on the plywood or concrete surface and holds the tiles together.
Foam and cork underlayment
Foam and cork padding is the most common underlayment for laminate floors. Laminate is a hard floor and can often feel uncomfortable under your feet. The padding underneath helps cushion your step.
Plywood underlayment
Plywood can also be used as underlayment. It adds strength and helps set the height of the finish floor. In this case, you’ll have two layers of plywood present, one a subfloor layer and one an underlayment layer.

Subfloor for hardwood flooring

If you are installing hardwood flooring plywood is the best subfloor for you. Any plywood ranging from 1/2″ to 3/4″ and rated A/C will serve both solid or engineered hardwood well. If you decide to upgrade your subfloor choose tongue and groove plywood. It’s easier to install and will minimize squeaks caused by walking.

Subfloor for laminate flooring

Laminate can also be installed on a plywood subfloor. However laminate is a fairly thin floor so adding thin plywood as a secondary subfloor is advised, especially if you are installing laminate flooring in an older house. Subfloors in older houses are often no thicker than ½’’ plywood, unlike the ¾’’ thick layers in newer buildings. Because laminate is so thin it can easily show imperfections. To protect your flooring from grooves and dents you should install an underlayment, best foam or cork padding to provide some give and help smooth out any imperfections of the subfloor.

Subfloor for tile flooring

The main danger to tile flooring is cracking. Old and infected joists can be a cause for fractures. Installing stable plywood subfloor will help prevent any movement that can lead to damage. Underlayment too should have no give and be strong to support the tile floor properly. Cement board can be installed directly on top of the plywood layer.

GC Flooring Pros
Blog, Floor Care, Laminate Flooring, Tips & Tricks

Floor care tips for laminate flooring

Laminate floors have a reputation for being difficult to mop.
However, contrary to what many say, once you have all the right tools and knowledge, cleaning your laminate flooring is a walk in the park.
To save you time and help your sanity here’s a handy guide to the do’s and don’t of laminate maintenance.

Don’t sweep your laminate floor

Yes, you got dirt and dust on your pretty laminate floor. No, you shouldn’t use a broom. Turns out, the traditional broom is by far not the best tool to clean your laminate floor. That would be a dry dust mop. Regular broom leaves particles behind that later get mixed with the wet mop and get tossed around leave streaks and residue all over the place. In the worst-case scenario, they might even scratch the laminate’s surface. If you prefer using a vacuum cleaner instead, make sure you have a hard floor setting selected. Just like the leftover particles, the brush roll setting on your vacuum cleaner can scratch and damage the laminate flooring over time.

Use less cleaner

Most tips on laminate floor maintenance focus on what kind of cleaner you use. Yes, it’s important that the chemicals you tidy with are compatible with your floor type. What’s a lot less discussed is the amount of cleaner you ought to apply to your floor.

Using more cleaner doesn’t equal a cleaner floor. Usually, it equals wasted money and a ruined floor. Too much cleaner leaves a residue after that dulls the finish of your laminate. Our tip? Sometimes just a little water goes a long way.