If you’re considering updating the flooring in your home, you have a lot of options! You can put in carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate, or just stain the concrete. A good, durable yet affordable option is laminate flooring. Laminate flooring has come a long way from that lovely orangish pattern everyone had in the 80s. Modern laminate floors can actually imitate the surface that they look like! There are some things you should consider when buying laminate flooring though:

Board thickness

The thicker the laminate, the more realistic it looks. Thicker laminate is also much more durable. At a minimum, you want it to be 8mm thick. A good, high quality flooring will be anywhere between 8 and 12mm thick. You definitely don’t want a paper thin flooring, as it will wear away quickly and it will be much harder on your feet.

Atmosphere of the room

What do you want to accomplish with your new flooring? Do you want the room to feel bigger? If so, aim for laminate with wide planks or light colors to brighten up the space and make it feel larger. Conversely – dark, dense patterns will make the room more cozy.

Foot traffic

Are you having the new laminate installed in a very high foot traffic area? Is it a place where children and pets will enter – possibly tracking in dirt? Consider the footwear of the people moving through the room, as well as the location in the home. And keep in mind that while dark-colored laminates will show less dirt, pet hair stands out against dark floors. A nice wood laminate would balance both of these issues nicely. A textured stone laminate is also a great option.

Attached rooms

When you’re only replacing the flooring in one or two rooms, take a look at the surrounding flooring. You don’t want to choose a laminate that clashes against your existing floors. Pick a color that matches or compliments the attached rooms.

Warranty of the flooring

Ideally, the flooring you choose will stand up to whatever life throws at it. In the event that it doesn’t, you’ll want to have chosen a laminate that’s backed by a warranty. Most of the good ones come with a 30 year warranty that covers peeling, staining, fading, and other defects. If you choose a flooring that does not come with that, you may want to make another choice. Because that means that they know their product isn’t going to last that long, so they don’t stand behind it.

Laminate floors are an excellent, affordable choice to breathe new life into your home. Consider these five factors, and have fun shopping!