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Laminate is one of the more durable and long-lasting choices in flooring. Manufactured by bonding four distinct layers together and featuring melamine resin on the top and bottom layers, laminate is resistant to wear and will not fade when subjected to direct sunlight or any source of artificial light. Most manufacturers back their products with 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year warranties depending on the brand and model.

Laminate flooring is also resistant to stains and all but the most extreme of impacts. This material is resistant to water (as long as spills are wiped up quickly) and, for the most part, this type of flooring is extremely easy to install, maintain, clean and repair. It costs about $5 to $8 a square foot.

Also called a “floating floor,” laminate can be installed directly over your existing plywood subfloor or any other hard-surface floor, such as hardwood, concrete or linoleum. There is very little waste when using this flooring—unlike hardwood, laminate planks have no defects or imperfections.

Laminate flooring is available in a wide array of designs, so finding one suitable for your room’s decor is usually not difficult. While at one time laminate flooring was limited to hardwoodlike images, modern laminate flooring is available in hardwood, stone tile or ceramic tile designs. In addition, laminate offers the homeowner the chance to enjoy a beautiful floor in the fashion of hardwood or tile at a fraction of the cost and labor.