Trends in Laminate Flooring Mimic Hardwood
Learn about the new laminate flooring styles being introduced by Armstrong that look more like hardwood flooring than ever before.
Hardwood flooring continues to be a sought after flooring for many homeowners. However your budget or your lifestyle may keep these floors out of reach. Consider laminate as an alternative. The new laminates mimic hardwood styles and the visuals are so realistic that as Armstrong’s laminate marketing proclaims “it only looks like the real thing”.
Laminate flooring is the perfect way to achieve the look of natural wood or stone at a more affordable price point. Laminate floors offer value because not only do they look like the real thing, but also offer added durability and resistance to everyday wear and tear. They are appropriate for nearly every space in the home, including moist or damp areas like bathrooms and basements, where solid hardwood is not recommended.
Hardwood surface treatments such as distressed and hand-scraped floors are very popular and laminate can offer many flooring choices in these areas. Before modern manufacturing methods, floors were scraped and sanded to lie flat. As a result, hand-scraping added texture to the floor surface. Distressed floor surface markings are the result of a machine run over the flooring and creating texture. Today’s laminate hand-scraped floors are actually scraped prior to applying the wood looking laminate visual, thus creating a realistic look and texture.
Another of the new flooring trends introduced this year are long plank floors which offers the longest laminate floor boards to date – over seven feet. In addition to the length, add a hand-scraped, oiled finish hardwood look and you have Armstrong’s Rustics Premium™ New England Long Plank. Called ‘New England Long Plank’ because it emulates the look of single plank, centuries-old reclaimed hardwood, the floor’s real-life counterpart would be expensive. The collection was inspired by today’s demand for a time worn look with a matte finish, minus the high price tag. These textural surfaces have the depth, feel and realistic looks of a well-worn floor. From the installer’s viewpoint, laminate long planks are a better choice than the real wood version. Long planks in real wood can be a challenge to install because of the potential for warping.
Flooring styles range from traditional strip floors (under 3 inches) to plank floors with widths over 4 inches. Hardwood flooring has increasingly trended towards wider width floors and laminate floors are no exception. Strip flooring has been increasingly replaced by wider widths from 4 to 7 inches by homeowners in the past several years with 4 to 5 inches widths the most preferred. Wide width laminate floors expand the look and size of a room while giving it a rustic or country style. High-end styles also increasingly feature wider width floors over smaller widths that can be associated with commodity based design.
As trends in hardwood flooring continue to change, laminate floors will continue to imitate hardwood through precise visuals that continue to say “it only looks like the real thing.”
Visit a knowledgeable Armstrong flooring retailer to get answers to all your questions.
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