is an affordable, durable, and highly realistic representation of natural materials. Although mainly associated with hardwood, more and more people are selecting it for stone looks, probably because of the authentic hard surface feeling underfoot. Not all laminate flooring is the same, however, so look closely at these features:

Image is everything!

We're seeing innovations such as better seaming, high definition photography, deep embossing, and more with modern technology. The images should be clear, bright, and realistic with raised grains, veining variations, textures, and surfaces.

Thickness matters

Laminate flooring comes in a range of thicknesses, but you should opt for at least 9-mm or as high as 12-mm if you want a truly authentic feeling of a hard surface underfoot. A more robust surface is quieter, hides subfloor imperfections better, and offers more design options because it's much easier to carve on a thicker surface than a thin one.

Buy the best your wallet will allow and don't get swayed by bargain-basement prices. Unfortunately, ultra inexpensive often translates to inferior quality, costly repairs, and premature replacement.

Explore the AC (Abrasion Criteria) rating system

Some laminate is meant only for low-traffic floors, while some are sturdy enough for heavily trafficked floors. AC is a one-to-five rating system, with tests administered by a third party. As the numbers increase, so does the strength. Each product is tested for durability, wear, impact resistance, and the failure of just one test will lower the rating.

AC3 is the most commonly chosen, as it is OK for all foot traffic levels; AC 4 is for hefty foot traffic in busy rooms, such as some kitchens, and light commercial uses such as small offices. AC5 is not generally recommended for residential use due to heavy commercial applications, such as shopping malls and airports.

When shopping for laminate flooring in Sacramento, CA

Be sure to come into the Palm Tile & Stone Gallery. We’ll help you find the laminate flooring for your needs, and you’ll also get a free quote. In Sacramento, CA, we're located conveniently to Folsom, Roseville, Eldorado Hills, and Elk Grove.