Laminate Wood Floor Durability

January 8, 2010
laminate wood floor

This “article” is the result of questions readers had for me because they felt their situation or concerns weren’t addressed in the various laminate flooring articles they had read. Since comments aren’t available now I want you to have access to the abundant information provided through these conversations. You may find your questions about the durability of laminate flooring addressed by the answers.

How do you find the AC rating on laminate floors? Does it say it somewhere on the box or the plank itself?
Thanks
at February 24, 2008 05:04 PM
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You may not find an AC (Abrasion Class) on all laminate flooring, but most will be rated. My understanding is it’s printed on the packaging, not on the flooring itself. Most of the laminate flooring you find in stores has an AC3 rating, but you know you can’t count on that. It is important to pay attention to it to make sure you get the right durability where you need it.
The rooms that have the most traffic and action should have an AC3 rating while little used rooms, like maybe a bedroom, can get by with an AC1 rating. Ratings over 3 should be reserved for commercial usage where people aren’t walking shoe-free or spending time on the floor.
The Flooring Lady at February 25, 2008 01:44 PM
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Laminate durability?. I see the indentations in the finish created by the high heel marks of womens shoes. In a condo what sort of flooring will resist this?
Thanks
Dennis at April 23, 2008 10:36 PM
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I cannot tell for sure in your post if you mean you can imagine this problem happening or if you are already literally seeing this problem on your flooring.
So long as it has an AC3 rating you shouldn’t find the high heels factor to be a problem; if you already have laminate flooring and you see these problems already….. really hard to say since I would have no idea what the AC (Abrasion Class) rating is. AC3 is very strong and durable, a rating higher than this is considered industrial.
Hardwood flooring is another good option depending upon your preferences and budget.
The Flooring Lady at April 24, 2008 07:19 AM
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Looking to purchase laminate flooring for the first time for cabin and will use in living area and bathroom and kitchen. We have a standard poodle and kids. I’m worried about scratches and water in the bathroom area… any suggestions on one manufacturer over another? We are looking at mannington and shaw.
Lisa at May 18, 2008 08:47 AM
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Hi Lisa,
I’d recommend using your favorite search engine (mine is Google!) to see what others have to say about the two flooring choices you’re considering. I don’t have experience with either particular one myself, so I can’t really guide you in your choice.
As always, make sure to read up on what the manufacturer recommends for rooms such as the bathroom. I think you’ll be pleased with how versatile the flooring is. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations so that you don’t void your warranty when you lay your new floor. Good luck!
The Flooring Lady at May 18, 2008 12:21 PM
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I trying to decide what type of flooring to put into a dining/living room area (great room type). I’ve been told that you can’t but heavy things like piano’s on laminate. Is this true? Do I just need to look at a high AC rating? Is wood better for this? I also have two small dogs. Which type of flooring holds up better for wear, dog toe nails, etc?
Bonnie at June 13, 2008 01:13 PM
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I put heavy-ish furniture on my Pergo laminate flooring, and I put furniture coasters under the feet of the furniture. I have a friend who did that for cork, carpet and now bamboo too.
I highly recommend Pergo. A friend of mine still has the same floor that was put down 15 years ago, and he’s had roommates with dogs, his hiking boots get gravel in the treads and he wears them into the house — and it seems to hold up well. I can’t speak for other laminates, but that is one experience that has really been good. He even bought more recently for another room, so that speaks well for it too.
I have laminate in two rooms, we installed it a little over a year ago. I haven’t noticed any problems at all with furniture marks, and I have this ‘thing’ about rearranging the furniture fairly often. While I don’t have a piano in either of the rooms, there are some heavy wood pieces. Granted, nothing as heavy as a piano, but a very heavy antique wardrobe and a large heavy bookcase that’s filled with books. I would think that the only problem with a piano on the laminate would be from the smallish rollers that pianos sometimes have leaving a dent in the laminate. This could most likely be avoided by placing a little square of carpeting under them or an area rug beneath the piano.
Hope that helps some!
The Flooring Lady at June 13, 2008 11:22 PM
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We are looking into the laminated wood look flooring for our bathroom. Is there a special kind just for the bath or will any kind do?
Jan Waller at July 7, 2008 08:24 PM
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Make sure that you carefully caulk around all
exposed edges of the flooring — under baseboards, around the toilet, etc. You don’t want any water to be able to get under the flooring.
The Flooring Lady at July 7, 2008 11:51 PM
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Durability is one reason to not choose a laminate floor. Laminate flooring is tough, but by its nature of being made of thin layers it’s not as durable as wood, tile or stone flooring.
What is the durability factor mentioned here? In terms of dent resistance and longevity, this seems to contradictory to info. from other sources including wikipedia (that states that “Laminate….is durable (about 20 times stronger than a kitchen countertop[1]) and is water-resistant, offering use in bathrooms and kitchens in addition to high traffic areas. Unlike most hardwoods, laminates are quite dent-resistant.”)
Please clarify which is true?
sasha at July 17, 2009 08:43 PM
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Hi Sasha, I still stand by what I say in this article: “It can’t be refinished when it gets scratched and the scratches can’t be easily camouflaged. When a laminate plank is damaged it’s challenging to repair it, though with the repair kits you can get from the manufacturer it can be patched. In some cases, you can take the floor up and replace the damaged plank.” In addition, it does not have the hardness factor of some of your hardwood flooring choices.
Laminate flooring has pros and cons, as does any flooring surface. As long as you understand the pros and cons, and how they impact you, you’ll be able to make a good decision.
The Flooring Lady at July 20, 2009 09:45 AM
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Hi Flooring Lady,
I’m in a bind. I have about 600 sf to cover in a open design living room/dining room and I am on a tight budget. I was considering laminate flooring but I only have about $500 to spend. Am I being unreasonable? Are there other options? Carpet is out of the question with my cats and kids.
Thanks
Melissa Blackson at September 30, 2008 09:51 AM
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Hi Melissa,
It’s going to be difficult to cover a floor as large as yours for $500 or under, but might not be impossible.
What kind of flooring do you have now?
If you’re planning on taking out the old flooring, then what kind of subfloor will you be dealing with?
Keep in mind, you’re thinking less than $1 per square foot. Depending on what you want to cover your floor with there may be other materials to consider – adhesive if you’re tiling, grouts, sealers, etc.
You can actually get self-stick vinyl tiles in this price range – look for clearance items. Shoot, I’ve even seen these at dollar stores!
The Flooring Lady at October 1, 2008 06:52 AM
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Thanks for the response. I have seen some laminate planks for around $1/sf. How do I know if they are a good quality for a living room and dining room with kids and cats? What types of quality measures are used to tell one laminate plank from another?
Melissa Blackson at October 7, 2008 10:36 PM
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Hi Melissa,
In general, you need to look at how many years the product is under warranty for; the more the better (usually), of course.
Cats aren’t generally much of a problem, dogs are more of a problem if their toenails aren’t kept clipped short. Cats don’t usually sharpen their claws on a floor – they prefer something more upright or rougher textured (think tree bark).
As far as types of quality measures used to tell one laminate plank from another – I’m not really sure what you’re getting at – I don’t understand what you meant by ‘tell one laminate plank from another’. Best thing to do is when you’re shopping, write down the products you’re interested in — manufacturers, line, color, etc. and look up the detailed specs at the manufacturer’s websites.
The Flooring Lady at October 9, 2008 07:22 AM
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Do you know where to find laminate flooring that looks like old brick. Not the red fake kind with white mortar? Thanks
Cydney at January 5, 2009 09:01 PM
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Hi Cydney,
Not being familiar with what would be offered in your area, no………. You could always go to your favorite search engine (mine’s Google) and search for vinyl or laminate brick flooring – you should get lots of hits. Laminate would be a much better choice.
The Flooring Lady at January 7, 2009 10:44 AM

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