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8 Types of categories and patterns of laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a highly attractive type of flooring that can be installed at an affordable price. Many consider it to be the upcoming prominent design trend, as it effectively replicates the appearance of wood, tile, or stone flooring. Essentially, this flooring consists of layers of bonded fiberboard with an image of wood, tile, or stone printed on its surface.

Laminate flooring offers a realistic representation of wood, tile, or stone without the hassle of cleaning dirty grout joints. It is also resistant to burns, scratches, and heat, making it easy to maintain.

This particular flooring type is often mistaken for genuine engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is made entirely from layers of real wood that are laminated together. In contrast, laminate flooring is composed of fiber core boards with a photographic print layer and a clear top coating of melamine resins.

Laminate flooring can be used in any area. It is not as affected by humidity and moisture as true hardwood, which makes it a popular choice for below, at, or above grade installations. Laminate flooring is available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures. It can be categorized into the following types. In this article, we will examine each of these laminates.

Classification Based on Installation Types

One way to categorize laminate flooring is by its installation type. This is particularly important to consider if you plan on installing the laminate flooring yourself. The different installation types for laminate flooring include:

1. Glue-Less Laminate Flooring

This installation type involves the use of tiles or planks that do not require glue. You must use the correct method to secure them to the floor. These types of laminate flooring are easy to install and are quite popular in the market.

2. Glued Laminate Flooring

For this installation type, the joints of the laminate flooring need to be glued together. While this results in a very durable floor once installed, the cost and time required for this type of installation are higher compared to glue-less laminate flooring.

3. Pre-Glued Laminate Flooring

Instead of applying the glue separately, these laminate flooring planks already have the glue applied, allowing you to simply snap the planks into place. However, it is important to carefully follow the installation instructions, as some edges may need to be dampened to activate the glue. Additionally, you should avoid tampering with this type of flooring, as the glue is already applied to the tongue and grooves. Furthermore, it is a quick and easy installation process.

4. Underlayment Attached

These glue-less laminate planks come with an underlayment already attached, so all you need to do is snap them into place. Various types of tongue and groove locking systems are available. The attached underlayment helps reduce noise levels.

Based on the Material It Resembles

1. Resembling Wood Flooring

This type of flooring is composed of thin layers of solid wood with an upper layer of wood veneer and an acrylic finish that enhances its durability and strength. The planks are thicker compared to other laminate options, and they are available in various wooden designs.

Manufacturers have developed new technology that not only offers hardwood veneer but also printed types. The laminate wood flooring is so similar to solid hardwood that it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Over time, laminate wood flooring can be restored to its original beauty by lightly sanding and refinishing the surface. In fact, laminate flooring can imitate the look of various types of hardwood.

2. Resembling Plastic

Although not as popular as wood laminate, plastic laminate flooring is a versatile material. It is made from fiberboard that features a printed photo image design. As a result, there are numerous designs of plastic laminate to choose from. However, it is not recommended to use plastic flooring in bathrooms due to its high moisture retention.

3. Stone-Like Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring that resembles stone offers the beauty and realism of genuine stone. It showcases rich colors, unique textures, dimensional depth and variation, as well as ridges and indentations that mimic natural stone, resulting in a truly authentic-looking floor.

4. Resembling Tile

Laminate tiles are available in planks that can measure between 12 to 16 inches wide and 3 to 4 feet long, or as individual tiles ranging from 12 to 24 inches square. They closely resemble ceramic tiles.

Based on Texture

Laminate flooring should have a texture similar to the material it is imitating, whether it’s tile, stone, or wood. Before making a purchase, it is important to examine the laminates under different lighting conditions to get an idea of how the floor will appear at different times of the day, and to decide the direction in which to lay the laminates.

Thicker textures provide slip resistance, which is crucial for areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways. Based on texture, laminate flooring can be categorized into the following classes:

  1. Smooth Laminate Flooring

These laminates are designed to resemble other tile floor products like ceramic and marble. However, they are much more durable and easier to clean compared to tiles because there are no grooves between individual tiles.

  1. Embossed Laminate Flooring

These laminates are made of heat-sensitive polymer materials that are raised in various patterns and can be cut into square blocks or rectangular strips.

  • Embossed/Textured: This type of laminate flooring has a general embossing or all-over texture that does not match the grooves of the printed grain. It provides the appearance of natural wood grain, although it may not be the most realistic.
  • Embossed in Register (EIR): This type of embossing matches up with the grooves of the printed grain exactly, creating a very realistic wooden texture.
  1. Hand Scraped

Initially only available for engineered or solid hardwood flooring, this technique adds a distinctive aged finish to your laminate. In the case of hardwood, this process can be carried out manually or purchased for existing floorboards.

Based on Floor Construction

  1. HPL Flooring (High-Pressure Laminate)

In this particular type of construction, the planks are fused together through a one- or two-step process. The high pressure method is employed for the more expensive, high-end brands.

Multiple layers are first bonded together using adhesive, and subsequently these layers are fused with other materials before being glued into a plank. This results in a tougher finish and a more resilient plank compared to DPL.

  1. DPL Flooring (Direct Pressure Laminate)

The majority of laminates are manufactured using the direct pressure method, which involves assembling all four layers together and then pressing and heating them to form a strong bond. Due to the fact that all materials are combined in a single step, the manufacturing cost is reduced.

  1. Based on Gloss Level

Is it possible to achieve either a high gloss (smooth finish) or a low gloss (matte) appearance on your laminate floor? Opt for the look that best suits your decor or personal preferences. Regardless of the chosen gloss level, it has minimal impact on the performance or durability of laminate floors. Low-gloss floors are better at concealing minor surface scratches compared to higher gloss floors.

Based on Pattern

There is a range of options when it comes to selecting a pattern for your laminate floor, from thin strips to checkerboard parquetry patterns that create a decorative and symmetrical look. Here are some of the most common patterns:

  1. Traditional Floor Boards Planks
  2. Thin Strip Flooring
  3. Wide Plank Floor Boards
  4. Herringbone Patterns and Chevron Pattern

Based on AC Rating

The AC rating represents the resistance of laminate flooring to wear on a scale of 1 to 5. The higher the AC rating, the greater the durability:

  • AC1 moderate residential: Suitable for areas with light foot traffic, such as bedrooms or closets.
  • AC2 general residential: Can withstand moderate foot traffic, such as in living and dining rooms.
  • AC3 heavy residential: Designed for high traffic residential areas and can also be used in light traffic commercial spaces, such as offices.
  • AC4 general commercial: Intended for home use in all traffic areas and can meet certain commercial standards if necessary.
  • AC5 heavy commercial: Built to withstand heavy commercial traffic.


The features of different product lines contribute to the distinction between various types of laminate flooring. This is particularly true for laminate flooring. Take into consideration the following features when selecting laminate flooring:

  • Water resistant / water proof
  • Scratch resistant
  • Noise resistant
  • Easy to install
  • No need for waxing or polishing
  • Compatible with radiant floor heating

Edge Type

You have the option to choose your laminate based on the type of edge. There are three options available:

  1. Beveled
  2. Pressed
  3. Square


In general, in this article, we introduced the types of laminate based on installation, design, color, etc. You can also read another educational article in which we have introduced 2 types of hardwood flooring. Our team is ready to answer your questions in the field of home and workplace flooring.

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