The Best Laminate Flooring of 2023

The Best Laminate Flooring of 2023

the 6 best laminate flooring of 2022, according to home experts


There’s a reason sales of laminate flooring are surging. Once the ugly duckling of residential flooring — flimsy, cheap, unattractive — today’s laminate looks better than ever and is also some of the toughest flooring to pass through the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab’s rigorous testing. “The winners from our latest laminate flooring tests proved to be extremely stain and scratch resistant, in patterns that are easy to mistake for real hardwood flooring,” says Rachel Rothman, executive technical director of the GH Institute.

While the enhancements have driven up the cost of laminate a bit, especially at the higher end of the category, it’s still one of the most affordable flooring materials on the market. And it’s as easy to install as ever, with tongue-and-groove planks that snap together over any smooth, stable surface. While wood-look is the clear favorite, if you prefer stone or tile, most major brands carry laminate in those designs as well.

Our top picks:

Once you’ve taken a spin through our list of winners, read on for more about how we test flooring and advice on laminate flooring, including installation costs and the best places to shop.

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Best Overall Laminate Flooring


TimberTru Landscape Traditions

Thickness 10mm
AC Rating 4
Plank width 8.03 inches
Plank length 47.64 inches
Attached pad Yes

Best Value Laminate Flooring

LL Flooring

Dream Home Pewter Oak Laminate Flooring

Thickness 8mm
AC Rating 3
Plank width 7.64 inches
Plank length 50.63 inches
Attached pad No

Best Laminate Flooring for Bathrooms



Thickness 12mm
AC Rating 4
Plank width 7.5 inches
Plank length 47.25 inches
Attached pad Yes

Best-Looking Laminate Flooring

Shaw Floors

California Dreaming

Thickness 12mm
AC rating 3
Plank length 50 inches
Plank width 7.50 inches
Attached pad Yes

Most Durable Laminate Flooring

LL Flooring

Autumn Cider Oak Waterproof Laminate Flooring

Thickness 12mm
AC rating 4
Plank width 7.5 inches
Plank length 50 inches
Attached pad No

Best Laminate Flooring for Basements


Back Home

Thickness 12mm
AC Rating N/A
Plank width 8 inches
Plank length 47.64 inches
Attached pad Yes

How we test laminate flooring

We began this project by surveying the marketplace to identify the flooring brands and products that you’re most likely to find in stores and online. Next we deployed a range of tests to assess flooring performance in the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab.

To determine stain resistance, we slather mustard, chocolate, mud and other stubborn ingredients onto laminate flooring samples, then allow them to dry overnight. We then remove the sticky substances with paper towels and all-purpose cleaner. Most laminate flooring tends to be very stain resistant.

To measure water resistance, our experts pour two cups of water on an assembled laminate floor and let the puddle sit there for one hour. The best models show no signs of seepage, thanks to their water-tight joints.

The abrasion test is where our experts see the most range in results. We use an abrasion machine that delivers hundreds of passes with fine-grit sandpaper, simulating years of foot traffic, to measure wear and scratch-resistance. Flooring with thick wear layers, say 20-mil or more, tends to offer the best wear-resistance.

An impact machine is also used to determine flooring’s ability to withstand dents and dings, like those from a falling cast-iron pan. Fade resistance is measured using the Lab’s accelerated weathering machine, which uses intense UV light to simulate years of exposure to natural sunlight. Finally, our experts take into consideration ease of installation, including how easy the material is to cut, as well as the fit of tongue-and-groove profiles.

What to look for when choosing laminate flooring

When shopping for laminate flooring, cheaper models tend to have a tradeoff in looks and performance. But that’s not always the case. Here are the other factors that will help you zero in on the perfect laminate.

✔️ Thickness: Generally speaking, thicker laminate flooring in the 10mm to 12mm range will hold up better than those that are 8mm-thick or less. There are always exceptions though, so it’s good to check the AC rating, short for abrasion coefficient. Based on a 1 to 5 scale, this industry standard measures a floor’s ability to withstand scratches. For high-traffic areas, like a kitchen or mudroom, look for an AC of 3 or higher. AC-1 and AC-2 are suited to seldom-used parts of the home, like a guest bedroom.

✔️ Underlayment: Better laminate flooring has an attached pad that can eliminate the need for a separate underlayment during installation (damp basement floors may still need an additional polyethylene water barrier). Whether made of foam, cork or rubber, the backing will help muffle sound, nice for laminate floors that are being installed on an upper level of the home.

✔️ Wood-look patterns: Most laminate flooring consists of a photo of actual wood that’s sandwiched between dense fiberboard and a clear-plastic protective wear layer. While the latest printing technology can result in incredibly authentic grain patterns, too much repetition can be a give away. Typical pattern repeat is every six planks, but some laminate flooring has a pattern repeat of 10 or 12, creating a more realistic variation across the floor.

How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?

If you’re a capable DIYer, the answer to that question could be zero, excluding the cost of tools and materials. That’s because laminate is one of the easiest flooring materials to install; known as a floating system, it features planks that simply snap together with a tongue-and-groove profile. It can be installed over any smooth, stable surface, such as concrete, wood subfloor or even an existing floor made of vinyl or tile. Don’t get us wrong — a lot of complex measuring and cutting is needed to get the flooring just right. But DIY is an option for some skilled homeowners.

If you don’t have the time or skill set, professional installation of laminate flooring averages $3,000, according to ANGI, the home services marketplace. If you’re only doing a single room or area of the home, expect to spend $3 to $8 per square foot (that works out to $600 to $1,600 for a 200 square-foot kitchen). The variation is due to several factors, including the quality of the laminate and the condition of the existing substrate.

What’s the best place to shop for flooring?

Because laminate is a mass-market flooring product, it’s easy to find and you won’t have to deal with long lead times, unless you choose a specialty item. Here are some of the biggest retailers.

✔️ The Home Depot: With some 2,300 locations nationwide, the biggest home center carries a wide range of laminate floor products. It’s a big seller of Pergo, a reputable brand that performed well in our latest tests. The Home Depot also offers installation service and a certified technician will even come take in-home measurements, so you don’t have to worry about getting the order wrong.

✔️ Lowe’s: The country’s second biggest home center is another safe bet for laminate flooring. Its service offerings are even more robust, including in-home flooring measurements, design consults, professional installation and free shipping on flooring samples.

✔️ LL Flooring: Formerly known as Lumber Liquidators, LL Flooring has more than 400 locations across 47 states, plus an excellent website that makes it easy to find the right flooring and receive up to four free samples.

✔️ Floor & Décor: Though LL Flooring has the most locations, Floor & Décor sells the most flooring, so you’re guaranteed to find a wide selection of laminate floors at all price points. The site has an extensive library of virtual how-to clinics, for those looking to save by installing their flooring themselves.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Dan DiClerico has covered the residential flooring market for more than two decades. In that time, he has tested every major flooring material — not just laminate, but also vinyl, stone and all types of wood. He also written countless how-to articles on the installation and maintenance of floors, working closely with professional installers to understand the latest techniques and innovations. Dan is a regular at trade shows and industry events, where he keeps up with the latest trends in the marketplace. In his role at the Good Housekeeping Institute, Dan oversees all flooring testing, working closely with our team of engineers and product experts. He also manages any consumer surveys designed to capture homeowners’ experiences with various flooring materials.

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