Laminate that isn't an imitation?


Old 03-27-11, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Churchville MD
Posts: 214
Laminate that isn't an imitation?

It seems that most, if not all, laminate flooring (either strips or squares) is an imitation of something else. E.g., fake wood, or fake stone.
What's wrong with actually celebrating the unique way that laminate flooring is made, and taking advantage of that to make a unique style of floor?

My home has real hardwood in it. I'm replacing carpet in an area that laminate is perfect for, but getting an imitation of wood (or stone), where it will be between REAL stone, REAL wood, and REAL ceramic tiles just seems like a step downward.
I'd love to have something unique, like just solid (or speckled) red planks, or blue planks, or even alternating color planks.
Anybody know of a company that is taking this approach?
I'm thinking good solid 12mm planks or squares with a "pattern" that isn't an image of wood.

5+ years ago, in our last home I faced this same problem and replaced the whole kitchen/dining room with a laminate product from QuickStep, 14" tiles that had a pattern kind of like marble (dark grey, almost black, with white/light spots) but beveled edges and no fake grout lines... obviously NOT "fake marble", just using that style.... practically every person that walked in said, "wow, what a cool floor, what is it?"
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Old 03-27-11, 02:31 PM
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Are you asking why don't they put real wood in laminate? Real wood will expand and contract too much for that type application. MDF and the other layers are pretty stable with each other, and that is why no "real" wood is used in laminate. Now, if you step up to engineered flooring, it has a plywood core and a wood wear layer. It is a type of laminate, but is much thicker (some 5/8" or so). It is more stable than laminate in certain applications. Like you, the real thing is what I want, but I'll install whatever the customer wants. THEY have to be happy with it.
Old 03-27-11, 06:38 PM
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No, I'm asking, since Laminate is just a printed picture/photo of something laminated to the MDF... why is it always a picture of wood (or stone)?
E.g. instead of being so focused on making an imitation of wood, why not make other patterns (or just solid colors), that opens alot more possibilities for cool floors?
Or,are there such things and I just haven't found them?

I live in NE MD, seems around here everything is some combination of black and purple, with silver/white trim (e.g. Baltimore Ravens). i could easily see a basement "man-cave" laminate floor using this color scheme... yes you can get VCT in colors, but it dosn't have the same feel.

but my interest here isn't just theoretical, it's practical - I'm looking for my own laminate floor that isn't a fake wood... maybe just solid burgundy in plank strips w/ slight dark speckles...
Old 03-30-11, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: sw sub chicago
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Originally Posted by RatLabGuy View Post
No, I'm asking, since Laminate is just a printed picture/photo of something laminated to the MDF... why is it always a picture of wood (or stone)?

because that is what most people want. actually, they want real wood, but can't afford it.
Old 03-31-11, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
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And just how many and what colors do you think they should make them and sell enough of them to make it worth there while.
In 30 plus years I've never had a customer ask me for anything other then a wood grained looking floor unless it was a painted floor in a garage.
Old 03-31-11, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: United States
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I'd love this, too

This is exactly what I've been searching for! Why can't they make laminate flooring with something quirky, like polka dots or random solid colors or pinstripes? I hate the faux wood and faux stone. I'd rather have something different and creative. I seem to remember some business in Great Britain doing this with photos, but I wasn't looking for a floor then, so I didn't jot down the info. If I ever find it (since I'm looking at flooring now), I'll post it.
Old 03-31-11, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 94
Google "Amtico". What an awesome product. I wish the store I work at carried it. Where I used to work, we did an entire basement in a lugged metal plate plate look. I was a little dubious, but when I went to inspect the job, I was floored by the funky, industrial look. I've also used their faux glass tiles several times; looked amazing. I don't know what kind of patterns they have now, but five years ago they had iridescent terrazzo looks, slate patterns that do not occur in nature, metallics, all kinds of really unusual stuff. Its also extremely durable, but not really a DIY product unless you are skilled with high quality vinyl.
P.S. I just googled it and the graphics on their website suck. They do not do the product justice at all. Try to find a showroom to see it in person. I really think this is exactly the product you are looking for.
Old 02-08-12, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 23
Staabc - thanks so much! I totally agree with RatLabGuy's post that laminate should have so many more options. If I wanted tile, stone, or wood in my kitchen, I would install it. I don't want vinyl again but I do want something unique, like the leaf pattern I have right now. This Amtico looks like it might be what I am looking for.

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