How to Choose the Color of Laminate Flooring

How to Choose the Color of Laminate Flooring

Find a plastic-laminate color that you'll be happy with for years

By Stevie Donald

Colorful Wood Laminate Flooring Samples
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Laminate floors were originally only available in wood plank designs. As the interest in this durable flooring has grown, so has the range of available colors and textures mimicking many natural flooring materials such as marble, tile and granite. Choose a laminate floor color by defining your needs and the look you want in the room.

  • What You Need to Know
  • In order to accurately choose the color of laminate flooring for your room, request or purchase small samples and bring them home to compare not only to the room, itself, but to paint swatches and fabric samples for the proposed room.
  • Let your laminate sample sit for one to three days in the space where it will be installed, so that you can see if its look is affected by the temperature and moisture levels in the room.
  • While laminates are more durable than wood, keep in mind that they can't be refinished when worn. 

Step 1:

Look around at the colors you have already chosen for your home and even your wardrobe. You'll probably notice you naturally gravitate towards a particular palette. These may be cool blues, grays and neutrals, or warm, earthy colors. Keep these colors in mind, and limit your choices to your existing palette.

Step 2:

Consider the fixed design elements in the room. The laminate floor color and style should complement adjacent flooring, countertops and cabinets. Decide whether you want your flooring to blend with your furniture, or make it stand out.

Step 3:

Avoid choosing floors that will clash with wood cabinets or adjacent wood or tile flooring. Aim for a color that contrasts or complements these. For instance, if you have light maple cabinets, consider a darker wood look or marble laminate floor to make both colors pop out.

Step 4:

Bear in mind that lighter colors will make a room look larger, and darker ones will make the room look smaller. Most laminate flooring colors fall in a medium range of hues.

Step 5:

Consider the use and traffic of the laminate flooring. Heavy foot traffic and pets with muddy paws probably call for a medium-toned floor that will not show dirt or pet hair. A very light floor would probably not be the best choice if you have active children and a large black dog.

Step 6:

Bring photos of the room when you consult with a flooring salesperson. She will be able to help you narrow down the type of laminate flooring best suited to your needs. Some flooring stores offer free in-home consultation. Ask about and take advantage of this service, if possible.

Step 7:

Take samples of your initial flooring choices home, so you can see how they look with everything else in your space in different lights. You cannot make a truly informed decision until you see the laminate floor in your own home.

Step 8:

Don't forget to choose a vinyl baseboard color to go with the floor. Pick a color that blends with both the floor and the wall.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Many laminate floor designs lend themselves to creative borders and parquet designs. This can be a good way to define a small room or create a division in a large, multiple-use room.
  • Laminate flooring comes in many textures. Choose a heavily textured non-slip floor if stability is a concern for small children, the elderly or for wheelchair use.
  • Although laminate floors are very durable, they are not immune to damage from large dogs' toenails and heavy furniture.

About the Author

Stevie Donald is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been a painting contractor since 1979.

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