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Armstrong Laminate Flooring

A Closer Look At What It Has To Offer

Armstrong laminate is one of several flooring products within the Armstrong Floor Products portfolio. This article takes a look at what it has to offer and how it compares to other laminate flooring.

(Note - Neither this web page nor HomeStyleChoices.com is associated with Armstrong Flooring nor Armstrong World Industries. The information here is provided as a resource about Armstrong laminate flooring for the readers of HomeStyleChoices.com.)

What It Has To Offer

Choosing a laminate floor requires you to consider a broad range of brands with an even wider field of styles and individual products.

Armstrong Heartwood Walnut Laminate FlooringPhoto Courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

What Armstrong laminate brings to the table is a comprehensive lineup of styles, colors and patterns within multiple product tiers. There are over 160 colors and patterns too choose from, that mimic the look of both wood and stone.

Armstrong laminate flooring is offered in several thicknesses corresponding to the various product "Performance Classes". Keep in mind that better, more durable laminate flooring tends to be thicker. Armstrong breaks down their product lines in a "good", "better", "best" and "premium" classification. "Premium" products are 12mm (millimeters) thick followed by "better" and "best" at 8mm. Their "good" product class is 7mm thick.

Armstrong's laminate is similar to other brands in that it has a layered construction. The top layer contains aluminum oxide, a hard and abrasion-resistant material, for wear protection. Under that comes the printed layer, basically the image of the wood or stone that you see.

This is followed by a high density fiberboard core which forms the basic structure of the laminate board. Underneath it is a paper backing that's infused with resin to form a moisture barrier.

As an FYI, if you're not familiar with laminate flooring it might help to visit our laminate flooring page. It'll help you understand the various types of laminate and what considerations you should think about before choosing.

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Notable Features and What's New

One of the most noteworthy attributes of Armstrong laminate is the quantity of pattern/color selections. There's a wide range of wood types and among them, even more shades and "stain" colors (remember, we're talking pictures of wood here, not real wood).

Armstrong American Apple Laminate FlooringPhoto Courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

The Armstrong laminate wood categories are grouped by species type such as Ash, Birch, Walnut and others. Within those groupings are numerous products, each with their own trade or product name.

One of the larger categories and arguably one of the most interesting is the "Exotics" group which represents exotic woods. You'll find everything from Acacia to Wenge. You'll also find rare wood types like Merbau, whose real-world counterparts are actually listed as endangered.

That's one of the benefits of laminate flooring - you can get the look of exotic hardwood floors without the environmental implications and for less cost.

Each laminate manufacturer develops their own technologies and features to differentiate themselves among their competitors and Armstrong is no different. Notable technologies of Armstrong laminates include:

  • Lock&Fold™ edge design for an easy hand-applied installation.
  • MasterWorks Technology for highly realistic prints (the visual image you see)
  • HydraCore and HydraCore Plus that makes the core material moisture resistant
  • VisionGuard™ treatment for stain protection and wear resistance

Armstrong's premium laminates are 12mm thick. This provides a more substantial board thickness which helps make the floor sound more like a wood floor and less like a laminate floor. Thinner laminate floors sometimes exhibit a hollow sound as you walk across it, and it's notably different compared to a hardwood floor.

Armstrong Canadian Maple Laminate FlooringPhoto Courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

New additions include several new laminate colors to the Grand Illusions™ product offering. These new wood patterns reflect several new species including Heartwood Walnut, Eastern Oak, Southern Hickory and American Apple.

These products are made as individual planks with a 5-inch width for a wide-plank look.

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Publisher's Comments - How It Compares

Laminate flooring has several benefits, not the least of which is its easy installation and "floating floor" characteristic that makes it very do-it-yourself friendly. However if you're going to make the choice of laminate over real wood, most would agree that convincing looks are another important characteristic of laminate.

For me, Armstrong laminate has a number of strong points starting with it's 12mm thickness in the premium lineup. Sure, you'll pay more for a premium laminate but there is some 'you-get-what-you-pay-for' at work here.

Next is the printed image of the wood itself. In most cases Armstrong's laminates do a pretty good job of reproducing the look of the real wood. For example, of the actual physical samples or hi-res photos of installed floors I've seen, I think Armstrong's floors look very convincing. I especially like their American Apple premium laminate and think it's very well done.

Color choice and quantity of woods to choose from is another strong suit of the Armstrong laminate flooring in my view. Compared to some other laminate floor makers, Armstrong has a lot to choose from, making it easier if you're looking to match the right tones and wood looks to other features in your home.

Where I think the Armstrong product falls short, compared to some other laminate products, is in the texture department. Armstrong's laminates do incorporate some wood grain texture. However I'd have to say that it's not as "believable" as others in my opinion. Some other brands of laminate make their wood grain texture synchronize with the printed image of the wood. Quick-Step is one example that achieves this. Armstrong's laminate texture 'floats' over the printed wood grain image, regardless of its features.

This may be nit-picking of sorts and I'll caveat those comments by saying that the texturing is noticeable only in certain positions as the light reflects off the floor. When you don't see the reflection (like in the pictures above) the printed image projects a real-wood look.

Overall I think the Armstrong product has plenty of attributes and merits being on the short list of any laminate flooring candidates.

Finding Local Laminate Sources & Getting Quotes

Shopping for laminate flooring, regardless of brand, takes some time and investigation. If you'd like to find local sources and get free quotes on the installation of laminate flooring, just fill in the form below. It can link you up with laminate flooring professionals in your specific local area.

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Here's More Related Info That Might Be Helpful...

Choosing Laminate Flooring - If you need a primer on what laminate flooring's all about so you can make educated decisions, this article's for you.

Laminate Vs Wood Flooring - Check out this article to see how laminate flooring stacks up against wood flooring.

Choosing Wood Flooring - If you like the look of wood but still aren't sure whether to go with laminate or real wood, see this article on choosing wood flooring which breaks down the topic into the key 'need to know' chunks.

Flooring Choices - If you want to know what other choices you have in flooring and their pros and cons, see this article which lays out your options.

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