Laminate

Once rarely installed except as a type of economy flooring, laminate flooring has gone big-time and is now a staple in so many homes. It looks better, performs better, and feels better underfoot than ever before. It's even being found as a type of premium flooring in high-end homes. Laminate flooring is a hybrid floor covering made of particleboard wood.

It is the best of many worlds. It installs much like real hardwood since it has a modernized tongue-and-groove style of joining boards. Yet unlike hardwood, which typically requires professional installation, laminate flooring is extremely easy for the do-it-yourselfer to install. Laminate's top behaves much like vinyl flooring, in that it is perfectly waterproof if tightly seamed. But the similarities end there. While routinely confused with vinyl flooring, laminate is not vinyl flooring even in the slightest because it is made of completely different materials.