Why I Chose Laminate Flooring

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After receiving tons of questions about my flooring, I decided to write this post for y’all.  You’re welcome.  🙂

I agonized over our flooring decisions when we built our house.  I’ve always wanted that gorgeous waxed solid wood flooring that was in the Parade homes.  But with three little kids?  Completely not practical.  And they are extremely high maintenance (the waxed ones.)  I read that you needed to wax once if not twice a year.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

why I chose laminate flooring

But still I wavered back and forth.  The place we were renting had laminate which I hated.  It was a lower quality laminate but I hated how much it showed.  It was dark brown with little variation so you could see every speck of dirt and dust and footprints.

Laminate flooring is actually just a photograph of wood printed on a piece of MDF.  Isn’t that kinda crazy?  The description makes it sounds so fake and cheap.  Which is why I was turned off.  All my life we had done things on the cheap and it showed.  I was sick of things looking cheap.  But laminate has come a loooong way.  The samples we looked at in the showroom were astounding.  They had texture even to replicate a reclaimed barn wood feel.

FullSizeRender (3)
This picture was taken after I dust mopped/vacuumed but nothing else…haven’t mopped this in at least a month!

I took a little Instagram poll and I was overwhelmed by the number of people in favor of laminate.  And I couldn’t beat the price of laminate flooring.  Since I wanted it throughout my entire main floor, I was going to need a lot and the wood was double the price.  We ended up getting a high end laminate that has texture and detail and variation.  And I think it holds up to moisture pretty well.  It’s called Historic Oak in Ash through the company Mannington.  Mannington has a ton of high end laminates that are gorgeous.

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Image courtesy of Mannington.com

I love that it has the reclaimed wood feel, lots of variation, texture, large planks, and varying tones throughout.  It matches our gray walls really well even though they are brown.  I love that it has a matte finish so it doesn’t show footprints at all.  Now that we’ve lived in our home for 10 months, here is my updated thought on my flooring:  Still love it!  I wouldn’t change it.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have gone with the medium shade which is the one I initially fell in love with, but either way it would have been great.

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Image courtesy of Mannington.com

As for scratching, it hardly ever does.  We have changed our furniture around a lot and it has almost never scratched.  There was one time that a little pebble was lodged under the leg of a chair that scratched it but I don’t notice it anymore.  And I think there’s some type of pen or something you can smudge into the scratch to cover it.  I have steam mopped my floors several times and the boards never swell or anything.  Most of the time I just spot mop because it’s really hard to see dirt.  No offense to my sister and her gorgeous dark wood floors, but I think my floors are a million times easier to take care of.

We also were okay with choosing laminate flooring because we live in an moderately priced area with no historic homes.  Laminate is the norm here.  However if you live in an old or historic home, I would recommend replacing flooring with solid wood close to the original.  And if you live in an upscale neighborhood, likewise, since most homebuyers in that price range will probably expect real wood floors.  Although most people that come into my house think my floors ARE real wood.

So here’s my recommendation for people looking at new wood-type flooring:  Get a high quality laminate (if that is acceptable to your area) and get a medium color with lots of detail in the design.  Unless you have your heart set on super dark, just be prepared to clean them all.the.time.  I wish my mom would change her kitchen flooring to this because I know she would have a lot less cleaning to do!  Bottom line, this flooring has looked good with everything in my house, hardly ever scratches, shows hardly any dirt, and is extremely low maintenance.  Love it!



  1. I love the look and durability of laminate floors, but I worry about the formaldehyde emissions. Do you know if your floors were low emission? I really want laminate wood floors, but with young kids in my home I worry about them being too toxic! I haven’t been able to find any that are low emission enough.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Hmm, I haven’t ever heard about that.

    2. If it is high end, should be good. Mohawk brand also has good flooring with no formaldehyde emission.

  2. Heidi,
    Wow! Floors and kitchen look great. For the last couple weeks I have been searching and searching for the perfect laminate to put in our entire downstairs. In your post you mentioned sometimes wishing you had gone with the timber color. When I took all three samples of the historic oak- ash, timber and charcoal home, I actually ended up deciding against the timber as it looked and seemed like it had too much of a red tone to it. I almost committed to the charcoal as the ash seemed possibly too light but after reading your post and seeing the ash installed it looks darker in your photos then it looked on the little sample I had. My question for you is, Does it look a lot lighter in person than it looks in these photos or do you think there pretty accurate?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks for your comment! We chose our laminate based off a sample before our house was even built so it was pretty tricky to decide based on one tiny block of wood. I didn’t know the mid-level color seemed reddish, so I’m glad I didn’t choose it! I LOVE my floors that I chose and it really isn’t too light. I think it’s the perfect amount of lightness. It’s light enough that dust won’t show but still has enough dark mixed in that dirt hides well. It’s a really great flooring choice. Good luck!

    2. We ordered a box of the Charcoal and we are ordering it Monday, our Home was flooded by a broken pipe so we have a 1500 square foot order. This charcoal color on here looks darker than the box of it that we put in the middle of our dining room floor. I have been searching and comparing for 3 mos. I can’t wait to get my new floors!!

      1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

        How exciting! Getting new floors is the best!

  3. Do you still love your floors? I am 99% sure we are getting these after looking at so many different types. I love your pictures, that is what is selling me. We will also have white cabinets & white trim in our new home.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I do still love them. They have held up great and show very little dirt.

  4. Gayla O'Neil says:

    I have been trying to decide on what flooring I should put in my house..High end Laminate sounds but my question is can you put it in the bathroom?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I wouldn’t do laminate in the bathroom…it doesn’t tolerate water well at all. They have a luxury vinyl option now that looks a lot like wood that is totally waterproof or you can go with the wood effect tile.

  5. Thanks for your blog post. I appreciate your perspective – having lived with dark floors (and experiencing the dust) and having lived with ugly laminate.
    We’ve been agonizing over this choice for our house, and with 5 kids and living out in the country, i’ve been so scared to have dark floors that show dust and dirt constantly, yet I’m not particularly fond of the blond floors either.

    I’ve eyed this brand flooring over the past few weeks (which also meets my husbands 12mm requirement), but your post and photos are what made me decide to order some samples today. Thank you!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Oh good! Good luck!

      1. Hi Heidi,
        What do you use to clean your floors and how often do you clean them? This is my first time having laminate wood floors, so I am totally new at this.

        1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

          I use a steam mop and I mop about once a month, or more if it needs it. I ‘sweep’ with a Dirt Devil 360 vacuum that has a dust mop attachment. It’s awesome for hard floors! Gets all the dust and vacuums the big crumbs at the same time.

          1. I would be hesitant to use a steam mop. It can cause delamination over time. For longest life, use the least amount of water possible. I had the best luck with a spin mop, truly saved my sanity!

  6. I’m sitting here looking at a sample of the same laminate!! I almost brought home the darker shade (mid) but thought it may be a Lucas tle busy. I was wondering if maybe you could email me a couple pics of your floor. I’ve been trying to do this for 2 years! It’s a hard decision and the samples are so small!! I feel like I should buy a box! I have 3 boys and 3 dogs so want low Maintenance! a little nervous to put in kitchen. Did you??? Thank you
    Tami shaver
    Concord California

    1. Wait is that your kitchen in top pic?!! Gorgeous!!! The floors look much darker in that pic. I guess it’s all lighting. Sorry for typos in earlier message! Do you happen to have a family room pic?

    2. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      The pictures of my kitchen are pretty true to real life. I’ve had many people comment and ask about them and tell me when they got it it was very close to my pictures. And they all love it like I do! It is SUPER low maintenance and I love it.

  7. Natalie Thurmond says:

    I have two samples of the Historic Oak in Ash in my house right now, and I have studied your blog looking for more and more photos of your floor. Your photos of the floor are gorgeous. The samples that I have look quite a bit lighter than your pictures. Do you think that your pictures accurately represent the in real life color?

    1. Natalie Thurmond says:

      I ordered a full box of the flooring, and it looked so much closer to your photos than the sample I had! I ordered 1,900 square feet of this floor.. I can’t wait to see it installed!

      1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

        Awesome! Hope you like it as much as I do!

    1. Did your floor have a raw mdf unfinished edge all around?

      1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

        Most likely, since I didn’t install it I’m not sure. The raw edge was covered by the baseboards.

  8. Hi!
    Like many others, I brought home a sample of this flooring because I loved your picture and the look!
    The sample is so small and doesn’t look much like your picture. And the sample and your pics look nothing like the pictures on the Mannington site either!
    Do you happen to have any other pics that you can send along to me for me to see better?! I’d really appreciate it.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I have lots of photos of my house which you can find if you visit the DIY tab on my blog.

  9. We are on a second round of laminate flooring. We chose laminate for it’s durability (dog, kids running toy cars on the floor, cutlery dropping, etc.). However this recent dark ash flooring has me a little disappointed. Yes, kitchen crumbs, etc do show up more on a darker floor as we are finding out. However what I am disappointed in is the bare foot markings that are visible or sometimes streaking from washing the floor. I have used vinegar and water as well as a recommended laminate cleaner and still not happy. Any suggestions?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      That’s frustrating. When I lived in my old place our laminate had a similar problem but I think it was because it was cheap. But also darker flooring does show more anyway. I’ve heard really good things about the Norwex mop!

    2. I know this comment is a year old, but I finally solved my footprint problem with a spin mop. For some reason, it just cleans like it should and there is no residue for footprints. I have a pretty dark floor and this saved me!

  10. Question for you??? We were told by our kitchen installers that Laminate is not good to put in a kitchen because it does not do well with moisture. Have you heard that? What are your thoughts on the matter?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Yes it doesn’t do well with moisture, but I was willing to take the risk. I just mop up spills and cross my fingers that our house never floods! But if you are still worried, you can try vinyl laminate, which has come a long way and looks really good–it’s waterproof. Or there’s always the wood look tile.

    2. Andrea, this can be somewhat true if you purchase a low quality laminate. However, as of this year… all of manningtons restoration collection now comes with a moisture guard protection, so it will handle Day to Day moisture… with that being said I would never put it in a bathroom with a shower. If you are interested in this floor, I work for a flooring company and can send you a sample? Let me know if you are interested… or if anyone else is interested in samples… email me at LVARNADO@fcainc.com. My company can ship nationwide!

  11. We are putting a high end laminate through out our house that we are building. It was the same price as the wood floor, but with a 35 year warranty for residential use. Can’t beat that! And it foes have somewhat of a moisture barrier. I had a mahogany floor in my living room that showed everything. Footprints and many scratches. I vowed to never do that again! This is a great alternative! And looks just like real wood. I purchased one that looks like barn wood planks. Can’t wait to see it in our house.

    1. What brand and color did you go with?

      1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

        Mannington Historic Oak in Ash.

  12. Wow!! I randomly stumbled across your post trying to search for laminates in a large area, which it sounds like you have. I want to put hardwoods on our entire first floor & was looking at engineer to help save with the cost, but they are still expensive. These laminates look amazing!! Do you still love them? And how big of an area did you put them in? We have almost 2,500 sq ft & my husband is worried they might start to look fake with such a big space. Also, do you have stairs?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I have my laminate in a pretty large space and people think it’s real wood all the time. It’s a really high quality laminate though! They have held up really really well so far after living here for 3 years. I would do them again for sure. I’m actually going to continue the laminate in my front room and bedroom at some point. We do want to rip the carpet off the stairs but I wouldn’t put laminate on the stairs, so I’ll have to figure out what kind of stain to do then.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I don’t have pets but we have dog-sat a couple times and the dogs nails did not scratch up the laminate. It takes quite a lot to scratch it actually. It’s held up really really well!

      1. Did you notice if the dogs you baby sat had trouble with the floor being too slick? I brought home a sample of a laminate floor and my dog was slipping on the sample? I am trying to decide between glue down or tile and both can be slick. I will be doing the majority if a whole house so I do not want to choose the wrong product. Any thoughts ?

        1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

          Yes, the time we dog-sat she did have some trouble with the flooring. She slipped around a lot but I wasn’t sure if it was because she wasn’t used to it…I wonder if a dog could get used to it??

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    2. Did your flooring come with unfinished or raw mdf edges?

  13. Can you tell me the cost per square foot that you paid for your laminate flooring? I’m having such an awful time finding a laminate that won’t be obvious that it isn’t real wood but maybe that is because I’m looking at the cheap stuff 😣😩

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I don’t remember since we did it at the same time as building our house. But yes, if you’re going laminate I would look at the higher end stuff otherwise you will be hating it I think. I’ve lived with cheap laminate and HATED it.

  14. Hi there! Your pics are gorgeous! I have been thinking about laminate but my husband isn’t quite on board. Do you think that it’s “noisy”? Like echo-y when the kids walk or run? Is it echos in the house?

    Do you still love it?!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      It’s not echoey at all…I think with all the furniture and rugs it cancels it out. I love having laminate!

  15. Jodi Gillispie says:

    Love the flooring! Did you buy direct from Mannington? Or was it a local store?


    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      This flooring came as part of our home build so I don’t know where they sourced it from. But I just bought some more and got it specially ordered through a local company.

  16. Great post! So now that you’re a couple years out, do you think the floors have held-up well? I’m think of doing vinyl planks in a mudroom, entry, kitchen in a house with teenage boys and a golden retriever. I’m also wondering if Mannington changed the name of this product now. Thanks again!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      The floors have held up beautifully, not a problem in sight. I actually just added some more to my front room and I got the exact same stuff so they haven’t changed it yet.

  17. I know this is an older post but I’m so happy I stumbled across it. I’ve been looking for a laminate floor that looks realistic and isn’t shiny and having such a rough time finding what I want!
    Just placed an order for the same floor as yours but in the slate color. Thank you!

  18. The picture of the floor laid looks like in the kitchen n… is it the color historic Oakin ash? I have 3 colors picked in this brand and can’t decide on one

  19. I was brought to your website from pinterest. I love your floors!! I just wanted to leave a comment that you should review the content you allow to advertise on your website. It is offering pornography with some terrible images. You seem like a classy woman who wouldn’t want that on her website-not the people who enjoy reading your original content.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I’m’ still trying to figure out how to fix that, ug!

  20. We are also looking into this flooring. Have you had any issues with crumbs getting stuck in the grooves?

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      No, we use a dyson cordless vacuum with the hard floor attachment and it works great!

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