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Laminate flooring comes in tons of different style, but most of the time it mimics the look of hardwood and tile flooring. The top layer of laminate flooring, known as the wear layer, is a protective layer that helps reduce damage like scratches and stains. Under the wear layer is the design layer which is a high-resolution photograph. This is the part of the laminate that determines what the flooring will look like. Often higher-quality and more expensive types of laminate look more like the flooring material they are mimicking.

There are additional layers that don’t affect the look but are also important to consider when buying laminate flooring. Beneath the design layer is the core layer that protects from indentations and moisture. Finally, under that is the back layer that further protects the plank against moisture and balances the floor.