Floor Design
When laminate flooring first arrived in this country in 1994, it was greeted with both curiosity and skepticism. A totally new product, this Swedish import intrigued homeowners and builders alike because of its beautiful wood-grain patterns and easy floating floor installation. What's more, because the color and pattern are literally a photograph under tough, clear wear layers, patterns from tiny flower borders to classic marble were soon on the market in every color of the rainbow.

Only a few years later, the laminate flooring business was in full bloom. In fact, more than 258 million square feet of the flooring was sold in the U.S. and Canada in 1998 alone. Business is so good, each year manufacturers create dozens of new designs to make the product even more appealing. That gives homeowners every opportunity to design a floor that incorporates individual choice and style. But where to begin?

One problem with all these choices: It's easy to create a floor that's as busy as a TV test pattern viewed through a kaleidoscope. So we asked industry experts for tips on selecting colors and designs.

The easy installation of laminate floors has also grown more complicated with the introduction of tiles and blocks, and the trend toward mixing colors and designs. To get the latest on installation, we worked with a professional to install the herringbone floor with teak border shown above. His insight will help make any laminate floor in your home last, whether you install it yourself or call in a pro.

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