When laminate flooring is made, a pattern layer is placed over a core layer of fiber and the covered with a melamine resin that makes it strong. This pattern layer can be a photograph of anything, and recent advancements in the printing process have made the options available with laminate flooring much better. There are now options that can mimic stone and wood floors with amazing authenticity, including textured looks and beveled edges that contribute a fantastic realism to the floor's appearance. If you've wanted the classic look of marble, the timeless look of limestone, or the majestic appeal of hardwood but without the cost and maintenance associated with natural materials, laminate flooring might be the right choice for you. Laminate flooring is one of the most cost effective flooring materials that you can choose. Typically about half the price of similar quality hardwood, and an even smaller fraction of the cost of natural stone tile, it's a fantastic choice for someone on a tight budget. Laminate is also lower maintenance than natural stone and hardwood. While stone and hardwood need to be refinished when the surface wears down, as it will over time, laminate floors never have this need. If you keep the surface of your floors free of dust and sand particles, then they will last for years. However, if something should happen and your laminate floors and they become scratched or gouged, the fix is easy. One board can be removed and replaced, and though it may look out-of-place at the time of its installation, with time and routine cleaning it will blend in with the rest. Laminate is also more stain resistant than wood or tile.