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Shaw Laminate Review

If you are a homeowner and you are planning to upgrade your home, the best route to take to achieve this without breaking the bank is to change the look of your floor. When you change the color, style, or pattern of your floor, the vibe of the room also changes. 

If you want to achieve a more polished look for your room, you can install vinyl plank flooring. If you want to go for a classic look, you can experiment with different ceramic tiles. If not, laminate flooring can also be another option you can take. The good news is that most of the flooring options available in the market today are easy to install.

You can even do it yourself. If you don’t have the time to engage in a DIY floor installing activity, you can let the experts handle the dirty job for you. The point is when you upgrade the look of your floor,  you get prettier floors that will complement any decor or design theme. 

When you take about tiles and the world’s best laminate flooring options, Shaw Floors will always be one of the brands that’s top of mind for both the residential and commercial structure owners. Laminate flooring is just one of Shaw’s flooring products. The company was first formed in 1946 under the name Star Dye Company.

When they first started, they were into the tufted scatter rug business. Later on, the company diversified and ventured into finishing carpets and yarn-marking. It took years before they finally settled into the hard flooring business. 

What Is Shaw Laminate Flooring

Since it joined the hard surface flooring industry 18 years ago, Shaw Floors continues to dominate the business. Now, Shaw Floors is one of the key players in all flooring areas, offering more or less 190 products in their laminate flooring range alone. 

One of the most prominent options in Shaw’s laminate flooring line is known as Luminiere High Gloss flooring collection. It is noteworthy to mention that Shaw is one of the first companies to introduce high gloss laminate flooring to the market. The consumers loved what they saw and even considered high gloss laminates as their favorite because of its unique wood look that will suit any kind of interior design.

It does not matter if you go with a classic look with Shaw’s deep brown cocoa Brazilian Vue, or a modernist vibe with Shaw’s creamy light Echo Lake laminate, you can find it all at Shaw Floors. 

Another exciting option in Shaw’s laminate flooring line is its wide laminate plank flooring that shows a trendy look. One of this particular flooring type is the Eastlake Hickory Landscape floor. A bigger fraction of Shaw’s flooring laminates replicates wooden planks for a good reason. They want to give every floor that classic vibe that comes along real wooden floor planks. 

Benefits of Shaw Laminate Flooring

Benefits of Shaw Laminate Flooring

There are a couple of reasons why owners of residential and commercial structures love Shaw laminate flooring. For one, it is more cost-effective compared to real wood flooring. Another reason is that it comes in various colors and design themes, so you will always have a lot of options. It does not matter if you are aiming for a lighter or darker theme, there is always that one tile that will fit your needs. To discuss these benefits in detail, here are the explanations. 

Looks Exactly Like Wood

To a layperson with an untrained eye, it would be near impossible to differentiate the 3D photographic layers of wood from the real thing. Home and office owners who have tried using these laminates all revealed that they can hardly differentiate these laminates from real hardwood. 

Countless Design Varieties

Before the 3D printing technology has been introduced, it’s almost impossible to recreate unique and over the top flooring designs. More often than not, you have to stick with what has already been prepared from the factories. Things eventually changed for the better when photographic printing techniques were introduced to the market. 

With this technology, recreating any flooring surface you can ever imagine is completely possible. In fact, this technology gave birth to laminate floors. If you have a certain design in mind, you can have that design translated into laminate floors.

You can even go for designs that are inherently possible or are way too costly to do with real stones, marbles, or wood. If you like hardwood finishes, you can try Shaw Floor’s hand-scraped, distressed, or saw-marked wooden laminates. 

Cost-Efficient

Compared to other flooring options, Shaw laminate flooring is cheaper. The process of creating this kind of flooring usually happens in the same facility, thereby cutting the production and product cost significantly. For example, solid hardwood flooring may cost as high as $3 to $6 per square foot, whereas wooden laminates can sell as low as 99 cents for every square foot. 

Eco-Friendly

Another benefit of using laminate flooring is it produces less carbon footprint compared to hardwood farming, harvesting, and transporting. It also has a lower carbon footprint than stone flooring quarrying and transportation. 

There are also numerous manufacturers that utilize recycled wood as the alternative MDF component of their own laminate flooring. On top of it all, you won’t need special glues to install or clean these materials. 

Fast Removal and Easy Installation

Benefits of Shaw Laminate Flooring - Fast Removal and Easy Installation

Shaw’s laminate flooring, along with the majority of other laminate flooring products, is equipped with a click-lock or Uniclic design system that makes it easy to install. All you have to do is lay the foam underlayment and subfloor before you install the laminate boars as a floating floor. Each laminate board comes with a groove on one edge, and a tongue on the other end, clicking and locking the laminate flooring into place. 

There are also some options wherein the groove and tongue edges are infused with the use of a dry adhesive that you need to dampen as you click it into place reinforcing the current locking mechanism. And having this particular click-lock system makes laminates the easiest type of flooring to remove and replace when you want to upgrade. 

Durable and Resistant to Stain and Scratch

Shaw’s laminate flooring is considered as one of the best-quality laminates in the market. Their laminates come with generous wear layers that contribute exponentially to the durability of the material. Apart from that, these wear layers make the surface resistant to stains, dents, and scratches. 

Can Be Installed Anywhere

Since Shaw laminates are durable, they are perfect to be installed in high traffic areas. They can also be installed in your bathrooms and other wet areas around the house. Just be careful not to let water sit on your laminates for a long time. Just like real hardwood, laminates are not waterproof. This means they don’t perform well when soaked in water. 

On the bright side, know that your laminate flooring can even be installed under your floor heating systems. Even if this does not mean all underfloor heating systems, it can be used in those that are specifically designed for laminate flooring. Check the manufacturer label to be certain whether or not what you have qualifies for underfloor heating system installation. 

Easy to Maintain

Another reason why residential and commercial building owners love laminate flooring is the fact that this material is very easy to clean. All you have to do is to sweep or vacuum your floor and run your slightly damp mop cleaner over the surface. You can also add a small part of a cleaning product if you want. Unlike other flooring options, you don’t have to enroll in an annual maintenance program to keep your floors in pristine condition. You can keep it clean and well-maintained by yourself.

Pros and Cons of Shaw Laminate Flooring

To weigh whether or not Shaw laminate flooring is for you, check the pros and cons of the product here. 

Pros

Extremely Durable

Because of its higher wear layers, laminate floors are extremely durable. You can use it as flooring in areas with high foot traffic and high human activities. 

Easy to Clean

You can use a steam mop or laminate-specific cleaning products to keep your laminate floor clean. In the case of stubborn stains, you can also use acetone to clean it up. 

Low Maintenance

To restore the shine and luster of the floor, you can use laminate-specific products. These products can also be used to repair floor chipping and scratches. 

Pet-Friendly

You don’t have to worry about bringing your pet inside the house as laminate flooring is not hazardous to them. The higher wear layer of the floor can also withstand the activities and extreme mobility of your pets. 

Less Prone to Fading

Unlike vinyl planks and other flooring options, laminate floorings are less prone to fading. Even if you expose the floor to the scorching heat of the sun, it won’t fade that easily. 

Variety of Options Available

With 3D printing technology, the only limit to your design choices is your imagination. 

Pros of Shaw Laminate Flooring - Variety of Options

Cons

Not the Real Deal

This might be the main reason why some people are not sold out to the idea of using floor laminates — they are not authentic stone or wood. Though this is not a true disadvantage, people consider it as such because of the laminate’s poor perceived value. 

Low Perceived Value

Since laminates are not authentic and are way cheaper compared to other flooring options, some people perceive it as a product with a lower value. Though this is not necessarily true in different project contexts, some people just can’t help but look at laminates as unsatisfactory alternatives to solid hardwood floors. Experts explained that in mid-grade home improvement projects, laminate flooring is a good option. It is only not an ideal choice for custom or high-end neighborhoods. 

Impossible to Refinish

The impossibility of refinishing laminates is probably one of the major considerations homeowners should face when choosing such material. If your floor laminates can get terribly damaged, you can’t just sand it and refinish it as you do with hardwood. You need to replace the damaged part entirely. With Shaw Floor, this disadvantage is mitigated because their laminates have higher wear layers. The damage that might have been caused by high foot activity can be prevented with a good wear layer. 

Noisy and Hard

This disadvantage does not only apply to Shaw’s laminate flooring but also to all laminates. Since this material is made primarily of high-density fiberboard (HDF), they feel harder compared to real hardwood. This hard sensation can, however, be dulled by using a premium-quality foam underlay before you lay your plank flooring. And since the floor is hard, it is not very good at absorbing noise. Again, to improve the plank’s sound-absorption mechanism, you can lay a good-quality underlay. 

Shaw Laminate Flooring Collections

Here are the different Laminate flooring collections carried by Shaw. 

Specialty

Shaw’s Specialty collection includes three of its laminate flooring lines. 

Shaw laminate flooring line Flooring look Price per square foot Thickness
Repel Laminate Modern and traditional $3.20 to $3.85 12mm
Mixed Width Laminate Beach, rustic, traditional  $2.60 to $2.85 12mm
Long Board Laminate Contemporary and traditional $2.95 to $3.40 10mm

Standard

Shaw’s Standard collection includes four of its laminate flooring lines.

Shaw laminate flooring line Flooring look Price per square foot Thickness
Ellenburg Laminate Traditional $2.45 to $2.80 8mm
Dawson Ridge Laminate Traditional $2.45 to $2.80 8mm
Piedmont Laminate Contemporary $1.85 to $2.30 8mm
Trestle Ridge Laminate Classic $2.45 to $2.50 8mm

These costs are only applicable to the flooring material. These do not include the transition strips, underlayments, and additional installation accessories. 

Shaw Laminate Flooring Lines

As discussed in the previous part, Shaw carries two laminate flooring collections, and each of these collections is made up of different flooring lines. Let’s look at these flooring lines one by one. 

Repel

This is one of the three laminate flooring lines under the Specialty collection. Among the different laminate lines, this is the most popular. It has nine lines and each line is 12mm thick and comes in different color options. It is called repel because the material used was specifically engineered to improve moisture resistance. 

Mixed Width

As the name goes, Mixed Width includes planks that come in different dimensions like 6.375”, 5”, and 3.5”. These varying dimensions give the floor a pleasantly unique visual appeal. Unlike Repel laminates, mixed-width laminates come with a 5-year commercial warranty. This line is also made in China, as opposed to Repel that’s made in the US. 

Long Board

A vast majority of the laminate planks from Shaw are within 48 inches to 51 inches long. Their Matterhorn and Mt. Everest laminates are approximately 79 inches long and 8 inches wide. In terms of thickness, these plank boards are about 10mm thick. These laminates all belong to the longboard line, a laminate line that has been produced in Germany. In terms of the warranty, it carries a five-year light commercial warranty and a 30-year residential warranty. 

Ellenburg and Dawson Ridge

This laminate line is an affordable laminate flooring option that comes in 8mm and 25-year residential warranty. When fully installed, these laminates look amazingly gorgeous, with its classic wood and warm look. Its embossed surface gives the floor a more authentic feel. Among the laminates under this line, oak stands out the most because of its light color. 

Piedmont

What differentiates Piedmont from other laminate lines is its smooth surface and narrower planks. These characteristics make Piedmont an attractive and modern look. Its rich oak grains further add to the attractiveness of this laminate. In terms of the warranty, Piedmont buyers can enjoy a five-year commercial warranty and a 25-year residential warranty. This product line is surprisingly one of the brand’s most affordable option. 

Trestle Ridge

Trestle Ridge, on the other hand, comes in darker tones with some hand-scraped surface. The overall look and feel of this laminate are traditional and classic. Trestle Ridge carries four Hickory colors ranging from grain lines, dark brown to nearly black and rusty brown lines. In terms of the warranty, Trestle Ridge carries a 25-year residential warranty. 

Features of Shaw Laminate Flooring

Features of Shaw Laminate Flooring

To understand Shaw laminate flooring even further, here are two of its salient features. 

OptiGuard

This refers to the brand’s patented protective coating that makes all Shaw’s laminates extremely scratch and stain-resistant. This shield is very glossy and aims to bring out the profoundness and realistic nature of the image printed into the flooring layer. 

One-Species Lines

Though Shaw replicates as many wood species as possible to make their laminate, they often stick to one wood per line. This makes shopping for flooring easier for homeowners. If you are certain about the wood type you want, you can start your search for flooring laminates. 

How to Lay and Install Shaw Laminate

Shaw’s laminate flooring, along with the majority of other laminate flooring products, is equipped with a click-lock or Uniclic design system that makes it easy to install.

Step 1 – Assemble the foam underlayment

All you have to do is lay the foam underlayment and subfloor before you install the laminate boars as a floating floor.

Step 2 – Lock the boards in place

Each laminate board comes with a groove on one edge, and a tongue on the other end, clicking and locking the laminate flooring into place. 

There are also some options wherein the groove and tongue edges are infused with the use of a dry adhesive that you need to dampen as you click it into place reinforcing the current locking mechanism. 

 

How to Clean and Maintain Shaw Laminate

Keeping your laminate floor clean is surprisingly easy. You don’t need to follow strict and tedious instructions to keep it in shining condition. Here are some cleaning tips you can follow. 

Step 1 – Keep an eye on your pet’s nails

Before you let your pets in, make sure to trim their nails. This is to keep them from scratching your floor. Remember, if your floor laminates can get terribly damaged, you can’t just sand it and refinish it as you do with hardwood. You need to replace the damaged part entirely.

Step 2 – Never wash your floor or use a wet mop to clean it

If you need a cleaning product, make sure to check if it complements the kind of flooring you have. If you allow water to sit on the floor for a long time, it can result in the joint-line separation, delamination, warping, swelling, or voiding of the warranty. 

Step 3 – Use a laminate mop to wick away dirt and dust

Use mops for this kind of floor as a laminate mop doesn’t cause streaks on the floor.

Step 4 – Use a humidifier

In areas with low humidity, make sure to use a humidifier to avoid excessive shrinkage. To help keep the humidity level of your room, you can periodically turn on the air conditioner, too. 

Step 5 – Always use wide-load bearing and floor protectors

This is to lessen the risk of scratches and indentations that can be caused by heavy objects. As you may already know, the heavier the object you need to place on top of your flooring, the more intense your floor protection should be. 

 

Do’s and Don’ts With Shaw Laminate

To better take care of your floor and your laminates, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind. 

Do’s

Don’ts

  • Wash your floor or use a wet mop to clean it
  • Never let water sit on your floor laminate for a long time since it can result in the joint-line separation, delamination, warping, swelling, or voiding of the warranty. 
  • Choose a laminate without checking the design or other product specifications 

FAQ About Shaw Laminate

FAQ About Shaw Laminate

Here are some answers to the most common questions about Shaw laminate flooring: 

What is Shaw laminate flooring cost per square foot?

Shaw’s Specialty collection includes three of its laminate flooring lines. 

Shaw laminate flooring line Price per square foot
Repel laminate $3.20 to $3.85
Mixed Width laminate $2.60 to $2.85
Long Board laminate $2.95 to $3.40

Standard

Shaw’s Standard collection includes four of its laminate flooring lines.

Shaw laminate flooring line Price per square foot
Ellenburg laminate $2.45 to $2.80
Dawson Ridge laminate $2.45 to $2.80
Piedmont laminate $1.85 to $2.30
Trestle Ridge laminate $2.45 to $2.50

As previously mentioned, these costs are only applicable to the flooring material. These do not include the transition strips, underlayments, and additional installation accessories. 

Where is Shaw laminate flooring manufactured?

Repel laminates are manufactured in the US. Mixed Width laminates are manufactured in China. Longboard laminates are manufactured from Germany. 

Does Shaw laminate flooring contain formaldehyde?

All laminate and hardwood flooring products from Shaw passed the  Greenguard certification program. This program assures the consumers that all products that pass the certification are free from formaldehyde and also meet stringent chemical emission limits. 

What is Shaw laminate flooring made of?

Shaw starts making their laminate flooring with real wood. They take the hardwood’s leftover fiber to make the laminates’ unique coreboard known as OptiCore. This coreboard is then strengthened by melamine and added with a decorative layer. This layer is what gives the laminate its gorgeous, natural hardwood appearance. 

The decorative layer is a high-quality photo of Shaw’s most beautiful piece of hardwood. On top of this decorative layer is a transparent, tough aluminum oxide exterior known as the wear layer. The texture is added to make the laminate look even more stunning. 

Is Shaw laminate flooring waterproof?

Some say that Dream Home laminate will remain moisture resistant, while Shaw’s laminates are not even waterproof, to begin with. Repel is Shaw’s answer to the question of whether or not you can make laminates waterproof. Generally, laminates are not waterproof. You have to use a water-sealant to make the layers resistant to water. This product line was built for tough home and office conditions. After all, waterproof laminate is easy to maintain and built to last. 

How to repair Shaw laminate flooring?

Should there be minor dents or scratches, you can use color-fill materials to repair these parts. You can buy these materials in different local home centers. 

Conclusion

There are some claims that a laminate brand like Trafficmaster laminate is made to last. Then again, at the end of the day, Shaw Floor still dominates the laminate flooring market. 

Laminate flooring may not be the same as the real hardwood, but with Shaw’s own laminate line, you can still enjoy the same benefits you experience with real hardwood. Starting from the look and vibe, the similarities can run as far as being water and scratch-resistant. With this option in hand, you can achieve a chic, classic, or fashionable-looking space for a much cheaper price. Who would say no to that, right? 

Photos from: thepixel / depositphotos.com, volokhatiuk / depositphotos.com, nikkytok / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com and nata-lunataD / depositphotos.com.