Wood laminates consist of a plywood base topped with a layer of veneer.
Plies and thicknesses vary, but three-ply, 3/8 inch flooring is most common. (Remember that solid hardwood floors, at 3/4 inch, are twice as thick as wood laminates.)
Most manufacturer warranties cover the finish for five years.
SYNTHETIC PLASTIC LAMINATES
Usually 1/2 inch thick, plastic laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard center wrapped in top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate — a tougher version of the same material used in many kitchen countertops.
These floors cannot be sanded or refinished and must be removed when they wear out. This type of flooring usually comes with 10- or 15-year manufacturer warranty against fading, stains and wear.