That’s the big advantage of laminate wood flooring: cost. It offers much of the beauty of solid wood flooring at a much lower cost. If you want the look of real wood rather than an imprint, purchase material that has a solid top layer. Another popular advantage is that they are easier to install than solid wood floors. Depending on the product, some laminate wood materials are glued to each other or to the subfloor while others simply interlock into a floating floor. You can install a laminate wood floor in less than half the time needed for solid wood flooring. You’ll see how this is done in Installing Laminate Wood Flooring.
Laminate wood flooring eventually wears through the top layer and exposes the less aesthetic lower layers, necessitating replacement. Another disadvantage has to do with quality. If the material was poorly manufactured (cheap glues, thin top layer, bad edge seal) a laminate wood floor’s life can be cut dramatically, necessitating a partial or complete reinstallation. Not fun. Fortunately, spending just a few dimes more per square foot -- or waiting for sales on better quality products -- can minimize quality issues.