Laminate flooring has been around for over 20 years. It started out as a simple 7 mm thick product with a smooth finish that required the planks to be glued. Since then it has evolved into a product that looks so much like wood floor with many finishes that you can not tell the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring.
Laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive, very durable and easy to install. You can even install over existing floor such as linoleum and ceramic tile. Laminate floor continues to change.
There are regulations to protect the consumer. Make sure you buy your floor from a reputable dealer.