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We are interested in installing laminate floors from the Quick-Step brand. Of course, for a laminate floor to feel "natural", there needs to be enough "variation" between sheets/planks so that the eye does not detect patterns that break the illusion.

There is a particular model we are interested in (UE1491), and would like to know how many variations it contains so we can consider how "repetitive" it will be once installed.

How/where can we find that out online (other than contacting the manufacturer and waiting to hear back which takes ages)? It doesn't seem to be published anywhere on any of the Quick-step sites.

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We recently laid a fair amount of laminate flooring at our home, and one trick I tried to use (though I didn't succeed always) was to match up each plank as I was laying it with previously-laid ones, just to make sure there weren't any obvious patterns. If there was a hint of any pattern showing up, I just skipped one or more boards. Standard advise is to open up and mix together several boxes at a time, but this probably accomplishes the same thing with less effort. –  alt Sep 6 '13 at 19:51
    
To try answering your question, I observed at least 10 different plank designs with the specific brand we purchased (Harmonics Cherry from Costco). I'm sure this isn't a standard across all manufacturers, but is hopefully a start. –  alt Sep 6 '13 at 19:52
    
Also can't help you with Quick-Step, but my Krono-Original laminate had 8 different designs. Preparing the boards and layout beforehand will help minimize visible repetitiveness, especially when taking the actual floor visible into account (i.e. not floor covered by furniture). –  Eli Iser Sep 8 '13 at 4:49

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Have a look at this image gallery, but keep in mind that photo searches often introduce random unrelated images (like the bicycle team and warrior princess).

The most telling image—to me—is this one from here: enter image description here
The break in grain and the prominent joint is something I notice right off, but it is also something completely normal in natural wood flooring.

My experience is that the monotony of a pattern can be hidden during installation by taking care to arrange the units in an order which does not repeat closely. If you won't be doing the installation yourself, perhaps you are up to laying out like half the units in a desirable arrangement for the installer to use as is. (They will appreciate not having to carry and open the packages.)

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