Laminate flooring is a multi-layered product fused together.  

Overlay- a transparent layer that is very resistent to animals, chairs, scratches, etc.
Printed Decoration- picture design
High-density fiberboard- HDF offers stability and durablity to the laminate layers
Counterbalance- the bottom layer that keeps the boards stable

Laminate flooring is rather simple to install because no glue or nails are needed.  The product floats above the subfloor which allows it to expand and contract to the temperature in your home.  Since it is a "printed decoration" there is endless designs and colors available.  
Laminate flooring is rising in popularity because the color pallettes and simplicity of the installation makes it a homeowners dream!