Does Your Property Need Laminate Flooring?
Does your property need laminate flooring? It depends on budget, style, installation, space, maintenance, and practicality.
Considering the different flooring materials available on the market, choosing the right flooring for your property can be a hassle. However, laminate flooring might be your best bet if you’re looking for a material that combines affordability with versatility.
It’s designed to replicate traditional wooden floors, tiles, or stones, leaving you to achieve any of these looks at a much lower price.
As we proceed, you’ll find everything you need to know about laminate flooring to make it easier to decide if this material suits your property.
How Does Laminate Flooring Work?
A laminate floor consists of three layers: the decorative top layer, the wear-resistant middle layer, and the core layer at the bottom.
The top layer constitutes a printed image of stone or wood, while the middle layer is a durable plastic that prevents scratches and damage to the floor. Real wood, such as fibreboard and plywood, is used in the bottom core layer, which provides a strong and stable base in high-traffic areas.
Is Laminate Flooring a Popular Choice?
Yes, because it’s highly affordable, easy to install, durable, and ideal for homes with children and pets. Plus, this material is available in a wide range of colours and designs suitable for any decor inspiration you have in mind.
How Many Different Kinds of Laminate Flooring Are There?
There are two primary kinds of laminate flooring, and they’re both top-notch materials with unique characteristics.
Plastic laminate flooring is an artificial material that costs less than engineered wood laminate. Although it isn’t as popular among homeowners as the latter, plastic laminate is highly resistant to scratches and stains, which makes it an ideal option for high-traffic areas.
The best part is that manufacturers have started making this material look similar to its imitation, e.g., stone, wood, tile, etc.
- More durable than engineered wood
- Less expensive than engineered wood
- Can handle moisture better
- Available in a wide variety of designs and styles
- Great for high-traffic areas
- Not made of authentic wood and looks artificial
- Contains synthetic materials which may have environmental implications
- Can’t be sanded or refinished when damaged
Engineered wood is the solution for people who’d like to enjoy the benefits of laminate flooring and natural wood at the same time. This type combines real wood and acrylic lamination. While engineered wood isn’t as durable as its plastic counterpart, you can fix that by sanding and refinishing it a few times.
- Lifespan can be prolonged through sanding and refinishing
- Has an authentic look
- More aesthetically pleasing
- More expensive than plastic laminate
- Not as durable as plastic
- Lower resistance to moisture
What Is Laminate Flooring Good For?
Laminate flooring is ideal for different settings and situations, thanks to its ability to withstand wear and tear longer than many flooring materials. Plus, its affordability and low maintenance make it a popular choice among different property owners.
Check out the uses of laminate flooring in different environments:
Residential Laminate Flooring
Residential laminate flooring is great for homes because they’re cheap, durable, and easy to clean. These factors are essential for people who have pets or children.
Here are some of the places where you could install laminate flooring in your home:
- Living Rooms: Laminate is suitable for living rooms because they’re high-traffic areas. Plus, since the material is available in several colours and styles, you can design these areas as you wish
- Bedrooms: Laminate floors are highly comfortable, which makes them a good option for bedrooms
- Dining Rooms: These rooms are prone to accidental spills and messes. Since laminate is easy to clean, you can get rid of stains quickly
Commercial Laminate Flooring
This laminate flooring features thicker cores and layers than residential laminate flooring because business areas see more foot traffic than houses.
Here are some of the uses of laminate floorings in commercial settings:
- Offices: Laminate flooring can mimic natural materials, so you can always choose the style that looks more professional and will appeal to your clients
- Restaurants: Laminate is easy to clean and will make for an ideal flooring option for restaurants that need to stay clean at all times
- Hospitals: A hospital is usually full of germs and bacteria. Laminate flooring is highly resistant to these microorganisms, which makes it a safer option for medical facilities
What Are the Benefits of Laminate Flooring?
The following are some of the reasons laminate flooring is a great flooring option:
- Easy Installation: Laminate flooring is super easy to install, and many homeowners can use DIY methods to fix it. You only need a few tools, which you can always find among your household items, or you can get a laminate flooring installation kit
- Low Price: This flooring is budget-friendly, which is one of its primary selling points. With an installation price of about £17-£35 per square metre, you can rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank to bring your project to life. Plus, making it a DIY project can help you spend less money
- Low Maintenance: It doesn’t take much to clean laminate flooring; light sweeping or mopping will do. Plus, since the surface is resistant to dirt accumulation and stains, you won’t always have to deal with dirt
- Family-Friendly: Laminate flooring is highly durable and resistant to scratches, stains, moisture, burns, and fade. This makes it suitable for homes with kids and pets and other high-traffic locations. Plus, it doesn’t accumulate dust and dirt like carpets, which makes it safer for children
What Are the Downsides of Laminate Flooring?
As great as laminate flooring is, it has a few downsides, which are explained below:
- Not the Real Thing: Although laminate flooring may look and feel like authentic wood, it isn’t. And the fact that this material isn’t real hardwood can affect the resale value of your house
- Improper Installation Issues: DIY installation is a highlight of laminate flooring, but that can be an issue if it isn’t installed correctly. Some common problems are tapping damage and buckling. You can always contact a professional if you aren’t up for it
- Noisy: Laminate flooring usually makes a lot of hollow sounds, which can be extremely noisy. To avoid this, it’s better to buy the proper underlayment and consider using area rugs to reduce noise
What Are the Different Styles and Effects of Laminate Flooring?
Thanks to its versatility, laminate flooring comes in different colours, patterns, and finishes. This makes it easy to find the one that fits your preferences and decor.
Which Colours Are Available for Laminate Flooring?
Technological advancement has improved laminate flooring colours, and they’re now available in a wide range of colours to suit all homes and styles.
Here are some of the colours available for laminate flooring:
- Light Colours: Light brown, light grey, beige, and white
- Dark Colours: Black, espresso, mahogany, and dark oak
- Medium Colours: Walnut, maple, cherry, and natural oak
- Metallic Colours: Gold, silver, and bronze
- Bold Colours: Blue, yellow, green, and red
What Types of Finishes Are There for Laminate Flooring?
Most laminate flooring has an already applied finish, so you can always choose what finishes you want when selecting new flooring in-store. Here are a few finishes applied on laminate flooring:
- Matte finish
- Embossed finish
- Smooth finish
- Glossy finish
- Varnished finish
- Hand-scraped finish
What Patterns Are There for Laminate Flooring?
Patterns are a great way to add more character to your decor. Thankfully, laminate flooring also comes in patterned designs, such as:
- Horizontal strip patterns
- Diagonal strip patterns
- Mixed-width patterns
- Square basket or checkerboards
Which Laminate Flooring Is the Best?
There’s no direct answer to the best laminate flooring. It all boils down to different factors, which are explained below:
- Price: Laminate floorings are available at varying prices. Consider your budget before choosing one
- Cost of Installation: Laminate flooring is affordable, but the overall cost of installation will depend on the material you choose and where you’ll install it
- Traffic Level: High-traffic areas need more durable flooring than low-traffic locations. This means you should choose laminate flooring with a higher-density core and a thicker wear layer
- Decor Style: Choose laminate flooring that’ll enhance the beauty of your home and complement its decor
Which Different Brands of Laminate Flooring Are There?
Here’s a list of some top laminate flooring brands:
- Berry Alloc
- Mannington Mills
How Much Does It Cost to Get Laminate Flooring?
The cost of installing laminate flooring usually depends on several factors, such as the size of the room, the cost of supplies and labour, and the type of laminate flooring you want to install.
Following this, you can expect to pay an average of £500-£1,500 to install this floor type in a small room of about 10m². A medium-sized room will cost an average of £1,000-£2,500, while a big-sized room will cost an average of £2,000-£3,500.
You may also need additional installation work like trims, skirting, underlay, and underfloor installation. All these will affect the cost of laminate flooring.
Can You Purchase Cheap Laminate Flooring?
Yes, you can purchase cheap laminate flooring. Some laminate materials can cost as low as £4-£6 per m², although you should realise that the cost usually indicates the quality of the material you’re getting.
Can You Purchase Expensive Laminate Flooring?
Yes, you can purchase expensive laminate flooring. For instance, oak laminate can cost as much as £80 per m². Other expensive laminate flooring types include exotic wood, walnut, and maple.
How Much Does It Cost For Installation of Laminate Flooring?
Some installers usually charge per square metre to install laminate flooring, which is generally about £10-£20 per m². Others would prefer day rates which could cost about £250-£300 per day. Note that this price range is subject to change based on the installer and your location.
Does Laminate Flooring Make Your Home Worth More or Less?
Laminate flooring adds value to your home, but not as much as solid hardwood or ceramic would. House experts say most homeowners prefer natural materials to laminate, which is more acceptable in mid and low-range homes.
Still, you can expect this flooring type to offer the feel of hardwood at a much lesser price, and you should get a solid return on investment if the laminate is well-maintained.
How Do You Install Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is easy to install, and you can complete the process in the following easy steps:
- Acclimate Your Laminate Flooring: About two days before you install the flooring, place the boards in the room and leave it there to get used to the temperature and humidity. This will stop these boards from swelling or shrinking after they’ve been installed
- Prepare Your Subfloor: Ensure that your subfloor is levelled before installation. You can use a process called screeding to level out your subfloor. Similarly, you should fill up holes and cracks
- Install Underlayment: This is the material that sits between your laminate boards and the subfloor, and it increases comfort and reduces noise
- Install Your Planks: Lay out your laminate boards on the prepared surface, and use a saw to cut the planks to fit around different obstacles and doorways. Ensure there are no gaps between each board
What Are the Various Ways Laminate Flooring Can Be Installed?
Laminate flooring can be installed in different ways. Here are a few of those methods:
- Glueless Click: Glueless click is the easiest way to install laminate flooring and is also the most popular. You only need to lock the planks into place using a double-click approach
- Pre-Glued: This style adopts a peel-and-stick method and makes for a simple, mess-free installation. However, you should dampen the pre-applied glue before placing the plank on the floor
- Glued: This is the oldest form of laminate installation and can be messy if you’re an amateur. Still, it’s probably the most durable method
Does Laminate Flooring Need Underlay?
Yes, laminate flooring needs underlay, whether you’re laying it on an old wood subfloor or concrete. Underlay helps with noise reduction, increased comfort underfoot, and heat insulation, and also improves the lifespan of your flooring.
Do You Need a Pro to Put In Laminate Flooring, Or Can You Do It Yourself?
No, you don’t need a pro to install laminate flooring. This flooring type is so easy to install that DIY is enough to get it done. All you need are some basic tools and the ability to follow instructions. This will save you the extra cost of hiring an installer.
However, if you’re not sure that you can handle a DIY laminate project, then there’s no harm in contacting a professional to help with installation. Getting someone to do it for you saves you the time and stress of doing it yourself. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid issues arising from poor installation.
How Do You Keep Laminate Flooring Looking Good and Maintain It?
As durable as laminate flooring is, you still have to take some extra steps to protect it from chips, scratches, and dents. Doing this will increase its lifespan and keep it beautiful for a long time.
Here are a few tips for maintaining your laminate flooring:
- Use Furniture Pads: You should get some felt pads and adhesive and glue them to the bottom of your furniture. This will make it easy for tables and chairs to glide across the flooring without damaging it. If you can’t get felt pads, you can use small pieces of rubber pads
- Don’t Drag Furniture: Instead of dragging your furniture across your flooring, you should lift it
- Use Carpet Runners and Rugs: If you have kids in your house or you’ve installed laminate flooring in a high-traffic area, you should consider placing carpet runners and rugs in those areas. These items will help reduce additional wear and tear and also protect the floor from scratches
- Place Welcome Mats at the Entrance: Using a welcome mat will encourage people to clean their feet and reduce the accumulation of dirt or scratchy gravel on your laminate flooring
- Clean Regularly: Another way to maintain your laminate flooring is to clean it regularly. This includes vacuuming and mopping. Leaving your floor unattended for a long time can cause sand, rock, and debris accumulation, finally leaving scratches behind
- Reduce Excess Moisture: Although laminate flooring is water-resistant, it can only hold so much water before it gets damaged. To prevent this, you should mop spills immediately. Also, ensure you wipe down your flooring thoroughly when mopping
- Trim Pet Nails: Laminate flooring is designed to handle the hustle and bustle of active pets, thanks to its aluminium oxide top coating. Still, you should trim your pet’s nails to stop excess damage
How Do You Clean Flooring Made of Laminate?
You must clean laminate flooring regularly to remove dirt and debris that may leave scratches behind and cause the flooring to wear faster. You should even clean high-traffic areas more often than low-traffic spots.
Below is a general guide you can follow to clean laminate flooring:
- Vacuum or Dust Floors: Use a vacuum cleaner or dust mop to remove surface dirt. Avoid using traditional brooms on laminate flooring because they leave particles in the cracks between floorboards
- Choose a Suitable Cleaning Solution: Choose an ideal cleaner for laminate flooring. You can also make your own cleaning solution with some vinegar or alcohol. Note that floor cleaners should be used in moderation, no matter how tempting it is to overdo it
- Use a Damp Mop: While damp mopping, be careful not to use too much water as it can find its way into laminate boards and ruin the material. Spray minimal floor cleaner on the floor and use a mop to wipe it down. Ensure you reach every part of the floor. If your floor doesn’t dry out within a minute, you’ve used too much liquid
- Buff to a Shine: Buffing is necessary to make your floor shine after mopping. Use an absorbent cleaning cloth or a dry microfibre mop head to buff the floor by working in small circles until you reach each floor section
Is It Possible to Fix Laminate Flooring?
Yes, it’s possible to fix laminate flooring as long as it isn’t completely damaged. Cracks, scratches, and chips can be fixed with the right repair kit. However, if you plan to repair more severe damages, you may need to contact a pro.
How Long Does Laminate Flooring Usually Last?
Laminate flooring has an average lifespan of 15-25 years. However, the exact lifespan of this material depends mainly on the quality of the material, how well it’s installed and maintained, and the kind of activities performed on it. Some laminate floors even last up to 30 years.
How Efficiently Does Laminate Flooring Perform?
Laminate flooring is a cost-effective, highly efficient material that works perfectly for home and office owners who want to achieve the look of stone or wood floors without paying the high price attached to these types of floors.
While this material was once known to be a cheap-looking artificial material, manufacturers have found ways to make laminate flooring a high-quality material many people can’t afford to miss.
Is Laminate Flooring Good for the Environment?
Yes, laminate flooring is good for the environment. For one, this material is designed to look like natural materials (wood or stone) without actually using them. This means that fewer raw materials are used to produce this flooring type.
Besides that, laminate is good for the environment because it’s made with recyclable materials, doesn’t contain air-damaging chemicals, and requires no unique adhesive, which contains harmful organic compounds, during installation.
Is Laminate Flooring a Good Choice?
Yes, laminate flooring is a good choice. This flooring type is affordable, resilient, easy to install and maintain, and beautiful. On top of all that, it’s an ideal material for different situations and activities.
Is Laminate Flooring a Good Choice for Pets?
Yes, laminate flooring is a good choice for pets. This is because it’s easy to clean and pretty resistant to scratches. However, laminate flooring can be highly slippery for pets, and overactive animals can crash into things if they run too fast on this material. To avoid this, you should consider using textured or scraped laminate flooring, which helps with traction.
Is Laminate Flooring Good for Kids?
Yes, laminate flooring is good for kids. This material is easy to clean, which means your kids will always have a hygienically clean floor to play on. It’s also affordable, easy to install, and durable.
Just remember that laminate tends to be noisy, so you may need to use an underlayment and area rugs to absorb the sound. The material is also hard and may not be the ideal cushion for possible trips and falls.
Is Laminate Flooring Good for Places With a Lot of Foot Traffic?
Yes, laminate flooring is ideal for high-traffic areas. It’s scratch- and stain-resistant and durable. However, you can get the best out of this flooring if you go for one with an AC4 or AC5 rating, as they’re more resistant.
Is Laminate Flooring Good for Places that Get Wet?
No, laminate flooring isn’t ideal for wet areas. This material is water resistant and can handle accidental spills that should be cleaned quickly. Still, laying this material in high moisture areas is a no-no. Once water passes through floor seams, the material can swell and blister.
Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
No, laminate flooring isn’t waterproof. Still, several brands manufacture water-resistant laminate floorboards that can hold water for a while without absorbing moisture.
As we’ve already mentioned, choosing the right property for your flooring can be pretty challenging. Still, once you consider the affordability, versatility, and practicality of laminate flooring, you’ll agree that this is one flooring material that deserves your investment.
You can contact us for more information on laminate flooring and installation. We’ll be more than happy to put you through.