Laminate Flooring: Everything You Need to Know
Laminate flooring is an affordable and scratch-resistant material that can be manufactured to resemble regular wood flooring. It is an ideal option for DIY installations because the planks can be locked tightly together without requiring any nailing or gluing. High-quality laminate flooring is durable and easy to maintain, making it a popular flooring choice for construction projects. So how to choose the right Laminate Flooring? In this article, VINAWOOD will provide you with all the information about Laminate Flooring

How to choose the right Laminate Flooring?
How to choose the right Laminate Flooring?

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring product made to resemble hardwood, tile or stone. It’s constructed by fusing multiple layers through a lamination process. Typically, these layers include a wear layer, a design layer with a high-resolution photograph of the desired surface appearance (like wood grain or tile pattern), an inner core made of fiberboard or other materials, and a backing layer for stability and moisture resistance.

Laminate flooring has 4 layers, including the wear layer, design layer, core layer, and back layer. Each layer will have its purpose and is bonded together by high temperature and strong pressure to form a solid board.

  • Back Layer: This layer protects the board against moisture and keeps the floor balanced.
  • Core layer: Directly above the back layer is a durable, high-density board that protects against dents and moisture.
  • Design layer: Above the core layer is a high-resolution photo of the floor’s surface appearance.
  • Wear layer: The wear layer is a transparent surface made of aluminum oxide that resists water, spills, fading, stains, and everyday mishaps.
Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring product made to resemble hardwood
Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring product made to resemble hardwood

The pros and cons of laminate flooring

Pros

Laminate flooring has several advantages. Firstly, it has a smooth surface with no seams, which makes it easy to clean. If you opt for laminate flooring waterproof, you can clean it with a dry mop or broom to get rid of dirt. In case you want to do a deep clean, use a hard surface cleaner that optimizes the cleaning solution instead of water.

Secondly, laminate flooring is scratch-resistant. It has a wear and fade-resistant finish that makes it suitable for high-traffic areas in both residential and commercial settings.

Lastly, laminate flooring is an affordable option compared to many other types of floor coverings.

Cons

Unlike hardwood flooring, which can be sanded and refinished to repair scratches and damage, laminate flooring cannot be refinished. Instead, damaged planks usually need to be replaced, which can be more challenging and costly.

While laminate flooring is more moisture-resistant than hardwood, it can still be damaged by excessive water or moisture. Prolonged exposure to standing water can cause warping or swelling of the planks.

Some laminate flooring products may have a smooth surface that can become slippery, especially when wet. This can pose a safety hazard with young children or elderly individuals.

Laminate Flooring has several pros and cons
Laminate Flooring has several pros and cons

How much does laminate flooring installation cost?

There are 3 important factors that you need to consider when installing laminate flooring: style, thickness and square footage.

  • Style: Laminate can be finished to look like stone, tile or wood, which will vary in price.
  • Thickness: Laminate floors come in a variety of thicknesses, which can determine your total cost and the lifespan of the floor. Thicker laminate is more durable but also a bit more expensive than thinner varieties.
  • Square footage: The larger the space, the more money you will spend on laminate flooring installation.

Cost by Style

When homeowners decide to install laminate flooring, they want a flooring set that looks expensive but fits their budget. Some laminate flooring models resemble stone or tile floors, but most of them look like natural wood floors. Laminate flooring mimics the appearance of wood grain and color, allowing you to achieve your desired look without having to pay the high cost of actual hardwood, stone, or tile floors.

Typically, laminate boards are made up of a solid fiberboard core, a photo layer that accurately reflects the board’s shape, and a surface layer that is scratch and dent resistant. Using premium woods such as hickory and elm to create the picture layer requires greater detail and color nuance, which increases production costs and makes these laminates more expensive.

Appearance Cost per Square Foot
Acacia $1.00–$2.20
Beech $1.00–$2.90
Cherry $1.70–$2.80
Elm $1.40–$3.70
Hickory $1.50–$4.50
Maple $1.50–$3.80
Oak $1.00–$3.70
Stone $3.50–$4.00
Tile $3.50–$5.00
Walnut $2.00–$2.80

Cost by Thickness

The thickness of typical laminate flooring usually ranges from 6mm to 12mm. While thin laminate can withstand scratches, it is more prone to warping, blistering, and has poor noise reduction capabilities. Conversely, thicker laminate is better at insulating against noise and heat. Moreover, when you have installed thicker laminate you may not need an underlayment or a perfectly flat subfloor.

Thickness in Millimeters Cost per Square Foot
6 $0.70–$1.00
7 $0.90–$1.00
8 $1.00–$1.80
10 $2.00–$4.00
12 $2.30–$6.00

Cost by Square Footage

The pivotal aspect in industrial wood flooring installation lies in the dimensions and contours of the area. Professional installation typically runs between $3 to $13 per square foot. Material costs range from $1 to $5 per square foot, encompassing both the wood planks and underlayment.

As your floor space expands, the demand for laminate planks increases accordingly. Assuming an average material cost of $1–$4 per square foot, here’s the amount you might spend on areas of various sizes (with or without installation). Bear in mind that you may need to allocate a tad more material to accommodate any peculiar shapes or sharp angles.

Square Footage Materials Only Materials and Installation
100 $100–$400 $500–$1,200
200 $200–$800 $1,000–$2,400
300 $300–$1,200 $1,500–$3,600
500 $500–$2,000 $2,500–$6,000
1,000 $1,000–$4,000 $5,000–$12,000
1,500 $1,500–$6,000 $7,500–$18,000
2,000 $2,000–$8,000 $10,000–$24,000
Style, thickness and square footage are 3 important factors that you need to consider 
Style, thickness and square footage are 3 important factors that you need to consider

How do I choose a laminate floor color?

Consider the existing color palette and decor style of your room. Opt for a laminate color that complements or enhances the room’s aesthetic. For example, if you have warm-toned furniture and decor, consider laminate flooring with warm undertones like oak or chestnut.

Next, think about the size of the room. Lighter-colored laminate flooring can make a small room appear more spacious and airy, while darker colors can add warmth and coziness to larger spaces.

> Read more: 20 Types Of Plywood And Grades Used In Interior And Exterior

Where should you not use laminate flooring?

While laminate flooring is a versatile option suitable for many areas of the home, there are some places where it may not be the best choice:

Bathrooms: Laminate flooring is not recommended for bathrooms or other areas with high moisture levels. Despite being somewhat resistant to moisture, laminate can still warp, swell, or become damaged when exposed to excessive water.

Outdoor Areas: Laminate flooring is strictly for indoor use and should not be installed in outdoor spaces or areas exposed to direct sunlight and weather elements. Exposure to sunlight and moisture can cause laminate flooring to fade, warp, or deteriorate quickly.

Moisture Areas: Any area of the home that is regularly exposed to standing water or high levels of moisture, such as basements prone to flooding or kitchens near sinks and dishwashers, should avoid laminate flooring.

Can I install laminate flooring myself?

You can install laminate flooring yourself, and many homeowners choose to do so as a cost-effective DIY project. Laminate flooring typically features a “click-lock” or groove installation system, which makes the process relatively straightforward, even for beginners.

During installation, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which typically involve laying down an underlayment, starting in a corner, and working your way across the room row by row. Most laminate flooring installations require only basic tools like a saw, tapping block, and hammer.

> Read more: How To Install A Plywood Subfloor – VINAWOOD

How long does laminate flooring last?

The lifespan of laminate flooring can vary depending on factors such as quality, maintenance, and level of foot traffic. On average, well-maintained laminate flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years or more.

High-quality laminate flooring with a durable wear layer and strong core materials tends to last longer than lower-quality options. Moreover, proper installation by following manufacturer guidelines and using appropriate underlayment can contribute to the longevity of the flooring.

What thickness laminate flooring is best?

The best thickness for laminate flooring depends on several factors, including the level of foot traffic in the area, subfloor conditions, and personal preference. Typically, laminate flooring is available in thicknesses ranging from 6mm to 12mm.

For areas with light to moderate foot traffic, such as bedrooms or closets, a thinner laminate, around 6mm to 8mm, may suffice and offer a more budget-friendly option. In contrast, areas with heavy foot traffic or where durability is a top priority, such as living rooms, kitchens, or entryways, may benefit from thicker laminate flooring, typically 10mm to 12mm.

> Read more: Plywood Sizes & Thickness: Essential Dimensions

Do I need underlay for laminate flooring?

Using underlayment for laminate flooring is highly recommended for several reasons. Underlayment acts as a moisture barrier, protecting the laminate flooring from moisture that may seep up from the subfloor. This helps prevent warping, swelling, and damage to the flooring over time. Moreover, underlayment provides sound insulation, reducing the transmission of noise between floors and rooms. Underlayment can improve the floor’s thermal insulation, helping retain heat in the room and potentially reducing energy costs

Hopefully, in the above article, you have grasped all the information about laminate flooring and the cost of installing this material. If you want to know more about Plywood, please visit VINAWOOD’s website.

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