Originally introduced as a cost-effective alternative to real wood, laminate is no longer seen as the cheap flooring option. Now the most up-to-date designs are virtually indistinguishable from the real wood.
How much does laminate flooring cost?
Laminates at the budget end of the market are often too smooth, shiny and unrealistic. Cheaper options also have a tendency to peal, warp and stain because of the substandard materials used to make them.
Most laminates are appropriate for use with underfloor heating, but if your budget is limited, make sure this is specified by the manufacturer to avoid damage or inefficiency.
Laminate flooring price guide
Laminate flooring can cost as little as £6m², for the most basic 6mm thick planks from an online flooring dealer, or a high-street DIY warehouse.
If you’re going for a better quality option, usually 8mm to 12mm, look at paying between £12m² and £25m².
More expensive options feature realistic grain finishes, embossing and bevelled edges and can achieve a more authentic look. Good-quality laminates are durable, stain, scratch, moisture-resistant, and are still more cost-effective than their real wood counterparts.
Another factor that impacts on the cost of laminate flooring is the warranty. Usually, the more you pay, the more confidence the manufacturer has in the product and the longer the warranty will be.
Where can I lay it?
- If it is a bathroom that you are decorating, ensure that your laminate has a waterproof core and is correctly laid and sealed to prevent rot and mould.
- Thicker laminates can be deployed in high traffic areas like hallways and landings.
- If you are going to be putting heavy furniture on your laminate floor, consult a contractor and invest in the right underlay to prevent damage.
An AC rating is an important factor to consider when you’re choosing which laminate to use in a room. It is used to tell how durable a product is. AC1 is the lowest rating, specifically for use in low traffic areas, where as AC5 is heavy duty, and usually recommended for commercial use.
Can you fit laminate flooring by yourself?
It is possible to fit laminate flooring by yourself. Manufacturers have developed simple, stress-free interlocking systems so that laminate flooring is quick and convenient to lay. However, if you’re looking for a quality finish, you might want to employ a professional fitter, especially if you are installing in a bathroom, where the work may be more technical.
The National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers is a good place to start. It also pays to ask the dealer that you bought your floor from, they often keep the details of recommended fitters in the area. Fitters will often offer their own warranty, on top of the manufacturers warranty.
How to I clean a laminate floor
The manufacturer should give you aftercare instructions and may recommend a particular cleaning product. If not, there are lots available in supermarkets and DIY stores.
- Small particles can easily cause scratches, so sweep regularly with a soft broom.
- Wipe up any spills immediately, with nothing more than a damp cloth, and dry off any residue.
- Never use a mop that’s soaking wet as moisture can go through into the floor and ruin it..
- Never use abrasive scourers, and avoid dragging furniture across the floor.