If you are thinking of installing a floor that will be quick to put down and easy to maintain, then laminate flooring is an excellent choice. Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant and easy to sweep clean. Its cleanibility makes it a great choice for allergy sufferers and homeowners with pets or kids. Installation is typically quicker and easier than other flooring types, because laminate is designed to be a floating floor, each board attaching to another rather than directly to the subfloor. Laminate flooring is also more durable than carpet, with manufacturer warrantees lasting any where between 5 and fifty years depending on its quality. You can also find laminate flooring that resembles any hard flooring type from wood to tile and stone.
Laminate Flooring Costs
As with any flooring type, the costs associated with a laminate flooring project are twofold: materials and labor. When you are budgeting, you should remember that material costs include more than just the laminate flooring, you must also consider the necessary tools, underlayment, baseboard or subfloor repairs, tape, caulk and paint if necessary. The basic laminate product costs can easily be estimated by simply perusing online retailers, like Home Depot or Lowes; finding a style you like; and multiplying that by the total square footage you are installing. However, depending on the box coverage and the angle and shape of your floor space, you should also plan for at least 10% product waste from partially used planks. Furthermore, labor costs can vary wildly, depending on your area. You can get a comprehensive laminate flooring cost estimate at InstallationCalculator.com.
Wood Laminate Flooring
Wood laminate flooring is composed of different layers fused together under very high pressure and temperature. The popularity of this product is due largely to its resemblance to more expensive hardwood floors at a fraction of the cost.
The flooring is comprised of four layers. The top layer is a protective film to help avoid wear and stains. The next layer is photographic appliqué, which gives the natural look of the real wood. The core layer is made of high-density fiber and the bottom layer is made of a melamine backer to offer stability. Wood laminate flooring is available in a wide variety of colors and textures. You can get the look and, if you invest in high quality laminate, the feel of almost any hardwood floor.
Tile Laminate Flooring
Tile is beautiful, but also very labor intensive to install. For this reason, you may want to consider purchasing tile laminate flooring. You will get the look of ceramic or stone tile floors with the easy of laminate installation. However, tile laminate may not be suitable in high moisture areas such as kitchens or bathrooms, because if large amounts of water gets into the planks it will cause severe warping.
Timber Laminate Flooring
Timber laminate flooring is exactly the same as wood laminate flooring. It is the Austraillian term for wood laminate flooring. If you fall in love with a timber laminate product, you should double check to see if you are perusing a retailer’s website from the Southern Hemisphere. You may not want to foot the bill for shipping rates!
Vinyl Laminate Flooring
Vinyl laminate flooring, or vinyl plank flooring, is a much different product than standard laminate floors. Instead of layers of fiberboard, it is made with layers of vinyl and therefore is perfect for installation in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. It is a relatively new flooring product, so new designs are hitting the market all the time. You can find vinyl plank flooring that has the look and feel of wood, tile or stone. You can also find both floating and direct application products. Check out what’s available at Home Depot and Lumber Liquidators.