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Laminate flooring installation: Costs and advantages

When it comes to house renovation, only focusing on lighting and furniture is a huge mistake. Flooring is a central element of interior design that can make or break your home's overall look and feel. Not only its appearance that matters but wear and moisture resistance. Besides, you might be concerned by the initial flooring cost and spending on its maintenance. We made up a series of buying guides to help you get a clear idea of the available flooring types, their costs, and their distinctive features. The one you're reading now is dedicated to the types of laminate floors. Want to get the biggest bang for your decorating dollar? Think about laminate flooring installation. It is an all-encompassing solution for the entire house. Laminate floors started popping up on the residential scene more than 30 years ago as a budget-friendly alternative to parquet. Even though their quality and appearance have been perfected since that moment, they remain an affordable flooring option. So, you don't have to pay over the odds for solid hardwood planks to give your space an open feel and a touch of elegance. The benefits of the laminate floor aren’t limited to fast installation, durability, and low maintenance. Modern options perfectly mimic the look of hardwood (even exotic species!) and stone, meaning they can feature a variety of realistic surface textures. Plus, they come in all possible hues, so it’ll take you no time to find a perfect match for your interior design.

Laminate flooring installation: Costs and advantages

What are the key factors that affect the laminate flooring installation cost?

Selecting the right type of flooring on a budget may be tricky. How can you achieve an iconic, ‘one-style-fits-all’ hardwood look without the actual material? Two words are the key – laminate flooring. Whatever interior style and design you have in mind, you can bring it to life. 

The average laminate flooring cost may vary depending on your state and the material quality you go for. Plus, a few other factors also form the bedrock of pricing. Let's start the ball rolling with the basics to get a better idea of what you need to consider. 

What is laminate flooring?

If you fancy the look and texture of wood but it is way out of your budget, then laminate floors can become your godsend. Made from synthetic and natural materials, they add style to the interior while withstanding high foot traffic. So, you can enjoy hardwood look-alikes for many years ahead without investing a lump sum. 

The décor layer (1 out of 4 sealed together) can emulate many other flooring types aside from wood. From ceramics to tile to stone, your floors can look mesmerizing just as you would like them to.

How durable is laminate flooring?

Changing your home flooring is a cumbersome process that you hardly want to repeat in the not-too-distant future. And laminate can save you this trouble as it is durable enough to withstand wear and tear for years on end. Its base layer (made of plywood or HDF) provides uncompromising stability, while its wear layer ensures protection. 

You can wave bye to scratches, stains, and scuffs even if you have pets and children. So, when you discover how much laminate flooring installation costs, you may want to schedule this service right away. It’s especially true for homeowners who aren’t used to taking their shoes off in their houses.

What are the types of laminate floors? 

The modern market is full of laminate flooring options suitable for various interior designs and budgets. To choose the right one, you need to decide on the requirements for your brand-new floors. 

If you have pets, you may want your flooring to be resistant to scratches and dents. Or you may be looking for ceramic-like designs instead of classic wood-like ones. Moreover, if you’ve got small feet running around, you may be interested in more waterproof options to mop surfaces daily. 

You can come across laminate floors made from artificial materials (plastic) or engineered wood. The first option is waterproof and can withstand tear and wear, making it a smart move for areas with higher traffic. And nope, it won’t compromise your interior design as it can now ideally imitate any natural material. Plus, it’ll allow you to cut down on your expenses.

Engineered wood is the material of choice for those interested in both real wood and laminate flooring advantages. Please note that this option is less resistant to moisture and scratches. But you can refinish it when necessary to prolong its lifespan. 

Laminate flooring textures and finishes

What should your ideal flooring look like? Do you want it to be smooth so it’ll be easy to clean? Or you may need something more textured, just like real wood. 

Laminate comes in a wide range of textures to meet your needs. You can choose from the following:

  • Registered embossed. A pattern is pressed into a laminate décor layer to make the flooring look and feel like real wood. Each separate plank will match the others, creating a holistic design. 
  • Hand scraped. If your home is made in rustic style, this texture option is the best bet. It stands out with an old-looking appearance.
  • High gloss. This texture is ideal for those interested in silky, glittering flooring, mimicking marble rather than wood. Despite its extra-smooth surface, it is not prone to dents. 

Finishes are available in all possible hues, including hickory, oak, cherry, and walnut. You can also find more sophisticated colors if you opt for laminate floors that don’t look like wood. 

Ideal places for laminate flooring installation

Even though laminate is considered a perfect all-rounder for all rooms, it’s not always the case. While it can be ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms, and halls, it’s worth searching for an alternative flooring for your bathroom. Rooms with excessive moisture should better remain laminate-free zones, especially if you aren’t ready to invest in waterproof options. 

Please note that water-resistant laminate floors are only great for occasional spills. If your laundry room or bathrooms are exposed to regular leakages, water can reach the basic layer, provoking swelling. 

Laminate flooring maintenance and care

When you go all out to stay a caring parent and a working professional, the last thing you want is to spend your free time cleaning the house. That’s where low-maintenance laminate flooring comes to the rescue. A vacuum cleaner or a broom is enough to get rid of dust and hair. 

If your laminate isn’t waterproof, it’s worth mopping your floors on a once-a-month schedule. However, if you need to clean surfaces often, use a slightly damp mop or special agent. Stay away from oil-based and acidic products, as they can damage the protective layer. On top of that, forget about polishing and waxing, as they are safe only for genuine hardwood surfaces. 

Drawbacks and benefits of the laminate floor

Laminate has become a popular flooring type for many reasons, from durability to style. An array of textures and finishes allows for implementing even the boldest interior design ideas. And you won’t have to pay through the nose to get your dream wood-like floors. 

However, all the advantages of the laminate floor may be overshadowed by improper installation. If you don’t have hands-on experience under your belt, you can face issues such as buckling and excessive noise. 

See the comparative table below to discover the main advantages and downsides of laminate floors. 

  Pros                                                                                                          Cons                                                                                                 
  • Cost-effectiveness (more affordable than natural timber and stone)
  • Aesthetics (imitate the appearance and texture of natural wood)
  • Wear resistance (can be installed in areas with high foot traffic)
  • Resistance to scratches (suitable for homes with pets and kids)
  • Simple maintenance (this flooring option is easy to keep in mint condition) 
  • Easy installation (thanks to the lock-together system, laminate floors are quick and simple to install) 
  • Resistance to UV rays
  • Resistance to spills and stains
  • Prone to water damage (just like many wooden floors, laminate is not impervious to moisture)
  • Cannot be refinished (the top layer of laminate is not designed to be sanded down)
  • Prone to warping (laminate can warp if poorly installed or acclimated)

How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?

Laminate is one of the most affordable and stylish flooring options. So, even if you need to change floors in the entire house, you still can handle that. 

The average cost to install laminate flooring falls between $4 and $8 per square foot. The price tag can go up if you need to remove old floors and avail yourself of other extra services. Please note that the overall cost can also depend on the type of material you choose and the general work scope. However, such an investment will save you lots of headaches and skyrocket your property value once you decide you sell your house. 

Laminate flooring installation - Professional vs DIY

If you are handy with tools, you can start a DIY project to install your flooring. To simplify this task, choose laminate planks of a double-click type, as they don't require any extra steps. Nevertheless, if you're unsure about the state of your subfloor or need to install underfloor heating, it's highly recommended to enlist the support of professional flooring installers. They will inspect the subfloor to ensure there is no water damage or other issues that should be addressed before installation. Flooring experts will not only ensure a smooth laminate flooring installation but also take care of the preparation stage, removing baseboards and doors. 

If you have no idea where to look for an accredited flooring installer in your region, leverage the free HomeQuote contractor-matching service. We have an extended database of skilled flooring contractors around the country, and we will be glad to connect you with the top-performing ones in your area. 

 

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