One of the most challenging parts of being a new homeowner is designing the interior of your home. The look and feel of your interior determine the personality of your home and, by extension, yourself. Once you step inside, it should transport you to a safe space of your own design.
Your home’s flooring encompasses every nook and corner of your home. So, needless to say, choosing the right flooring style and material is crucial to how your home will come together.
The market offers numerous flooring solutions, each with its upsides and downsides. However, one type of flooring stands out among the rest.
Laminate flooring is a popular option for homeowners because it's budget-friendly and flexible, making it easy to install. You might think it will cheapen the feel of your home, but higher-end homes now also feature laminate flooring instead of the more expensive hardwood and engineered wood floorings.
You might now be wondering, “How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?” We will answer that and other most common questions asked by new homeowners about laminate flooring. So dive in and read until the end!
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a popular choice among homeowners and business owners alike. A compelling option for budget-minded individuals, laminate flooring cost is significantly less than that of other flooring types without sacrificing durability. With laminate flooring, you can get more space of your home covered while spending less than you would with expensive hardwood flooring.
So what’s the deal on laminate flooring? Why is it so cheap?
If you look at the cross-section of a laminate floor, you’d see a sandwich with three parts. The topmost layer is called the wear layer, made of melamine and able to withstand impacts and scratches.
Just below the wear layer lies the image layer, a photorealistic reproduction of real wood. Finally, the base layer that lies underneath is a wood-chip composite. It provides structural integrity.
What Are the Benefits of Laminate Flooring?
Whether you’re a new homeowner or only planning to update your home’s interiors, consider the advantages that laminate flooring can offer you.
Aside from being affordable, laminate flooring offers unique advantages that other kinds of flooring materials do not. Durability, moisture resistance, easy maintenance, and customizability all become possible thanks to the construction of laminate flooring.
Most importantly, this type of flooring can offer all these benefits without having you go over your budget.
A common problem among homeowners is that their flooring fails to withstand years of wear and tear. For instance, toddlers sometimes drop their toys on the floor, which can damage your hardwood flooring over time. Pets might also scratch your flooring during their playtime and nightly zoomies.
With laminate flooring, you will never worry again about scratches and damage due to impact. The wear layer of laminate flooring is both scratch- and impact-resistant, making your floor look its best for longer.
Easier to Maintain
Other types of flooring have grooves that can be hard to clean. These deep grooves can collect dirt and microbes, posing a health risk to you and your family.
Due to the smooth and glossy finish of laminate flooring, cleaning it can be as easy as wiping a damp rug across the floor. As a result, this option is safer for your family and easier for you to clean and maintain.
Many Designs to Choose From
Lastly, if you have a specific theme or interior design in mind, you can take advantage of the countless designs that laminate flooring comes in. Since it has an image layer, laminate flooring can mimic wood, stone, and any other material you can ever imagine.
How Does Laminate Flooring Compare to Other Types of Flooring?
You might be wondering how the budget-friendly laminate flooring compares against other options in the market. Compared with hardwood, cork, bamboo, vinyl plank, and tile flooring, laminate flooring has advantages and disadvantages.
Discover here how laminate flooring fares against the competition.
Hardwood is the go-to option for many homeowners, especially those who can afford to invest in it. Different wood varieties exhibit unique appearances, textures, and strengths. However, you can count on hardwood flooring to lend prestige and luxury to your home. If you wish to sell your home, hardwood flooring will increase its resale value.
Compared to laminate flooring, hardwood is more expensive and difficult to work with because it is made of real wood. On the other hand, laminate installation is so easy that you can do it yourself during the weekends.
Both cork and laminate flooring are easy to install due to their flexible materials. Besides that, you can find these two types of flooring at the less expensive end of the spectrum. However, the similarities end there.
If you walk barefoot on cork and laminate floors, the differences become clearer. Walking on cork flooring feels softer and warmer, while it is the total opposite on a laminate floor. It is due to the hard surface of the top wear layer found in laminate flooring.
Between laminate and bamboo flooring, the latter is greener and more sustainable. So if you’re environmentally conscious, bamboo is hands-down the better option. Besides that, both bamboo wood and laminate floors are easy to install and clean, cheaper than other flooring types, and scratch-resistant.
However, you do have more design and styling options when you go with laminate flooring.
Vinyl plank and laminate flooring often go head-to-head when it comes to non-hardwood flooring options. Both are good alternatives to expensive hardwood flooring.
While they share many similarities, vinyl plank flooring does take the upper hand when it comes to moisture resistance because it’s made of plastic. On the other hand, a laminate plank looks more natural than vinyl plank flooring because it’s made of wood. However, its material also makes it more prone to water damage and moisture absorption.
If you find yourself choosing between laminate and tile flooring options, you should consider that laminate floors can look exactly like tiles. Besides that, laminate floors are softer to walk on than cold and hard tile floors. While both are cheap options, tile flooring can better withstand water damage and resist dampness.
What Are the Different Kinds of Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring has the most design and style options among all other types of flooring. It is largely due to the image layer beneath the melamine top layer of a laminate floor. The image layer allows almost anything to be printed on it, making it possible for laminate floors to mimic wood and stone floors.
As such, there are many different kinds of laminate available in the market. In addition, there are various categories of laminate floors based on their installation cost, texture, appearance, edge type, colors, and pattern.
Wood-Like Laminate Floor
Most homeowners would certainly prefer hardwood floors for their homes. The elegance of a mahogany hardwood floor would leave anyone entering your home speechless and in complete awe of its beauty. But hardwood flooring is neither cheap nor easy to install.
That’s where wood-like laminate flooring comes in. A laminate floor can mimic any hardwood floor’s knots, curls, and groove lines, regardless of the wood variety you choose. Thanks to laminate flooring, you can enjoy the aesthetic that hardwood flooring offers without the hefty price tag.
Tile-Like Laminate Floor
You shouldn’t use laminate flooring for your bathroom floor as it retains moisture. However, you can take advantage of tile-like laminate flooring for modern and contemporary interior designs. Business owners can greatly benefit from this by covering a larger area with laminate flooring, thus spending less on tile floors.
Stone-Like Laminate Floor
If you are inclined toward the sophisticated look that stone flooring offers, you can reproduce the same aesthetic using laminate flooring. Different stone patterns can be printed on the image layer of the laminate floor to mimic actual stone floors.
How Much Does Laminate Flooring Installation Cost?
The greatest advantage of the laminate flooring installation in your home is its inexpensive cost. Compared to other flooring solutions, laminate floors are easier to install and cheaper to buy per square foot. For the average homeowner, laminate flooring is a no-brainer choice.
Due to it being easy to install, the labor cost to install laminate flooring can be up to you. However, you can do it yourself, making the labor cost entirely free.
If you opt to hire a flooring contractor for both labor and materials, the laminate flooring cost can be anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00 per square foot.
On the other hand, if you insist on a DIY installation, a pricing estimate on materials puts the range of laminate flooring cost per square foot from $0.68 to $2.59.
When estimating the total cost of your laminate flooring, take into account the many different options of laminate flooring in the market. Prices can vary depending on the material and construction.
Some manufacturers feature premium melamine and wood materials to improve moisture resistance and durability, while others incorporate patent technologies to make their offerings stand out among the competition.
Living in a home that looks both modern and sophisticated can be expensive. Unfortunately, finding the perfect balance between affordability, functionality, and style is not always easy.
Thankfully, there are ways you can get your hands on an elegant look without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a way to give your home an updated look without having to spend thousands of dollars, installing laminate flooring is the perfect solution.
Laminate flooring is a great way to get the look of a high-end hardwood floor or modern tile floor without having to pay for an expensive installation cost. It’s also easy enough that most homeowners can do it themselves.
Whether you're looking to get a modern and sophisticated look for your home without breaking the bank or you’re just curious about laminate flooring in general, we hope this article has provided helpful information.
Read more of our guides and reviews to find answers and feel more confident about installing flooring in your home!