Laminate flooring can be a great alternative to carpet flooring if you’re looking for a modern theme with floors that are easy to clean.
The first cost of laminate flooring comes when you purchase the boards for your floor. Laminate flooring, like wooden flooring, is usually sold in long pieces. Despite this, you may find yourself paying per square metre of flooring, rather than anything else.
Thankfully, laminate flooring is a rather inexpensive flooring solution. The price range is anywhere from £5 to £15 per square metre, depending on where you buy your flooring and how high-end the laminate flooring you’re buying is.
Past the purchase of the floorboards, the next cost you would need to worry about would be installation, itself. Installation costs come from the charge that is given when you hire a professional to install your laminate flooring for you.
On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £150 to £200 as a day rate for installation. Otherwise, some professionals may charge around £10 per square metre.
You won’t ever go into an installation without any facts. Any flooring company should be happy to give you a quote based on either the size of the room or how long it will take them to install your new flooring.
If you can’t get a solid quote from someone, move on and call the next business.
How to install laminate flooring
For the DIY master who wants to cut out the cost of installation, you could attempt to lay your new laminate flooring without outside help.
This project will require a hand saw, a pencil, a measuring tape, and some underlay to go with your new laminate flooring. There are other pieces of equipment that you might find useful, but these are the bear essentials to complete this job.
Make sure that you’re using the correct underlay for your laminate floor. If you’re laying your flooring onto concrete, there are concrete sub-floor underlays. Similarly, underlay for wooden sub-floors exists, too.
Install the underlay and get ready to start putting down your laminate floorboards.
Start by laying your first row of laminate floorboards, ensuring that you are joining all of the edge boards together. The very first board that you put down should be a half board.
If you have spacers, use them here while you’re laying the boards. This is not an essential piece of equipment, but it will help you keep everything neat while installing your new floor.
In the event that you do not have any spacers, you can use a cut-off piece of laminate flooring to keep the 10mm gap between your boards and the wall.
Unlike the first row, the second row will begin with a full laminate floorboard, rather than a half one. Doing this means that your boards will all be nicely spaced out.
When continuing with the third row and onwards, you can use board offcuts. Ensure that all joints are a minimum of 300mm apart if you decide to take this route. Again, this will keep your floor looking neat.
Keep going until you get to the other side of the room. While laying, remember to keep that 10mm gap around the boards and any other surfaces – whether that’s the wall, a door frame, or the pipes to your radiator.
Using skirting, beading, or scotia that is a minimum of 12mm, hide that 10mm gap that you made as you were laying the floorboards. The skirting etc. is slightly larger to allow for shrinkage.
Be sure to maintain your laminate flooring and don’t rest excessively heavy items on top of it.
Why choose laminate flooring over carpet
Like any other flooring solution, there are benefits to both laminate flooring and carpeting.
Though carpet has been around for longer, it is much easier for a homeowner to install laminate flooring by themselves, without the help of a professional. This can put a huge slash through the cost of installing new flooring.
In addition, laminate flooring does not stain as quickly as carpet does. You’re more likely to be able to clean off your laminate flooring after an accidental spill than your carpet. Carpet usually requires specialist products and stain removers, depending on what was spilled.
This is particularly important in households where there are young children or pets. Unlike carpet flooring, laminate flooring can be effortlessly cleaned of pet fur, it’s harder for pets to damage with their nails, and it doesn’t retain any odours.
As for durability, laminate flooring wins again. Carpet flooring that is mid-range will last up to 15 years, while 15 years is the minimum that laminate flooring lasts for. With proper care, decent laminate flooring can survive up to thirty years of use.
Costs that you may not factor in when deciding to install laminate flooring could be the following: skirting boards, cost of old floor removal and disposal, screed (if needed), and underlay.
All of these have their own costs attached to them. You may or may not need these products and services, but it’s a good idea to bear them in mind in case they come up in conversation with your floor fitter.
Alternatives to laminate flooring
Sometimes laminate flooring isn’t quite what you’re looking for. In that case, there are several other options that are similar to laminate flooring but have different qualities.
Solid wood flooring is a popular alternative because of its look and how luxurious it seems. It’s definitely not cheap, but it looks amazing in any household.
There’s also vinyl or ceramic tile. Either would work in the kitchen or living areas of the home, offering a modern flooring solution without the price tag that you’d get from solid wood floors.