If you are looking for a natural-looking flooring option that is significantly cheaper to buy than a solid or engineered floor then look no further than laminates.
As well as being relatively inexpensive, laminate floors are also easy-to-install and look very attractive. Indeed, today’s wood-look laminates are a long way from the synthetic-looking options that were doing the rounds a decade or so ago. In fact, modern laminate floors use exotic woods and unique finishes that are able to provide bevelled edges, unusual wood grains, realistically distressed surfaces and colours which can range from near-white to deep brown.
Like most other flooring solutions, the cost of a laminate floor varies with style and quality. In general, laminate floors typically cost around a third or sometimes even half the price of natural wood floors. Direct-pressure laminates (DPL) are suitable for most domestic settings and cost less to buy than high-pressure laminates (HPL). The cost of any underlay needed to cover sub-floors will also vary depending on the actual surface that needs to be covered.
Perhaps the most significant factor regarding cost comes from installation. Indeed, whilst you might not feel overly confident about installing solid wood flooring by yourself, your DIY skills could probably handle the relatively straightforward process of installing a laminate floor. Naturally, this can save you considerable amounts of money as it absolves you of the need to fork out extra cash on professional fitting services.
Today’s modern laminates allow you to easily fit and upgrade your floors by yourself. Indeed, most laminate planks have tongue-and-groove edges on all four sides so they can easily be snapped into place. Some laminates are designed to be installed with a specially formulated glue to lock the planks together and have pre-glued edges for extra water resistance.
Many laminate floors can also ‘float’ above existing surfaces without being attached to the old floor. In fact, modern laminates can be installed directly over any old floor that is made of tile, vinyl, wood and concrete. Carpet however is a different matter. If you want to lay laminate in a room where carpet is present, you will first need to remove the carpet and pads before you can install your new laminate floor.
If you do decide to opt for a laminate floor, you will soon find yourself spoilt for choice. Rich, dark wood tones are very popular at the moment as they are able to add a great deal of warmth to practically any decor. Faux versions of exotic African, Asian and South American woods, such as teak and merbau have also become favoured choices recently.
Regardless of whether your preferences lean more toward fashionable flooring solutions or to more obscure options, you can rest assured that you will be able to find a laminate that will be attractive, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
So, if you’re after an inexpensive and attractive alternative to natural wood floors, look no further than laminate.
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