How To

Looking for a new laminate floor for the home? There are a lot of factors you’ll want to consider before deciding which floor to invest in. 

Written by: Yarl Christie

How to Choose the Right Laminate Flooring for Your Home

Looking for a new laminate floor for the home? There are a lot of factors you’ll want to consider before deciding which floor to invest in.

Laminate has come a long way over the past decade. While there used to be very few options available, advancements in technology have expanded the market, providing hundreds of different designs. Most come with a solid wood effect surface too, making them look a lot more expensive than they are.

So, what should you look out for when you’re choosing a new laminate flooring? Here, you’ll discover some of the key things to focus on to help ensure you make the best choice.

Pay Attention to the AC Rating

One of the main things you’ll want to look into when you’re buying laminate flooring, is its AC rating. This relates to how durable the floor is and whether it should be installed in a high or low-traffic environment.

There are six AC ratings, and they are also referred to as different Classes. The most common ratings you’ll come across include AC4 and AC5. While these floors are designed for commercial use, they are also suitable for moderate to heavy domestic use too.

You’ll need to pay attention to the AC rating to ensure you’re choosing a floor that’s suitable for your environment. Think about how much foot traffic it’s going to be exposed to each day. If you don’t choose the right rating, you’ll find the floor won’t last as long as you expect it to.

Where Will the Laminate be Installed?

A key consideration you need to take into account is where the laminate will be installed. Flooring that is installed in the hallway or lounge, will need to be able to withstand heavy foot traffic. You’ll also want to make sure it’s easy to maintain as it’s going to be exposed to a higher level of dirt and debris.

If you’re installing laminate in the bathroom on the other hand, you’re going to need to make sure it’s waterproof. While most laminate floors aren’t water resistant, you can find waterproof laminate from brands such as AquaStep. These can easily be installed in bathrooms and kitchens, helping you to add a real wood effect without worrying about potential damage.

Does Depth Matter?

You’ll find different laminate floors offer varying depths. How thick the floor is will make a difference to how it looks and performs. The thicker the laminate is, the more it’s going to look and feel like solid hardwood. You’ll also find the thicker floors are more durable too. However, if you choose a thicker width, you may find sound echoes more around the room, so this is something to take into account when deciding upon thickness.

Thinner laminate floors tend to come with a much lower price tag. However, they won’t be as durable or as realistic looking as thicker laminate. The majority of laminate floors feature a depth of between 6mm and 12mm. If you’re using the 6mm variety, it’s best to ensure the subfloor is even and solid.

Choosing the Best Finish

Like engineered and solid wood flooring, laminate often comes with different types of finishes. Rather than selecting a finish based upon how it makes the floor look, you’ll want to focus on choosing one that fits your lifestyle.

If you have pets or children, you’ll find a distressed or low-gloss finish will look cleaner and better for longer. Have a read of our best flooring for dog owners article for more information on this.

There is a lot to think about when you’re choosing laminate flooring for the home. Most come with a generous warranty, but you’ll need to ensure you’re following manufacturer guidelines in terms of installation and maintenance. The above are some of the main things to keep in mind when browsing the latest laminate floors.

You can browse our extensive laminate floor range here: