What Thickness Laminate Flooring is Best?

The best thickness for laminate flooring is between 8mm and 12mm, depending on your budget, durability needs, and sound insulation preferences. Thicker laminate flooring offers more stability, resistance to wear and tear, and a more realistic feel and appearance. However, it also costs more and may require additional underlayment or subfloor preparation. In this article, we will explain the benefits and drawbacks of different thicknesses of laminate flooring, and how to choose the best one for your home.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that consists of multiple layers of materials fused together by heat and pressure. The main layers are:

  • The wear layer, which protects the surface from scratches, stains, and fading.
  • The design layer, which contains a high-resolution image of wood, stone, tile, or other natural materials.
  • The core layer, which provides the structure and strength of the laminate flooring. This is the layer that determines the thickness of the laminate flooring.
  • The backing layer, which prevents moisture from seeping into the core layer and damaging the flooring.

Laminate flooring is popular because it is affordable, easy to install, low-maintenance, and versatile. It can mimic the look and feel of various natural materials, such as hardwood, marble, slate, and ceramic, without the high cost and upkeep.

Why Does Thickness Matter?

The thickness of laminate flooring affects several aspects of its performance and quality, such as:

  • Durability: Thicker laminate flooring is more resistant to dents, scratches, and impacts from heavy furniture, pets, or high foot traffic. It also lasts longer and does not warp or buckle easily.
  • Stability: Thicker laminate flooring is more rigid and stable, which means it does not flex or creak when walked on. It also handles changes in temperature and humidity better, and does not expand or contract as much as thinner laminate flooring.
  • Sound: Thicker laminate flooring reduces the noise level when walked on, especially if it has an attached underlayment or pad. It also provides better sound insulation from the rooms below, which is important if you live in an apartment or condo.
  • Appearance: Thicker laminate flooring has a more realistic look and feel, as it can better replicate the texture and depth of natural materials. It also has more beveled edges, which create a more defined and authentic look.
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How to Choose the Best Thickness for Your Laminate Flooring?

The best thickness for your laminate flooring depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your budget: Thicker laminate flooring is more expensive than thinner laminate flooring, as it uses more materials and has a higher quality. The price difference can range from a few cents to a few dollars per square foot, depending on the brand and style. You should also consider the installation cost, as thicker laminate flooring may require more labor and materials, such as underlayment, subfloor leveling, or trimming of doors and baseboards.
  • Your durability needs: If you have a busy household with kids, pets, or frequent visitors, you may want to opt for thicker laminate flooring, as it can withstand more wear and tear. However, if you have a low-traffic area, such as a bedroom or a closet, you may be fine with thinner laminate flooring, as it will not be exposed to much damage.
  • Your sound insulation preferences: If you are concerned about the noise level in your home, you may want to choose thicker laminate flooring, as it can reduce the sound transmission from the floor. This is especially important if you have downstairs neighbors or a home office. However, if you do not mind the noise, or if you have carpet or rugs on top of your laminate flooring, you may not need thicker laminate flooring, as it will not make much difference.
  • Your subfloor condition: If you have a concrete subfloor, you may need thicker laminate flooring, as it can provide more cushioning and comfort. However, if you have a wooden subfloor, you may not need thicker laminate flooring, as it can add unnecessary weight and height to your floor. You should also check the level and smoothness of your subfloor, as thicker laminate flooring may require more preparation and leveling to avoid gaps and unevenness.
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What are the Common Thicknesses of Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring comes in various thicknesses, ranging from 6mm to 15mm. The most common thicknesses are:

  • 6mm: This is the thinnest laminate flooring available, and it is also the cheapest. However, it is also the least durable, stable, and soundproof. It may also look and feel cheap and fake, as it has a flat and smooth surface. It is not recommended for most areas, except for temporary or low-budget projects.
  • 7mm: This is slightly thicker than 6mm, but it still has the same drawbacks. It is slightly more durable and stable, but it still lacks sound insulation and realism. It is also not recommended for most areas, except for low-traffic or low-impact rooms, such as closets or storage spaces.
  • 8mm: This is the most common and standard thickness for laminate flooring, and it is also the most affordable. It offers a good balance of durability, stability, sound, and appearance. It can work well for most areas, such as living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, and kitchens. However, it may not be enough for high-traffic or high-impact areas, such as entryways, stairs, or bathrooms.
  • 10mm: This is a thicker and higher-quality laminate flooring, and it is also more expensive. It offers more durability, stability, sound, and appearance than 8mm. It can work well for high-traffic or high-impact areas, such as entryways, stairs, or bathrooms. However, it may not be necessary for low-traffic or low-impact areas, such as closets or storage spaces.
  • 12mm: This is the thickest and highest-quality laminate flooring available, and it is also the most expensive. It offers the best durability, stability, sound, and appearance of all laminate flooring. It can work well for any area, especially if you want a premium and realistic look and feel. However, it may also require more installation and maintenance, such as underlayment, subfloor leveling, or trimming of doors and baseboards.
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Conclusion

The best thickness for laminate flooring is between 8mm and 12mm, depending on your budget, durability needs, and sound insulation preferences. Thicker laminate flooring offers more stability, resistance to wear and tear, and a more realistic feel and appearance. However, it also costs more and may require additional underlayment or subfloor preparation. You should also consider the condition of your subfloor, the traffic and impact level of your area, and the look and feel you want to achieve. By choosing the right thickness for your laminate flooring, you can enjoy a beautiful, comfortable, and long-lasting floor for your home.