How to get realistic looking wood floors for a cut of the price – flooring expert tips

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Redecorating your home can be a costly exercise, and something as critical as flooring is easy to get wrong. While wood flooring is hugely popular, it comes with a soaring price tag which can really ramp up the cost of home renovations.

Luckily, laminate flooring offers a purse-friendly alternative to achieving the same type of look.

According to Jessica Fox, an expert from Flooring Superstore, laminate flooring is the firm’s “most popular selling floor type”.

Thanks to its durability, laminate works everywhere from the kitchen to the bedroom.

Fox said: “It’s no surprise that laminate is our most popular selling flooring type.

“It’s highly durable, affordable and easy to clean. As it’s water-resistant, it’s a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms.”

However, homeowners may want to think about a number of options before having their flooring fitted.

Fox shared her four “key considerations” which not only will ensure you pick the right flooring for your space, but could even save you money along the way.

Make sure the laminate’s AC rating is fit for purpose

AC ratings are an important detail when purchasing laminate flooring.

Fox explained: “AC ratings tell you how strong and durable the laminate is. The higher the number, the stronger and more durable it is.

“Ratings range from AC1 – which is suitable for moderate traffic and tends to be used in bedrooms or guest rooms – up to AC5 – which is suitable for heavy traffic in commercial spaces, such as large department stores or offices.”

According to Fox, it is important homeowners think about how busy the room will be over time, in order to determine the right flooring.

She added: “For the home, AC4 is our most common rating, but AC3 will also be suitable for heavy traffic areas, such as hallways.”

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Consider the thickness of the laminate flooring

Thickness is also an important feature, particularly if going into a room that could benefit from soundproofing.

Fox said: “As well as choosing the appropriate AC rating, you should also check the thickness of the laminate.

“Laminate flooring is usually manufactured between 6mm and 12mm.

“If you want an alternative to real wood, the thicker laminates give a more authentic feel and the depth results in more detailed etching.

“Thicker widths can also help to absorb noise in rooms too.

“Although thicker depths offer more benefits, thinner laminates are cheaper.”

Think about the aesthetic features of the laminate

Perhaps the most obvious of all, property owners should think about how laminate flooring can fit into making their interior design dreams a reality.

Not only is the colour or shade of laminate an important consideration, Fox also recommends considering the woof “effect” too.

She explained: “Flooring may be functional, but you also want it to look good too.

“Thankfully there are lots of different styles and colours of laminate flooring.

“You can choose from different types of wood effects and tones, such as oak or walnut, or there are other options, such as stone effects.

“You can get different lengths and widths of panels, or you can also install laminate in the popular herringbone layout”.

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Be sure to check the price tag

Fox said: “For those looking for a cheaper alternative to real wood, there are also some realistic-looking laminate options.”

However, despite their typically lower price point, not all laminate wood floorings cost the same.

In fact, some can cost around three times that of their cheaper counterparts per square metre.

If you’re looking to save even more money, be sure to double-check just how much it will cost to floor an entire room overall.

Fox explained: “Compared to real wood, laminate is a more cost-effective option. But there is still a range of price points.

“At the lower end, you can find laminate flooring for £8.99 per square metre, while at the upper end an option will cost £34.99 per square metre.”

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