When buying a new floor or doing home remodeling, all that matters today is how cheap can you do the renovations? You may find cheap laminate flooring on the market, but the question is are you buying a good quality product? You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of laminate flooring just because you have a tight budget. However it is in your best interest to check following details before you will make your final purchase decision.
While buying cheap laminate be sure to check its Abrasion Rating called AC rating. The AC number will tell you how durable is your laminate floor. AC3 rated laminate wood flooring is perfect for general, residential use. If you have pets, kids and a busy home you may consider a higher AC rating- like AC4 rated, for rooms with intensive foot traffic (kitchen, family room) laminate floor. AC4 laminate floor is suitable for heavy residential and light commercial use. When looking for discount laminate floors for a commercial application (installed in the store, office, gym, spa, etc) use laminate wood floor with AC5 or AC6 rating. For higher than normal foot traffic, you need laminate floors with higher durability. It is important when buying cheap laminate wood flooring to stay away from floors with AC2 or AC1 rating. Floors with AC2 of lower rating is suitable for use in a very low traffic places like closet or guest bedroom.
Thickness of the Laminate
It’s a misconception that the thickness of laminate floors is the most important factor. For all over cement subfloor installations, 6mm thick laminate is just perfect! However be sure you have a good quality, even subfloor. When installing laminate over the wood subfloor, we suggest installing 7mm or thicker laminate. The golden rule when selecting thickness of the cheap laminate wood flooring is the less perfect your subfloor, the thicker laminate floor you need. The reason for it is simple, if you have uneven subfloor, your laminate floor will start to flex up and down, adjusting to your subfloor. After a while you may see micro-gaps between laminate boards and in some cases, locking system can be damaged. If your subfloor needs repaired, be sure to invest your time to fix the problem. This way you will enjoy your flooring for many years to come.
Quality of the Core
Do you know why some laminate floors are more rigid, or resistant to more moisture and damage? This is due to the quality of the core material. Be sure when buying discount laminate wood floors to select the one with Highly Compressed HDF Material (High Density Fiberboard). This HDF board is what gives the laminate its high gross density and absolute rigidity. Stay away from laminate floor close outs that don’t have a brand name associated with the product or an AC rating on the box. Not having an AC Rating on the box, usually tells you that this floor does meet the AC rating standards. In the diagram below, Layer C is the HDF core. See how it makes up most of the laminate flooring’s profile? Making sure the core is sound, will set a good basis for the rest of the floor.
Buy Brand Name
When you buy brand name laminate, you have not only reputation behind it, but you have warranties to make claims against, should something happen. Flooring purchase is a major home investment even if you buy cheap laminate flooring, so be sure to check all the details: who is producing your floor, what warranty is, and what warranty covers.
When buying use our list of the manufacturers with the best performing core materials:
Look For Additional Features
Our other recommendation when looking for cheap laminate flooring, is to consider the additional features the flooring may have. Such as:
- Moisture resistant core (Kronoswiss, Alloc, Quick-Step)
- Waxed edge system (Classen)
- Variety of edge styles ( Quick-Step)
- Drop-down locking system (Kronoswiss)
- Megaloc system (Classen)
- AC3/31 or higher abrasion rating (Alloc has products up to AC6 Rating)
View the video below for help on choosing the best laminate flooring for you:
Reputation of the Seller
It is very important to work with a company who’s number one priority is customer satisfaction. There are many ways to check to see if the person selling you your flooring is doing their best to help you and not the manufacturers. Searching for a BBB rating for the company will be the easiest one. You can do a web search on the company name, check eBay ratings, or read testimonials. If you’ve selected laminate flooring from two different companies and you need help making a decision, choose the one with better reputation. You will be able to purchase with peace of mind knowing someone will have your back after making such a large purchase.
Now the decision is yours! There are many discount laminate floors on the market that will meet above requirements. Following the helpful tips above may help you finish your project below your budget!