Thick laminate flooring is not necessarily always better. Laminate flooring is measured for durability with the AC rating – the higher the rating, the more durable the floor. For example, you can have an 8mm with a rating AC4 and a 12mm with a rating AC3. Which is better? Well, it depends on your needs. If you have kids and pets and you’re installing over a cement subfloor, the 8mm with AC4 rating is the better option. If you don’t get much foot traffic in your home and you’re installing over a creaky wooden subfloor, the 12mm with AC3 rating is the best option.
Benefits of Thick Laminate Flooring
One of the benefits of thicker laminate is its higher sound dampening performance. This is simply because it contains more of the high density fiber (HDF) core and provides less sound transference through the plank. Thicker laminate will definitely offer more stability and strength, so if a little extra cost is not an issue, thicker laminate is definitely worth it. It’s also the better option if your subfloor isn’t as sturdy, such as an old creaking wood subfloor. The 12mm laminate flooring will provide you with a more sturdy feel when walking upon it.
Benefits of Thin Laminate Flooring
6mm thick floors are ideal for a budget projects, however we suggest to install 6mm laminate flooring over flat cement floors. This way you don’t have to worry about the stability of the locking system since the subfloor provides stable support to allow the laminate to float.
A good quality, flat and smooth subfloor is a key when installing thinner laminate flooring. You need a very stable subfloor in order to allow your thinner laminate floor to perform as expected. The price of the thinner laminate flooring is a definitive advantage since it is normally priced lower compared to thicker laminate.
The most popular laminate flooring for residential use is 8mm thick ( 5/16”) and is AC3/23 rated.
Consider the AC Rating
Get familiar with the AC rating (Abrasion Class Rating) to find the ideal durability for your application. Durability is different from the thickness of the laminate flooring. Just because the laminate is thick, doesn’t mean it will stand up to a home with multiple dogs and children. This is where the AC Rating comes in. The higher the number, the more durable the floor.
- AC1: suitable for a very low residential traffic such as a closet or guest bedroom
- AC2/21: suitable for low use rooms like hobby rooms
- AC3/23: suitable for a general residential use
- AC3/31: suitable for a heavy residential or light commercial use such as office or conference room
- AC4/32: suitable for a general commercial use
- AC5 & AC6: suitable for a heavy commercial use
Your lifestyle and the function, maintenance and cost of flooring materials are just some of the factors to consider when making your flooring selection.