Laminate flooring is manufactured from a wooden composite base using a photographic image of wood grain on its top layer to gives the appearance of a hard wood floor. Manufactured from melamine resin and not from real wood or wood veneers, laminate is a cost-effective option, much cheaper than solid wood. Laminate flooring is also very easy to install, in fact the product was designed for the DIY enthusiast, so many home owners are happy to install it themselves.
Laminate flooring is sold in planks, which you slot together over a foam underlay laid directly on the floor. An average-sized room can be completed in a single weekend by anyone with reasonable DIY skills, plus it is easy to care for and ideal for high-traffic areas of the home. Opinions are mixed on exactly how convincing that real-wood look is, but most won't be able to tell the difference without close examination.In recent years there has been some controversy around potential health risks associated with laminate flooring due to the fact it is often made of melamine resin, a compound made with formaldehyde.
There is increasing concern about indoor air quality from building materials made with formaldehyde and some laminate flooring uses a chemical process to reduce and neutralise formaldehyde emissions.
When people want durable flooring in households with kids and pets, they often choose between three main types of floors; ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles and laminate flooring. Ceramic flooring has been used for flooring and walls for thousands of years, popular today also for use in counter-tops and back-splashes.
Ceramic tiles are made from clay or inorganic materials and are very hard and durable, lasting for hundreds of years. They are an ideal choice for bathrooms and kitchens because they are a breeze to clean. Also, they do not harbour the germs that typically exist in these rooms. Ceramic tiles are simple to maintain, versatile and durable. However, it is often best to hire a professional to install ceramic tile floors. Porcelain tiles are actually just another type of ceramic tile, even tougher than ceramic tiles they are used in a variety of commercial venues and residential homes.
Porcelain tiles can be a real challenge to install yourself, like ceramic tiles it is often best to employ a flooring expert that knows how to work with porcelain tiles to achieve flawless results. Laminate flooring is typically made of fibre board and resin and can simulate stone or wood flooring for a much lower price tag. It is extremely affordable when compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles, plus is relatively easy to lay yourself if you have competent DIY skills. With laminate flooring it is possible to get a great new floor on a tight budget. However, laminate floors will not last as long as ceramic or porcelain floors, so as always you really get what you pay for.
The installation costs of laminate flooring can often work out the same, if not more, than the cost of the materials! While laminate flooring can often be purchased from less than £5 per square meter, typical fitting costs are around £8 to £12 per m2. Although the majority of fitters will charge per square meter (m2) others will charge a daily rate. Most fitters or installation companies will be happy to visit your property and supply a free, no obligation quote so that you can get a few quotes to compare prices before making your final decision.
An easy way to gather several quotes is to use the free quote form on this site, simply enter the details of your laminate flooring job along with preferred method of contact and wait for recommended tradesman near you to get in touch with prices! Remember that with most quotes the fitter will expect the room to be cleared of furniture and the old flooring to be removed. If this is not the case, the extra time required will be passed on to you with increased costs, so it often makes sense to do the preparation yourself beforehand.
When hiring a tradesman to install your laminate flooring, you want to make sure you are getting value for money and good quality work. There are of course many home improvements that you can carry out yourself to save on labour costs, however for some jobs it can be a good idea to hire in a professional. While laminate flooring can be installed on a DIY basis, many simply won't have the time or physical ability.
In these circumstances, hiring a flooring specialist or tradesman is a good idea. Many avoid hiring professionals in an effort to save money, but in some cases hiring a professional to do the job properly can ultimately save you money. Laying laminate flooring, like many DIY jobs, can seem misleadingly straightforward, but can end up costing more in the long-run if done incorrectly. While tradesmen seem to be notorious right now for turning up late, carrying out sub-standard work, or being unprofessional (thanks to TV programs concentrating on rogue tradesman), for the vast majority this is not the case.
Everyone should be able to find a skilled, reliable tradesman who will get the job done with minimum fuss and expense. There are some checks you should carry out however. First of all make sure you have a written contract detailing the price for labour, parts and materials, and payment terms. Don't pay the whole fee up-front and before you make a decision check that they have the necessary insurance in place. Choosing a trustworthy flooring specialist is worth taking your time over so you can ensure your home improvements will be carried out properly. This will ultimately cost you less in the long run as any repairs or maintenance will last longer and add value to your property.