When shopping for laminate flooring, you will notice that laminate comes in different thicknesses, ranging from 6 to 12 millimeters (mm). Laminate flooring gets its name from the lamination process it undergoes, sealing multiple layers of synthetic material together. This hardwood floor lookalike is durable and affordable.
How to Measure
To measure laminate thickness, start at the board’s base and move to the top using millimeters. Although some boards come with the pad component attached, it shouldn’t be part of the measurement. The padding isn’t included because it’s not technically part of the board’s construction. It isn’t unusual for sales associates to have the pad thickness in the measurement, so it’s even more important to know this when shopping.
The Laminate Layers
Laminate has four layers of construction: wear, design, core, and back layer. Each layer serves a distinct purpose and is fused using high heat and intense pressure. Below is a detailed breakdown of these layers.
- Back layer: bottom layer responsible for protecting the plank against moisture and balances the floor
- Core layer: above the back layer is a durable, high-density board that protects from indentations and moisture
- Design layer: above the core layer, it has a high-resolution photograph of the floor’s surface appearance
- Wear layer: top layer, a transparent layer of aluminum oxide that protects against fading, stains, and surface burns
Does thicker laminate provide benefits?
The thickness of the laminate is essential because it contributes to the look and feel of the flooring. Thicker laminate feels more like hardwood flooring underneath your feet. It also allows for more detail as etching creates a more realistic wood imitation. Thicker laminates have less echo and can weather strong impacts, making them more durable. Lastly, thicker laminate can be more forgiving when installing and dealing with subfloor imperfections.
What is the ideal laminate thickness?
Higher quality laminate that looks the most like hardwood flooring will be 10 to 12 mm thick and have a higher price tag. If you are looking for a more affordable option, try laminate that’s 7 to 8 mm thick, which will perform well if the subfloor is smooth and even.