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Laminate Buying & Pricing Guide

The price of laminate flooring is determined by various factors. This section provides important information on different aspects that can affect the cost of your laminate floors. When buying laminate, refer to this section and use our Laminate Buying Guide checklists to keep track of expenses and floor estimates.

Abrasion Class Rating System (AC Rating)

Laminate flooring cost is directly influenced by its level of durability. The more durable laminate floors come with a higher price tag, as more work goes into their production. Keep in mind that while the more durable laminate types are thicker – thickness is not always an indication of strength. In order to determine the actual laminate floor strength, check the AC Rating.

  • AC1 Moderate Residential: This low–priced laminate flooring is best for lightly–trafficked residential spaces like bedrooms or closets.
  • AC2 General Residential: AC2 laminate floors suit spaces like living rooms and dining rooms which see medium levels of traffic.
  • AC3 Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial: This mid–priced laminate flooring is suitable for all rooms in the house and lightly–trafficked commercial spaces. (Few residential spaces will require laminate floors with an AC rating higher than 3).
  • AC4 General Commercial: Suitable for all rooms in the house and commercial areas with heavier traffic.
  • AC5 Heavy Commercial: Tends to be the priciest variety of laminate flooring; generally only necessary for high–traffic spaces like public buildings or department stores.
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Core

The core is one of the most important laminate layers as it determines floor durability. Laminate floors with denser cores can handle more wear and tear than types with weak centers. This provides more stability and greater resistance to moisture damage and denting.

Construction

In High Pressure Laminate (HPL), the laminate layers are treated separately and then fused directly to the core; creating a stronger (and therefore more expensive) floor than Direct Pressure Laminate (DPL).

Decorative Layer

The decorative layer of laminate is a high resolution photograph of wood, tile or stone. This photograph is what helps laminate to replicate the look of these other materials. High–quality print material and higher resolution photos will result in higher pricing.

Backing

Backing is an important component in laminate flooring. Beware! Lower quality laminate has a thin backing providing little protection making your floors susceptible to water damage.

Warranty

Depending on where you purchase your laminate flooring materials, different warranties may be offered. Be sure to ask if there is a warranty included and if your local retailer or flooring manufacturer offers an extended warranty.

Brand/ Label/ Manufacturer

When it comes to the cost of laminate floors and materials, brand name makes a difference. Certain brands or manufacturers that have more recognition are generally more expensive than plain label or unknown entities due to their professional reputation, time in the industry, and proven quality product. By default, a lesser–known brand may not necessarily have a lower quality product, but the popularity and therefore usage and proven quality may not be comparable to a company with a well–established reputation.

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