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So you’re looking to buy some laminate flooring but aren’t sure which thickness is best.
There’s 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and more. This raises many questions. Does a couple of mm difference really matter? Is thicker laminate more expensive?
The short answer is that yes, the thickness of laminate flooring you get does matter. Not only is the pricing different but it’s also important to the look and feel of your flooring.
In this article we aim to answer every question that you have regarding laminate floor thickness so that you can get the right flooring for your home.
Ready? Let’s jump in.
What is Laminate Thickness?
Laminate thickness is the distance in millimeters from the base to the top of the laminate board. Although some laminate comes with a pad attached it should not be included in the thickness. It’s important to consider this because there are some unethical sales people that might try and tell you that the pad is included.
Why Does Laminate Thickness Matter?
Yes. Laminate thickness does matter. For one, thicker laminate is a bit more durable than it’s thin counterpart. There are more advantages to thicker laminate though:
- Can etch in more detailed designs
- Quieter with less echo
- Installation is more forgiving because it hides imperfections in the subfloor
- Feels like hardwood underfoot
We want to note that we don’t really consider durability to be an advantage of laminate flooring. The reason for this is because sometimes there are issues with the installation process. If there are imperfections then the floor can come apart with time.
How Thick Should Laminate Flooring Be?
Laminate flooring should be between 6-12mm thick. In fact, there isn’t any laminate over 12mm. The highest quality laminate is usually 10mm or 12m in thickness. If the budget is tight you can get by with 7 or 8mm though.
What Thickness Should I Get?
Now we’ll go over the different thicknesses and who would be best suited to them.
Related: Top brands of laminate flooring guide
7mm is really the worst option when it comes to thickness. Sure, you might be able to find an excellent deal on it but we would not recommend buying it.
7mm is just not thick enough if you want your laminate to last for any significant amount of time. For this reason, we would steer clear.
8mm is the minimum that we would recommend going with and only if budget is a major concern. Manufacturers make much higher quality products in the 8mm range. It’s possible to find some decent laminate in this price range.
8mm vs 10mm Laminate
Although 2mm doesn’t sound like much, it works out to 25% which is a significant difference.
10mm is going to be a bit more durable than 8mm (obviously) but not by a huge amount. 8mm might sound a bit louder when walked on. Also, if the subfloor isn’t level then 8mm laminate won’t last as long due to splitting.
Overall you’ll notice more of the “advantages” of thick laminate when using 10mm vs 8mm.
8mm vs 12mm Laminate
12mm laminate is much more durable than 8mm. This makes it the better choice for areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. If anything gets dropped on 12mm laminate it’s much less likely to cause damage.
12mm also feels better to walk on and makes less noise compared to 8mm. Overall it feels more like hardwood than 8mm does.
10mm vs 12mm Laminate
Although the gap between these two is the same at just 2mm that doesn’t necessarily translate into many benefits.
The jump to 12mm does give more impact resistance, can support more weight, and is more forgiving with the installation.
Also, 12mm thickness tends to have some very aesthetic designs that look and feel similar to hardwood.
So overall, there are diminishing returns going from 10mm to 12mm because most issues will be eliminated when going up to 10mm. When it comes to 8mm vs 12mm laminate there are significant differences though.
Overall both 10mm and 12mm are good choices, with 12mm being closer to hardwood. 8mm is a good choice if budget is a concern, you’ll just have to look a bit harder to find a good quality laminate.