8 or 12mm: How to Choose Laminate Thickness
Laminate is considered one of the toughest materials in the flooring industry. In the past, there was one standard thickness for laminate boards. However you’ll see a wide array of options today ranging from 6mm all the way to 12mm. To the untrained eye, it’s hard to imagine just how a few millimeters can make a difference. Does it really matter if you skip out on as little as 5mm?
Well, the purchase cost certainly seems to think so – laminate prices go up with every increase in millimeters. In this segment, we’ll be answering all your questions related to laminate thickness including:
- Does the thickness of laminate matter?
- How do different laminate thicknesses compare?
- How do I choose the right laminate thickness for my project?
Does laminate thickness really matter?
The thickness of laminate planks is defined by the distance between the base of the board and the top. Now, while the thickness tends to affect how your laminate looks and feels, it also affects the durability and lifespan of the boards. Compared to 8mm laminate, thicker laminate (12mm) comes with the following advantages.
- Thicker laminate is more impact resistant
- Feels more like hardwood underfoot than thin boards
- It allows for more detailed designs to be etched in
- Far much quieter with less echo
- Thicker laminate hides floor imperfections better making installation more forgiving
How do different laminate thicknesses compare?
Comparing the different thicknesses will not only give you a better idea of how each affects durability, but also what laminate thickness will be best for your home or project. We’ll start with the thinnest options and work our way up.
6mm – 8mm laminate thickness
6mm laminate is what is referred to as bottom of the barrel laminate flooring. Are they bad? Not really, but you can expect all the drawbacks of thin laminate flooring that we mentioned earlier.
These include less durability, low impact resistance, more subfloor imperfections, more echo and a plastic feel underfoot. However, these thinner options are much cheaper to buy than thicker laminate.
8mm laminate is one of the most common options and offers better durability and comfort for a very affordable price.
10mm – 12mm laminate thickness
10mm thickness is where manufacturers really start to take things seriously. It’s where most of the performance problems that come with thinner laminate are eliminated. Of course, you could argue that the 10mm is just as durable and resistant as the 12mm seeing that there’s only a 2mm difference. However, there are advantages of going for the thickest and best quality laminate.
12 mm laminate flooring are the closest you can get to a hardwood look and feel. They also sport some of the coolest and aesthetically pleasing designs.
When shopping for floor laminate, the thickness is undoubtedly the biggest decision you’ll make. Not only will it affect the durability and longevity of your floors, it makes installation that much more forgiving. And while the thickness isn’t necessarily the biggest factor when it comes to durability, it certainly plays a crucial role in the look and feel of your floors.
8mm laminate definitely looks like the sweet spot for laminate thickness while 12mm is the go-to quality option for people looking for the closest thing to hardwood.
Want to know more about laminate flooring? Read our most popular articles on the topic:
- Buyer’s guide to choosing laminate flooring
- How to prepare your floor before installing laminate flooring?
- Guide to installing laminate flooring yourself
- What are AC ratings when it comes to laminate?
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