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Whether you’re after a streamlined look or something that’ll repel dirt and damage, laminate is a popular option for your floor. Unlike vinyl, laminate is able to withstand items being dropped from a great height.
It’s not subjected to stiletto heel damage as wood can be (I speak from experience), and it can take a fair battering from child’s play. But is it expensive? Can you do it yourself? Read on for your laminate flooring fitting cost guide.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Made to look like wood, laminate flooring is actually made of MDF, topped with a layer of plastic. It’s usually printed with a wood-effect finish, but you can get other types of finish, such as stone or slate.
Chosen for its practicality and easy maintenance, it’s a popular choice among homeowners who want to achieve the look of a wooden floor, without the expense of solid wood and other costs involved in maintaining it.
Before we look at whether it’s something you can do yourself, here are some costs you should consider first.
Hiring a Professional: Things to Consider
As mentioned in our article on Vinyl Flooring Installation Cost, any flooring you already have down will need to be taken up. Unlike when you take rubbish to the tip, professionals are charged for waste disposal, which is a cost that the tradesman will pass on to you. As will any requirement to remove any furniture from the room before work can begin.
Depending on your property and its construction, an installation job may not simply be a case of disposing of the old flooring and fitting a new one.
Additional costs could include levelling the floor (potentially up to £20 per square metre*), trimming doors (approx. £50 for each door*) and damp-proof membrane.
There will also be the potential cost of replacing or supplying skirting boards and/or adding beading. Scotia beading can cost around £5-£10* per length, depending on the material.
Basic Laminate Flooring Fitting Cost
Assuming you only need to have underlay and laminate slats fitted, the table below provides a professional cost guide.
You could be looking at anything from £5 for a basic laminate, up to £25 per m2 for higher-end material. Labour costs can range from £8 to £12 per m2, or a day rate of £150 – £200.
*Prices based on information obtained via Mybuilder.com. Average rates in the table below are based on data collated by ‘Which?‘ and include a basic laminate and underlay materials, plus labour. Prices do not include VAT and will vary depending on your location.
Please note that this information is displayed as a guide only and you will need to obtain a full written quotation. As always, consider any additional services you may need as mentioned above.
|Job Type/Size||Details||Average Cost||Cost Range||Time|
|Fit laminate flooring -- small room||Approx room size 3.05m x 1.83m||£315||£280 -£350||2 -- 4 hours|
|Fit laminate flooring -- medium room||Approx room size 3.05m x 3.66m||£490||£400 -- £580||4 -- 6 hours|
|Fit laminate flooring -- large room||Approx room size 5.35m x 4.57m||£900||£830 -- £970||4 -- 8 hours|
Doing it Yourself: Things to Consider
If you are a pretty confident DIYer and have tackled a few home-improvement tasks already, there’s no reason why you couldn’t fit the laminate floor yourself. The boards come with a tongue and groove quick fit and may or may not require glueing.
For an overview and quick visual tutorial, take a look at the video below:
Now that you have an idea of what’s involved, consider the equipment you will need, and any other materials needed to fully complete the job.
Provided you have these tools on hand, or can borrow them at least, you’ll be saving yourself the labour charge and any associated costs such as furniture removal and waste disposal.
Tools You Will Need
- Handsaw Or Circular Saw
- Jigsaw (For Cutting Out Around Pipes, Doors, Toilets, Etc)
- Safety Goggles
- Pencil For Marking
- Measuring Tape
- Installation Kit (e.g., Laminate Flooring Pull Bar, Hammering Block, Spacers)
Important Points for Fitting Laminate Flooring
When measuring the room to determine how much flooring is required, you should add 10% of the total amount required to allow for wastage. You’ll also need to check the level of the floor to ensure a flat and even finish.
Let the wood acclimatise for 48 hours prior to use. A constant temperature is required during – and 3 days after – fitting to allow for any potential expansion and contraction, which can be caused by any changes in temperature and humidity.
In addition to this, you’ll need to allow a 10mm gap between the floor and the wall to give the material room in case any expansion should occur. You can do this by using spacers which will be supplied in your installation kit (purchased separately).
When choosing your underlay, firstly consider the type of base on which you’re laying the floor. If laying over concrete, you’ll need to opt for a damp-proof membrane. If you have underfloor heating, choose an underlay with even heat distribution.
Other materials you may need to purchase include skirting board and/or beading, which should adequately hide the expansion gap and provide a neat finish.
When it comes to the installation, you’ll want to ensure you create a ‘staggered’ look. There should be around 8 inches difference between the ends of the adjoining boards, as discussed in this post.
Craig Phillips from the Home Channel demonstrates step-by-step on how to lay your laminate flooring in the video below:
If you don’t feel confident enough to complete this job yourself, then hop over to Rated People to get your quotation.
Your Choice: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?
If you’re considering DIY, the experts in the videos above make the job look fairly straightforward. Based on the above information, you should weigh up the availability of the tools and resources you have against the cost of hiring someone to do the job for you.
Of course, if time is an issue, the best option would be to hire someone to complete the job for you, which you can do through Rated People.
When obtaining a quote, remember these key tips:
- Get a price per job, not per hour
- Obtain a selection of at least three quotations
- Ask for your quotations to be itemised, including material, labour, and any additional costs as mentioned above
- Ask to see reviews/testimonials
Do you have experience in fitting a laminate floor, or did you hire a professional? Let us know in the comments below. And if you enjoyed this article, please share!