Laminate flooring is a man-made floor covering comprising MDF covered with a protective plastic layer. The MDF can be printed as a wood, stone, or slate effect to give the impression of the real thing.
In the UK, the average cost of installing laminate flooring per m2 depends on the type of finish, the thickness of each laminate board, and the surface you are placing it on.
Typically, the price to install laminate flooring varies from £17-£35/m2. On average, a budget laminate flooring (walnut) gives £210 for a small room, £335 for a medium room, and £525 for a large room.
Fitting laminate flooring in your home allows almost everyone to own an expensive-looking hardwood or stone floor. Furthermore, laminate floor installation doesn’t cost the earth. And, if you have DIY experience, it’s possible to forget the floor fitter and install the laminate floor yourself, thereby reducing the overall cost.
Related: Wood Flooring Costs
How much to lay laminate flooring?*
The table below outlines typical laminate flooring fitting costs (per m2 and total cost) in different sized rooms in a house.
|Laminate type||Room size||Material Cost||Labour Cost||Total Cost|
|Oak Faux Wood Laminate||Small (15m2)||£250||£200||£450|
|Stone Faux Tile Laminate||Small (15m2)||£240||£200||£440|
|Walnut Faux Tile Laminate||Small (15m2)||£265||£200||£465|
|Ceramic Faux Tile Laminate||Small (15m2)||£170||£200||£370|
|Marble/Granite Faux Tile Laminate||Small (15m2)||£300||£200||£500|
*We compiled the data shown in the table from various online resources. Therefore, they are average figures calculated at the time of writing (June 2021). Moreover, labour and material costs will vary depending on where you buy them, the quality of the product, and the flooring installation company you use. Therefore, use the figures as a starting place for your research.
Generally, faux wood laminate ranges from £16/m2 for budget products, while very good quality laminate flooring costs around £50/m2. In comparison, faux ceramic tiles range from £10/m2 to £25m2. Also, faux stone tiles range from £15/m2 to £35/m2. Furthermore, on average, a laminate fitter charges around £200 per day.
We will use these amounts when talking about the different-sized rooms.
Generally, a small room can have an area up to about 25m2, and a fitter will take around a day to lay laminate flooring. Using the ranges mentioned previously, we calculate that using a budget laminate range for a small room with an area of 15m2 costs:
- From £240 to £750 for a faux wood effect.
- £150 to £375 for a faux ceramic tile effect.
- Finally, from £225 to £525 for a faux stone effect.
Furthermore, an average small room takes around a day to lay a floor. So the labour charges will be about £200.
We class a medium-sized room as between 25m2 and 40m2. Usually, installing a floor this size takes up to three days. If we use the ranges mentioned previously, we can calculate that to laminate the floor of a medium-sized room with an area of 25m2 costs:
- From £400 to £1,250 for a faux wood effect.
- From £250 to £625 for a faux ceramic tile effect.
- And finally, from £375 to £875 for a faux stone effect.
Moreover, as we already mentioned, this size room takes around three days to complete. So, you can expect labour costs to be around £600.
Generally, a large room classification starts at 40m2. Usually, the minimum duration for laying a laminate floor with this area is about four days. Using the price ranges mentioned previously, we can see that the floor of a large room with an area of 40m2 costs:
- From £640 to £2,000 for a faux wood effect.
- From £400 to £1,000 for a faux ceramic tile effect.
- And from £600 to £1,400 for a faux stone effect.
Furthermore, as it takes a typical laminate fitter about four days to complete, you can expect the labour costs to be about £800.
Laminate Flooring Styles
There are two main styles currently available on the market, faux wood and faux tile.
Faux Wood Laminate Flooring Cost
This laminate board looks like natural wood, and if you choose a good quality laminate, you’ll find it hard to tell the difference. Furthermore, faux wood comes in various wood types:
- Oak – Probably, this style is one of the most sought-after in the UK. Its popularity is mainly because of the price of faux oak compared to natural oak. Generally, budget oak laminates cost around £16/m2, with more expensive brands selling at £25/m2. Compare this with a natural oak flooring selling at a minimum of £65/m2, plus the additional skills necessary to lay a natural wood floor, and you can see why it’s so popular.
- Walnut – Once again, walnut is an expensive wood, so it’s trendy with householders who can buy budget walnut laminates from about £17/m2, increasing to £30/m2.
- Hickory and chestnut are also popular wood patterns, with natural wood floors selling at about the same price as the previous two. Once again, the budget laminates cost around £16/m2, while better quality brands sell for £35/m2.
- There are also more exotic faux wood types to choose from, such as Brazilian Cherry. And, as you’d expect, just like natural exotic wood, they are much more expensive than the standard varieties. The cost of laminate flooring, such as these, starts at £27/m2 for budget brands, increasing to £50/m2 for expensive brands.
Faux tile laminate flooring cost
- These boards look like ceramic or stone tiles and are as easy to lay as faux wood boards. Moreover, faux ceramic laminate flooring looks like a glazed ceramic tile and comes in various colours, shapes, and sizes. In comparison, faux stone tiles mimic granite, marble, slate, and sandstone, with granite and marble being the most expensive. Although these tiles look almost like the real thing, they are as easy to fit as laying a laminate floor mimicking wood. Faux ceramic tiles start at £10/m2 and increase to £25/m2. In comparison, the faux stone starts at about £15/m2 and increases to £35/m2. Therefore, for a small room, you could end up paying up to £530 for tiles.
The cost to lay laminate flooring doesn’t end with boards and labour, however. There are plenty of extras to add to the bill.
Although you don’t usually see underlay, it’s an essential addition to your floor. Typically, underlay consists of a closed-cell foam sheet. The foam is between 5mm and 15mm thick, is used as heat insulation, and reduces vibrations when people walk on the floor.
Usually, foam underlay comes in rolls and various qualities. The basic underlay starts at £20 for 20m2. In comparison, higher quality foam increases to £50 for the same area.
Often, it comes as a surprise to many people that laminate flooring isn’t glued or otherwise fixed to the sub-floor on which it rests. Instead, the fitter runs a bead of glue along the tongue and grooved edges before assembly. Essentially, glue converts many individual boards into one solid layer resting on the underlay, which in turn rests on the sub-floor. For this reason, laminate flooring is often called a floating floor.
Usually, the glue is cheap PVA wood adhesive, which sells for £2 to £5 per bottle. But, you can buy more expensive brands for about £10 per bottle. Moreover, there are other glues available if you feel the need.
Skirting & beading
Because the laminate floor floats on the underlay, the fitter usually leaves a narrow 5mm gap around the edge against the skirting board. The gap allows the floor to move slightly or expand and contract as necessary. But, it’s good practice to cover the gap with beading (a length of wood with a small cross-section fixed to the skirting-board, but not the floor). Sometimes, however, if we want a more traditional appearance, we can remove the skirting boards beforehand and replace them afterwards.
Beading is the easiest and cheapest method and costs £2 to £7 for a 2.4m strip. In comparison, skirting-board cost from £7 to £20 per 2.4m.
While you’re installing a new floor, it’s a good idea to consider underfloor heating. Prices for budget heating systems start at about £60/m2. Furthermore, depending on whether you choose dry heating (electrical) or wet heating (connected to the house central heating system), you will need either an electrician or a plumber to install it.
Laminate Flooring Installation Cost Factors
There are many styles to consider when you choose laminates. Different factors include colour, material, shape, and finish. You will probably find that the range of styles for budget ranges is much more limited than expensive ranges. However, no matter how attractive the different styles look in the catalogue photos, you must choose a strict budget for your floor and stick to it. Otherwise, it’s easy to pay more than you can afford.
The finished appearance of budget, medium, and best quality faux wood boards are sometimes not noticeable except under close inspection. The price for medium quality oak in a 15m2 room could range from £450 to £600. In comparison, the best quality walnut might cost up to £1,000. So ask yourself whether the price variation is worthwhile.
Laminate board edging
There are three main choices for the board edges. However, you’ll find there’s not much difference in the price. Probably, around £5 per metre.
- Square edge – This type has flat surfaces on each of the boards’ visible four edges. Therefore, although the boards join using tongue and groove joints, the visible top edge merges into the top edge of the adjoining board. When glued together, this gives the impression of a smooth, unbroken surface. This is a very sophisticated feature, but for it to be effective, the boards must be precisely machined, so there are no gaps or height differences.
- Bevelled edge – This uses a deep V-joint between each board. The joint looks rustic and traditional, like old floorboards or solid wood flooring. Using this type will hide any imperfections in the machining and variations in board thickness.
- Micro-bevelled edge – This type is similar to a bevelled edge, except that the V-groove is much smaller, more like a v-groove. The smaller groove has the same advantages as the large V except that it doesn’t collect as much dirt.
Laminate floor edge gap
As mentioned earlier, after fitting the floor, you need to cover the edge expansion gap. The extra labour needed to fit beading or skirting won’t appreciably affect the total price. However, the cost of the material will make a difference. Decide whether you’re happy with the cheaper and easier-to-fit beading, or whether you want to go for a skirting board.
All laminate floors have a tough synthetic coating to allow the underlying patterns to show through. Therefore, it’s possible to alter this to produce a few different top-layer finishes.
The clear surface is moulded to give texture, which is very effective with an open grain wood or a rough stone effect. Running your fingers across the surface gives the impression of texture, although it rarely matches the picture.
This embossed type provides a tactile surface that matches the picture and follows the wood grain or stone texture. However, you will find that the price increases by around 15%.
The hand-scraped finish looks and feels like distressed rustic floorboards. But, as you’d expect, realism comes at a price. A budget hand-scraped faux oak laminate floor sells at around £20/m2.
How To Lay Laminate Flooring
If you have DIY skills and basic woodworking tools, laying laminate flooring is easy. However, always follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Every room is different, so use our procedure as a general guide only.
- Remove the existing floor covering, and check that the floor doesn’t have any lumps or hollows to disrupt the levels.
- Leave the boards in the room. Remove the plastic wrapping but stack them to keep them flat. Then, leave for 48 hours to allow the boards to acclimatise to the ambient humidity and expand or contract accordingly.
- Lay the underlay onto the sub-floor, allowing a turn-up of about 25mm at the wall.
- Lay a board along a wall starting in a corner. Ensure the tongue edge is against the wall. Use spacers to maintain a 5mm gap around the edge.
- Continue laying each board for this row, glueing each join. When you reach the opposite wall, cut the board length to fit.
- Continue with the next row, ensuring the joints are staggered. Maintain the gap against the wall.
- The last row in the room will probably be narrower than the others. Therefore, you must cut each board lengthwise to fit.
Laminate Flooring Benefits
Laminate flooring has many benefits compared to a natural wood floor.
Ease of installation
Laminates are very easy to fit. You only need basic DIY skills plus a few low-cost tools.
Strong and resilient
Each laminate board consists of high-density MDF or fibreboard covered in a UV stable, hard, protective layer. The layer protects the wood or stone image from fading and also prevents surface damage.
At present, laminate flooring will last from 10 to 30 years. This lifespan depends on whether it has regular maintenance, is of a high-quality brand, and has experienced high foot traffic.
Compared to solid wood, the price of laminates is about 50% cheaper to buy. Moreover, hiring a laminate fitter works out about 70% cheaper than installing real wood. Alternatively, unlike real wood flooring, laminates are easily fitted as a DIY project, which costs nothing in labour.
Laminate Flooring FAQ
Can I laminate stairs?
You can laminate stairs, but you must use special fittings to prevent board movement. Usually, this involves replacing the bullnose from the front edge of the tread with one that holds the board in place.
Do I need underlay for my laminate flooring?
It’s recommended to insert underlay between the sub-floor and the boards. This assists thermal insulation, prevents vibration when walking on it, and helps give the best performance and long life. But, there are many types of underlay, so ensure you use the correct one for the type of laminate.
How do I maintain my laminate flooring?
Vacuum and dust with a dry cloth regularly, and ensure dirt doesn’t get between the boards. Remember that boards are only water-resistant. So, mop up spills immediately.
How do I clean laminate flooring?
Vacuum and brush dust and dirt from the floor.
Be careful, as water will soak in and expand the fibreboard. Therefore, buy approved laminate floor cleaning fluid, which you apply by mop and allow to dry. Read the instructions on the container because the application might differ with various brands. The packs of laminate boards will also have an instruction sheet explaining the specific cleaning method.
Which is better, vinyl or laminate flooring?
The answer depends on what properties you compare:
- Laminate has a longer lifespan and is hardwearing.
- Laminates use mainly wood by-products in their manufacture, whereas vinyl uses synthetic materials. Laminates are therefore better for the planet.
- Vinyl is more water-resistant than laminates, so use it in laundry rooms or bathrooms.
- Both types are easy to install. However, certain types of vinyl might need professional skills.
- Vinyl is easier to clean and maintain, and you can use water without damage.
- They both cost similar amounts per square metre.
- You can use them both in most rooms. Except, you shouldn’t use laminates in areas that experience water spills, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Can you mop laminate flooring?
Don’t use a wet mop. The best way is to use a slightly damp microfibre mop to collect dust and pet hair. Its swivel head is also great for cleaning in hard to reach areas.
Is it OK to put laminate flooring in a kitchen?
Some people say that laminates aren’t suitable for kitchens because of the chance of water spills. However, others say that they can control the spill easier with laminates.
Is laminate waterproof?
Standard laminate isn’t waterproof because it’s made from recycled wood by-products. If water gets into the core, it can cause swelling and damage the bonds between the wood. However, it is water-resistant, and as long as spills are contained and mopped up quickly, they won’t damage. More so, if the laminates are a good quality brand.
Do you need to seal laminate flooring?
Laminates already have a good quality sealer applied as a topcoat. Moreover, the PVA glue will seal all the joints. However, around the wall, you have a cut edge without a sealer. Therefore, use a 100% silicon mastic sealant (suitable for sealing around baths and shower trays) to seal between the laminate and the skirting board or beading. Don’t forget to seal around fitted cupboards, toilets, door frames, and bathroom fixtures. In fact, seal all laminate surfaces where water or a spilt cup of tea might find its way into the board’s wooden core.
Find a Laminate Fitter
If you haven’t done much with the floors in your house for a while and the carpets look threadbare, consider finding out the cost of laying laminate flooring and doing something about it
Furthermore, it’s not easy finding a flooring contractor. It can be a minefield as you don’t immediately know which companies provide an excellent service or charge a reasonable rate. It’s much better to use a recommended company, and we can supply one to suit your circumstances.
Complete the form on this page, and you’ll have up to four companies contact you to provide a laminate flooring quote that won’t break the bank.