I’ve installed 6 mm laminate flooring on many occasions. As a Pergo trained freelance professional laminate floor installer of over 15 years, I have an eye for detail and know what I’m looking for in a laminate floor. The 6 mm thick laminates have popped up on my radar many times and I’d like to share with you my insight into this particular laminate floor..
I’ll start with some basic information:
- Installation – Floating
- Guarantee – Typcically 7 years onwards
- Suitable rooms – All rooms excluding high humidity areas
- Finish – Smooth
- Design – 3 block effect
- Special note – CHEAP!
Now we’ve got some of the manufacturers specs out of the way, let’s begin with what the real story is with the 6 mm laminate flooring.
6 mm thick laminates have been around for a while and is at the less expensive end of the laminate flooring scale. Early on, I don’t want to give too much away as there’s plenty to look at, but I will say keep your expectations of 6 mm laminates realistic. The timeless expression ‘you get what you pay for’ has never been so true in this instance. Although, it does have it’s uses and the amount that is bought on a daily basis is testament to that.
What are the benefits of Maple 6 mm laminate flooring?
- As mentioned it is super cheap. A 30 square metre area could be bought (including accessories) for under £250. Now that’s CHEAP!
- It cuts extremely easily. Some would say that’s not a benefit but in the right hands, that can be a god send.
- Due to it’s thickness the packs and planks are light weight. Compared to some of the more substantial laminate floors available, transporting them can be far easier.
- The lighter colour of Maple will give any dark room that doesn’t get much light a boost and make the room look bigger.
To answer this question I will have to repeat my call to your expectations. 6 mm laminates can be installed in most rooms except areas of high humidity. However, although the manufacturers state that it’s good for heavy domestic use, I’d personally say, you won’t get much mileage out of this floor in such areas. I’ve had clients tell me the flooring is great and has lasted well, but on the occasions that I’ve seen this flooring further down the line, I haven’t been all that impressed when it’s been installed in high traffic areas. Align this with the offered 7 year guarantee and the two don’t sit very well for me.
Ignoring the manufacturers claims, the rooms that I’d say 6 mm laminate is ideal for would be lower usage areas like bedrooms or even in properties where the hussle and bussle of a young family or boisterous pets isn’t applicable. I’ve seen it perform very well when treated with care.
Getting back to individual expectations, in my experience some people want a laminate floor to look the same as it did when it was installed, ten years down the line. Do not expect this floor to perform to such standards. It is absolutely perfect for quick spruce up’s and immediate room transformations.
The negatives of 6 mm laminate flooring!
This laminate floor has next to no structural stability. In other words, it’s so thin that it can be bent with very minimal effort. If you’re installing it and not taking steps to make sure the sub-floor is FLAT, do not expect this laminate floor to perform very well.
The top surface layer is typically extremely week. Chipping at the edges is common place. It’s abrasion and impact resistance are extremely low. Hence, the reason for my advice when considering this type of floor in heavy domestic settings.
Installing this floor can be a complete nightmare! Laterally and horizontally bowed planks are very frequent, regardless of how well it has been acclimatised, which is mainly due to the boards being only 6 mm thick. Due to the bowing, the use of a knocking block and light tap with a hammer is often required. One slip or poorly weighted strike with the hammer and you’ll find the edge of this laminate will crunch and chip.
Without beating this floor up too much I have one final negative to point out with the 6 mm laminate flooring. The locking system is horrid. It’s very dry and extremely flimsy. If not aligned properly when being installed it will tear and practically disintegrate.
Rarely have I punished a floor as much in any reviews I’ve done. I have to look at the bigger picture and bring a balanced perspective for you to make up your own choice. I do hope I’ve not tipped the scale.
From a professional installers point of view and knowing what I expect out of a floor, this type of laminate for me is a no go. However, as mentioned the cost really does help to ease the pain and if you’re considering this floor as a temporary fix, then it is certainly worth looking at.
Now you have a clear understanding as to the performance of 6 mm thick laminate floors, should you decide to acquire it, you will be under no illusions as to what you are getting, where best to install it and it’s limitations. In the right environment, it will last for years. In the wrong environment it will last less than six months in my opinion. A slight upward shift in your budget would go a long way to finding a laminate floor that is better suited for your purposes, especially, if you have a hectic household.© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor