Synonymous with durability and luxury, wooden flooring is growing in popularity among modern homeowners. And nothing beats the thrill of finding a beautifully aged wooden floor beneath an old carpet.
With these accolades come high price points, but there are cost-effective methods to help you shave costs.
In this article, we cover what you can expect to spend on wooden flooring. We explore the different factors that impact the cost of wooden flooring, the advantages and disadvantages of certain finishes and materials, and how to find the right tradesperson to carry out the job for you.
Keep reading to find out how you can get a beautiful wooden floor whilst keeping your costs low.
How Much Does Wooden Flooring Cost?
The price of wooden flooring depends on the type of timber you choose, but there are ways to get the look you want whilst staying on budget.
The table below shows the average cost of solid oak flooring, engineered oak flooring, and oak parquet flooring. It also shows how much you can expect to pay to have the flooring fitted and how long it should take.
|Type||Price per Square Metre||Labour Costs||Time Required|
|Solid oak||£30 to £90||£35 to £50 per square metre||1 to 2 days|
|Engineered oak||£20 to £60||£20 to £80 per square metre||1 to 2 days|
|Oak parquet||£20 to £50||£120 to £180 per square metre||3 to 4 days|
Solid oak flooring is a timeless option made from a single piece of timber. On average, you can expect to pay between £30 and £90 per square metre, depending on the quality of oak you choose, the size of each plank, and other factors.
Engineered oak flooring is made by glueing a thin layer of solid oak to more substantial layers of either MDF, plywood, or softwood. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £60 per square metre for this type of flooring.
Parquet flooring is a beautiful choice that instantly makes a statement in your home. Oak parquet is made from thin strips of solid timber that’s fitted to create a geometric pattern. You can pay from £20 to £50 per square metre for oak parquet.
Wooden flooring is an investment, so it’s important to find a good fitter. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from reputable tradespeople, so you can find the right person to do the job within your budget.
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What Affects the Cost of Wooden Flooring?
Choice of Flooring
Solid wood is an excellent option if your budget allows for it.
As we saw in the table above, labour costs for installing solid wood floors can be high. This flooring type requires a careful approach to installation to minimise the risk of shifting or creaking floorboards later.
Engineered wood is a good alternative that offers the appeal of solid wood at a more affordable price. However, engineered flooring costs can quickly rise depending on the thickness of the wood veneer and the finish you choose.
Installation costs for engineered flooring can also vary quite a bit. Some engineered planks simply click together, whilst others must be glued or screwed into place.
Be sure to check with the manufacturer before you purchase, so you’ll understand how labour-intensive the installation will be—and therefore, how much a fitter is likely to charge.
There’s less variation in parquet flooring costs, but this is the most demanding type of flooring to instal since each small strip must be carefully laid in place in a specific pattern.
If you choose parquet flooring, be sure to hire a tradesperson with plenty of experience working specifically with parquet, and always ask for photos and references.
The Type of Timber
In addition to the different costs of solid, engineered, and parquet flooring, your project’s overall cost will depend on your choice of timber.
We used oak as an example earlier, but plenty of other choices are available—including softwood and hardwood options.
The table below shows the typical range of prices you can expect to pay for different timber types, including solid and engineered options:
|Timber and Design||Estimated Cost per Square Metre||Estimated Material Cost for a Small Room (10 square metres)||Estimated Material Cost for a Medium Room (15 square metres)||Estimated Material Cost for a Large Room (20 square metres)|
|Pine, solid||£4.50 to £20||£45 to £200||£67.50 to £300||£90 to £400|
|Pine, reclaimed||£35 to £75||£350 to £750||£525 to £1,125||£700 to £1,500|
|Oak, solid||£30 to £90||£300 to £900||£450 to £1,350||£600 to £1,800|
|Oak, engineered||£20 to £60||£200 to £600||£300 to £900||£400 to £1,200|
|Maple, solid||£45 to £75||£450 to £750||£675 to £1,125||£900 to £1,500|
|Maple, engineered||£25 to £45||£250 to £450||£375 to £675||£500 to £900|
|Cherry, solid||£45 to £100||£450 to £1,000||£675 to £1,500||£900 to £2,000|
|Cherry, engineered||£50 to £75||£500 to £750||£750 to £1,125||£1,000 to £1,500|
|Walnut, solid||£50 to £80||£500 to £800||£750 to £1,200||£1,000 to £1,600|
|Walnut, engineered||£30 to £60||£300 to £600||£450 to £900||£600 to £1,200|
|Ash, solid||£50 to £80||£500 to £800||£750 to £1,200||£1,000 to £1,600|
|Ash, engineered||£25 to £75||£250 to £750||£375 to £1,125||£500 to £1,500|
|Beech, solid||£40 to £60||£400 to £600||£600 to £900||£800 to £1,200|
|Beech, engineered||£35 to £45||£350 to £450||£525 to £675||£700 to £900|
|Teak, solid||£60 to £160||£600 to £1,600||£900 to £2,400||£1,200 to £3,200|
|Teak, engineered||£70 to £90||£700 to £900||£1,050 to £1,350||£1,400 to £1,800|
|Iroko, solid||£120 to £130||£1,200 to £1,300||£1,800 to £1,950||£2,400 to £2,600|
|Iroko, engineered||£50 to £125||£500 to £1,250||£750 to £1,875||£1,000 to £2,500|
Pine is the most popular softwood used for wooden flooring. Its light colour streaked with pale brown means it can be used in both modern and rustic homes.
Pine flooring isn’t as durable as hardwoods like oak and maple. Still, it’s an affordable option that’ll last if treated with care.
Solid pine boards cost anywhere from £4.50 to £20 per square metre.
Engineered pine flooring is rare, although some specialist retailers sell end grain pine parquet for around £60 per square metre.
Reclaimed (or antique) pine floorboards are increasingly popular in the UK as homeowners seek to restore the original period flooring in their Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian homes. Reclaimed pine is often full of character and texture, and ranges in price from £35 to £70 per square metre.
Hardwood flooring options include oak, maple, beech, and teak, among others. These flooring types will stand the test of time but often come at a higher price.
Maple is almost a cream colour with pale brown streaks and knotting. It’s a strong wood which makes it ideal for areas that have a busy footfall.
You’ll pay anywhere from £25 to £45 per square metre for engineered maple floors, whilst prices for solid maple start at £45 and can rise to £75 per square metre.
Cherry wood is also known as Brazilian Cherry or Jatoba. It has a dark reddish hue, although engineered cherry flooring tends to be slightly lighter in colour.
Engineered cherry costs between £50 and £75 per square metre. There’s more variation in the cost of solid cherry flooring, which can be as low as £45 per square metre or as much as £100 per square metre.
Walnut is widely used for parquet flooring with a chevron pattern. Walnut flooring usually features a combination of light and dark tones, which gives it a distinct appearance.
Engineered options range from £30 to £60 per square metre, and solid walnut will set you back £50 to £80 per square metre.
Ash flooring is a light-coloured mix of beige and brown. Over time, ash flooring will become lighter or darker, depending on whether the original colour was light or dark.
Engineered ash goes for £25 to £75 per square metre, whereas solid ash can set you back £50 to £80 per square metre.
Beechwood is normally light in colour with little contrast in colour and pattern. If you prefer a uniform look, then beech is a good choice.
Engineered beech costs between £35 and £45 per square metre, and solid beech is a little more expensive at £40 to £60 per square metre.
Teak flooring is extremely durable and comes in a rich chocolate brown shade, with lighter flecks and dark knots. Teak is an excellent choice for high footfall areas.
You’ll pay upwards of £70 to £90 per square metre for engineered teak or anything from £60 to £160 per square metre for solid teak flooring.
Iroko is also sometimes called African teak because it comes from the coastal regions of West Africa. Its colour resembles a toasted brown with pale yellow streaks that come from the sapwood inside the tree.
Engineered iroko flooring is priced from £50 to £125 per square metre, but solid iroko will cost you £120 to £130 per square metre. This timber is also a popular choice for parquet flooring, but you’ll pay more than £130 per square metre for this.
Ebony is another hardwood, but genuine ebony is rarely used for flooring because most ebony forests are endangered due to overexploitation.
If you love ebony’s deep black colouring, look for black or espresso-stained flooring made from other timber varieties (usually oak). Or, if you want something truly different, try painting your floorboards black!
The grade of timber you choose also affects the cost of wooden flooring, as does each plank’s width and thickness.
Timber grades include prime, select, natural, and rustic.
Prime timber has very few knots and imperfections compared to rustic flooring, so it’s a matter of picking the grade that suits your style and budget.
On average, most solid wood flooring is between 125 and 200 millimetres wide (12.5 and 20 centimetres) and 15 to 20 millimetres thick (1.5 to 2 centimetres). Wider or thicker planks of wood are usually more expensive.
At the same time, thinner strips can also be pricier since they’re often used for parquet.
If you have underfloor heating, remember to choose flooring that’s not too thick so the heat can still penetrate through the wood. Many manufacturers recommend using engineered flooring on top of underfloor heating.
The size of your room directly affects the price of your wooden floor—bigger spaces require more material, which means more time for fitting.
However, there are cost-effective hacks to make sure even the biggest room in your home is floored in an effective way that doesn’t break your budget.
If you want to put wooden flooring in a large room whilst staying on budget, simply lay the flooring in a straight pattern.
If you’re set on using parquet but need to keep costs down, try using it in a smaller space like a lounge or a galley kitchen. That way, you can get the look of parquet without spending huge sums. As a bonus, your room will also appear more spacious!
Consider your room’s size along with your style and budget and see what allowances you can make.
Wooden flooring is most commonly laid in a straight pattern for a good reason: it’s by far the most cost-effective. Whether the flooring runs across a room or down the length of your space, wooden flooring can make rooms appear bigger and sharpen the look of your home environment.
Parquet flooring relates to a family of geometric patterns, including herringbone and chevron. A chevron design will contain a ‘V’ pattern with planks cut at an angle, laid diagonally or parallel to your room’s walls; a great way to add spaciousness.
The herringbone pattern is similar in premise, but instead of the cut ‘V’ shape, rectangular planks of wood sit against one another to create a staggered look.
Understandably, laying a floor in a parquet design will cost more than a straight pattern because of the level of skill needed to instal it.
How Much Preparation is Required Beforehand
Your flooring project’s total cost also depends on how much preparation the room needs before the flooring can be laid.
Moving furniture, pulling up old carpets, taking off skirting boards, and laying new underlay are all jobs that can drive the cost upwards.
For most wooden floors, a basic foam underlay should do the job. Prices start at just £1.50 per square metre.
Suppose you plan to lay wooden flooring upstairs. In that case, you may want to consider adding some soundproofing by using a special acoustic rubber underlay, which can cost around £8 per square metre.
If your subfloor is concrete, as it might be in a kitchen extension, you may need to use a self-levelling compound before laying your flooring. You can buy 25-kilogramme bags of self-levelling compound from most builders’ merchants for just £20.
Flooring Accessories and Wastage
When pricing up your new floor, it’s important to remember the cost of accessories you or your fitter need to lay the flooring and finish the room. These include threshold strips, pipe surrounds, and new skirting boards.
If you’re adding new skirting boards, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of paint, so they look just as lovely as your brand-new floor.
Most importantly, if you’re sourcing the flooring yourself, remember to buy five to 10 per cent extra to allow for wastage.
Yes, buying extra costs you more, but that way, you’ll have enough in case some of the boards arrive damaged or you (or your fitter) make a wrong cut or two.
If you have any leftover planks, you can always resell them or upcycle the spare planks into furniture around the home, such as a shelf or a bookcase.
Choice of Finish
Finally, if you’ve purchased unfinished wood flooring, the cost of laying wooden flooring depends on the finish you choose—whether that’s a stain, oil, or a lacquered finish.
One option is to sand and stain your new floor. Stains come in a huge range of colours and cost anywhere from £30 to £65 for a 5-litre container.
If you’d like to add character to make your new floor look lived-in, giving the boards an oil coat will add an authentic touch. Floor oils cost between £35 and £80 per 2.5 litres.
Or, if you want an ultra-hard-wearing top coat for a high traffic area, adding several coats of lacquer (also known as varnish) can do just that. Lacquers and varnishes can set you back £30 to £110 per 5 litres.
Whatever finish you choose, always test the product on a sample piece of wood beforehand so you can be sure it’s the look you want. Remember that the colour can change over time—especially if your floor is in a sunny room.
How Can I Save Money on Wooden Flooring?
Regardless of the kind of flooring you choose, there are ways to save money if you’re on a budget.
If you only need to cover a small area, ask friends, relatives, or neighbours if they have any surplus boards you can use.
You can also save money by preparing the room before the fitters arrive by clearing out furniture, lifting old carpet and underlay, and disposing of old skirting boards.
If you’re trying to keep costs down, you can also try putting down the underlay yourself.
However, remember that the underlay has to be perfectly level. Otherwise, the fitters won’t be able to lay the flooring, and they could charge you extra if they have to pull up and replace any poorly installed underlay.
If you’re an experienced DIY-er, you can also save money by laying the entire floor yourself. Laying a straight pattern is much easier for a novice than fitting a chevron parquet floor.
But, if you’d prefer to use a professional fitter, we can also help you save money and find the best tradesperson for the job.
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What Type of Flooring Should I Choose?
Buying wooden flooring involves browsing through dozens of options and making multiple decisions on everything from the type of timber to patterns, finishes, and so much more.
The possibilities can seem endless. So how do you know which flooring is right for you?
The main decisions you need to make are the type of wood, and whether you want solid or engineered boards.
The table below sets out some advantages and disadvantages of hardwood and softwood floors.
|Softwood (such as pine and larch)||-More affordable than hardwoods|
-Environmentally sustainable since pine and larch grow quickly
|-Requires regular sweeping or vacuuming
-Prone to scratches and dents
|Hardwood (such as oak, walnut, beech, and teak)||-Durable and resists scratches and dents better than pine or larch|
-More choices than softwood flooring
|-Expensive compared to softwoods
-Needs regular sweeping or vacuuming
Softwoods like pine and larch are more affordable than hardwoods like oak, beech, and teak.
On the other hand, while both softwoods and hardwoods must be swept or vacuumed regularly to keep them looking their best, softwoods are more prone to scratches and dents.
If you have children or pets at home, or you’re a little clumsy (like some of us here at HouseholdQuotes!), hardwood flooring may be the better choice.
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of solid and hardwood floors:
|Solid||-A classic choice that will never go out of style|
-Easy to refinish over and over
-Great for high traffic areas
-Desirable and increases the appeal of buyers if you sell your home
-Increases the value of your home
|-Usually more expensive than engineered flooring
-More challenging and time-consuming to lay
-Unsuitable for humid environments like bathrooms and kitchens
-Can’t be used with underfloor heating
|Engineered||-More affordable than solid wood flooring|
-Has the same timeless look as solid flooring
-Click-together systems are easy to fit
-Suitable for kitchens and bathrooms
-Can be used with underfloor heating
|-Can only refinish two or three times
-Tongue and groove engineered flooring requires more skill and time to fit
-More expensive than laminate flooring
-May contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals like formaldehyde
As you can see, both solid and engineered floors have a classic appeal that works in both modern and period homes.
Whilst solid wood is more expensive than engineered flooring, it can also be refinished time and time again. In contrast, engineered flooring can only be sanded down two or three times at most.
Solid wood is great for high traffic areas because it’s highly durable. Still, engineered flooring is great for humid environments like kitchens and bathrooms because it won’t warp.
Whatever flooring you choose, it’s a good idea to purchase the best quality timber or engineered boards you can afford and take good care of your new floor. This way, you’ll get the best value over time.
What’s Involved in Fitting a New Wooden Floor?
Once you’ve purchased your flooring, you can plan for the installation.
In a nutshell, fitting a new wooden floor involves the following:
- Letting the new boards acclimatise in your home for up to two weeks
- Taking up any old carpet
- Removing old skirting
- Checking the subfloor
- Repairing and levelling the subfloor if necessary
- Laying new underlay
- Measuring, cutting, and laying the boards in your chosen pattern
- Filling the gaps between each board
- Fitting new skirting
- Sanding down the new floor
- Clearing away rubbish
- Finishing the floors with a protector, stain, oil, or lacquer/varnish
- Painting the new skirting
Once you’ve bought your flooring, you should ask your supplier how long the boards need to acclimatise in your home before they can be fitted.
This process allows the wood to naturally adapt to the level of humidity in your home, so there’s less risk of the boards moving after they’ve been fitted.
Once the finish on your new floor is completely dry, you can clean them with a specialist floor cleaner.
Your fitter should advise you when it’s safe to move your furniture back in. Remember to stock up on furniture pads to keep your floor looking as good as new.
Then, you can sit back and admire your beautiful new floor!
How Do I Find and Hire a Flooring Fitter?
If you don’t want to fit the floor yourself, hiring a professional fitter is a great approach.
To find a fitter, nothing beats a personal recommendation. Start by asking friends, family, and neighbours for their suggestions.
It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes, so you can be sure you’ve found the right person for your project and your budget.
If you’d like more recommendations, we can help you find qualified floor fitters if you complete our form here:
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
When you speak with the fitter, be sure to ask them the following questions:
- Can they provide a written quote?
- Does the price include all the necessary preparation, fitting, and finishing? Or, can they give you a better deal if you’re willing to do some of these jobs yourself?
- Do they have experience in laying the type of flooring you’ve chosen?
- Can they provide photos of their previous work?
- Can they give you the names of at least two references?
- Are they insured?
Don’t be afraid to ask these questions; any reputable tradesperson should be happy to answer them.
Installing a wooden floor is a great way to change your home’s look whilst adding to its overall value.
Here are the key takeaways if you’re planning to install wooden flooring:
- Choose flooring that suits your budget but also fits your lifestyle and space.
- Remember to factor in the cost of accessories and wastage.
- To save money, see if you can source leftover boards from people you know or online marketplaces.
- Reduce costs by doing as much prep work as you can before your workmen arrive, such as taking up old carpet, skirting boards, and flooring.
- Remember to let your boards adjust to your home before laying them.
- Gather at least three quotes and make sure the trader answers all your questions before you hire someone.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Install Wood Flooring Myself?
Whilst engineered flooring normally comes with a tongue-and-groove fastening, solid wooden boards need to be nailed or glued down.
For that reason, solid floorboards can be more challenging to fit and it’s more costly if you make a mistake.
If your skills are up to the task, installing a wooden floor yourself can be a great way to save money as you’ll only need to pay for the materials. You can work at your own pace, and though it might take longer, at least you won’t have fitters disrupting daily life.
What’s the Most Durable Type of Wooden Flooring?
Hardwood timber normally comes from slow-growing deciduous trees such as maple, oak, and walnut. Conversely, softwood timber comes from faster-growing evergreen species like cedar, fir, larch, and pine.
Generally speaking, hardwood timber is the most durable wooden flooring. Hardwood flooring is more resistant (though not completely invulnerable!) to the dents and scratches that occur as part of normal daily life when compared to softwood flooring.
This means that hardwood flooring is often more expensive than softwood flooring.
The Janka hardness test is a useful way of measuring the hardness of different woods. The test evaluates how much force is needed to embed a steel ball into a wood sample.
According to this test, ebony, mahogany, Brazilian cherry (or jatoba), and teak rank among the hardest types of timber measured, whereas Douglas fir, larch, chestnut, and yellow and white pine are some of the least hard tree species tested.
You will also need to decide between solid and engineered flooring. When properly cared for, solid wood flooring can last a lifetime and you can refinish thick, high-quality flooring up to 10 times before the boards become too fragile.
On the other hand, engineered flooring is topped with a thin veneer of timber. This means engineered flooring is often an affordable choice (especially if you want the look of hardwood flooring) but you can only refinish it two or three times depending on the thickness and quality of your engineered flooring.
Whatever flooring you choose, it’s always a good idea to know how to maintain it so that you maximise the longevity and beauty of your floor.
How Do I Maintain My Wood Floor?
To keep your wood floor looking its best, it’s a good idea to wipe or mop up spills as soon as possible so the liquid doesn’t penetrate the flooring and potentially cause your flooring to warp.
Similarly, we suggest vacuuming your floor at least once a week so that dirt, small stones, and other debris don’t scratch your floor—just make sure to use a vacuum attachment designed for wooden flooring!
When you mop your floor, wring out your mop as much as possible to avoid puddles on the floor. Many homeowners prefer spray mops for cleaning their wooden floors, but the choice is entirely yours.
Whichever type of mop you choose, always use a gentle cleaner designed for wooden floors, and never use furniture polish on flooring.
It’s also a good idea to use furniture pads underneath all your furniture—including chairs but also sofas, wardrobes, and any other bits you might need to occasionally move.
If your floor has lost its sheen, there are now commercial products that can ‘rejuvenate’ or ‘restore’ the finish on your wooden flooring. These may be available in a satin or glossy finish.
For isolated dents and deeper scratches, you may be able to repair your floor by gently sanding and re-finishing the affected area. However, you’ll need to be careful about matching the stain and finish—especially if the problem is in a highly visible area.
If all else fails—refinish your flooring! The average wooden floor needs refinishing every 7 to 10 years, so it’s not uncommon.
How Long Can Solid or Engineered Floors Last?
Because solid wooden flooring is made entirely of timber, you can refinish it multiple times throughout your lifetime. Depending on the thickness and quality of the flooring, you may even be able to refinish it up to 10 times!
Engineered floors can also be highly durable, and can last up to 30 years.
No matter where you choose to lay wooden flooring, its timeless character is sure to add warmth and light to your home.
Can I Use Wood Flooring in my Kitchen or Bathroom?
We don’t recommend putting solid wood floors in a bathroom because humidity will cause the boards to swell and contract. This can lead to damage over time.
Similarly, solid wood isn’t the best option for kitchens because cooking often creates humid air, and it’s an area prone to spills.
An engineered wood floor is a good alternative in these situations. The planks won’t react to the changing temperatures and won’t swell or warp over time, making them a better option for humid spaces.
Can I Use Wooden Flooring if I Have Underfloor Heating?
However, there’s an important caveat: if you plan to install underfloor heating beneath a wooden floor, you should always ask the manufacturer if their heating system is compatible with your choice of flooring.
In many cases, underfloor heating manufacturers recommend using engineered flooring because it’s more stable than solid wood and less likely to move according to changing conditions inside your home.
You should also ask your flooring supplier about the maximum base and surface temperature of your flooring. This is to ensure that your underfloor heating is capable of adequately heating the room as intended.
If you want to use solid timber over underfloor heating, it’s a good idea to use kiln-dried timber that has a moisture content of between 6 and 9%. Low moisture timber is more stable, which makes it a better match for underfloor heating.
Finally, if you’re considering parquet flooring, you should choose engineered parquet panels or blocks, which can be ‘floated’ above the underfloor heating.
What is the Most Environmentally Sustainable Type of Wooden Flooring?
Wherever possible, we recommend choosing timber that is harvested from sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is a global non-profit that ensures timber is produced sustainably according to strict environmental, social, and economic standards.
They regularly inspect suppliers, and the entire supply chain is fully trackable.
To minimise the environmental impact of shipping timber from overseas, you may also want to consider purchasing wooden flooring from timber grown in the UK. There are over 30 tree species that are native to the UK, including species of ash, beech, birch, elm, oak, and Scots pine.
Grown in Britain runs a certification scheme that ensures the timber comes from legal, sustainable sources. They also have a directory of suppliers.
Besides that, bamboo or cork flooring is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Bamboo matures in only three to five years, compared to 10 to 20 years for most other types of timber.
Cork is another great option because it can be harvested without damaging the trees on which it grows, and it’s a naturally insulating material—perfect if you live in a flat or you just want to keep the noise down!
Finally, if you don’t want to buy new, a growing number of suppliers specialise in reclaimed flooring. Due to the nature of the product, reclaimed flooring is unique and often full of character.
However, reclaimed flooring can sometimes be in short supply, so you may need to be patient. For that reason, reclaimed flooring often commands a premium price.
It can also be difficult to find large quantities of reclaimed flooring from the same source. If you’re planning a large build or renovation, you may need to consider mixing reclaimed flooring with other types of flooring to complete your project.
What Are Some Alternatives to Wood Flooring?
This flooring type comes in many patterns, colours, and grains and gives the look of a wooden floor without the same price tag.
For more information about laminate flooring, check out our detailed guide.
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