Is it on sale? Or is it just cheap quality laminate flooring?
It is possible to find a deal on good quality laminate flooring, but in most cases you are just buying an inferior product that has been advertised as a good quality floor which is selling at a reduced price. So beware!
Stay away from unbranded, or unknown brand, laminate flooring. There are many companies in China producing inferior laminate flooring that they then sell unbranded to distributors. These distributors then brand the flooring themselves, but essentially these are unbranded floors. In most cases, these floors are made using cheap materials with an inferior surface treatment and will start to show wear and tear within 6 months. By the end of the first year, you will be unhappy with your purchase. Being unhappy with your flooring purchase can drive you crazy as you see and are in contact with your flooring all the time while at home and thus constantly reminded. However, these cheap unbranded floors do suit low traffic environments. So if there are no kids, teenagers or pets in the house this type of laminate might serve your purpose sufficiently.
What about buying entry level branded flooring that retails for up to half the price of their premium models? The biggest drawback here is the thickness of the laminate core. The entry level floors come with thinner cores resulting in a laminate that feels less stable under foot and has a hollow sound when walked on. Cheaper floors look and feel less like real hardwood than the premium models.
There are times when a cheap floor is suitable. If you have a rental property, the floor will perform adequately for 3 to 4 years; it will not sparkle but will be more than sufficient for a tenant. This is a better option compared to carpet, which has to be replaced each time a new tenant moves in.
Aditionally, if you are selling a property and your existing floor is in a very bad condition as it is a few years old already, especially if it is carpet, cheap laminate flooring will probably suit your needs. Installing a new floor and making a few other cosmetic changes will help you get the price you want. Flooring is one of the first things people replace when they move into a new home, so the cheap laminate flooring will be replaced shortly by the new owners anyway.
Another instance where cheap laminate flooring is sitable is for low traffic areas in your home. Laminate floors are graded according to traffic, with cheaper floors being suitable to low traffic areas suchas bedrooms. Click here to read more about wood laminate flooring ratings.