Laminate Floor Thickness Guide

Laminate flooring thickness is measured from the baseboard to the top surface of the floor, not including the underlayment and padding. The thickness of your laminate floor plays a major role in the look, feel, and comfort of the floor as a whole.

Laminate flooring ranges in thickness from 6 – 12 mm. For the best results, use a thickness higher than 8 mm, although if you are on a budget and your floor has no imperfections, 7 mm can be enough. As the floor becomes thicker, you have more comfort, strength, and less echo in the house.

Whenever I’m asked about laminate flooring, I always point out that you can’t skip on the thickness since that’s what makes the difference. You may have a good pattern, color, and other aspects, but the right thickness determines whether you enjoy your stay in the house.

Laminate floor layers

How to measure laminate flooring thickness

You need a ruler or Vernier Calipers to know the thickness of a laminate floor. For a ruler, simply place the piece of laminate floor on level ground (horizontally), then place the ruler at the 0 mark (vertically) in line with the piece of floor. Count the spaces between the shortest marks on the ruler to determine the thickness of the laminate.

Sometimes, you might only have a ruler in inches and centimeters. For this, convert centimeters into millimeters by dividing the result by 10 since 1cm = 10mm. If in inches, divide the result by 25.4 since 1 in = 25.4mm.

If you’re using Vernier Calipers, simply clamp the piece of laminate between the outside jaws of the caliper to get the thickness.

The layers of a laminate floor (how laminate flooring is made)

Laminate flooring is made by fusing together various layers of materials under high pressure and temperatures. The resulting material has the following layers:

1. Decorative layer

The decorative layer is the topmost layer of the laminate flooring. It can be designed to look like other types of floors, such as natural stone or wood.

2. Wear layer

The wear layer is often made of melamine, and it helps the laminate floor resist wear and tear from foot traffic and other conditions. It can also be coated to prevent water damage.

3. Inner core layer

The inner core layer is the thickest of the four layers in a laminate floor. It’s often made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF), high-density fiberboard (HDF), or particleboard. As the main structural component in a vinyl floor, it contributes significantly to the weight of the floor.

4. Bottom layer

Also called the backing layer, the bottom layer of a laminate floor provides stability to the laminate board when in use.

Does floor thickness matter?

Indeed, laminate flooring thickness is important in many ways. If the floor is thin, like at 6mm, the house will have poor acoustics with subfloor imperfections easy to see. It’ll also have low impact resistance and hence be quite delicate.

As the thickness goes from 6 to 8mm, the laminate floor becomes more affordable, comfortable, and durable. At 10 mm of thickness, the floor is ideal since it won’t have the problems associated with thin flooring. 12 mm is the best since it has fewer problems and can be designed in many attractive ways without affecting the quality.

The most common laminate thicknesses and their uses are as follows:

1. 6mm laminate

6mm laminate is affordable and friendly to the environment. It can also be installed over concrete, although it’s not durable. It should be used in areas with low traffic.

2. 8mm laminate

This is more durable than the 6mm and the uncommon 7mm laminate. However, it’s not as durable as the 10mm laminate and should thus be used in areas with medium-level traffic.

3. 10mm laminate

10mm laminate is considered the perfect thickness for most home and business areas. It’s durable, comfortable to the feet, and does away with noises and echoes in the building. It’s also reasonably priced.

4. 12mm laminate

12mm laminate is heavy-duty laminate flooring used in high-traffic areas like hospitals and business buildings. While it offers the best of everything, its pricing might dissuade you from buying and installing it in your building.

Pros and cons of thick laminate flooring

The advantages and disadvantages of using thick laminate flooring include the following:

Withstands high foot traffic.More expensive than thinner laminate.
Feels like other flooring materials, such as wood.It takes a long time to degrade when discarded.
Reduces environmental noise indoors.
Easier to install than thin laminate.

Given the advantages and disadvantages above, thick laminate flooring is a good choice for commercial and residential spaces. 

Pros and cons of thin laminate flooring

Thin laminate also has its advantages and disadvantages as follows:

Pros Cons 
Costs less than thick laminate.Hard to work with.
Easier and more flexible to install.Depends on the quality of the subfloor.
Degrades fast when discarded.Not durable for high-traffic areas.
Doesn’t feel comfortable under the feet.

Thin laminate is used in low-traffic areas where it’s not exposed to much wear and tear.

How to choose laminate flooring thickness

Since thickness is important when choosing laminate flooring, consider the following aspects to get the best deal:

1. Thickness

You should consider the thickness in millimeters of the laminate flooring you choose. It should be thick enough to prevent warping, water damage, and other conditions.

2. AC Rating

The AC rating of a laminate floor is its durability and level of resistance to burns, moisture, stains, and other conditions. It starts from AC1 to AC5, where a higher figure indicates more durability.

The lowest rating (AC1) suits rooms with little traffic and usage. For commercial locations and other high-traffic areas, I recommend AC5 due to its durability.

3. Backing strength

The backing strength of a laminate floor is its ability to resist bowing to pressure. This is also used to help balance the floor.

4. Resistance to surface fading

Besides these aspects, you should also consider the laminate floor’s resistance to surface fading. Areas with high foot traffic should be laid with laminate with high levels of resistance to surface fading.


When installing any type of flooring, focus on comfort, durability, and cost. With the increasing popularity of laminate flooring, choosing the right thickness covers all these aspects. Ideally, go for 10mm laminate flooring since it offers the best of everything.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better 8mm or 12mm laminate flooring?

12mm laminate flooring is better than 8mm since it feels like hardwood underfoot, is quieter to walk on, produces less echo, and is more resistant to impact.

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